Sophie Anderson
The House with Chicken Legs

Usborne Books (8+)

9781474940665 (paperback)

Marinka dreams of a normal life, where her house stays in one place long enough for her to make friends. But her house has chicken legs and moves on without warning. For Marinka's grandmother is Baba Yaga, who guides spirits between this world and the next. Marinka has always been told she too is destined to be a Yaga, but she feels very resentful of this prescribed fate. She longs to change her destiny and sets out to break free from her grandmother's footsteps, but her house has other ideas. When a thoughtless act endangers the life of her grandmother, Marinka must reassess her desires and ask herself what she will do to save those she loves.

Inspired by a Slavic fairy tale this is a colourful, imaginative, story rich in descriptive language. Readers will delight in the personification of the house, who is very much a character in its own right. Whilst Marinka is a fully authentic twelve year old girl; on the cusp of adulthood and eager for independence, she is full of the insecurities and frustrations familiar to many that age. With themes of trust, grief and belonging, this is an immersive read that remains vivid in the mind long after the last page.


Sophie Anderson grew up in Swansea, studied at Liverpool University, and has worked as a geologist, science teacher and text book author. Sophie was inspired to love stories by her Prussian grandmother who fled her homeland during WW2, losing her family in the process. She carried the stories, music and food of her home in her soul and brought them with her to Wales…and to her granddaughter Sophie. Growing up it was the tale of the chicken-legged house that captured Sophie’s imagination the most. She thought it would be incredible to live in a house that could take you to see new places or to visit the homelands of ancestors. Now living in the Lake District with her husband, Sophie enjoys the freedom of home schooling her three children, fell walking, canoeing, and daydreaming.

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