Shortlisted for the 2019 Carnegie Medal
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 partiesand 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 hereven 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.
About the Author
Sophie Anderson grew up in Swansea, studied at Liverpool University, and has worked as a geologist and science teacher. She currently lives in England's Lake District with her husband and enjoys the freedom of homeschooling her three children, walking, canoeing, and daydreaming. She loves to write stories inspired by different folklores, cultures, and landscapes. The House with Chicken Legs is her first novel.
Read an Excerpt
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. A lonely, bleak place at the edge of civilization. The house nestles in the dark forbidden woods behind villages, rattles on the windswept icy tundra, and hides in the crumbling industrial ruins at the far edge of cities.
At the moment it's perched on a rocky plateau high in some barren mountains. We've been here two weeks and I still haven't seen anyone living. Dead people, I've seen plenty of those of course. They come to visit Baba and she guides them through The Gate. But the real live living people, they all stay in the town and villages far below us.
Maybe if it was summer a few of them would wander up here, to picnic and look at the view. They might smile and say hello. Someone my age could visit, maybe a whole group of children on their holidays. They might stop near the stream and splash in the water to cool off. Perhaps they would invite me to join them.