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Egg & Spoon

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  6,064 ratings  ·  1,124 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 Grego…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)
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  6,064 ratings  ·  1,124 reviews

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Amalia Gkavea
‘’Your life story is really about how the hands of history caught you up, played with you, and you with them. History plays for keeps; individuals play for time.’’

Prepare for a journey in the mystical land of Russia in the era of the Tsars. A land of fairy tales and magical creatures. A land of mortifying antitheses, where wealth and poverty walk hand in hand. This is a journey through the vastness of a country unlike any other in the world, through the misty forests to the opulent courts of
Munro's Kids
Jun 05, 2014 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
Taylor Knight
Mar 12, 2015 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 feel
Monica Edinger
May 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Gregory Maguire's Egg & Spoon is a rich and layered story, full of gorgeous images and sentences, a matryoshka doll sort of tale. That is, like those nested dolls that show-up themselves 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 loca ...more
Sep 12, 2014 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 Aus
Karen Ball
Jun 07, 2014 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!!! ...more
C.G. Drews
Oct 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 28, 2014 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. ...more
Jennifer Parr
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
This was a fun, nonsensical fairy tale about two girls who inadvertently switch lives, find adventure, and discover that helping others, even in small ways, can encourage change
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-pa
Oct 29, 2014 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,
Oct 21, 2014 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, too ...more
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Something too few of us know when we are alive, he told her. We are all crowned with glory. Peasants no less than kings."

This in its purest form is a wonderful adventure. Picture, "The Wizard of Oz" and all it's oddities. As a child you see the colorful characters that made that story fun and exciting, but as you get older you start to realize the themes of home and true friendship. That's what, "Egg & Spoon" is: a very beautiful story with lessons that are timeless.

Gregory Maguire, the autho
May 29, 2016 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
Apr 10, 2016 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 t ...more
Oct 01, 2014 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.
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this middle take on some Russian folklore. Gregory Maguire wrote a heartfelt book filled with humor and beautiful prose.
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars While I wish I had read this in order to savor its beauty, the audiobook was incredibly well done and I'm glad for the experience. This story reminded me why I once listed Gregory Maguire as a favorite author: he knows how to retell a fairytale so it feels new, and old, and humorous, and touching. He even introduced me to some new Russian fairy tales. I would read this again. I love a good Baba Yaga tale. ...more
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
Aug 13, 2014 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 18, 2015 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, aft ...more
Patricia Montgomery
Jan 06, 2015 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 i ...more
Oct 09, 2014 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
Jun 01, 2014 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! ...more
Aug 02, 2018 added it
Shelves: dnf
DNF at page 137.

BAILING on this book is a real surprise to me. I though I'd like it: a fun fantasy with some Russian folklore thrown in. Sounded great. Very quickly I realised this book was not for me.

The writing style just does not suit my tastes and I can't for the life of me work out who this book is aimed at. Is it for adults of children? Or young adults? There are lovely moments of world building but also incredibly strange moments where the smarmy, all-knowing narrator comments on what is
Bec (booktineus)
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, audiobook, read-2017
This was fun! I want to buy a hardcover copy
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I think the theme is courage, in this book, there is a character that has the courage for her father. This is a fantasy and history book.
Oct 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Egg & Spoon" is set in an alternative pre-revolution Russia where magic is real. It is a story of two girls from completely different worlds. One is Elena, a peasant girl who fights for her survival and her mother's every day. The village of Miersk is desolate, miserable and the land doesn't produce any food. Elena's survival depends solely on her own wits and resourcefulness. She doesn't have her brothers to help her anymore - one, Luka, has been conscripted and another was taken away by the l ...more
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Wild Things: YA G...: May 2015- Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire 6 17 May 10, 2015 12:38PM  

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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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