Jane Yolen chose verse to tell the story of Natasha, who runs away from her abusive home situation into the woods, where she becomes part of the Baba’s household, learning to embrace the idea of being a witch, rather than thinking it’s a pejorative, and rethinking some of the lessons the outside world tried to force upon her. Sparse thoughtful prose and evocative illustrations make this a gem of a book whose impact will last far beyond the short time needed to read it.— Maryelizabeth
Finding Baba Yaga is a mythic yet timely novel-in-verse by the beloved and prolific New York Times bestselling author and poet Jane Yolen, “the Hans Christian Andersen of America” (Newsweek).
A young woman discovers the power to speak up and take control of her fate—a theme that has never been more timely than it is now…
You think you know this story.
You do not.
A harsh, controlling father. A quiescent mother. A house that feels like anything but a home. Natasha gathers the strength to leave, and comes upon a little house in the wood: A house that walks about on chicken feet and is inhabited by a fairy tale witch. In finding Baba Yaga, Natasha finds her voice, her power, herself....
"Jane Yolen is a phenomenon: a poet and a mythmaker, who understands how old stories can tell us new things. We are lucky to have her."—Neil Gaiman
"Jane Yolen is a phenomenon: a poet and a mythmaker, who understands how old stories can tell us new things."—Neil Gaiman
“This novel-in-verse is a journey, an escape, and an encounter with an ambiguous evil. Tart and touching and sometimes deeply sad, with surprising stings of wit.”—John Crowley
“This is a Worm Ouroboros of a story, the old made new, the new made old, metaphors rubbing shoulders with painful truths. A book-length poem, Finding Baba Yaga is no gimmick but rather the only way the story could be told to deliver the impact that it does.”—Charles de Lint
“Seductive in the best way possible, Finding Baba Yaga draws you in from first word to last, its secrets doled out like sweet treats.... If you’ve never met Baba Yaga before, it’s time. If you think you have, be assured: not like this.” —Nikki Grimes
“Blending Russian folklore with a contemporary American teen’s narration of her departure from an abusive family situation, Yolen’s (Monster Academy, 2018, etc.) entry into the Baba Yaga canon packs an emotional punch. ...Yolen’s wordplay is sharp, engaging, and evocative; even folklore-illiterate readers will be enchanted by this slim volume." —Kirkus Reviews
“Yolen has created another magical tale...with her exquisite free verse. ...It is a heart-breaking story with little slips of humor. It is a terrifying story of abuse and an inspiring telling of becoming one’s own heroine. Here is yet another amazing book to be added to the over 300 this wonderful author has all ready [sic] brought to us.”—TeenReads
“Finding Baba Yaga is a unique experience. It is so many things wrapped into one; a fairy tale, a twist on the classics, a novella, and a story told in verse. It’s also a coming of age story, and a story about acceptance. It’s not every day that you can find something so small and compact that carries that much within it. For that reason alone I would say that Finding Baba Yaga is worth reading."—Word of the Nerd