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Blue in the Face: A Story of Risk, Rhyme, and Rebellion
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Blue in the Face: A Story of Risk, Rhyme, and Rebellion

(Magnificent tales of misadventure #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  78 ratings  ·  26 reviews
A rollicking and humorous tale from the author of A Whole Nother Story--with black-and-white illustrations--about a most reluctant hero.

When Elspeth Pule, an eleven-year-old brat, wakes up one day in a strange forest, she finds some familiar faces around her--those of the nursery rhyme characters she grew up reading about. But as she soon learns from Humpty Dumpy, a su
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Hardcover, 368 pages
Published January 12th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  78 ratings  ·  26 reviews


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Shae McDaniel
[4.75 stars]

I will forever refer to this book as the story in which my favorite character is a four-foot-tall talking wheel of cheese. (True fact.) I adore it. Anyone who has ever enjoyed a nursery rhyme will enjoy it. The anticipation alone from wondering which beloved character will be imagined next is enough for me to give this book high marks. That's not even covering the humor, the imaginative spins, or Elspeth herself. Go check out the book and thank me later.
Mimi 'Pans' Herondale
1.5 stars
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Swallow, Gary Blue in the face, 308 pages. Middle Grade Fiction (5th-8th grade) Bloombury Publishing, 2016.$17 Language: G (0 swears, 0 F’s) Mature Content: G Violence: PG 13

Elspeth has a hard time listening to her parents. She is transported to a world where signs talk and fairy tale characters live. In order to get back to her home (which she could have sworn she was just in) Elspheth has to defeat the evil King Krool. She makes friends along the way, including the famous Humpty Dumpty. King
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Teresa
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, girl-power, humor
Very clever use of nursery rhymes: our versions are the twisted propaganda of the evil King Krool; our heroine, spoiled Elspeth—who holds her breath to get her way— is actually Jacqueline Jillson, the daughter of Jack and Jill. The king threw her down a well as an infant, to keep her from fulfilling a prophesy and overthrowing him. When Elspeth holds her breath to get her (secretly) adoptive patents to give her an alpaca, she blacks out and returns to her homeland.

Not sure today’s kids will be
...more
Heather McC
Jan 07, 2018 rated it liked it
An interesting spin on some classic rhymes with a slightly less than sympathetic protagonist who eventually redeems herself by the tale's end. Little bits of humor and one liners pop up and make for memorable dialogue for a book that is ultimately a one time read.
Bexa
Decently written and fast paced, this book plays on altered nursery rhymes as Elspeth, a terribly misbehaved eleven year old, passes out in a tantrum and gets transported to the magical kingdom of King Willie Winkie. Except it's no longer his kingdom, and Elspeth is the foretold hero of the kingdom. She can't believe that this is happening and goes on a long adventure, which will require an attitude adjustment aping the way. Enjoyed the play on the nursery rhyme characters, decent character deve ...more
Becky
Mar 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Overall, this was a very creative and fun read. Loved the quirky characters and ideas and thought the writing itself was exceptional.

My only criticism was with the main character. She seemed overly coerced to fit the story rather than the story fitting her. I suppose for a fiction tale that's neither good nor bad. I just wasn't able to relate well to her, nor did her almost immediate transformation seem believable. Toward the middle to the end, she didn't act or seem like an 11 year
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✨Jinglemarco✨  Маркуша - Мишутка (Nursery rhymes enthusiast)*
3.5 stars

Blue in the face is the only book I've read until now that deals with Nursery Rhymes only. This is a nursery rhyme retelling, without an ounce of fairytale clues. This is to say that while it didn't blow my mind overall, just because of its uniqueness it is so cool!
Even though going further it became a bit boring to me, it is a honestly funny and well written novel with a protagonist who is annoying because the author meant to write her as annoying, to create a comic r
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Maria
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Martha
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 3-6-fantasy
Eleven-year-old Elspeth Pule is a true example of an impertinent brat whose full blown temper tantrums always earn her whatever she desires. Her latest demand is for a real alpaca, and her folks as usual agree to buy her one, until their appointment with the famous Dr. Fell. He advises them to ignore Elspeth and let her cry instead. Since he is such a well respected doctor, the Pules do just that. While she holds her breath, Elspeth's usual ploy for getting her own way, she realizes it isn't wor ...more
Betsy
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this e-book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

This book started as a story of a very spoiled girl. She would yell and scream and then hold her breath to get her way. Her parents finally let her just hold her breath until she passed out. After she passed out, she was transported to the world where nursery rhymes live. While there, she learns that she is a lot like a person the whole kingdom has been waiting for. Will she stay and help save them from O
...more
Marian
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-read, fantasy, middle
It's a bit Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and a bit Jasper Fforde and a bit classic Narnia, so I'm pretty in love. I had a few quibbles with pacing towards the latter half of the book, and I'm a little uneasy with how Elspeth's weight is handled, but other than that I loved everything.

Also, just have to say--I was honestly expecting to be burned regarding (view spoiler) ...more
Daniel
Apr 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a very cute book about fairy tale characters who live in fear from Old King Krool, who is changing the fairy tales. After Elspeth Pule accidentally enters the fairy tale world, she gets roped into rebelling against the King. This book is very clever, with a talking wheel of cheese that says "The Cheese stands alone," and Humpty Dumpty as a British spy with vertigo. I overall liked this book.
Ms. B
Apr 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, 2016, fairytale
What if a brat could become the heroine in a story? What if the nursery rhymes we thought we knew turned out to be lies? What if you found out that your parents might not be your real parents?
This is Elspeth's story, a story in which she discovers her true destiny.
Fans of Rump and other retold and fractured fairy tales will enjoy this one.
Katie
Nov 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-for-kids
This was an amusing mix-up of nursery rhymes that was fun to read. It was a little on the long side, I'm not sure it will hold the attention of its target group for the entire book.

Recommended for grades 4-6.
Maria
Jul 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read the "Whole Nother Stories" to my children and we loved them. Blue in the Face did not disappoint. Just a fun read.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Pages read: 8

Middle grade is hit or miss, and, based on this first chapter, I'm not going to be laughing when I'm meant to, so this one is probably going to be a miss.
Melinda Bender
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pa-yrca
Lots of adventure. Elspeth enters a nursey rhyme land and eventually makes lots of friends while planning to over throw the kingdom. I really liked this story.
Nisha
Aug 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: aug-16
If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride,
Until they got hungry enough to eat those horses.
Then no more rides.
Ashley
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
I desperately wanted to love this book, but so much of the humor and puns was redundant and not at a child's level understanding that by the end I was simply anxious for it to be done already.
T.J. Burns
I received a copy of this book from Bloomsbury USA Children's Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Meme
Jul 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure, fantasy
A book for 3rd through 5th graders that has good character development. Very good general story that references nursery rhyme characters with a new twist.
Kirsten
Feb 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
After reading this I feel like I need to read up on nursery rhymes. Enjoyed the book and the humour with some definitely funny parts.
Emily
Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very funny take on fairy-tale characters.
Aimee
rated it it was amazing
May 07, 2019
Sharon Lawler
rated it really liked it
Jan 13, 2016
Jenn
rated it really liked it
Jul 03, 2016
Ray Alan Fernandes
rated it it was amazing
Aug 17, 2017
Ema Spark
rated it it was amazing
Nov 03, 2017
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Other books in the series

Magnificent tales of misadventure (2 books)
  • Long Live the Queen (Blue in the Face)
“This was not just any urn. It was a cremation urn, housing the powdered remains of Mrs. Pule's mother Wanda, a woman so mean and nasty that she had it put in writing that upon her death she wished to be cremated and have her ashes scattered over people who had annoyed her.” 1 likes
“Burned?" said Elspeth. "By who?"

"Whom," came a deep voice from above.

Elspeth glanced up to see, sitting on a branch of a maple tree, a large gray owl. "An owl who says whom? Seriously?"

"Only when it's appropriate," said the owl.”
1 likes
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