Cover image for East
Pattou, Edith.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Orlando : Harcourt, 2003.
Physical Description:
498 pages ; 22 cm
A young woman journeys to a distant castle on the back of a great white bear who is the victim of a cruel enchantment.
Reading Level:
900 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 6.1 16.0 71134.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 6.4 22 Quiz: 33914 Guided reading level: Y.
Electronic Access:
Publisher description l
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Fiction Teen
X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
X Young Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Young Adult

On Order



Rose has always felt out of place in her family, a wanderer in a bunch of homebodies. So when an enormous white bear mysteriously shows up and asks her to come away with him--in exchange for health and prosperity for her ailing family--she readily agrees. The bear takes Rose to a distant castle, where each night she is confronted with a mystery. In solving that mystery, she loses her heart, discovers her purpose, and realizes her travels have only just begun.
As familiar and moving as "Beauty and the Beast" and yet as fresh and original as only the best fantasy can be, East is a novel retelling of the classic tale "East of the Sun, West of the Moon," a sweeping romantic epic in the tradition of Robin McKinley and Gail Carson Levine.

Author Notes

EDITH PATTOU is the author of East, and the two novels in the Songs of Eirren sequence: Hero's Song and Fire Arrow, a Booklist Top Ten Fantasy Novel of the Year, as well as Mrs. Spitzer's Garden, a picture book illustrated by Tricia Tusa. She lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Gr. 6-10. The author of Hero's Song (1991) and Fire Arrow (1998) weaves the essentials of the children's fairy tale East o' the Sun and West o' the Moon into a rich tapestry that will resonate with readers of books such as Robin McKinley's renderings of Beauty and the Beast. The story, which gently unfolds in several distinct voices, focuses on Rose, the youngest of seven children. When Rose is almost 15, a white bear appears at the door, asking Father to turn over his youngest daughter. The animal carries Rose to a distant castle, where she lives contentedly. Every night, a mysterious visitor climbs into her bed and hides under the covers. Is it the bear? Is it the scaly monster she sees in her dreams? She feels she must know. Unfortunately, her willfulness seals the fate of her nighttime visitor, who falls into the hands of the patient Troll Queen and is whisked away to an unreachable place. Guilt sets in, and Rose begins a long, arduous journey to right the wrong she has done. What ensues is the stuff of epic tale telling, replete with high drama and compelling characterizations. --Sally Estes Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Readers with a taste for fantasy and folklore will embrace Pattou's (Hero's Song) lushly rendered retelling of "East of the Sun and West of the Moon." In an old Norwegian village, a highly superstitious mother tries to protect her youngest child, Rose, from a dire prophecy; as the various characters take turns narrating the story, it is readily apparent that no one else takes the superstitions seriously. Nevertheless, Rose is "different" in many ways, from her purple eyes to her passion for weaving, which leads her to make a cloak patterned with a "wind rose" (a mapmaker's symbol indicating the direction of the winds)She also seems to attract the attention of a white bear, and when the bear finally approaches her, offering to make her poor family prosper and to restore her ill sister's health if Rose will come away with him, she finds the offer impossible to resist. Pattou unfolds her story slowly and carefully, luring readers across many miles with the brave and determined Rose. Handsomely evoking a landscape filled with castles, trolls, shamans and spellbound princes, the story will exercise its audience's imagination. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In this elegant retelling of East of the Sun and West of the Moon, Rose's family is given a proposal by a mysterious White Bear. He will give them a fortune and make her sick sister well if Rose will come and live with him in his faraway lair. Cold Weather Appeal: As the folktale goes, Rose is visited nightly by a strange bedfellow until her curiosity gets the best of her. I ask, on a cold December night, wouldn't you want a princely polar bear on your side, and in your bed? Why It Is for Us: The story is told in many voices, from the points of view of Rose, Bear, and the Troll Queen, among others. The result is a rich and resonant revision, far beyond the usual fairy tale redux. [First published as a hardcover in 2003.]-Angelina Benedetti (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6 Up-A compelling novelization of the folktale "East of the Sun and West of the Moon." Rose's story-from her birth as a replacement for a dead sister to her eventual happy marriage to Charles VI's fifth child-is recounted from the kaleidoscopic viewpoints of her father, her brother, the troll queen who bewitched the Dauphin, the White Bear whom the Dauphin became until Rose's rescue, and Rose herself. Each character's unique perspective and voice adds texture and tension to the plot, which is imbued with Nordic mythology and unfolds in a unique story line. Numerous interpersonal tensions are examined, including those between a comparatively "modern" man and his superstitious wife, between the bewitched bear and the women who want to claim him as a mate, and between Rose and the neighbors she meets in each of her worlds. Pattou's writing pitches readers gracefully between myth and fantasy, inviting those unaccustomed to either genre to explore the frozen world of questing that she has so vividly created.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Once on a time there was a poor farmerwith many children.FatherEBBA ROSE WAS THE NAME of our last-born child. Except it was a lie. Her name should have been Nyamh Rose. But everyone called her Rose rather than Ebba, so the lie didn't matter. At least, that is what I told myself.The Rose part of her name came from the symbol that lies at the center of the wind rose-which is fitting because she was lodged at the very center of my heart.I loved each of her seven brothers and sisters, but I will admit there was always something that set Rose apart from the others. And it wasn't just the way she looked.She was the hardest to know of my children, and that was because she would not stay still. Every time I held her as a babe, she would look up at me, intent, smiling with her bright purple eyes. But soon, and always, those eyes would stray past my shoulder, seeking the window and what lay beyond.Rose's first gift was a small pair of soft boots made of reindeer hide. They were brought by Torsk, a neighbor, and as he fastened them on Rose's tiny feet with his large calloused hands, I saw my wife, Eugenia, frown. She tried to hide it, turning her face away.Torsk did not see the frown but looked up at us, beaming. He was a widower with grown sons and a gift for leatherwork. Eager to show off his handiwork and unmindful of the difficult circumstances of Eugenia's recent birthing, he had been the first to show up on our doorstep.Most of our neighbors were well aware of how superstitious Eugenia was. They also knew that a baby's first gift was laden with meaning. But cheerful, large-handed Torsk paid no heed to this. He just gazed down at the small soft boots on Rose's feet and looked ready to burst with pride."The fit is good," he observed with a wide smile.I nodded and then said, with a vague thought of warning him,"'Tis Rose's first gift."His smile grew even wider. "Ah, this is good." Then a thought penetrated his head. "She will be a traveler, an explorer!" he said with enthusiasm. So he did know of the first-gift superstition after all.This time Eugenia did not attempt to hide the frown that creased her face, and I tensed, fearing what she might say. Instead she reached down and straightened one of the boot ties. "Thank you, neighbor Torsk," she said through stiff lips. Her voice was cold, and a puzzled look passed over the big man's face. I stepped forward and, muttering something about Eugenia still being weak, ushered Torsk to the door."Was there something wrong with the boots?" he asked, bewildered."No, no," I reassured him. "They are wonderful. Eugenia is tired, that is all. And you know mothers-they like to keep their babes close. She's not quite ready for the notion of little Rose wandering the countryside."Nor would she ever be. Though I did not say that to neighbor Torsk.That night after we had pried Neddy from Rose's basket and gotten all the children to sleep, Eugenia said to me, "Didn't Widow Hautzig bring ove Excerpted from East by Edith Pattou All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.