The first in a series with the makings of a modern classic, The Luck Uglies is an irresistible cross between Chris Colfer's Land of Stories series and Kelly Barnhill's The Girl Who Drank the Moon, overflowing with adventure, secrets, friendship, and magic.
Rye O'Chanter has seen a lot of strange things happen in Village Drowning: Children are chased through the streets. Families are fined for breaking laws that don't even exist. Girls aren't allowed to read anymore, and certain books—books that hold secrets about Drowning's past—have been outlawed altogether.
Now a terrifying encounter has eleven-year-old Rye convinced that the monstrous, supposedly extinct Bog Noblins have returned. Before the monsters disappeared, there was only one way to defeat them—the Luck Uglies. But the Luck Uglies have long since been exiled, and there's nobody left who can protect the village.
As Rye dives into Drowning's maze of secrets, rules, and lies, she begins to question everything she's been told about the village's legend of outlaws and beasts . . . and what she'll discover is that it may take a villain to save them from the monsters.
This critically acclaimed debut middle grade novel was named an ALA Notable Book and a New York Public Library Title for Reading and Sharing and won the Cybil Award for Middle Grade Speculative Fiction and a Sunshine State Young Readers Award.
About the Author
Paul Durham wrote this book and The Luck Uglies in an abandoned chicken coop at the edge of a swamp. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife, two daughters, and an enormous, bushy creature the local animal shelter identified as a cat.
★ “By turns funny and heart-stopping . . . a bona fide page-turner.”
— Booklist (starred review)
★ “Sparkling. Layers, nuance, wit and a thumping good story make this a must-read.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A rollicking good tale. A fast, fresh, and engaging adventure sure to delight readers on several levels.”
— School Library Journal
“Funny, magical, and absolutely crackling with those little sparks that make a book wonderful. It’s an action-packed adventure with heroes you’ll root for and baddies you’ll hiss at, all set in a land that I, for one, would love to visit again.”
— Stefan Bachmann, author of The Peculiar and The Whatnot
“Paul Durham has created the best kind of fantasy world—one that is equal parts wondrous and deadly, and in which the line between heroism and villainy is deliciously blurred.”
— Christopher Healy, author of The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom
“Midnight adventures, smart humor, a richly imagined otherworld, and winsome characters—The Luck Uglies has the perfect ingredients for a spell-binding read. If you are lucky enough to pick up this book, prepare for a wild ride!”
— Marissa Burt, author of Storybound and Story’s End
“The Luck Uglies has it all: a feisty heroine, monstrous creatures, and a brimful of humor, and horror, to keep the readers turning the pages.”
— Joseph Delaney, author of The Last Apprentice series
“A magical, mist-shrouded world humming with danger and mystery.”
— Jonathan Auxier, author of Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes