I was very divided about reviewing this book. One of the things I love about Raincoast is that if they send me a book I don’t love, I don’t have to review it. I was very intrigued by the title “They Threw us Away” with the picture of a bedraggled teddy bear on the cover. I was immediately wondering why they would do with a book about a thrown-away teddy.
Much of the story I liked, I skipped the bit of it, and then the ending left me feeling… concerned? I’m not sure that’s the right word. I had dreams that night which I’d rather have not had…. with angry teddy bears… not fun.
But let me give you my review and you can make up your own mind. 🙂
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They Threw Us Away, the details
They Threw Us Away is the first book of a three-part series called “The Teddies Saga”. Published by Henry Holt & Co. you will find it running at 256 pages. Geared toward youth 10-14 years old. I received a hardcover copy with a fly. It comes in a kindle version as well. Authored by Daniel Kraus and illustrated by Rovina Cai.
The Finer Details
From the Cover
Buddy wakes up in the middle of a garbage dump, filled with a certain awareness: he’s a teddy bear; he spent time at a Store waiting for his future to begin; and he is meant for the loving arms of a child. Now he knows one more thing: Something has gone terribly wrong.
Soon he finds other discarded teddies–Horace, Sugar, Sunny, and Reginald. Though they aren’t sure how their luck soured, they all agree that they need to get back to the Store if they’re ever to fulfill their destinies. So, they embark on a perilous trek across the dump and into the outer world. With ravenous rats, screeching gulls, and a menacing world in front of them, the teddies will need to overcome insurmountable challenges to find their way home.
Black and white images are scattered throughout. The running of rats, the movement of teddies, the darkness of garbage dump seagulls, it’s all there in greyscale.
The font is a bit small but not difficult to read.
The characters feel real. From the bubbly kinda out of it Sugar, to the thoughtful Reginald, the protective Sunny and fearful Horace. Buddy seemed a natural leader. They met some good and not so good characters along the way and learned their own history.
Should you Get it?
So I think if you are a fan of Lord of the Flies, or Where the World Ends, you would probably enjoy this read. I am not. I don’t like books, where children are in essence, are sorted pitted against each other.
The writing is at a higher level so I would recommend it for children probably at least 12 years old. They Threw Us Away is a dark read. Suffering fills the pages, but the teddies work together to find solutions. They had to learn to listen to each other in order to reach their end objective… Find a child, find themselves a home.