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Shadow Spinner

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  5,178 ratings  ·  336 reviews
In an adventure equal to any a storyteller might relate, a crippled serving girl faces the intrigues of the harem, the dangers of the streets, and the anger of the Sultan himself to find the needed ending to an incomplete story.
Paperback, Jean Karl Books, 224 pages
Published November 1st 1999 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published May 1st 1998)
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Originally reviewed on my blog, Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing.

Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher is set in Ancient Persia and it is a retelling of 1001 Arabian Nights. The original tale is the story of Shaharazad, the young woman who tells stories each night to the Sultan, ending before the climax is complete in order to remain alive one more day. Over and over she does this, for 1001 nights. The original tale is where we get such beloved stories as Aladdin, Sinbad, and Ali Baba and the Fo
Cait Grace

Omg, I have such love for this book. SUCH LOVE. I haven't read it in, like 8 or so I was a bit nervous. You know how sometimes you read childhood favourites and they aren't as good? I SHOULD NOT HAVE FEARED. I still loved Shadow Spinner at astronomical amount. It didn't have quite the amount of magic that lured Little!Cait in so effectively. I'm just older and grumpier now. But I still loved it. AHHHH I LOVE PERSIAN CULTURE AND STOR
People take what they need from the stories they hear. The tale is often wiser than the teller.

This is one of my all-time favorite YA novels and a really excellent spin on the story of Shahrazad. It's tightly plotted, with an interesting and diverse cast of characters, and ancient Persia is gorgeously described and atmospheric. Susan Fletcher writes books about teenagers who feel real and who you can root for, and Marjan is no exception. ALL THE STARS.
I must admit I was skeptical when I picked up this book. How interesting could a story be about someone who tells stories? I tell stories, and trust me, a book about my life would be very boring. (And then Janette sat huddled in front of her laptop for the next five hours . . . See what I mean?)

I'm glad to report that I was really wrong in this assumption. It was an awesome book and I liked it all that much more because the characters talked about stories and their importance. They teach things.
I grew up reading the story about Shahrazad many times and in various "versions", but this take brought a breath of fresh air to it.
Susan Fletcher is a great story spinner who gave more than life to the characters. The ones from the original story such as Shahrazad and the Sultan, were more than 2 dimensional, they felt real, and so were the additional characters she brought in to weave in the "behind the scenes" parts. You will get to know and care for those secondary characters, even though yo
Shadow Spinner is a fun 'middle grader' book set in Ancient Persia as a new twist on the story of 1001 Arabian Nights. In the original story of 1001 Arabian Nights, Shaharazad is the Sultan's wife who is keeping herself alive by telling the Sultan a story every night and ending each night without finishing the story so that the Sultan's curiosity will be aroused and he will keep her alive another day to finish the story.

In this retelling, we visit the world of Sultans, harems, palaces and slaves
Jan 06, 2014 Arghavan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Arghavan by: یاسی
فکر کنم دوم یا چهارم دبستان بودم؛ عملا هر روز این رو میخوندم. عـــاشقش بودم رسماً. :ی
چیز خوبی بود خیلی. :} قصّههاش رو خیلی دوست داشتم. خیلی.
The story of Shahrazad has always puzzled me. This King kills his wives day after day and his people just let it happen? They didn't revolt? Monarchies have been tumbled for much less! Yet this slip of a girl manages to stand up to this King and save her people.

She has never gotten her proper due in my opinion.

Fletcher's book however is a decent step in that direction. Though about Marjan, we see what it must be like for Shahrazad. Night after night for years, constantly frightened and stressed
May 05, 2015 Susan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: علاقه مندان به جادو،زیر بیست سال
Shelves: بچگی
خیلی دوستش داشتم و بارها خوندمش.خیلی جذاب بود و کشش کافی داشت.توصیفاتش به اندازه بود،نه کم و نه زیاد.کاخ شهرزاد را هنوز میتوانم پیش چشمم ببینم، کاملا زنده وتازه.(هرچند سالها پیش خوندمش)روایتها هم که محشر بودند.شاید اگر کسی مثلا توی دانشگاه بخونتش برایش جذابیتی نداشته باشد و به نظرش لوس بیاید،ولی برای زیرهجده سال واقعا کتاب خوبیه!
This book is how a retelling of any folk tale should be--a diverse and complex story, a world full of questions and truths still relevant to our own time. Shadow Spinner is a retelling of 1001 Nights, a story of a young, crippled, Muslim girl in Persia as she weaves shadows and stories and learns what it means to be brave and to forgive.

I would say the best part of the book is the "Lessons for Life and Storytelling" that appear at the beginning of each chapter. But no, the best part is the vivid
I've read this years ago, but recently re-read it for my thesis project. It is such a beautiful read.

(view spoiler)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
There are some true and important messages in this book. This book would make a great read-a-loud, it is exciting and full of adventure, and teaches a few good lessons. I enjoyed that the heroine did not have physical or spiritual perfection but was on a journey.

I really enjoyed the little bits of wisdom at the beginning of each chapter. One quote I particularly liked was, "People will take what they need from the stories they hear." Another quote says, "Sometimes I wonder if the stories you te
I read this aloud to my daughters for school. I don't give out five stars normally. I loved the rich language that the author, Susan Fletcher used. I could smell, taste and see by her rich descriptions throughout the book. I didn't want this book to end. I knew by chapter 22 that this book was going to be five starts. When I started crying the very last paragraph I am already thinking that this might be one of my favorite books this school year. Great book. My girls 10 & 12 loved it as well. ...more
Zahra Dashti
خیلی دوستش داشتم اون روزها که خوندمش!
I read this because it was there. My daughter had picked it up from the library. These days, I don't often take time to review such quick reads, but I loved the little "Lessons for Life and Storytelling" sections of this book. Interspersed within this story of stories are such little snippets of wisdom as

-"There's more than one way to be crippled. I don't mean that you can have a crippled foot or a crippled knee or a crippled hand. I mean you can be crippled in your heart."
-"Sometimes I wonder i
Simone Sylvester
Jul 06, 2015 Simone Sylvester rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 13-17, mid-grade, folks getting into reading, folks looking for deeper stories for YA/tweens.
I thought this book might earn a 5 star review from me, but it seems it's fallen a bit short...

Also this took me a while to read because I didn't exactly settle down on my weekend to this. So the review, is coming VERY late!

Shadow Spinner is about a girl named Marjan who goes to live in the (somewhat evil) Sultan's harem, as a servant girl to the world famous Queen Shahrazad.

The deal here is that Marjan know stories - lots of them, told to her by her mother, and random storytellers in the local
3:30 AM

(این٫ از آن ریویوهای توقعایجادکن است؛ پس ترجیحا نخوانیدش :D )

انقدر خوب؟ انقدر هیجانانگیز؟
من این کتاب رو از خییلییی سالهایپیش٫ میخواستم بخونم و یادم رفت دیگه. تا اینکه هفته قبل تو شهرکتاب چشمم خورد بهش. از بس کتابش کشش داشت واقعا نمیدونم چی بگم. هیچ کتابی تا حالا باعث نشده بود من تا این موقع شب بیدار باشم :دی
فعلا ذهنم کار نمیکنه چیزی بگم راجع بهش :)) با این ریویو نوشتنم :))
Although the book is based on Persian culture, I found many familir elements from Moroccan culture. While the plot didn't always flow smoothly, the imagery of the harem and the bazaar captured another world. A good high interest, low reading level book for young teens.
In this version of the Arabian Nights, a young crippled girl is smuggled into the harem to help Scherazade in her endless quest for new and more intriguing stories. The girl's past, and her future, are just as interesting as that tales she spins, however.
MrsK Books
Such a wonderfully crafted story from a masterful storyteller. This retelling draws in every one of your senses. You do not want the stories within the story to ever end!

Marjan is such a beautiful young woman. She is captivated with Shahrazad and the stories she tells the Sultan. In order for Shahrazad to provide new stories, Marjan takes to the streets outside of the harem and gathers tales from strangers.

If you are a storyteller, you will adore Susan's "Lessons for Life and Storytelling" vigne
Emma Hoyer
Literature Requirement: **Historical Fiction #2 (novel)**

This book started out a little slow for me, but by the end, I had fallen in love with the setting and the characters. Shahrazad is a brave woman who tells stories to keep the blood-thirsty sultan appeased. Betrayal turned his heart black, and he has killed hundreds of women. Shahrazad has been sparing the lives of others, as well as her own, for nearly 1,000 nights before we meet Marjan, the novel’s main character. Marjan is crippled, her
Hannah  Walsh
A well-written and fascinating book. Now I'm dying to learn more about the Arabian Nights...

اسمش بود گمشده ي شهرزاد!! اينم مال اون وقتاست ، خيلي ازش لذت بردم.
Oct 09, 2015 Lisa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lisa by: Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum
Based on One Thousand and One Nights (aka Arabian Nights), a collection of folk tales compiled during the Islamic Golden Age, this story tells how the beautiful Shahrazad spends night after night telling stories to her bitter and vindictive husband, the Sultan, to keep him from killing her, as he's killed many wives before her. Fletcher does a great job of fleshing out the character behind the storyteller Shahrazad of the Arabian Nights, and creates a rich, shadowy, mysterious mood that makes yo ...more
Aug 17, 2015 Jill rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
I do love fairy tale retellings and this is a retelling of Scheherazade, which is really not a fairy tale in that there is no supernatural element.

Marjan has a crippled foot--and how that happened is part of the story--who admires Sharazad and wants to help her in any way she can. She unexpectedly gets her chance when Sharazad, who has been weaving stories for 989 nights and has run out of ideas, thinks that Marjan may know a new story.

Great tale with a host of interesting characters
I came across this book when re-organizing my collection recently. I only remembered enjoying the book from when I was in elementary school, but for the life of me I couldn't recall any specific details of the story. It was actually kind of awesome-I was guaranteed a good book with all the pleasure of reading it for the first time!

This is the story of Marjan, a young girl who essentially enables Shahrazad's feat of 1001 Arabian Nights. I appreciated that there really wasn't too much focus on the
Here is yet another book I judged before I even read it. I almost grudgingly put it on hold, and felt the same when I picked it up. From the first page I was very interested. Susan Fletcher is a beautiful storyteller, one would have to be to write a book about storytellers. I truely enjoyed this book.
Set in the middle east, a community lived under the rule of a Sultan. This sultan was betrayed by his wife, and in his anger he swore that he would never let anyone hurt him again. So he took a new
I really loved this book because it has a lot of adventure in it. The sultan of the land found out that one of his wives had betrayed him, so he started killing off all of his wives. He would marry a woman one night and then kill her the next. Mothers started maiming their daughters so that they wouldn't be married by the Sultan. Then, this one woman marries the Sultan, but before he kills her, she asks if she can tell her sister one last story. The sultan agrees, but the woman stops the story i ...more
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What's The Name o...: YA--Girl is inducted into a harem [s] 6 175 Aug 26, 2012 07:54AM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information. Please do, however, be aware that this thread is no longer kept up to date.

Susan Fletcher is the author of a popular trilogy that includes the books Dragon's Milk, Flight of the Dragon Kyn, and Sign of the Dove, as well as of several other novels for young readers.

With a me
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“Marjan. I have told him tales of good women and bad women, strong women and weak women, shy women and bold women, clever women and stupid women, honest women and women who betray. I'm hoping that, by living inside their skins while he hears their stories, he'll understand over time that women are not all this way or that way. I'm hoping he'll look at women as he does at men--that you must judge each of us on her own merits, and not condemn us or exalt us only because we belong to a particular sex.” 5 likes
“There are some stories that you don't tell aloud, that you make up and tell silently to yourself.” 1 likes
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