Review By Mo
Title: The Blue Shoe
Author: Robert Townley
A boy named Hap Barlo is the apprentice to a kindly cobbler. In the window of their shop, known as "The Blue Shoe", sits an amazing blue shoe, covered in blue stones. It captivates everyone who sees it and beckons people from far and wide to marvel at it. The cobbler was visited by a mysterious stranger and told to make the shoe, but the stranger has yet to return. So, when a beggar is about to be sent away to prison, Hap takes a stone from the shoe to pay her bail. However, as soon as the stone is removed from the shoe, the shoe turns to a lifeless, dull gray. Hap is sent to the mountain prison, where he searches for his father, but before the two are reunited, they are tangled up in a mystery that lies within the heart of the mountain.
This was an easy book to read and didn't take me very long, but it was pretty good. I liked Hap, and thought he was a kind person. He was good but had flaws, which made him more realistic. The book also had some messages about the world hidden in fantasy. For example, inn the book, the Aukis were enslaved by the humans, even though it was their mountain, as many different groups of people have been over the course of history. One Auki married a human and was afterwards disowned by them, like many people have been after they married someone their family or community deemed unacceptable. I liked the rebellion and how many people you wouldn't have expected to be part of it were. I'd recommend the book to anyone who just wants something pretty to read, but still interesting.