The House with Chicken Legs

Cover of the book, The House with Chicken Legs.

Written by:

Published by: Usborne Publishing

★★★★★
★★★★★

4.1, based on 2,131 reviews.

Goodreads says:

All 12-year-old Marinka wants is a friend. A real friend. Not like her house with chicken legs. Sure, the house can play games like tag and hide-and-seek, but Marinka longs for a human companion. Someone she can talk to and share secrets with. But that's tough when your grandmother is a Yaga, a guardian who guides the dead into the afterlife. It's even harder when you live in a house that wanders all over the world . . . carrying you with it. Even worse, Marinka is being trained to be a Yaga. That means no school, no parties--and no playmates that stick around for more than a day. So when Marinka stumbles across the chance to make a real friend, she breaks all the rules . . . with devastating consequences. Her beloved grandmother mysteriously disappears, and it's up to Marinka to find her--even if it means making a dangerous journey to the afterlife. With a mix of whimsy, humor, and adventure, this debut novel will wrap itself around your heart and never let go.

Waterstones says:

Shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2019

Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2019

Waterstones Children's Book of the Month for May 2018

A spellbinding adventure, bound-up with traditional folk and fairy tales, The House with Chicken Legs transports readers to a world of spells and spirits bound by ancient rules and one girl who longs to break free.

My house has chicken legs. Two or three times a year, without warning, it stands up in the middle of the night and walks away from where we’ve been living. It might walk a hundred miles or it might walk a thousand, but where it lands is always the same.

Marinka dreams of a normal life, she dreams of standing still, but her house has chicken legs and a will of its own and moves on without warning.

For governing Marinka’s world is the powerful and feared Baba Yaga. To some she is a witch, to others the Goddess of Death who guides spirits between this world and the next and she is also Marinka's grandmother.

Marinka longs to change her destiny and sets out to break free from her grandmother's footsteps, but her house has other ideas...

Based on the Slavic fairy tales she was told by her own Prussian grandmother, Sophie Anderson’s debut is both a powerful reimagining of ancient storytelling and an entrancing new story of one girl’s search for freedom and her own calling. Accompanied by beautiful internal illustrations by Elisa Paganelli, it is a celebration of the power of storytelling to weave new spells and keep magic alive for every new generation. 


Rating breakdown

★★★★★
★★★★★
4.1 out of 5 stars (2,131 ratings)
5 40% (848 ratings)
4 38% (817 ratings)
3 16% (340 ratings)
2 4% (89 ratings)
1 2% (37 ratings)

About Sophie Anderson

Sophie Anderson grew up in Swansea, studied at Liverpool University, and has worked as a geologist and science teacher in several parts of the UK. She wrote textbooks until characters from Slavic fairy tales began appearing in her work.
Sophie has an international family and loves to write stories inspired by different folklores, cultures, and landscapes. Her dream is to create books that help children to explore the world and fall in love with its beautiful diversity.
Now living in th...
[Read more about Sophie Anderson]


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