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A Tangle of Knots

(A Tangle of Knots #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  8,529 ratings  ·  1,034 reviews
Told in multiple viewpoints, A Tangle of Knots is a magnificent puzzle. In a slightly magical world where everyone has a Talent, eleven-year-old Cady is an orphan with a phenomenal Talent for cake baking. But little does she know that fate has set her on a journey from the moment she was born. And her destiny leads her to a mysterious address that houses a lost luggage emp ...more
Hardcover, 230 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Philomel
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  8,529 ratings  ·  1,034 reviews

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Start your review of A Tangle of Knots (A Tangle of Knots, #1)
Magical realism for the elementary crowd. Love, love, love.

Tangle of Knots is set in a world where everyone has a Talent--well, almost everyone. Certain Talents have obvious benefits like finance or medicine. Others are simply Potter-esque delights like being able to float or vanish at will. And unfortunately, a few Talents appear mostly useless, like tying fancy knots. The Talent-less few are referred to as “Fairs,” and in a universe comprised of the hyper-skilled, there’s nothing worse than b
Barb Middleton
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have a Talent for burning food into unrecognizable rock-like chunks that Ker-plunk when tossed into the garbage can. The people of Poughkeepsie either have a Talent or they don't. The worst thing for a person in Pookie - I mean Poughkeepsie - is to have no Talent. Those that don't tend to be "Middlings" or middle children. (That explains my Talent woes). Poor Middling Marigold is one of those with no Talents and she's desperately trying to find it. When we first meet her in the story, she is t ...more
Sep 01, 2012 rated it liked it
A Tangle of Knots is a middle grade novel with a lot of ambitions. The characters are all interesting, the premise is interesting and the plot is fast paced and filled with action. The problem is that the novel bites off more than it can chew in the relatively few number of pages it calls its own. There are way too many characters and not enough time is spent developing them all. I understand what the novel intended to do with this set up but unfortunately, for me, it failed. This does not mean ...more
Nov 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
A Tangle of Knots is a really cute middle grade novel. There were lots of things to love about this one, including the wide cast of characters, the whimsical aspects (hot air balloons and a girl who loves baking cakes), and the wonderfully appetizing cake recipes scattered throughout. It's also a really fast read; I was finished with it in a matter of hours, and it had a readability factor to it that kept me eagerly turning pages. While it did take me a while to ultimately figure out what was go ...more
Dec 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
Cady has a Talent for baking cakes and making just the right one for a specific person. Miss Mallory’s Talent is matching children with the perfect home, but she hasn’t been able to find the right fit for Cady for years. Will has a Talent for hiding, passing through walls and disappearing along with his pet ferret. Zach has a Talent for spitting, something just right for a troublemaker. Marigold is desperately searching for her Talent, trying all sorts of things with no luck. Then there is the m ...more
Feb 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is definitely my kind of book! Lots of humor, wonderful intricate plot, and a totally satisfying resolution where everything comes together. delightful!
Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship
Jun 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of dragon tales and readers in a slump
Recommended to Stuti by: i can find cool books on my own too, you know
This is a demure, delightful, enchanting book. If it were a color, it'd be mauve.

Think rescuing a lighter for noble purposes was the most whimsy task you'd been sent to accomplish? Well, here's another.

Try searching fifty years for a suitcase.

It was a very old suitcase, but sturdy and well-loved, boxy and large as a small child, with worn corners and three small dimples near the left clasp. Across the top a cursive scrawl of silver thread spelled out the brand: St. Anthony’s.

But now now, thi
Jan 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens, library
I have to admit when I started A Tangle of Knots, I was quite confused. Too many characters were tossed at me, their lives all scattered around and I felt I had no one to connect to, I was losing faith. In walked Cady. Although she had been “sent to live with no fewer than six families” and had returned to live at Miss Mallory’s Home for Lost Children, she had found a place in my heart. Cady had an amazing Talent and a positive attitude, I knew that Cady was someone unique. Having lived in the h ...more
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
One person I trust (and you should, too!) for middle grade recommendations is Charlotte of Charlotte’s Library. When she reviewed Lisa Graff’s A Tangle of Knots and mentioned fantasy and baking in the same breath, I knew this would be a book for me. And so it is – the charming story and tasty recipes included at chapter’s end are light, lovely reading.

A Tangle of Knots is a gem of a story: short, sweet, magical, and full of unexpected characters and connections. It centers on Cady, a diminutive
Feb 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
A TANGLE OF KNOTS is a story told in bits and pieces, where every little bit connects and creates a whole that is lovely and magical. What at first seems random is interconnected, people moving in and out of each other's lives in the most unexpected ways.

Cady is an orphan with a Talent for baking cakes. That's talent with a capital T. The world of A TANGLE OF KNOTS is much like ours except for the fact that most people have Talents. It can take awhile to find yours, and it may not be impressive,
Fi's Journey
Will would barely remember how to blink. "I'm on an adventure," he breathed. He clutched his hairpin sword a little tighter, wishing Sally were with him. "Life is the grandest adventure one can go on, isn't it?" the giant said kindly (he seemed to be a very friendly giant). "What else could a person ask for than just to be alive?" Will knew exactly what else a person could ask for. "Monsters," he said. "And cake."

This was a beautiful story with beautiful characters. I loved the characters, their
Jul 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I REALLY liked this one a lot. I will likely re-read it, and I wouldn't be surprised if I wind up giving it another star. . .

I wouldn't classify it as a mystery, but there are certainly lots of mysterious parts that come together at the end in a most satisfying way. The way Lisa Graff creates different storylines that are eventually woven tightly together reminded me a little of how I felt reading Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver.

Highly recommended, and a great read-alike for folks who love
Nov 16, 2015 rated it liked it
An interesting book for middle grades. A well written commentary on exploring and discovering one's talents and gifts. I would love to hear thoughts on this book from its target audience. I enjoyed it. 3.5 stars.
Jenna Friebel
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade, fantasy
Read in one sitting. Wonderfully enchanting. And now I really want to bake a cake...
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade-ya
So enjoyed this one. And appreciated a book that's sophisticated for kids. I definitely had to pay close attention to connect the dots!
4.5 stars for this awesome book!!

I think a movie adaptation for this book is a great idea. I love the lightness of the story. I'm so happy to find some cake recipes on this book. It was a fun read. The connection between each character is like having small pieces of puzzle that you need to put together to form a wonderful picture. I wanted to taste the mouth-watering cakes of Cady!!

Oct 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Thoughts from The Page Walker

A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff
National Book Award Nominee for Young People's Literature (2013)

In this whimsical story, Lisa Graff created an alternative reality wherein people are recognized through the Talent endowed on them, from baking, planting, knitting, even matching people together. Those who are talentless are called Fair, which isn't really a bad thing.

“A Talent is only rewarding if you wield it well.”

Before our main story begins, Mason Burgess (supposedly
Rithika Bayipati
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"A Tangle of Knots" is an amazing book, in my opinion. I was absolutely hooked on it from a paragraph in, and the writing style is just beautiful. The book has a way of keeping things very mysterious and interesting; with a bunch of characters whose lives are all tangled up; and throughout the story you untangle those knots.

Lisa Graff, the author, drops hints that you may not have noticed, and unravels the story in a way that just seems so natural, so that even when there's a plot twist, it doe
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who apprieciate creative minds and are intrigued by the book - that's all it takes.
Recommended to Kenzie by: The bookshelf in my English teacher's room.
3.5 stars - but obviously on the higher end rather than the lower.

Truly, I'm not quite sure what to say about this book. I read it in a day and it presented my imagination with delightful scenarios. It read a lot like a short story to me, well, expect that it was a full length book (though fairly short).
The prologue drew me in immediately and I wanted to know more. It was fun to have so many different perspectives in the book because they seemed to fit so well, especially once the secrets were l
May 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fast-paced, fun, and so clever! This book was recommended by a former student and it was such a delightful Sunday read. I loved the idea of the Talents (and that things you wouldn't think were talents actually were, like spitting), the short chapters, and the importance of cakes (and the recipes - I wonder if they are as good as they sound). I loved the variety of characters (The Owner was so intriguing) and the way they all came together. I also loved the simple messages learned: "If Marigold h ...more
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was perfect for me, albeit a bit short. It's got talented-with-a-capital-T bakers, precise spitters, one not horrible ferret, a curious hair pin, a thief, a giant, a hot air balloon, a boy who can disappear very well, and a woman who has a particular knack for matching. It's a tangle of characters and narratives, but it comes together like a lovely stacked bakery concoction with fondant flowers. It's awesome, you guys. I guess don't read this if you don't like being delighted or hungry ...more
The Styling Librarian
A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff - 4th grade and up -LOVED THIS BOOK. I refuse to give away the plot but will say that there were many interconnected pieces to this beautiful fantasy. I found connections in this book to the brilliant Newbery winning book The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg. I love when complications occur and different voices are introduced to further develop the story. Wonderfully fantastic story I highly recommend.
Kimberley Little
May 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this middle-grade novel! Secrets and a little bit of magical realism plus quirky characters are always right up my alley. I love how everybody is connected in some way by the end of the story and the meaning of how/what happens in the character's lives. I like doing that in my own writing, too. It's part of the fun of plotting and character and world-building. A Tangle of Knots is highly recommended!
Debbie Tanner
This might be my new favorite book. This book has a long list of characters who at first do not seem to have any connection, they all appear to be a tangle of knots. But as you read, you start to make connections between the characters until the whole snarly ball comes untangled. I loved that the main character bakes cakes and that the characters all have Talents that shape their character as well their personality. Great story!
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a book on our 5th grade reading challenge list and it's a book for our parent/child book club. It was very interesting and a quite inventive plot with a little bit of science fiction themes fit in. It gets 4 stars because of its originality. My son also really enjoyed it. The cast of characters is long and varied and we enjoyed the mystery of how they all were connected. Definitely not your average children's literature.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Some books are just very special and A Tangle of Knots is certainly one of those very special books. Graff is spot on with the voice/tone of the story and also with how she weaves together all of the different pieces of the mystery but never revealing too much at one time. This one will stay with me for awhile and will also be one that I recommend over and over again.
Franki Sibberson
I love Lisa Graff. I love this kind of a story. Love the way the characters' stories come together. Love the big message. Love the characters. Love Graff's writing.
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This totally lives up to the hype! A strange, magical, delightful confection of a book.
Lizzie  J
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In a world where almost everyone has a Talent, Cady has the power to make the perfect cake. She lives in an orphanage, but little does she know that she is the pivotal piece in a tangled web of characters and hidden pasts. As fat throws these characters together, they have no idea that they are about to lose something that they each care about...

I found this book really mysterious and ethereal. I had no idea what it was about when I picked it up, and I planned on only reading the first chapter t
Vernon Area Public Library KIDS
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Grade 3 and above
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
This title is on the 2019 Illinois Bluestem Readers’ Choice Award Nominees Master List and the story is told from the viewpoints of different characters. We learn how fate has interwoven magic with their respective talents and how destiny brings them all together. Eleven-year-old Cady is an orphan with a talent for baking just the right cake for each person and her path in life brings her to an understanding of her past in order to make sense of her present and future. Readers with a talent for ...more
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Lisa Graff is the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of the National Book Award nominee A Tangle of Knots, as well as Lost in the Sun, Absolutely Almost, Double Dog Dare, Umbrella Summer, The Life and Crimes of Bernetta Wallflower, The Thing About Georgie and Sophie Simon Solves Them All. Originally from California, she lived for many years in New York City and now makes her home just o ...more

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“It's the way we deal with what Fate hands us that defines who we are.” 15 likes
“Life is the grandest adventure one can go on, isn't it?' said the giant kindly (he seemed to be a very friendly giant). 'What else could a person ask for than just to be alive?'

Will knew exactly what else a person could ask for. 'Monsters,' he said. 'And cake.”
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