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Egg & Spoon

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  3,825 Ratings  ·  840 Reviews
A fantasy set in Tsarist Russia.

Elena Rudina lives in the impoverished Russian countryside. Her father has been dead for years. One of her brothers has been conscripted into the Tsar’s army, the other taken as a servant in the house of the local landowner. Her mother is dying, slowly, in their tiny cabin. And there is no food. But then a train arrives in the village, a tra
Hardcover, 475 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by Candlewick Press (first published September 1st 2014)
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Teddy Bear Books I would say it is appropriate, at least as far as I can remember. I was pretty young when I picked it up, and was totally fine. I have hear that…moreI would say it is appropriate, at least as far as I can remember. I was pretty young when I picked it up, and was totally fine. I have hear that Gregory Maguire's other books are more for adults, but this one is definitely middle grade.(less)
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline WoodsonA Snicker of Magic by Natalie LloydThe Night Gardener by Jonathan AuxierThe Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. HolmEl Deafo by Cece Bell
Newbery 2015
29th out of 125 books — 569 voters
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. MaasThe Infinite Sea by Rick YanceyI'll Give You the Sun by Jandy NelsonTrial by Fire by Josephine AngeliniAfterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
New YA September 2014
42nd out of 122 books — 188 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Munro's Kids
Oct 25, 2014 Munro's Kids rated it did not like it
The best part of the book are the characters - they are all interesting and well-portrayed, and I was both charmed and fascinated by Baba Yaga. The dialogue also is snappy and amusing - so much so, it seemed at time like a stage production as much as a novel (plenty of physical humour added to this effect).

However, I'm not sure who this book was written for - I can't see it appealing to many children or young adults, though it is being billed as a YA read. The narration is often slow and repetit
Monica Edinger
May 29, 2014 Monica Edinger rated it it was amazing
Gregory Maguire's Egg & Spoon is arich and layered story, full of gorgeous images and sentences, a matryoshka doll sort of tale. That is, like those nested dolls that show-upthemselves in the story one inside the other, this book involves bits and pieces of stories, one inside the other and then coming out again. We begin meeting Elana Rudina, a peasant girl starving in a village with a dead father, a dying mother, a brother taken off to serve the Tsar, and the other as a servant for the loc ...more
Taylor Knight
Apr 30, 2015 Taylor Knight rated it really liked it
I'd never heard of this book before until I randomly seen it in Barnes and Noble months ago. The cover is so beautiful and different, I'd never seen anything like it. I was so extremely interested in this book that I actually read the synopsis, something I rarely do. I loved the synopsis and I knew I had to get this book right away. Egg & Spoon sat on my shelf for a few months before I picked it up. I wasn't sure what to expect so I kind of put it off for a while.

I'm not really sure how I f
Sep 14, 2014 Beth rated it it was ok
I am a *huge* fan of Gregory Maguire's 'Wicked', though I think some of his other books kind of were...not at good. So I was very curious to read this one and to see if it was capable of living up to its promise. In short - yes and no.

I loved the writing overall - it definitely reminded me of an old-fashioned fairy tale. The characters were interesting, including the narrator who pops in every so often to describe his part in the story. Where I think it went wrong was its length - in places, it
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Actual Rating: 1.5 stars

I'm not usually one to build books up too much before reading them. I just try not to. My opinions and views can be so different from others sometimes. I love some of the well-liked and popular series, and hate others. I guess we all do. I do have my favorite authors, usually established after years of reading and liking their books. Like Anne Rice, J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis, Jane Auste
Karen Ball
Sep 09, 2016 Karen Ball rated it it was amazing
If this doesn't win the Newbery I will go into utter flaming Firebird apoplexy. Gorgeous writing, pee-your-pants humor, twisted Russian fairy tale characters, and The Prince and the Pauper Faberge-style. This is one of those wonderful reads that just gets better with re-reading, and it's even better read aloud. Disney better get on this one -- looks like fodder for the next Frozen. Hurray for Gregory Maguire!!!
Cait (Paper Fury)
I had a hard time with this book. Part of me wanted it to be over already (because it dragged on and on) and part of me was so in love with the magical uniqueness and the fabulous humour. SEE HOW TORN I AM?

I haven’t laughed like this in a long time. It was glorious. Witty banter? Bring – it – oooon. It was all Baba Yaga. She was downright snippy and sarcastic. Of course, along with the cat, Mewster. Their back-and-forth was some of the best wit I’ve read in a long time. Unfortunately, Baba Yaga
Oct 19, 2016 Ace rated it liked it
I was able to secure a free copy of this on Overdrive via a Summer Reading programme which encourages youth to read or in this case to listen.

Not having heard of the author before in quick skim of the synopsis I thought I was reading a Russian novel translated into English, but soon worked out what was what and who was who. I'm glad for the confusion I may not have elected to listen to this great little story of Elena and Cat and the Faberge Egg. It's was witty and clever if not a bit long, but
Helen Stower
I was given Egg & Spoon as a gift from Riverbend books at the conclusion of the Young Adult Bookclub that I had participated in. Having not chosen the book and having never read a Gregory Maguire novel, I didn’t know what to anticipate. Therefore, the pure joy of this book was a delightful surprise.

Full of magic and mayhem, this book is part fairytale, part mythology, part prince and pauper tale and part grand quest. This mashup of style is a lot of fun and achieves success through the well
Oct 21, 2014 Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off, this book is not YA, no matter that it's nearly 500 pages long and billed as such by bookstore and library. It's very firmly middle grade. The characters are capable of certain things because they're specifically children, there is no "icky" romance (at least, that's how they see it), and it's about fitting in with your world at large, not pitting one solitary teen against the universe. It's got that sense of now-I'm-going-to-tell-you-a-story (about someone else) that sets it off, ...more
Oct 29, 2014 Skip rated it liked it
In Egg and Spoon, Gregory Maguire takes a classic tale of an identity exchange (a la Prince and the Pauper), integrating Russian folklore. Ekaterina, a privileged city girl attending boarding school in London is being paraded in front of the Tsar's nephew, and Elena, a country girl, is trying to survive poverty and familial loss. Their paths collide in Elena's hamlet as Kat's train is delayed because of a damaged bridge. Ambitious.

Unfortunately, the two girls are dullards for much of the novel,
Leah Jay

A lot of people have been asking me to review this book for a while now.
They want to know my thoughts.
Well, here it comes.






That's about all I can say or else you would get tired of me talking about it.

Appropriate for all ages, with the exception of one H-word and one D-word.

Until the next adventure,
Leah The Bird
Feb 05, 2015 Beth rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
Nothing about this book engaged me. In fairness, I only gave it about 150 pages, but I found the setting entirely too familiar, the pace plodding, and the characters thinly developed - and so I didn't feel compelled to finish.

It's funny; I usually finish books no matter what. Lately I've had a few real duds, though.
Aug 18, 2014 Jessica rated it liked it
This was my first foray into the world of Gregory Maguire, and I'm not certain I'll be back. The overall premise of the book was interesting. The primary message was good: being content is important. The secondary messages were also commendable: family is incredibly important, whether you're related by blood or become family through other means; friendship requires work; commitment and constancy can take you far; etc. Also, despite some very mature concerns for the child protagonists, they were ...more
Benji Martin
Jan 27, 2015 Benji Martin rated it really liked it
I'm feeling very mixed about this book. There were definitely moments when I would stop and say to myself, "What a good book!" but at the end, there were also several moments when I asked myself, "When is this thing going to end?" The cast of characters is unforgettable, especially Baba Yaga and her cat straight out of Master and Margarita. The beginning of the book is excellent. The plot is exciting. The two girls Elena and Ekaterina, couldn't be more different, but by the end of the novel, ...more
Patricia Montgomery
Jan 13, 2015 Patricia Montgomery rated it really liked it
I found this book in the young adult room of the store so I thought it would be suited for teenagers. While it was written very well and had a gripping plot, I felt more like I was reading a Disney princess movie than a teenage drama. It was nice to read something very lighthearted for a change, but it was simply not what I was expecting. (Hence the four stars and not five). Despite my confusion entering the book, I would recommend this. It is a quick read and has a certain fairytale aspect to ...more
Nov 11, 2014 Kristan rated it it was ok
Shelves: mock-printz
I struggled to finish this very (very!) slow-paced book.

There were a few interesting parts--the switch, the reconnection, and the final chapter. Baba Yaga was a fun character and I loved the sly references to things that obviously did not belong in this time period ("Let's have Cheerios." "I don't know what Cheerios are," said Cat. "they haven't been invented yet. You'll love them.").

It's well written and is obviously one of those stories that needs to be read several times to peel through the
May 12, 2016 Zoe rated it it was ok
Im finally done with this book. it took me a month. Unfortunately I didn't like it. I really tried because I thought that it would be feeling like a fairytale set in Russia. Two things I absolutely love but it didn't do it for me. Although the chapters were very short it was hard getting through them. I really wanted more of a real baba yaga, the russian witch but she was just a grandma. The other characters were also not that interesting Elena was poor and Cat was rich and that was it. I give ...more
Dec 13, 2014 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Outstanding! I loved the narrator's voice, the setting and the wonderful sneaky humor. This is a book to pay attention to, loaded with heart and a total delight for lovers of story. Baba Yaga absolutely steals the show!
Oct 07, 2014 Amanda rated it did not like it
I can't read any more of this. It is so very tedious. It takes forever for anything to happen and and the language is forced and pompous. And I don't care about any of the people. Watch, it will probably win the Newbery.
Sharon Tyler
Oct 25, 2014 Sharon Tyler rated it liked it

Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire is a middle grade fantasy novel. Elena Rudina lives in the impoverished Russian countryside. Her father has been dead for years, and her mother lies dying as her brothers have left home. One brother was taken into the Tsar’s army and the other taken as a servant in the house of the local landowner. There is no food, and very little hope. Then a train arrives in the village carrying a noble family destined to visit the Tsar in Saint Petersburg—a family that includ
May 03, 2015 Stephanie rated it liked it
I first saw Egg & Spoon on a book haul video I do believe on youtube for those of you who watch Reagan(peruseproject). I thought the premise of the book was wonderful and I thought that I would really enjoy the book especially since the cover was absolutely GORGEOUS. Anyway, it took me a while to actually find Egg & Spoon in Barnes and Noble and I don't really like ordering online all the time, so I just kind of had a scavenger hunt for it for a while.

I feel like I'm at a toss up with E
Annette (booknerderie)
First thing's first, let's swoon over this cover art. *waits a few minutes* We done swooning? No? I'll wait. *waits some more* I scooped up this hardback without regard to the story or the price. Bad habit, I know. But I just couldn't pass it up. So when it came time to start this tome, I assumed the story would grip me just as the cover had. I was gripped but not as quickly as I'd hoped; it took me five weeks to finish this sucker.

Now, I have to admit that I have been in somewhat of a reading s
Jun 30, 2016 Emily rated it it was amazing
I hated Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. I think I should get that out of the way before I say anything about Egg & Spoon. I thought it was a depressing mess, so it would be fair to say that I picked up Maguire's latest with reservations, and I was delightfully surprised. It has all the joy and whimsy I found missing from his take on Oz. There all kinds of fun fantasy threads weaving through this adventure tale and meeting up in the anachronistic pleasure that is B ...more
Emily Mead
Dec 20, 2014 Emily Mead rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014, fantasy, to-read-own
Read reviews, see awesome GIFS and experience my rambling thoughts at my blog, The Loony Teen Writer


The best part about this book is the witch, Baba Yaga.

Her sarcasm was the BEST. But she didn’t even appear in the story until like 150 pages in. She and the cat (Mewster) have some awesome conversations with Ekaterina. There’s lots of talk about eating children. It’s great.

UNFORTUNATELY, the rest wasn’t so great. It dragged on. A lot. I confess to skimming…like, a lot. I mean, it’s a ma
Feb 17, 2015 Meredith rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, folk-tales
I recently finished a nonfiction book about Russia (Candace Fleming's fantastic book, The Family Romanov), and it was wonderful to read another book about Russia so soon. This is obviously very different, since it's fiction, and deals with Russian folktales like the firebird and Baba Yaga, but there are also a lot of similarities, as it deals really nicely with issues of class and the enormous divide between the poor and the rich in Russia. Plus, this is super fun. Baba Yaga is the best, and ...more
Jun 11, 2015 Victoria rated it really liked it
*4.5 stars
I remember putting this book down a couple of months ago because I was reading too many books at once, and I haven't had a chance to pick it up again untill now!
I'm so glad I continued reading this book because it was quite a ride! I didn't read a book like this in such a long time and I ended up loving this story<3 I really enjoyed the characters because you could clearly see how they developed throughout their journey! All the characters have learned such important lessons and en
Brenda Kahn
Oh my how I love this book! Sweeping, layered, sly, hugely hilarious, surprising and just plain wonderful. The audio performance was so entertaining! I highly recommend it for folks who might be a bit daunted by its 400+ pages.
Oct 14, 2014 Donalyn rated it really liked it
Delightful book with layers of cultural, historical, and literary references. I do think kids will miss a few of the jokes, such as references to "drinking the Kool-Aid" and threatening to kick a character in the "Balzac."
Oct 24, 2015 Nafiza rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful book.
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Gregory Maguire is an American author, whose novels are revisionist retellings of children's stories (such as L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz into Wicked). He received his Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Tufts University, and his B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany. He was a professor and co-director at the Simmons College Center for the Study of Children' ...more
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“Think of egg and spoon. If there is an egg, well, fine. You eat. Unless you use your spoon to hold the egg out of my reach. Does being in possession of a spoon give you more right to the egg?” 9 likes
“Ambition without direction is like milk without a cup.” 8 likes
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