New York Times Notable Children's Books of 2012
The Wall Street Journal Best Children's Books of 2012
"This highly unusual story about a highly unusual hero will also feel like your story. Few of us are imprisoned dwarfs, but all of us want to guide our own lives." -Jonathan Safran Foer, New York Times best-selling author of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
"Rich, absorbing storytelling-a terrific read in every way." -Nancy Werlin, National Book Award Finalist and author of Impossible
"Delightful characters, unique setting, and lovely prose. This is historical fiction at its best!" -Ruta Sepetys, New York Times best-selling author of Between Shades of Gray
Is it written in the stars from the moment we are born?
Or is it a bendable thing that we can shape with our own hands?
Jepp of Astraveld needs to know.
He left his countryside home on the empty promise of a stranger, only to become a captive in a luxurious prison: Coudenberg Palace, the royal court of the Spanish Infanta. Nobody warned Jepp that as a court dwarf, daily injustices would become his seemingly unshakable fate. If the humiliations were his alone, perhaps he could endure them; but it breaks Jepp's heart to see his friend Lia suffer.
After Jepp and Lia attempt a daring escape from the palace, Jepp is imprisoned again, alone in a cage. Now, spirited across Europe in a kidnapper's carriage, Jepp fears where his unfortunate stars may lead him. But he can't even begin to imagine the brilliant and eccentric new master-a man devoted to uncovering the secrets of the stars-who awaits him. Or the girl who will help him mend his heart and unearth the long-buried secrets of his past.
Masterfully written, grippingly paced, and inspired by real historical characters, Jepp, Who Defied the Stars is the tale of an extraordinary hero and his inspiring quest to become the master of his own destiny.
|Sold by:||DISNEY PUBLISHING WORLDWIDE -EBKS|
|File size:||3 MB|
|Age Range:||12 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Katherine Marsh is the Edgar Award-winning author of The Night Tourist and The Twilight Prisoner. She spent a decade as a journalist, including as a reporter for Rolling Stone and as managing editor of The New Republic. For her latest novel, Jepp, Who Defied the Stars, Katherine drew on her childhood fascination with the portraits of court dwarfs by Spanish painter Diego Velazquez. A New York native and a Yale graduate, she currently lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and two children.
Read an Excerpt
Our coach proceeded along a cobblestone promenade to the side of the palace and then stopped. Don sprang out, as jaunty as a grasshopper, and lifted me down after him. My legs felt stiff and my nose cold, but it hardly mattered. In front of us was a small, arched door. I peered up at Don eagerly, awaiting his instruction. "Go ahead, Jepp," he said. "Open it."
For the first time in my life, I did not have to reach up for the handle. I pushed open the little door and stepped into a white marble hall illuminated by a pair of elegant brass candelabra. Don followed me inside, hunching beneath the doorframe, and when he straightened up, I noticed that the top of his head nearly brushed the ceiling. At the end of the hall was a staircase. Voices drifted down it.
Don gestured for me to follow him along the hall and up the stairs. It was the first time I had climbed so steep and winding a staircase. Halfway up, my head began to spin and I made the error of gazing back down. I ceased my climb and leaned against the wall, watching Don take the stairs ahead of me three and four at a time. It occurred to me that, like the little door and low-ceilinged hall, they too had been fashioned for a smaller-than-normal inhabitant. "Come along," said Don from the top of the staircase, mistaking my inexperience with heights for hesitation.
I steeled myself and continued to climb until I had reached his same eyrie platform. We passed through another small door and into a second hall. The voices were louder here. They beckoned from an illuminated chamber to our right. Don bent beneath the low doorframe to enter the chamber and I followed after.
I will never forget the sight that greeted me...
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Probably one of the highlights of reading this book is that your main character is a dwarf, and the entire time I read this book, I had the voice of Tyrion Lannister running through my head. What a great way to read this book, but even without that it was a phenomenal story. Another fun fact about this book? It's written in blue ink which is so, so different and awesome. I really loved Jepp and his optimism towards everything and that he tried his hardest to protect Lia. I loved how the story was also told as Jepp looked back on his decisions. We saw both where he was and how he got there at the same time. When the story he was telling finally caught up with the timeline, you were feeling everything that Jepp was and you wanted nothing more than to ease the pain that he was feeling. Another great thing about this book is the setting. I loved that it was a historical fiction, but was centered around Jepp, instead of a figure that we know or being a paranormal sort of story. I loved the following Jepp's trail through Europe from Spain to his final destination. This book really came out of left field and wowed me. Not only that, but I think it is one of the most under appreciated books of 2012. I even wish that it hadn't taken that long for me to read because otherwise I would have spent all the time recommending it to people. It was refreshing and different and I loved every heartbreaking word. If this isn't on your To Be Read Shelf, maybe it should be.