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Breath by Donna Jo Napoli

15th March 2007

This re-telling of the Pied Piper of Hamelin was quite interesting.  Young Salz lives in the medieval town of Hameln, and suffers from cystic fibrosis–although of course his disease is unnamed and unknown at the time.  When a strange illness begins to show up among the people, and then a plague of rats begins, Salz is as puzzled as the rest of the townsfolk.  The church can’t help, the magic coven can’t help, only the piper promises a cure.

Part fantasy, part horror, quite graphic. . . This definitely isn’t a children’s fairy tale.  It’s not my favorite fairy tale retelling (that would definitely be Ever After by Gail Carson Levine) but still quite engaging, and certainly not predictable, even though I already knew the ending!

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