They Threw Us Away (The Teddies Saga #1)

Daniel Kraus, illus. by Rovina Cai. Holt, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-250-22440-8
The life of a Furrington Teddy ought to be simple: wait patiently in one’s box until purchased and presented to a child, resulting, upon the “child’s first loving hug” in the fabled Forever Sleep. When blue teddy Buddy awakens frightened and disoriented in a landfill, he and a band of four other discarded Furringtons of varying colors and dispositions slip into an adventure that pits them against gulls, vermin, and dismal creatures bred by negligence. The Furringtons trudge through the muck and fog of urban environs beyond the garbage heap in search of a child to hug and the truth behind why they were cast aside. Employing a spare, somber tone threaded with moments startling and poignant, Kraus (Bent Heavens) keeps the tale moving at a brisk pace amid its heavy themes. Wispy black-and-white illustrations by Cai (Elatsoe) add to the sense of creeping fear and grim uncertainty. By turns swashbuckling and reflective, touching and disturbing, this existential work of fantasy and horror considers what one is willing to sacrifice when utterly lost. Ages 10–14. Agent: Richard Abate, 3 Arts. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/16/2020
Release date: 09/15/2020
Genre: Children's
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