February Dive | ‘The Real Boy’ and Author Visit with Anne Ursu


If you’re like us, you’re counting down the days until Anne Ursu visits Deep Blue Readers at Valley Bookseller on February 23 to talk about Oscar, Callie, and the magic that’s creating problems for the people of Aletheia. We’re so excited to have another Minnesota author suit up and dive into their book with us!

The Real BoyHere’s what The New York Times says about our February dive selection, The Real Boy, named as a longlist selection for the 2013 National Book Awards in Young People’s Literature:

Anne Ursu, the author of Breadcrumbs, has written a lovely and sophisticated new middle-grade fantasy that asks readers to wrap their heads around abstractions and accept a lack of absolutes. There is no one bad guy, people are simultaneously greedy and miraculous, and even a monster deserves understanding. In The Real Boy, magic is unruly, and legends feel steady under the feet until a new bit of information rolls in like thunder and unsettles history. …

The Real Boy contains delicate allusions to The Adventures of Pinocchio, by the 19th-century Italian author Carlo Collodi (magical wood also plays a role in this story), and is rich with beautiful, heady notions that demand to be lingered over: If the earth can be saturated with enchantment, then a city can be scarred with grief. Magic is a natural force that “serves at no one’s pleasure but its own.” And truth “punches you in the stomach as it puts its loving arm around your shoulder.”

The Real Boy is another richly woven Anne Ursu fairy tale adaptation. Her previous book, Breadcrumbs, puts a fresh twist on The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, with further nods to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and other favorites. She also is the author of The Chronus Chronicles, a trilogy rooted in Greek mythology that begins with The Shadow Thieves, among her other books. Get to know Anne and her writing before our upcoming event:

  • Anne Ursu on The Real Boy and writing for kids – MinnPost.com (2/10/14)
  • Anne Ursu on Tumblr: Two posts on authors and widening book horizons for girls and boys (11/14/13 and 2/6/14)
  • Linda Urban’s review of The Real Boy at Nerdy Book Club (9/22/13)
  • Author interview with Anne Ursu via New York Public Library (10/25/12), in which Anne talks about what she threw away after reading When You Reach Me
  • Breadcrumbs: Young readers follow a wintry tale at NPR (12/20/11)
  • Kids Q&A with Anne Ursu, author of The Shadow Thieves at Powell’s Books

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  1. […] children’s authors from around the country — including past Deep Blue Readers guest, Anne Ursu, author of The Real Boy and Breadcrumbs — for free, public readings of their work as part […]