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Author: McCoola, Marika
Illustrator: Carroll, Emily
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Year Published: August 2015
ISBN: 9780763669614
Grades: Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6

Baba Yaga’s Assistant

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In the woods and desert, a house runs around on chicken legs; it belongs to the old witch Baba Yaga, who looking for naughty children to eat.

One of the best of the lost fairy tales is brought to life in Baba Yaga’s assistant. Masha is estranged from her father, and dealing with the recent loss of her grandmother. Her father brings home a new wife and a new sister for Masha – who promptly proceeds to bite Masha on the arm and hides under the table. Though her new step-mother seems nice enough, Masha feels replaced in her father’s life, and so sets out to create her own magical adventure as Baba Yaga’s assistant. But Baba Yaga has some tricks up her sleeves, and a series of tests for Masha to pass, and Masha will discover some things about herself; how far she is willing to go to get her adventure, and perhaps even a bit of magic. The language is simple enough for even high-reading Grade 2 students, but the divorce and other issues push this to a Grade 3 and up book. Marika McCoola does a great job of blending Baba Yaga into a modern setting without ‘modernizing’ the witch herself. A great graphic novel outside of the usual Bone-type series.



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