The Old Country by Mordicai Gerstein

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From the winner of the 2004 Caldecott Medal comes a memorable new work, a novel of singular insight and imagination that transports readers to the Old Country, where "all the fairy tales come from, where there was magic -- and there was war." There, Gisella stares a moment too long into the eyes of a fox, and she and the fox exchange shapes. Gisella's quest to get her girl-body back takes her on a journey across a war-ravaged country that has lost its shape. She encounters magic, bloodshed, and questions of power and justice -- until finally, looking into the eyes of the fox once more, she faces a strange and startling choice about her own nature. Part adventure story and part fable; exciting, beautifully told, rich in humor and wisdom, The Old Country is the work of an artist and storyteller at the height of his powers.

About Mordicai Gerstein

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Mordicai Gerstein received the 2004 Caldecott Medal for The Man Who Walked Between the Towers. He lives in Northhampton, Massachusetts.
Published January 1, 2005 by O' Brien PRESS. 144 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Old Country

Kirkus Reviews

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Thematically the story embraces the death of magic at the hands of human violence, the ruinous character of war, the nature of humanity and the hypocrisy of justice systems.

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Publishers Weekly

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The tale within a tale opens as Gisella visits her great granddaughter, gives her a present and shares a story of her childhood in the Old Country, where, she says, "I was a little girl and where I was a fox."

Apr 18 2005 | Read Full Review of The Old Country


Gisella stared too long into Flame's eyes, and as Great Aunt Tanteh had warned, Gisella and Flame switched bodies.

Nov 01 2005 | Read Full Review of The Old Country

Red Room

How does one pack so much into such a short story, leading the reader on in such a fantastic way that she can only hope the story is long, long, long, Dostoevsky long.

Jan 05 2010 | Read Full Review of The Old Country

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