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The Blue Shoe: A Tale of Thievery, Villainy, Sorcery, and Shoes Paperback – Feb 8 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling (Feb. 8 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375847413
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375847417
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,575,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Format: Hardcover
One evening in a small town called Aplanap, a mysterious stranger approaches the shoemaker, Grel, to make a blue shoe entirely out of strange blue gems. The shoe must never be sold or damaged.

When Hap, the shoemaker's apprentice, steals a gem from the blue shoe to save a poor beggar girl, he is sentenced to the mountain Xexnax. There he finds a race of people called Auki's working in the mines. Aplanap's mayor and his wife are after the biggest blue gem of all. But a rebellion is underway and it's up to Hap to lead the fight and save his friends and the town.

With a title that includes "Thievery, Villainy, Sorcery, and Shoes," you know you can't go wrong! THE BLUE SHOE is a magical story that reads like a fairy tale. There's lots of adventure, a bit of romance, and magic.

Hap is a likable hero and his friend, Sophia, is full of spunk, and they were a delight to read about. They are surrounded by a fun cast of characters that won't soon be forgotten.

The book is printed in blue ink and filled with illustrations from Mary GrandPre, which I thought added to the magic of the tale. This is one I could see being read aloud to all ages - it has the feel of an old-fashioned tale that has been passed down and re-told and needs to be shared.

THE BLUE SHOE will appeal to both readers of fantasy and those who enjoy action-packed adventures.

Reviewed by: Sarah Bean the Green Bean Teen Queen
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Gems, Not Suede Nov. 8 2009
By Kate Coombs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Blue Shoe gets off to a good start--we have a boy named Hap who is caught stealing and nearly sentenced to exile on terrible Mount Xexnax, except that kind-hearted cobbler Grel intervenes and takes him on as an apprentice. The cost? Grel must make free shoes for the greedy mayor's wife for the rest of her life. Or, as he sweetly points out, the rest of his life!

The cobbler has a secret. One night a stranger came to him and asked him to make a very special shoe, giving him the dimensions and a bagful of gleaming blue gems to use for decorating it. Grel completes the shoe--his masterpiece--and hides it, but the stranger never comes back. Eventually the townspeople find out about the shoe, which leads to trouble.

Now, the reason Hap became a thief at all is because in the village of Aplanap, begging is not allowed. Beggars are punished by being sent to Mount Xexnax. Hap's own father has been sent there. So when he sees an odd young girl begging, he tries to stop her for her own protection. First he gives her food; later, when she is thrown in jail, he trades a jewel stolen from his master's blue shoe to save her. But Hap ends up being sent to Xexnax himself, accompanied by a determined girl named Sophia.

Xexnax turns out to be a prison camp with a mine, where prisoners and a captive group of dwarf-like beings called Aukis dig ever deeper, seeking the mythical blue stones. Evil Mr. Slag runs the camp, in cahoots with the mayor of Aplanap, who is just as greedy as his wife. But Hap has other things on his mind. He believes that somewhere in the camp, he will find his father.

Did I mention that The Blue Shoe is something of a morality tale? The village of Aplanap, formerly a pretty place, is soon being punished for their mistreatment of the poor. It seems the hand of a goddess is involved. And the prisoners are about to rebel...

One of the nicest thing about the book is Hap, who is an appealing main character, a determined boy who focuses on the things that really matter in spite of all the chaos going on around him. The blue shoe itself is also intriguing, practically another character.

Mary GrandPre, known for her Harry Potter jacket art, provides illustrations that further support the tale.

However, I liked The Blue Shoe a lot more during the first half, before Hap is sent to Mount Xexnax. Once Hap gets to the prison camp and down in the mines, the book starts feeling like Hogan's Heroes, only without the jokes. And the story's ending is a scattered mix of comeuppance and deus ex machina. Still, fast-paced enough to be fairly entertaining, The Blue Shoe is a nice read for fantasy fans.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Courtesy of Teens Read Too Jan. 29 2010
By TeensReadToo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
One evening in a small town called Aplanap, a mysterious stranger approaches the shoemaker, Grel, to make a blue shoe entirely out of strange blue gems. The shoe must never be sold or damaged.

When Hap, the shoemaker's apprentice, steals a gem from the blue shoe to save a poor beggar girl, he is sentenced to the mountain Xexnax. There he finds a race of people called Auki's working in the mines. Aplanap's mayor and his wife are after the biggest blue gem of all. But a rebellion is underway and it's up to Hap to lead the fight and save his friends and the town.

With a title that includes "Thievery, Villainy, Sorcery, and Shoes," you know you can't go wrong! THE BLUE SHOE is a magical story that reads like a fairy tale. There's lots of adventure, a bit of romance, and magic.

Hap is a likable hero and his friend, Sophia, is full of spunk, and they were a delight to read about. They are surrounded by a fun cast of characters that won't soon be forgotten.

The book is printed in blue ink and filled with illustrations from Mary GrandPre, which I thought added to the magic of the tale. This is one I could see being read aloud to all ages - it has the feel of an old-fashioned tale that has been passed down and re-told and needs to be shared.

THE BLUE SHOE will appeal to both readers of fantasy and those who enjoy action-packed adventures.

Reviewed by: Sarah Bean the Green Bean Teen Queen
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Enchanting Review: The Blue Shoe Nov. 23 2009
By Enchanting Reviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
THE BLUE SHOE: A TALE OF THIEVERY, VILLAINY, SORCERY, AND SHOES
RODERICK TOWNLEY
Illustrated by Mary GrandPré
Middle Grade Fantasy

Rating: 4 Enchantments

An engaging fantasy read, THE BLUE SHOE is a well told story featuring Hap, a young cobbler's apprentice who ends up sent away to the frightening Mount Xexnax, when he tries to save a mysterious beggar from the same fate. Actually Hap doesn't mind, as he hopes he'll be reunited with his father who was sent there a few years earlier because of his own begging, but what Hap stumbles upon is something he hadn't expected. And it's not going to be easy to break out and return to the small town of Apalanap.

Imaginative characters, setting and storyline, readers looking for a fun and intriguing middle grade fantasy read shouldn't miss this one. I especially loved the crazy characters of the Mayor and his wife and the way the story flipped from what was happening with Hap and Sophia back to what was going on in town. I liked how the sand that covered the town from a storm turned to glass shortly after Hap's departure to Mount Xexnax, making things difficult for the more evil characters to move around the small town. That scene is almost comical and very laugh out loud worthy and is hands down one of my favorites in the whole book. Told mostly by a mysterious narrator, THE BLUE SHOE moves at a good pace. Hap's biggest mistake is trying to save the mysterious beggar in the blanket from ending up at Mount Xexnax, a decision that has him stealing a stone from the mysterious blue stone. A move that not only ruins the shoe, but gets him exiled to Mount Xexnax in place of the beggar. And when his crush Sophia tries to break him free from prison the night before, Hap refuses, instead wanting to be reunited with his father. Sophia isn't so easily swayed and ends up stowing away on the wagon and going with, which is one of my favorite scenes in the book. However, Mount Xexnax is worse than all the stories and rumors made it seem and Hap suddenly finds himself appointed the one to save everyone there, especially when the guards find Sophia and hold her hostage in the main building, which is where THE BLUE SHOE really becomes a page turning read as you hope Hap can find Sophia and escape without capture.

Roderick Townley's books have received many stars and accolades. [...]

Mary GrandPré is perhaps best known for creating the jackets and illustrations for the Harry Potter books. She has also illustrated many fine picture books. [...]

Lisa
Enchanting Reviews
October 2009
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A riveting fantasy March 20 2010
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Roderick Townley's THE BLUE SHOE: A TALE OF THIEVERY, VILLAINY, SORCERY AND SHOES tells of one Hap Barlo, who is in jail for thievery facing banishment. Volcanoes, trolls, and Hap's dreams of rescuing all the villagers banned before him led to danger in this riveting fantasy.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Flamingnet.com Top Choice Book-unique, extraordinary March 16 2010
By Flamingnet Teen Book Reviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is one of the most
wonderful books that I have read in a very long time. Just
from my sentence you should tell that this book is a MUST
read for all of you out there that like adventures but
slightly mysterious stories then this is the book for you.

The book The Blue Shoe by Roderick Townley is an engaging
and fun story about a poor boy named Hap that lives in a far
away land (not known to Americans) called Aplanap. The story
is mostly set in the boy Haps shoemakers shop, however this
is not Hap's shop. This shop is an older man's shop Grel's.
Grel is a man that saved Hap from going to a place where
people that do very bad things go, but you will have to read
the book before you know what place I'm talking about!! SO
GET READING!!

This book I would highly recommend to anyone,
there is some lovely dove stuff but other that that it is
all action and excitement. This book is unique because all
of the things were made up, but the
fact that they had the imagination to figure out what they
where going to do with the story line is just extraordinary.
For people who don't like that kind of thing the I would
still recommend it for anyone. If you don't like it then I am
mistaken, but if you do enjoy it then you can count it all
on me.

Reviewed by a young adult student reviewer
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