This beautiful tale is cleverly oozling with allegory–but it boils down to a simple message: knowledge, education, and the written word are power, kindness matters, and together we are stronger. Kelly Barnhill has crafted a masterpiece chock full of mistrusting citizens in a ruined village, an ogress with a big heart, orphans who pay attention, crows with a language of their own, a scarily charismatic mayor who isn’t who he seems, and an unnoticed stone at the heart of it all. This reader was thoroughly bedazzled and charmed by its brilliance.
The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill, (List Price: $28, Algonquin Young Readers, 9781643750743, February 2022)
Reviewed by Damita Nocton from The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC