Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “North Child” as Want to Read:
North Child
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

North Child (East #1)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  34,029 Ratings  ·  2,120 Reviews
This is a beguiling epic of magic, love, loss and betrayal based on the traditional fairytale "East of the Sun, West of the Moon". The lyrical writing and bold sweep of the story as Rose travels north will cast a spell over every reader. "A rich tapestry that will resonate with readers...The stuff of epic tale-telling, replete with high drama and compelling characterisatio ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published February 25th 2006 by Usborne Publishing Ltd (first published September 1st 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about North Child, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Kate The author wrote on her website under her FAQs that she was planning to write a sequel set 9 years after the first book.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Sep 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. I've read it so many times and never has it grown old. I love how it shifts views and tells you what other people are doing and how it has many plots that all tie together in the book. I love the White Bear and I love reading what he has to say and the riddles and poems he speaks in. The chapters weren't long so you could just fly through the book with no trouble. I fell inlove with Rose and her personality from the beginning, the first few pages a a little slow, bu ...more
Lacey Louwagie
This novel is a retelling of "East of the Sun and West of the Moon" which is probably one of the most underappreciated fairy tales out there. Unfortunately, this retelling doesn't quite do it justice. The author chose to use multiple viewpoints, which felt more like a gimmick and less like the best way to tell the story (especially since I was only really interested in the stories from two of the five narrators). Also, no one ever seems to have given Edith that all important advice to "show and ...more
Cait • A Page with a View
This wasn't my favorite retelling of East of the Sun West of the Moon (ACOTAR probably still holds that spot), but it was still fun to see the different take on it! The story's set in a modern arctic where the main character is living with her scientist dad. She gets taken by the polar bear king to be his bride aaaaand things get pretty creative (and a bit weird).

The story follows the usual format of her coming back to save him from the troll queen figure, but throws in a lot of other stuff lik
Jan 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Ever since I read the tale of "East of the Sun, West of the Moon," I've longed to give one of its numerous re-tellings a try. Edith Pattou's version, East, practically fell into my lap when I discovered it in the hidden recess of my Kindle and within moments, I was sucked into the tale. For those of you who don't know, "East of the Sun, West of the Moon" is similar to "Beauty and the Beast," only instead of a beast, we have a polar bear, and instead of a wicked witch, there is a
Jan 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a GREAT young adult fantasy! I loved everything about this book! Although it is almost 500 pages, it is a quick read. (Short chapters, larger print.) The story is based on the Norwegian fairytale "East of the Sun and West of the Moon" which I didn't know until I read the author's notes at the end. I liked that even though it was a fantasy, it took place in a real time and place-16th Century Norway. (Read the glossery in the very back for modern names) I loved the mother's superstition, her ...more

4.5 stars

I never would have thought that there could be a whole chapter book retelling of a classic fairy tale other than Shannon Hale’s “The Goose Girl.” Well, I have just recently stumbled upon this book called “East” that happens to be a great retelling of a classic fairy tale! “East” is a retelling of a classic Scandinavian folktale called “East of the Sun West of the Moon” by Edith Pattou and anyone who is a huge fan of fairy tales will definitely get a kick out of this book!

Rose is the you
Morgan F
East was written when fantasy could still be fantasy. When young adult books weren't required to have a love triangle, a sexy love interest, and a heroine with low self-esteem. Rose, this novel's main character, is intelligent, resourceful, and courageous. She has a strong drive and a true moral compass. The plot reminds me of more classical fantasy that involves epic journeys over several countries over the course of years. The book is chaste and simple, which makes me think its more suited to ...more
This reimagining of East of the Sun and West of the Moon has a very good beginning, enhanced by the not so frequent technique (in retellings) of showing both sides of the story: the girl, her family, the enchanted bear and the Troll Queen. Quite intriguing, isn't it? Plus, it's historical fantasy rather than plain old-school fantasy, as the setting is 16th century Scandinavia, and the author uses a historical event from a century prior that's somewhat mysterious and apt for reinterpreting in fic ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'm going to replace that old, shitty review now, because that was enormously embarrassing to read back over. SORRY, EVERYONE WHO READ IT! I APOLOGIZE PROFUSELY!

Anyway, my opinion hasn't changed, just my method of delivering it. I still think that this was a horrendous novel, badly plotted with shoddy characters.

In fact, I think the lack of development from the characters was the novel's biggest downfall. Rose is such a blank protagonist. I spent 200 pages with her (before I gave up), and throug
Steph Su
EAST is the tale of Rose, who sacrifices her freedom to save her sister, grows to care for the cursed white bear who is her “captor,” unwittingly betrays him, then goes beyond the ends of the earth to make things right. It’s a classic folktale that never fails to move me, but Edith Pattou’s retelling of “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” went above and beyond, astounding me with its magical rendering of a traditional story and simple literary elements.

EAST is not extraordinarily sophisticated i
Since I read this back when I was first becoming interested in YA, I was worried that a second reading would prove to be less enjoyable. I am happy to say that the book is still deserving of 5 stars in my opinion. The multiple POVs are so seamless and well done. And I dare you not to like Rose. She is a great heroine! I think when it's time for Christmas, a lot of people are going to find this book in their stocking.

July 6, 2010
This is by far one of the best children's books ever written. The a
Multiple first person POVs always throw me off. Always. This wasn't an exception, though I really liked the narrators, so it didn't distract me as much as if could have.

I'm a bit disappointed that the more fantastic aspects of the original folk tale were not included, but if I had never read the original story, I wouldn't have noticed they were missing.
Carla *Jen7waters*

What were the odds anyway? It’s a Beauty & the Beast type of story with a polar bear! :3

Actually East is a fairytale retelling of the Norwegian folk tale ‘East of the Sun and West of the Moon’, which is about this girl who is taken by a white bear as part of a deal, and everyone is horrified by this, but turns out she becomes the bear’s knight in shining armor when she has to save him from this dreadful troll queen. How awesome is that??

The writing in
For a re-telling this was very good. In many ways, other than just expanding on the original, this version seemed to try to add some realism to the tale. Fortunately it wasn't realism at the cost of magic. There was still plenty of magic. Don't look for anything staggeringly innovative here and the writing isn't perfect, but this is very readable.

The novel delineated an ordinary world from a magical world by making Rose's home life somewhat more mundane as well as keeping from her many of the ma
Clara Biesel
A nostalgic, emotional five for this book. I really, really, liked it. The fable of east of the sun and west of the moon told in a novel form, it reminds me of fairytale retellings I read as a young teen, (Robin McKinley and such), and it was very easy to submerge myself in the story. I found it... cozy. Reading it at a bus stop in the freezing rain was comforting, and reading it cozied up with blankets and tea was exactly what I wanted. If you had mixed feelings about His Dark Materials, but st ...more
Arielle Walker
It's been quite a while since I read this, so I will leave a proper review until my eventual re-reading but I will say that as it is based on my favourite fairytale, I can remember being particularly harsh on this retelling. I recall it being good but not quite living up to my memories of the original tale, and as I don't know if anything really will live up to those memories it may be wise to add a star in your mind to whatever review I finally do give.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Pages read: 14

I'm not impressed with the prose or the fact that, in 14 pages, I've already encountered 4 separate first person perspectives. To pull off that many first person perspectives takes a Herculean amount of talent, and trying to switch perspectives every two or three pages makes that even more difficult. Given that I don't like the prose (very simple and tell-y), I'm pretty certain I would not enjoy this one.
*** Read first in November 2011 ***: I hope I'll carve out some time to review, but I have to say this is how a fairytale retelling should be in my opnion. Thank you so much, Teccc, for parting with your copy. It would have taken ages - or maybe forever - until I decided to finally buy it.
Sep 14, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-like
This book will waste your time. The story is entirely unbelievable and hard to relate to.
Riley Redgate
a childhood favorite. so beautiful
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-reads
“I knelt by the design. Yes, there was the sun rising. But the white form I had always thought to be a cloud was a bear. I could see it now, upside down. White bear, isbjorn, stood for north. Father had not been able to help himself. The truth was there, too. Truth and lie, side by side.”

“East” by Edith Pattou is a magical story retelling of the tale, “East of the sun, West of the moon”, which sadly I hadn’t heard of before. This book also gave me, “Beauty and the Beast” vibes!

The main characte
Oh what a charming, magical book! This is a rewrite of the classical fairy tales "Beauty and the Beast" and "East of the Sun and West of the Moon. Rose is the youngest daughter in a large family who loves to explore. One day a white bear comes to her home and asks her to go with him and she agrees. This is a beautiful story of enchantment, adventure, and love.
Amanda - Cover2CoverMom
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
You can read all my reviews on my blog -> Cover2CoverMom

I picked up East in preparation in attending the Ohioana Book Festival this year.  Despite the fact that this was an “older” book published back in 2005, I decided to give it a go since it had really good ratings on Goodreads (4.14 star rating with 32,000+ ratings).  I am so happy I was able to squeeze this one in before the festival, because it ended up being one of my favorite reads this year thus far!

Please do not the fact that this
Kim Ammons (youthbookreview)
4 out of 5 stars

I added this book to my to-read list way back when, after I read and loved Jessica Day George’s Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow (which introduced me to this fairy tale). It’s a Beauty-and-the-Beast-like Norwegian fairy tale (to make a broad comparison) called East of the Sun and West of the Moon, with a polar bear instead of a beast. And Rose can’t communicate very well with the guy in polar bear form, because he’s, well, a polar bear. If you are a fan of fairy tales, then I think you
Apr 30, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
"The white bear vistied me daily as I worked the loom. Usually it was in the afternoon and he would lie on the rug near me. I took to talking to him, thoughly he rarely responded. I would tell him of my family, of life on our farmhold, and of places I had been beyond the farm. I would also tell him stories, both from my memory of the ones Neddy had told me and those from the Njorden book I had found."

Summary: This book is based on East of the Sun and West of the Moon. Rose who can't stay put tak
Feb 28, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This child's story reads like a fairy tale. A magical story of a young girl sacrificed to a mysterious bear, who becomes her love and is of course, somehow cursed. Like the frog prince, eh? Only way better.

Also, there's Slank!
Others have tried to own this word before now. You'll recall the Grinch "slink, slank, slunk" up a chimney in Whoville on Christmas eve, Cormac McCarthy's dogs slank around the periphery of a smoky campfire, the urban dictionary offers various unappealing definitions, but P
East is a YA retelling of the fairy tale "East of the Sun and West of the Moon", a lesser-known but interesting variant on the "Beauty and the Beast" and "Eros and Psyche" tales. Rose lives in Norway with her family; when one of her sisters becomes dangerously ill and the family is about to be evicted from their farm, a white bear appears at the door and tells the family that if Rose will come with him, their troubles will end. Of course she goes with him and becomes entangled in the enchantment ...more
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first discovered this book about six years ago. I had run across it in my local library, opened the cover and began to read. It reminded me of one of my childhood pleasures of the movie "The Polar Bear King." I picked it up, checked it out and headed home. From the moment I started reading the book I was hooked. I had it for three weeks, and I read it at least four times.
The characters come alive before yours, there is intrigue, passion, adventure, and self-discovery. Pain, heartbreak, and th
Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah*
This book has everything a fantasy fan could want! Even just reading the back of the book before I bought it gave me tingles of anticipation! A white bear comes to Rose's door and asks if she will accompany him on a long journey? Hell yes, I'm in! *laughs* This book has a little bit of everything; romance, drama, mystery, and magic. Plus, I seem to be a sucker for the heroine falling in love with the 'man-turned-beast' character. I usually have read stories where the said character is a wolf, so ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Giselle's Random ...: East by Edith Pattou 2 7 Feb 28, 2018 10:17AM  
Off the Books: What did you think? 2 6 Jan 11, 2018 10:46PM  
The Sloan Squad S...: Not so Intrested anymore 2 3 Feb 06, 2016 05:04AM  
The Sloan Squad S...: Intersecting 1 3 Jan 25, 2016 10:45AM  
this is an awsome book 33 142 Sep 21, 2015 02:08PM  
Did anyone hear the author said she will write a sequel to East! 6 61 Aug 08, 2015 05:29PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Deleting taking awhile? 3 25 Feb 14, 2014 02:38PM  
  • Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow
  • Ice
  • Goose Chase
  • A Curse Dark as Gold
  • Wildwood Dancing (Wildwood, #1)
  • Before Midnight: A Retelling of Cinderella
  • Zel
  • The Hollow Kingdom (The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy, #1)
  • The Waterless Sea (The Chanters of Tremaris, #2)
  • The Perilous Gard
  • Spindle's End
  • Birdwing
  • Keturah and Lord Death
  • Crown Duel (Crown & Court #1-2)
  • Midnight Pearls: A Retelling of The Little Mermaid
  • Toads and Diamonds
  • The Swan Kingdom
Edith Pattou is the author of several fantasy novels, including East, an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults. She is a graduate of the Francis W. Parker School, Scripps College (B.A., English), Claremont Graduate School (M.A., English) and UCLA (M.L.I.S.). She is married to Charles Emery, a professor of psychology at The Ohio State University. They have one child, a daughter.

For more informatio
More about Edith Pattou

Other books in the series

East (2 books)
  • West

Fantasy & Science Fiction Deals

  • Off to Be the Wizard (Magic 2.0, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Beneath the Shine
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Stepford Wives
    $9.74 $1.99
  • Time's Divide (The Chronos Files, #3)
    $5.49 $1.99
  • The Long Earth (The Long Earth, #1)
    $5.49 $1.99
  • Gilded (Gilded, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Infinity Lost (The Infinity Trilogy #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Man of Legends
    $4.99 $1.99
  • All the Breaking Waves
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Fellside
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Timebound (The Chronos Files, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Banished of Muirwood (Covenant of Muirwood, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Muirwood: The Lost Abbey: The Graphic Novel
    $7.99 $0.99
  • 2061: Odyssey Three (Space Odyssey, #3)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Alas, Babylon
    $9.74 $1.99
  • 3001: The Final Odyssey (Space Odyssey, #4)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Fractured (Guards of the Shadowlands, #2)
    $4.99 $0.99
  • The Queen's Poisoner (Kingfountain, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Zeroes
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Dreams and Shadows (Dreams & Shadows, #1)
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Touch of Eternity (The Curse #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Touch
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Dragon Rider
    $5.99 $1.99
  • An Unwelcome Quest
    $4.99 $1.99
    $4.99 $1.49
  • Luna: New Moon
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Traitor's Kiss (The Traitor's Circle, #1)
    $7.80 $2.99
  • The Void of Muirwood (Covenant of Muirwood, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Dreadnought (Nemesis, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Dirty Magic (Prospero's War, #1)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • A Plague of Giants (Seven Kennings, #1)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Fire Queen (The Hundredth Queen, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Red Knight Falling (Harmony Black, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Star Wars: Thrawn
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Zoo City
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Sanctum (Guards of the Shadowlands, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Unmasked (The Vampire Diaries: The Salvation, #3)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • Afterlife
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Unseen (The Vampire Diaries: The Salvation #1)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • The Dwarves (The Dwarves, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Dryad-Born (Whispers from Mirrowen, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Unbroken Line of the Moon (Sagan om Valhalla #4; Valhalla #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Blackfish City
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Supernatural: Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting
    $8.49 $1.99
  • Silvern (Gilded #2)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Some Fine Day
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Random Acts of Senseless Violence
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Wicked Years, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Mystic (Mystic, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Almost Girl (The Riven Chronicles, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Spell or High Water (Magic 2.0, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Uprooted
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Wormhole (The Rho Agenda, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Dragons of Nova (Loom Saga, #2)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Ciphers of Muirwood (Covenant of Muirwood, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Amid Stars and Darkness (The Xenith Trilogy #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Otherkin
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Last Adventure of Constance Verity
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Traveler (Fourth Realm, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
8 trivia questions
1 quiz
More quizzes & trivia...
“That's the trouble with loving a wild thing: You're always left watching the door.” 130 likes
“East of the sun and west of the moon.' As unfathomable as the words were, I realized I must figure them out, reason it through. For I would go to this impossible land that lay east of the sun and west of the moon. From the moment the sleigh had vanished from sight and I could no longer hear the silver bells I knew that I would go after the stranger that had been the white bear to make right the terrible wrong I had done him.... All that mattered was to make things right. And I would do whatever it took, journey to wherever I must, to reach that goal.” 50 likes
More quotes…