The Blue Shoe is a fairy tale kind of story. It takes place in a little village in the mountains where people have jobs like making shoes by hand. Hap Barlo lives in this little village with has Dad who is the village beekeeper. When Hap’s Dad is unfairly sent to Mount Xexnax, the village prison, Hap goes to live with Grel, the village shoemaker. Hap is happy with Grel, happy as he can be, at least, without his Dad. But then Hap is ALSO unfairly sent to Mount Xexnax.
When Hap gets to Mount Xexnax he realizes that he is going to be forced to work in a mine looking for a rare blue diamond…and he isn’t alone. There are many people from Hap’s village in the prison, people who really did nothing wrong. There are also Aukis, blue-skinnned gnome-like people who are enslaved in the mine. As Hap begins to make friends among the prisoners (especially spunky Sophie Hartpence) he learns that his Dad is indeed alive and leading an underground resistance against the people running the mine. Hap is ready to join up and put the mine out of business for good.
Running a revolution isn’t easy though. For one thing, the Aukis and the humans don’t trust each other at all. It is Hap who begins to break down the barriers that have kept the prisoners from uniting to stand up against their oppressors. The prisoners have to confront their own prejudiced feelings about each other before they can form an effective team. Hap is detemined and brave and stubborn – it’s interesting to watch how his leadership skills and his ability to value what each person can contribute, bring about the freedom everyone is seeking.
This one might look like a fairy tale but Hap’s abilities are just as useful today. Author: Roderick Townley. The book also has several illustrations by Mary GrandPre – she’s the illustrator of the Harry Potter books.
|If you like Hap’s story you might also like these over-the-top adventures:|