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Of Giants and Ice
Cover of Of Giants and Ice
Of Giants and Ice
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When Rory realizes fairy tales are the real deal at Ever After School, she embarks on a classic quest to fulfill her destiny in this "fast-paced combination of middle school realism and fairy-tale fantasy" (Kirkus Reviews).

Rory Landon has spent her whole life being known as the daughter of a famous movie star mom and director dad. So when she begins a new after-school program and no one knows who her family is, Rory realizes something is different. After she ends up fighting a fire-breathing dragon on her first day, she realizes the situation is more unusual than she could have imagined. It turns out the only fame that matters at Ever After School is the kind of fame earned from stories Rory thought were fictional. But as Rory soon learns, fairy tales are very real--and she is destined to star in one of her own.

This first installment of The Ever Afters series reimagines classic fairy tale characters in a modern context, merging familiar fantasy with the everyday realities of middle-grade existence.

When Rory realizes fairy tales are the real deal at Ever After School, she embarks on a classic quest to fulfill her destiny in this "fast-paced combination of middle school realism and fairy-tale fantasy" (Kirkus Reviews).

Rory Landon has spent her whole life being known as the daughter of a famous movie star mom and director dad. So when she begins a new after-school program and no one knows who her family is, Rory realizes something is different. After she ends up fighting a fire-breathing dragon on her first day, she realizes the situation is more unusual than she could have imagined. It turns out the only fame that matters at Ever After School is the kind of fame earned from stories Rory thought were fictional. But as Rory soon learns, fairy tales are very real--and she is destined to star in one of her own.

This first installment of The Ever Afters series reimagines classic fairy tale characters in a modern context, merging familiar fantasy with the everyday realities of middle-grade existence.

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  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.8
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    3

Recommended for you

Excerpts-
  • From the book

    n my first trip to Yellowstone National Park, I threw a rock at a dragon. It wasn't my smartest idea.

    I'm not telling you this to brag, or to scare you away from national parks and their fire-breathing inhabitants, but you need to know: at some point in your life, you stop acting like a side character in someone else's life story and start being the main character in your own.

    Look. If you're like me, you've dreamed of it already--your real life, I mean. Maybe it happens when you scan the whole carpool line and realize that no one has come for you. Or maybe when your parents are shouting at each other so loud you can hear them three rooms away. You look out the window and wonder when the good stuff happens--when your life gets jump-started. You might not be sure what that real life will be, but you know that this really isn't it.

    Well, you're right. It's not. Just around the corner lurks the beginning of your story.

    And I'm here to tell you: It won't be much like you think it'll be. It's always more terrifying and more awesome than you can ever imagine.

    My life story, for example, started when I threw a rock at a dragon.

    Of course, I didn't know it at the time. I was kind of busy running for my life.

    You might not recognize yours, either.

  • No one could give this presentation to a bunch of sixth graders and get away with it. Maybe to grown-ups, but not us.

    "Ever After School offers a wide range of activities between three and seven every afternoon. You can do your homework in our reading room, hang out with your friends, or even take a special afternoon class--all without the hassle of a babysitter or a nanny."

    A few of my classmates snickered.

    Definitely a mistake to bring up the nanny.

    Ms. White, the representative from EAS, slammed her briefcase on our teacher's desk so hard that the students in the front jumped.

    "I have handed out an application form for those of you who are interested," she said. "Please complete it with your name, physical address, e-mail address, and phone number, and bring it to the front when you're finished. Are there any questions?"

    I watched it all from my desk, a row from the back, against the wall farthest from the window. That part of the classroom attracts the least amount of attention. (Trust me, I know. I had avoiding attention down to an art form.)

    Then one kid raised his hand. "Can I go to the bathroom?"

    "Yeah, me too," said his buddy, seated behind him. "I have to go too."

    They both struggled to keep a straight face. A clear sign that they wanted to goof off out of class.

    Ms. White wasn't fooled. "No, but I will speak to Mrs. Coleman about the next student who wastes my time," she said in a cold voice. "She can send you to the principal."

    After that, all my classmates bent over their papers silently. Even if the only thing they did with the form was make a paper airplane.

    I had only been in Mrs. Coleman's class for a week and a half, but I had met plenty of recruiters before. They were usually friendly people who introduced themselves and whatever program they promoted in a ridiculously upbeat voice.

    Not Ms. White. For one thing, she was beautiful in a scary way--with very pale skin and dark hair and bright red lipstick. With one sharp look, she had sent Mrs. Coleman scurrying to the teacher's lounge of Ridgefield Middle School. Then Ms. White passed out a stack of photocopies while silently and creepily glaring at us all. She obviously didn't even like kids.

    She also kept weird things in her purse. After threatening us with a visit to the principal, she pulled out a mirror--not even a whole mirror, just a...

About the Author-
  • Shelby Bach grew up reading every book she could find and writing stories in battered notebooks. She also rarely came home with a clean shirt and had a lot of accidents that ended with a hunt for Band-Aids. Nowadays, she writes on her laptop rather than in a notebook, but not much else has changed. She is the author of the Ever After series, which includes Of Giants and Ice, Of Witches and Wind, Of Sorcery and Snow, and Of Enemies and Endings. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
Reviews-
  • DOGO Books happypug12 - I just read this book for the second time and it was even sweeter than the first time (mostly because I actually understood everything for the first time in forever). I don't usually read books twice but this book was special because it was one of my absolute top favorite book series PLUS this summer I'm planning on re-reading my favorite book series. AHEM and I also got the fourth book of this series BUT I read one page and I had forgotten who and what all the characters were so I'm just re-starting from the beginning. I don't regret my decision one bit, because the second I opened this book, Rory's life became as real as my own. She's such a relatable character who is very unlike some of the perfect characters in stories these days. You can actually connect with her and feel her embarrassment, anger, happiness, and you just have to laugh out loud when she snaps a witty comment back at Chase. I WOULD make a critique about how she believed in magic so seemingly quickly, but, hey, I guess being chased by a fire-breathing dragon, escaping giants with bug-spray, and almost dying by falling from a magic beanstalk will do that to ya. I will never understand why this isn't a New York Times bestseller, and I recommend this to ANYONE who loves adventure, fantasy, and all those other genres and such. Better end this review now before it turns into one of those monster reviews so long that nobody actually reads anything but the first sentence. Anyways, this book was amazing in every way and you should probably read it if you want a cool story in your life.
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 20, 2012
    In the frothy launch of the Ever Afters series, sixth-grader Rory Landon receives much unwanted attention as a result of her divorced celebrity parents and her perpetual status as the new kid. But when she's recruited by the Ever After School, where no one knows her family and fairy tales are recreated, she feels like her life is beginning. Rory immediately establishes her capability by rescuing a girl from a dragon and meets characters like Rumpelstiltskin, the librarian; Hansel, the sword-fighting instructor; and Sleeping Beauty, the Director. Despite Rory's ominous dreams and the knowledge that tales can be "failed" (meaning people die), she embarks on a journey into "Jack and the Beanstalk" with two other "Characters-in-training": Lena, an aspiring inventor, and Chase, a cocky son of a legend. Bach's premise is entertaining, and her storytelling offers charming details—particularly as the students tackle iconic obstacles (such as climbing the beanstalk). The laundry list of fairy tales and characters involved, though, results in an adventure that can feel cluttered. Ages 8–12. Agent: Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary and Media.

  • School Library Journal

    September 1, 2012

    Gr 5-7-When sixth-grader Rory attends Ever After School, she can finally stop "acting like a side character" in the lives of her famous movie-actress mother and director father. EAS, it turns out, is not a run-of-the-mill after-school program but a place filled with magic-dragons, talking fawns, and tables with never-ending food-and her new acquaintances are "characters-in-training" who, under the guidance of fairy-tale heavyweights (e.g., Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, Rumplestiltskin), go off to fight giants, dragons, and the evil Snow Queen. When Rory's friend Lena chooses her and Chase (Rory's nemesis) to accompany her up the beanstalk to steal the giant's gold, they have no idea of the dangers they'll face or the demands the tale will impose. From getting trapped in a locked rolltop desk to fighting off wolves inside a glass mountain, the threesome meet every challenge head-on, narrowly escaping being captured (or eaten!), and returning triumphant, if a bit battle-scarred. Rory realizes that, even with her transient life, she'll remain part of EAS and be ready someday to vanquish the Snow Queen in a fairy tale that is uniquely hers. Readers will delight in fast-paced, detail-rich chapters. There's plenty of magic to intrigue Harry Potter fans and enough twists and turns to entice even reluctant readers. The relationships among the three strong protagonists develop believably, and the secondary characters have enough dimension to maintain interest. This debut novel is a light, fun look at fairy tales after the "happily ever after."-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, formerly at LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI

    Copyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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