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Rose was born into the world facing north, and as a north child, superstition says that she will be a wanderer, travelling far from home. This prophecy is fulfilled when she is taken on the back of a white bear to a mysterious empty castle, where a silent stranger appears to her night after night. When her curiosity overcomes her, she loses her heart, and must journey to a land east of the sun and west of the moon to reclaim it. Rose is a North Child, destined to be a wanderer and travel far from home. Unaware of her fate she agrees to go with a mysterious white bear to a distant castle where she falls in love with an enchanted stranger. A beguiling epic of magic, love, loss and betrayal based on the traditional fairytale "East of the Sun, West of the Moon". Shortlisted for the Ottakar’s Children’s Book Prize 2006.

Book information

Key Stage
Accelerated Reader level
6.1 UY
ISBN: 9780746068373
Extent: 512 pages
Dimensions: 198 x 130mm

Author information

Edith Pattou

Edith Pattou has been writing since the age of seven. She is the author of two highly acclaimed fantasy novels in the US, "Hero’s Song" in the Songs of Eirren series, an International Reading Association Young Adult’s Choice, and "Fire Arrow", a Booklist Top Ten Fantasy Novel of the Year. While writing North Child, which is based on the Norwegian fairy tale "East of the Sun and West of the Moon", Edith became an expert in mapmaking, seamanship, Scandinavian languages, Norse mythology and the Arctic, journeying by ship through the fjords of Norway. She lives with her family in Columbus, Ohio, USA.


Shortlisted - Ottakar's Children's Book Prize 2006

Reader reviews

Read the following reviews or write one of your own.

“North Child”
Best book ever. I have been reading to my little sister and she loves this book. This book is an enchanting story of love, passion, destiny, adventure, and superstition. It has something in it for everyone! Thank you Edith Pattou!!!!
North Child is a awe inspiring book that will keep you reading. It is the perfect mix of adventure, mystery, and romance. I really hope that you enjoy this book as much as i did. And a hint for you all, it is a little slow in the beginning, just like Harry Potter, but keep on reading, it just keeps on getting better.
“Best book I have ever read.”
My mum got this book for me, and I must say, I'm never really keen on the books that she purchases for me so took a while for me to bother reading this but I sure am glad I did! An amazing book which may sound childish; 'a talking bear', but is in fact the complete opposite. An beautiful intricate tale of superstition, love and destiny. I still cry every time I read it and it is definitely a book you will read more than once. Probably my favourite material possession. Definitely worth purchasing!!! :)- I first read this when I was 12, I am now almost 15 and still love reading it.
“North Child”
I was engaged on the thrilling journey of Rose. It sent shivers down my spine as I wondered what would happen next.
“North Child”
Although the main character is a girl, I read this with my 10 yr old son and he thoroughly enjoyed it. I found myself wanting to catch up on the pages he read on his own, before it was time to read some more to him again! I knew it had to end somewhere - but I really didn't want it to!
“North Child”
I'm nearly finished reading this book. I think the story is good and I'm sure that plenty of people would enjoy it but personally it's not that exciting for me. I would rather have it written from 3rd person but that's my opinion. Overall, I think that the story is beautiful but lacks action.
“North Child”
This book is absolutely marvellous. I recommend it to any one who loves fairy tales. I have read this book more than six times. I think the way the author Edith Pattou wrote this book is a way of putting it in someone's point of view. It is absolutely good, and I recommend it to everyone.
“North Child”
I have to read it again and again!It is a truly amazing book full of love, courage and destiny. North Child is magnificently written by Edith Pattou. This book is truly enchanting and spellbinding.
“North Child”
I loved this book! I really enjoyed how you saw what happened from other characters' views.
“North Child”
This book is about a girl called Rose who is taken to a castle in the mountains by a white bear. While she is there, a stranger comes to her bedroom every night. Finally, when she can't bear her curiosity no longer she does something horrible that causes her to go in search of the white bear. I love this book and I suggest it to anyone who loves fairytale-themed books.
“North Child”
North Child is an amazing book and I just can't get the whole story out of my head. The book is well written by Edith Pattou and I would definitely buy a sequel if she wrote one. :-)
“North Child”
This book is truly stunning and enchanting. I have read this book a total of 5 times I liked it that much and each time was just as magical as the first.

Press reviews

“Told through the voices of its main characters, North Child is compelling storytelling. Usborne has unearthed another gem. ”
“A beautifully spun tale of friendship, betrayal, loyalty and love. North Child is one of those rare books that you absolutely cannot put down yet at the same time you relish every sentence of every chapter to make it last as long as possible. Stunning! ”
“A captivating and epic story that takes its inspiration from the classic fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon. It charts Rose's journey to free the White Bear from his enchantment. Beautifully written, it has the same kind of magical quality and inspires the same feelings I had when I first discovered The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe as a child. I didn't want it to end and it's my novel of the season. Read it and promote it to as many children as you can. Definitely a writer to watch out for.”
“North Child is a retelling of the Norse folk tale East of the Sun and West of the Moon, and it is a richly romantic saga, peopled by well-rounded characters and imbued with a strong sense of place. The tale is told from different perspectives, by many different voices, which gives the story extra interest and depth. A great example of traditional storytelling, this is a magical tale beautifully told.”
“The plot of North Child is constructed around the Norwegian fairy tale "East o' the Sun and West o' the Moon", part of a collection made in 1844 by Asbjørnsen and Moe who were inspired by the Brothers Grimm. Readers will notice too an affinity with "Beauty and the Beast" and some other northern European traditional tales. It is a rich and rewarding read, well-researched and fascinating in its insights into cartography, Viking ships and Inuit life, all of which play an essential part in Rose's journey north to find the land of the Troll Queen who has bewitched the bear/young man whose rescue is the object of Rose's journey. This is a book which will appeal to more than fantasy aficionados. Anyone who enjoys a good adventure story, well-told and interesting, will find it hard to escape from North Child until the last page is reached.”
“This is epic stuff for teenage girls who've grown out of Harry, but want a story to really hunker down with.”
“This is a wonderful, beautiful book. Of course it is a fairy tale and so has a few unexplained and/or overly convenient details, but the book is more an experience than a story - and at 600 pages it needs to be. Luckily the writing is excellent, I never once got bored. Normally I tend to skip heavy description as too slow for me (I’m an action girl) but this story is so engaging I loved every word. To be honest I don’t even recall any descriptions! It was all so well woven together. Overall a joyous epic of long skirts and enchanted castles with some good history facts to boot. There is no sex or violence in the least and so I would be happy to recommend it to any reader willing to tackle the 600 pages, although probably mainly girls. You could even safely read it out loud to younger children as a proper fairy tale should be - although expect it to take a long time.”
“This is an epic that fans of Philip Pullman's Dark Materials trilogy will thoroughly enjoy. Full of magic, of high drama, of superstitions and of compelling characters, readers will be held spellbound by Edith Patou's lyrical writing. The world of the north is cold but can Rose with the help of a white bear find her heart once again?”
“North Child will enchant, amaze and delight all who venture within its pages. I thoroughly enjoyed and wished it would never end. I got into this story really well. I loved Rose’s personality it made me stop and think. I loved the ending but I’d predicted it was going to happen anyway. I will definitely read more books by Edith.”
“In my book North Child deserves to become a classic. It is enchanting.”
“An irresistible winters tale... The cast of magical characters and the stunning world building is spellbinding. A romantic adventure of true friendship that will sweep you off your feet.”
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