Reviews for Pay the piper

School Library Journal
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Gr 6-8-In this new twist on "The Pied Piper of Hamelin," a banished prince of Faerie has formed a folk rock band to earn the gold and silver he needs to buy off a curse he incurred by murdering his brother. When a promoter stiffs him, Prince Gringras turns to his third option for payment: leading children into Faerie, where their human souls can power the land of the Ever Fair. Although he succeeded in Hamelin and in other lesser-known locales, Gringras gets more than he can handle when he lures a group of trick-or-treaters that includes a high school reporter's little brother. Motivated first by the prospect of a great story, and later by fear for her brother, Callie follows Gringras into Faerie and undoes the curse that compels him to steal children away. The modern pacing and idiom of the scenes featuring Callie's goofy, upbeat family and friends make for a jarring contrast with the formal language used for the dark thoughts and actions of the exiled prince, and lengthy descriptions of Gringras's "rock and reel" band run the risk of alienating teens whose musical tastes favor other genres. However, these shortcomings won't deter readers who like a fast-paced Faerie tale, especially if they enjoyed Holly Black's Tithe (S & S, 2002).-Beth Wright, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, VT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Who captivates kids more than a mesmerizing rock star? The Svengali of this tale is the piper in the retro band Brass Rat. Attending their concert, 14-year-old Callie is enthralled by him as well as by another band member but soon senses something sinister about Peter Gringras and the group. An aura of menace wafts through the novel as Gringras's true identity and back-story are played out in an italicized parallel text. When the worst happens—the neighborhood children, including her brother, are spirited away by the flute on Halloween—Callie enters the land of Faerie to confront the piper. He's really a cursed fairy prince in mortal clothing who's obliged to render children up to his father as punishment for murdering his brother centuries ago. Callie devises a stratagem to send Gringras back "home" for good and to rescue the children in this rich homage to the Hamlin story. Brass Rat's "lyrics" are included. (Fiction. 11-14) Copyright ŠKirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Gr. 6-9. Yolen and her son, a professional musician, have produced a rollicking good riff on the Pied Piper. Callie, 14, attends a folk rock concert featuring Brass Rat, which she will write up for her school paper. The next night, Halloween, she stays home to write her review. Meanwhile, Brass Rat's leader has a story of his own. As the exiled son of the Faery king, he must, every seven years, tithe gold, silver, or souls. In the absence of gold, the Piper settles on the town's trick-or-treaters, including Callie's brother, as his payment. The authors keep the action moving while allowing readers to sympathize not only with Callie but also with the fairy piper, wicked as his plans--and his past--are. A strong, resourceful girl, a Faery land where ethical questions are posed, and some fun poked at baby boomer parents make this an entertaining as well as meaty read. Following the story is a collection of Brass Rat Songs, eerily hummable despite being presented without musical notation. --Francisca Goldsmith Copyright 2005 Booklist


Publishers Weekly
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The tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin gets a modern makeover at the hands of this mother-son team. Calcephony McCallan (who goes by Callie, shortening the name given to her by her ex-hippie parents) finds out that the popular band, Brass Rat, is playing a show in her town the night before Halloween. Knowing her now-strict parents won't let her go, the 14-year-old persuades her journalism teacher to let her write an article on the concert. But Callie doesn't count on her parents being Brass Rat fans, and insisting that the whole family attend. While there, Callie gets swept up in the music, but not so much so that she is deaf to a strange comment made by bandleader Alabas when the band does not get paid for the gig: "He must send silver or gold or souls Under the Hill. Human souls. To pay off a blood guilt, a teind. And if he does not, he will grow as old as any who walks upon the earth...." When the children in town, including Callie's younger brother, Nick, disappear on Halloween, she knows that Alabas is behind their disappearance. She must find the band and the children, and then unravel the curse that keeps Alabas in exile from the magical land of Faerie. Yolen and Stemple's respective authorial and musical backgrounds are at their best when describing Alabas's haunting, musical reminiscences about the path that led him to exile. But despite the promise of this modern concept, the narrative occasionally digresses into exposition (e.g., as when Callie explains to readers that "teind" means tithe: "in church to tithe meant `to give a part of one's income, a kind of tax, for good causes' ") which detracts from this land of enchantment. Ages 10-up. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

"The tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin gets a modern makeover at the hands of this mother-son team," wrote PW of their Pay the Piper. In a follow-up Rock 'n' Roll Fairy Tale book that melds The Three Billy Goats Gruff with The Twelve Dancing Princesses, Trollbridge by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple stars 16-year-old Moira, a harpist determined to save 11 girls who were selected to have their likenesses carved in butter but wound up enchanted into slumber. A teen boy band on break from a road trip, a magical fox and, naturally, a monstrous troll all figure into the proceedings. Pay the Piper is now in paperback. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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