Cover Image: The Missing Barbegazi

The Missing Barbegazi

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Full of frosty and wintery magic, this was a sparkling tale that I very much enjoyed. Good main characters and a plot that raced along - I think this is a great tale for curling up by the fireside to read during the long dark cold winter.
Was this review helpful?
I'm not a person that reads winter books during winter and summer books during summer, but when I do it, I always like it so much! This book takes place between Christmas and New Year and it's very winter-y and I totally had that vibe. I think it's a great Middle School book and I, as an adult, also enjoyed the story a lot!

Reminds me: This book reminded me of the book De Gorgels, which is a Dutch book, but I always enjoy it a lot to read it in class. I always thought it was a very original story and I felt the same about the Barbegazi folk. It was well thought through and I couldn't find anything missing with the Barbegazi, no plot holes whatsoever!
Winter-y: The winter/Christmas vibe really added an extra layer for me. I should read more books that fit the season, because it just makes you get into the story easier! I'd definitely recommend readers to read this somewhere between November and February!
Variation: I liked the varied POV's in this book. And also the little pieces from an educational book about Barbegazi was interesting to read. This gave the book a lot of variation. It was fun to read little snippets of info on the Barbegazi.
Middle grade: I'd definitely see some of the kids in my classroom read this story if it was in Dutch. The formula of a bad person and a rescue mission in a book always works great with Middle Graders. I couldn't find any details missing or anything wrong with the plot.

Guessed it: Like I said: Nothing wrong with the plot, but I did figure it out! I'm not sure if Middle Graders would, but I did. It's like watching too many episodes of CSI, after a while you're just able to figure it out, lol!

The book felt just very cute, winter-y and I had some good vibes while reading it. Well thought through, original and definitely worth the four stars. If you enjoy snowy books and skiing and little cute creatures, I'd read it!
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this book so much more than that I had expected!
It was fun, quick, interesting! I definitely recommend this book for younger readers and especially around winter time! Since this takes place between Christmas and new year’s!
We read the story from both the ‘human’ and the barbegazi’s POV, which makes the story very interesting. 
Tessa has been looking for the barbegazi’s every since her granddad died, and all her classmates make fun of her because of this. Until one day she actually sees one, Gawion. Gawion is looking for his sister, who is taken by a human for research. Together Tessa and Gawion go looking for his sister to save her!
It is a very well written book, the ‘mystery’ was very good, I was invested!
I would say there were some details missing and the book was a book on the short side, but I don’t think that matters for the intended reader!
Was this review helpful?
This was such a cute story! In it we follow Tessa who is dealing with the recent loss of her grandfather and is desperately trying to find evidence of the barbegazi, who he swore saved him years ago from an avalanche. We also follow a family of barbegazis who are dealing with the disappearance of one of their family members.

The book is peppered with lore about the barbegazis and their habits/mythology which I thought was a really nice touch. Throughout the book there are some times and Tessa makes impulsive decisions that aren't the smartest, or has thoughts that are a tad selfish but it's good to see her reason through those thoughts or think retroactively about her decisions and their consequences. For the age that she is her behavior and thoughts are appropriate.

The family dynamics and friendships in this book were really charming and authentic. It touched on a lot of harder subjects such as grief (and the effects thereof), slight bullying and others. It's a fun winter adventure with a lot of twists and turns and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars! This was an enjoyable middle grade story! Thank you to NetGalley for the chance to read it. It has some terms not every US middle grader might be familiar with, but as the story goes on, it's fairly easy to figure them out. Or, it could lead to looking them up! That's always good! I enjoyed the characters of Tessa and Felix and of course the Barbegazi. You can feel the author's love of skiing, the Alps and mythical magic. I loved the setting. It made me long to be able to ski in a place like this. It felt like an original and unique story. I would recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
The Missing Barbegazi is more than the story of one girl, Tessa, wanting to find the elusive barbegazi of the Alps to prove to her former friend Lisa that her and her recently deceased grandfather Opa are not crazy to believe that they exist.

It is also the story of Gawion, a 150-years-young barbegazi youth starting to show his independence and act upon his own instincts when it comes to who to trust to find his missing sister, Maeg.

Both Tessa and Gawion are learning about who to trust in their changing worlds and some of what is really important in life – such as when it is or is not important for someone else to believe you.

I really enjoyed this story, as it had a good mix of magic, realism, and touching poignancy. The effects of Opa’s recent passing on Tessa, her Oma (grandmother) and her mom is done in a realistic and sensitive way. Norup handles the complexity of the way death affects those who remain in a way that is accessible and enriches the story instead of stealing the whole show.

The other main theme was the search for the avalanche of barbegazi, one of whom has gone missing., and if and how Gawion should trust humans to help find her. Norup handles his dilemma well too, addressing the difficulties of being a youth on the cusp of teenagerhood/independence and the friction that can arise between child and parents during a stressful and difficult situation.

This is overall a magical tale full of heart, with a good balance of emotion and action to keep young readers engaged and enjoying the story while also getting some exposure to emotions and situations that they may soon be experiencing for themselves.
Was this review helpful?
Tessa’s grandfather has died.  Her grandmother is ill and goes to the hospital.  Meanwhile Tessa is searching for the barbegazi that her deceased grandfather told her about.  When practicing for a ski race, she falls and can’t get out of the snow.  A barbegazi rescues her.  He then makes her forget him.  However a dream she has makes her remember seeing it.  She returns to find him again when a man dressed in all white goes past the safety line to ski.  Somehow Tessa decides that isn’t what he is planning to do.  Why?  When Tessa discovers that a barbegazi is missing, she decides she must find and rescue it.  How will she do that?  Will she be able to do it?

I enjoyed the story the author wrote immensely.  It is not only about helping other but also showing loyalty and true friendship.  It shows believing something that no one else has seen (but your grandpa).  It shows the love and care between family and friends.  I enjoy the adventure that Tessa went on.  She is one strong, heroic gal.  Don’t miss out on reading this book!
Was this review helpful?
I received an arc of this book on netgalley in exchange for a honest review. 

Interesting concept, but it got really slow in the middle, so I got bored and it didn't completely get tied up in the end, which was a little annoying.
Was this review helpful?
This is a super sweet middle grade read that touches on themes of friendship and natural conservation via the story of a young girl who discovers that the barbegazi, goblin-like creatures who her grandfather has always said lived in the Alps, are actually real! The snowy setting is really well done - the imagery is vivid and it's clear that the author either knows the area well or has done a lot of research. The barbegazi themselves are a really lovely addition to the ranks of folkloric nature creatures - they feel very much like brownies or hobs, with their helpful nature but wariness of humankind. There's plenty of excitement and an interesting setting (skiing features heavily!), and the story is very heart-warming. It's a lovely, whimsical, magical read that would be great for those growing out of Enid Blyton.
Was this review helpful?
Fast reading, good story and amazing characters! I just think the vocabulary could be a little too hard for the kids between the ages this book is made to. 
Anyway, I think it’s a very good, fast and magical reading! I love it
Was this review helpful?
I wasn't sure what to expect, but I enjoyed reading this. An interesting story with fun characters. Well written.
Was this review helpful?
I had concerns about this book for age 8. The vocabulary is somewhat sophisticated, but I may be off on kids' reading levels these days. Besides general reading level, I'm wondering how kids will do with the Swiss words and skiing terminology. I had to check the dictionary for 'piste' and 'off-piste'. Pronunciation is also challenging.

Other than that, I found this an enjoyable tale with sympathetic leading characters, a brand-new (to me) fairy creature, and a suitably nasty villain defeated by intelligence, planning, and bravery of Tessa, and Gawion, even Felix pitching in to help rescue Maeg.

Overall I'd recommend this to upper elementary and middle-grade readers. It has all the elements of a good kids story, even if there are few surprises or twists. That's not always necessary as long as the action moves the story forward. 

Extra credit for the excerpts from the scholarly book on Barbegazis and the illustrations. The Barbegazi on the cover is a delightful edition to the world of Fae. It's a much more striking cover than the previous edition.

Since this book is not yet for sale. I'll hold my review for when it is available in November.
Was this review helpful?
This is a magical, imaginative, and fun, fast read for middle graders. The story focuses on a young girl named Tessa and an old tale her Grandfather (Opa in Switzerland, Germany) told her. She was very close to him and was struggling to deal with his death. So she was determined to find the gnome-like creatures called Barbegazi that once saved her beloved Grandfather's life.

Thus begins the snowy adventure in search of the berry-loving snow-dwellers. We follow the two main character's plot-lines, building tension and anticipation -- eager for Tessa and the young male Barbegazi, Gawain's paths to intersect. The story moved forward nicely until we get stuck inside Tessa's head -- in her thoughts. .  . this bogs down the plot's progression. I found these sections boring and often felt the urge to skip them entirely.

Middle-schooler's will enjoy this tale of trust, friendship, and self-discovery. They can understand Tessa's feelings towards her Grandfather (Opa) and the importance of his role in her life.
The combination of centuries-old creatures popularized in mythological folk-lore and Norup's imagination is a one, two knock-out! She has delivered a new, entertaining (and hopefully long-running) cast of characters. I look forward to the author's future works -- as she hones her craft and develops her own unique flair.

Thank you to NetGalley and Jolly Fish Press for the opportunity to read this book.

Happy Reading,
Was this review helpful?
A fantastic adventure story set deep in the snowy mountains. The skiing terminology threw me at first; I figured most of it out from context, but it was quite unfamiliar to me. It didn't really matter, anyway, because I got swept up in the adventure story. This is a fascinating story of a young girl meeting the Yeti like creature her grandfather was scorned for believing in. I hope it's going to be a series, as a couple of minor story threads are left at the end, but if not it works fine on its own. A great read for adventurous children.
Was this review helpful?
The Missing Barbegazi by H. S. Norup is a fantastic children's tale, drawing on little-known mythology to construct an engaging winter story. Tessa, a talented young snow-skier, believes in the barbegazi because her late Opa was saved by one after he was trapped by an avalanche. When the barbegazi find themselves in danger, it is Tessa and her cousin Felix who must risk all to save them. 

The book switches between two primary points of view: Tessa's and the young male barbegazi, Gawion's. Despite this frequent shifting, the story is easy to follow, and both characters are engage well with their readers. As Tessa and Gawion's joint story develops, the author reveals further details of barbegazi mythology, making the thoroughness of her pre-writing research clear. The wintery setting for the book makes it a brilliant cosy read; it calls forth images of warm fireplaces, hot chocolates, and snowy adventures. 

Overall, The Missing Barbegazi was a great read. By using existing mythology, Norup provides a healthy foundation upon which her story can rest, while leaving plenty of room for new imagination. This book, I'm sure, will be a smash hit among young readers when it releases on November 12th, 2019.
Was this review helpful?
I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

I enjoyed the concept of the book. The “barbegazi” and Tessa's adventure to search for them was an amusing and imaginative read. 

The book seems very whimsical but it doesn't seem unlikely either that there could be creatures roaming around the world that H.S. Norup creates. 

There's a special place in my child-like heart for this book. 

It has an adventure, self-discovery, and magical creatures while exploring family and friendship. I loved how Tessa's grandfather played a big role in the book and in her journey of self-discovery. 

Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I like this book a lot that I ended up finishing it within a day. The story started the day after Christmas and ended on New Year’s Eve. The author put so much details and writing within that week of the story plot. The author did a nice job to keep me interested albeit of emotions needed in the book when Tessa just lost her Opa and when her Oma ended up in the hospital. 

The story is about magic, friendship, family and TRUST. This is a good children’s book that gives the young readers wide imagination of mountain elves as well as Learning mythical creatures in other countries. There is ALWAYS and MUST lesson when reading children’s books. Three lessons were learned in this: trust, loyalty and friendship. 

A good recommendation for parents who have young children who loves magic as well as wide imagination. And skiing. A must. 

Thank you netgalley and Pushkin Children’s for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I was given an electronic copy of this book by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sadly this just didn't quite work for me. It's a nice and quite imaginative story, but it needed a bit more delicate touch with the emotional aspects and a bit more flair with the imaginative ones. I never got a real sense of place, except lots of snow. I think of how well someone like Diana Wynne Jones could have written this story (which is maybe not a fair comparison, but then again...). Honestly, I found it rather dull.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed the concept of this book - there are gnome-like creatures called “barbegazi” that rescue those trapped in an avalanche and shy away from humans at any other time. 
Tessa has heard about the barbegazi since she was a little girl since her Grandfather claimed to have been rescued by one, and he read a book about them to his granddaughter. Opa (Grandfather in Switzerland or Germany) had died a few weeks ago and Tessa, her Mom and Oma (Grandmother) missed hom a great deal!
Tessa wants to meet a barbegazi, and she does, she meets a young male named Gawion who rescues her when she falls into a deep hole in the snow and she is trapped.
Tessa unknowingly saves the Gawion’s family from starvation when she learns that her Opa used to bring them berries every year, berries are the barbegazi’s only source of food besides snow and ice.
You will enjoy learning about these creatures and Tess’ adventures with Gawion!
Was this review helpful?
Helle Sidelmann Norup is Danish by birth and it shows in this work which would have been handled differently by am American author (assuming one had even thought to write this). The story is original, to begin with and not derived from some long line of stories rooted in a tired old fairy-tale, like so many US middle-grade authors do, but more than that, it's realistic and inventive, playful and fun, and tells an engaging and interesting story.

It's fiction, of course, but it would be so easy to believe something like this could happen or even has happened. Not being American, the author felt no compulsion whatsoever to set this in the USA, which an unfortunately large number of US authors seem to think is the only place in the world where anything worth writing about can take place. With an attitude like that pervading our literature, it was no surprise to me at all that we finally elected a president who is xenophobic and seems to think there's nowhere else on this planet other than the USA that merits any attention at all. Believe me, this book is a breath of fresh air in middle-grade writing.

Barbegazi are beings from the folklore of the French and the Swiss. The odd name comes from the French barbe-glacée, which literally means 'frozen beard'. Tessa - the main character in this story - grew up hearing of the barbegazi from her grandfather, who has recently died. Her grandmother isn't taking it well. Tessa feels that if she can locate a barbegazi, and prove - at least to herself and her grandmother - that her discredited grandfather wasn't deranged, it will help her grandmother to recover.

Well, guess what? She does find one! She finds a whole family of them and the family has a problem. Tessa is only too happy to help them out, but the problem is: barbegazi don't trust humans! Tessa will need to learn and grow, and take on her shoulders some adult values and traits. And she's equal to it!

She knows a lot about the barbegazi from her grandfather, but when she needs to know more, she reads the notes her grandfather left. Oh my - a girl who is shown to be intelligent by her actions, not from the fact that a lazy author simply told us she reads books! What a pleasant novelty! This is how you write a story about a smart young girl! You don't say she reads books, you show her studying a book to find answers! This author gets it. Far too many authors I've read do not.

I liked this story from the start, and though I'm far from middle-grade, it maintained my interest throughout. It was original, realistic, thoughtful, and fun. Tessa was shown authentically: not perfect, not a genius, not a dope, not cowardly, not super-powered, not squeamish or squeal-ish - just an ordinary girl who has a few things to prove not for herself, but to help others. This author nailed it completely, and I'm happy to commend this as a worthy read and a fun novel. It's one of the best I've read this year so far, middle-grade or otherwise!
Was this review helpful?