“Really sad and scary lol :/”see full review » see other reviews »
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“Shareeb said: 2 stars
“This version of Hansel and Gretal is told from the witch's perspective, but did not generate the connections with me that it needed to.”starr k wrote this review Thursday, June 16, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I have great hopes for this book...I have always enjoyed books by this author.l”Cindy Dietz wrote this review Friday, May 13, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Shareeb said: 2 stars
I found this one in the young adult section, so it's not one that might keep you up at nights. Through most of the book, I found the main character, setting and background pretty intriguing. Then about three-fourths of the way through the book, it suddenly morphed into a twice told version of Hansel and Gretel! Not only did the story change, but so did the writing style which appeared in short, choppy sentences that were only about 5 0r 6 words long.”
“Really sad and scary lol :/”Sasha G wrote this review Wednesday, May 5, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“An other great book from childhood. This one was great. There's not much to say about this one, the summery pretty much tell you all you need to know. Napoli really did a good job bring this world alive. The Ugly One is one of the most sympathetic characters firm my childhood heroes. She is never really angsty but there is a underlying sadness and loneliness that breaks your heart. Good book.”N.L. D wrote this review Sunday, February 21, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“My introduction to the wonderful world of re-written fairy tales that actually sell!”Megan S wrote this review Wednesday, February 10, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“After learning sorcery to become a healer a good hearted woman is turned into a witch by evil spirits and she fights their power until her encounter with Hansel and Gretel years later. Is this a happy ending? The witch dies and becomes free of the evil spirits that have tormented her over the years. Grades 9+.”biblioberta wrote this review Sunday, August 23, 2009. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is one of my top five favorite books. Napoli's literary style is so unique, and the storyline is symbolic and beautiful. I never tire of reading this.”Hannah E wrote this review Thursday, December 11, 2008. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“After learning sorcery to become a healer, a good-hearted woman is turned into a witch by evil spirits and she fights their power until her encounter with Hansel and Gretel years later. A bit disturbing, but a quick, interesting read.”Cristina B wrote this review Sunday, November 9, 2008. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
““Magic Circle” By: Donna Jo Napoli
Donna Jo Napoli retells the story of "Hansel and Gretel" from the perspective of the witch in this intense, haunting novel. She is known as the Ugly One, a hunchbacked midwife whose life centers on her beautiful daughter, Asa. She becomes known for her ability to control demons from within her “magic circle” and she is rewarded for her abilities. One day, though, she becomes a bit careless and the demons take over her.
Accused of witchcraft, she is sentenced to be burned. The demons help her escape, and she takes refuge far way from her village, deep in a forest. For nine years she has shut out the demons of all memories until two children come, the brother and sister, Hansel and Gretel.
There are a few different conflicts taking place throughout the novel. First there is person vs. person. It is a battle between the Ugly One and the demons. The demons say to her, “Almost ugly one, we almost got you”. The demons were continuously trying to trick her and mess up her magic. The ugly one is in a constant battle between trying to do good and the demons that want her to become evil.
Another conflict is person vs. society. The ugly one is at odds with her small town. Once she has been accused of being a witch from the townspeople, the ugly one is sentenced to death. The town disregards her abilities to heal people and forgets all she has done to help and cure.
Napoli’s rich and descript words paint a very vivid picture of the setting. As a reader, I was drawn into the novel by graphic and detailed descriptions of events.
I loved this book. I would place this book in quadrant 1+. I believe the reader response would be very high. This is an easy to read, fun, scary and enticing book that grabs your attention. The book has high literary merit because of rich language and conflict of archetypes good vs. evil.