They Threw Us Away

Holt. (Teddies Saga: Bk. 1). Sept. 2020. 256p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781250224408.
Gr 4-6–Buddy is a teddy bear, and he wakes up to find himself far from his cozy box in the toy store. He’s in the middle of a garbage dump, and he has no idea how or why he’s there. He quickly finds and aligns himself with a few other teddies, and the more they learn and explore, the more sinister things become. The garbage dump is crawling with things that want to eat and/or destroy the teddies, but the world outside the dump isn’t much better. In order to find what they’re convinced will save them—children—they’re going to have to venture beyond the dump and brave the city streets. This unique book begins in a seemingly innocent way, but there are many underlying, more ominous plot lines in the works. It’s definitely creepy, has moments of violence, and could easily scare sensitive readers. Those seeking a dark story, however, will find just that. The illustrations are appropriately dark and add to the creep factor. The writing leaves a bit to be desired and contains a number of subject/verb disagreements. There is also an unnecessary and blatant nod to a big fast food chain.
VERDICT An additional purchase for larger collections or where middle grade horror is very popular.

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