The Real Boy
by Anne Ursu
The world is a confusing place, especially for orphan Oscar. Never taught the social niceties; he is the errand boy for the most powerful magician in the Barrow. His job is to run errands or spend his time in the cellar taking care of the herbs used in various potions.
He is lower than an apprentice, and the magician’s apprentice makes sure he knows this.
When trouble in the form of a sickness hits the perfect town of Asteri which the magician and the Barrow serve, Oscar is put in the unusual position of the person that has to help figure out what’s going on. (like Disney stories, adults must be gotten rid of so the true heroes, the children, emerge)
So Oscar has to overcome his social awkwardness to help fellow shop assistant, Callie, save the children of Asteri.
Story is pretty good. Nice commentary on our wish for perfection. For 4th grade and up.