Odo Hirsch Yoss

ISBN 13: 9780385731874

Yoss

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“TOWNS SWALLOW MEN up, Yoss. They’re hungry. People disappear into them and are never heard from again.”

From an idyllic village high in the mountains, a boy of 14 sets out to encounter the world. On the plain below, a town sweats with schemes and deceptions. Merchant, mistress, trickster, thief—many are drawn to this innocent newcomer. But all who seek to possess him will pay a price.

Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards’ Shortlist for YA

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About the Author:

Odo Hirsch has been a prolific author of children’s books for over the last decade. Yoss is his first young adult novel. He lives in London.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 8 Up–This lengthy novel begins in a remote mountain village where boys who turn 14 undergo a ritual of manhood. In the past, youngsters would go forth and return with a needed skill. Now, however, the custom is largely symbolic and most come back the next day. When Yoss ventures forth, he is eager to explore. Before long, he encounters two ruffians who involve him in a robbery. He is so innocent that he believes their excuse about settling a debt with their victim, a merchant, and does not realize a crime has occurred. The merchant eventually catches him and extracts his revenge by making the boy his slave. When his wife allows Yoss to spend time in the house, the man is so infuriated that he throws him down a marble staircase. After Yoss escapes, he takes his experiences home with him and eventually becomes the village leader. This largely allegorical tale of innocence lost is a reverse of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, as Yoss goes from the Celestial City to the City of Destruction, although he returns to the more virtuous place at the end. Hirsch does not portray humanity in a flattering way. In the harsh and hostile town, untrustworthy people lie, murder, and gamble. While much transpires in this coming-of-age tale that mixes fantasy, historical fiction, and adventure, the pace tends to be slow. And, as with any allegory, the moral dominates the story.–Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME
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Odo Hirsch
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