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They Threw Us Away

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"Buddy wakes up in the middle of a garbage dump, filled with a certain awareness: he’s a teddy bear; he spent time at a Store waiting for his future to begin; and he is meant for the loving arms of a child. Now he knows one more thing: Something has gone terribly wrong. Soon he finds other discarded teddies—Horace, Sugar, Sunny, and Reginald. Though they aren’t sure how th "Buddy wakes up in the middle of a garbage dump, filled with a certain awareness: he’s a teddy bear; he spent time at a Store waiting for his future to begin; and he is meant for the loving arms of a child. Now he knows one more thing: Something has gone terribly wrong. Soon he finds other discarded teddies—Horace, Sugar, Sunny, and Reginald. Though they aren’t sure how their luck soured, they all agree that they need to get back to the Store if they’re ever to fulfill their destinies. So, they embark on a perilous trek across the dump and into the outer world. With ravenous rats, screeching gulls, and a menacing world in front of them, the teddies will need to overcome insurmountable challenges to find their way home.


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"Buddy wakes up in the middle of a garbage dump, filled with a certain awareness: he’s a teddy bear; he spent time at a Store waiting for his future to begin; and he is meant for the loving arms of a child. Now he knows one more thing: Something has gone terribly wrong. Soon he finds other discarded teddies—Horace, Sugar, Sunny, and Reginald. Though they aren’t sure how th "Buddy wakes up in the middle of a garbage dump, filled with a certain awareness: he’s a teddy bear; he spent time at a Store waiting for his future to begin; and he is meant for the loving arms of a child. Now he knows one more thing: Something has gone terribly wrong. Soon he finds other discarded teddies—Horace, Sugar, Sunny, and Reginald. Though they aren’t sure how their luck soured, they all agree that they need to get back to the Store if they’re ever to fulfill their destinies. So, they embark on a perilous trek across the dump and into the outer world. With ravenous rats, screeching gulls, and a menacing world in front of them, the teddies will need to overcome insurmountable challenges to find their way home.

30 review for They Threw Us Away

  1. 5 out of 5

    Allie Marini

    * I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review * I’m not sure what to make of this book, but there are several significant issues that made me rate it lower than I wanted to. I was surprised at how much these issues interfered with how much I was able to enjoy it. I’m especially disappointed because I’ve enjoyed this author’s adult horror collaborations with del Toro, and the fact that they’re a Bram Stoker level horror author. So here’s what interfered with a * I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review * I’m not sure what to make of this book, but there are several significant issues that made me rate it lower than I wanted to. I was surprised at how much these issues interfered with how much I was able to enjoy it. I’m especially disappointed because I’ve enjoyed this author’s adult horror collaborations with del Toro, and the fact that they’re a Bram Stoker level horror author. So here’s what interfered with a higher rating, for me. As ever, your mileage may vary. First issue — it’s unclear what age group this book is intended for. It’s a “kids book” the same way Watership Down, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH or Lord of the Flies is a kids book — and by that I mean, even though it’s teddies, there’s some pretty graphic violence and teddy death, Because I wasn’t sure if it was intended for under 10, tween/teen, or older — the violence (that as an adult reader I was ok with, but could see a 9 year old being pretty upset by) kept pulling me out of the story. Second issue — I think this would have read much smoother as a script or a graphic novel. In fact, that’s what I thought it was when I requested the ARC. The text of the novel falls into a lot of Tom Swift-ish turns of phrase, what with people grinning wryly, chuckling deviously, exclaiming loudly, proclaiming boldly, interjecting sardonically, querying gently, etc. Again: I realize that for an adult reader, this may be more of a problem than for an 11 year old reader. But it is very heavy on adverbs and thesaurus words for “said”. Part of the reason for this is the number of teddy characters, and the need to differentiate who’s speaking. In a script or graphic novel, this would be a much easier end to achieve. Third issue — how girl characters are treated in terms of characterization and narrative arc. This story’s narrative is basically a variation on the standard Hero’s Quest, so we immediately know that as a reader, we’re supposed to align with Buddy, because he’s the “hero.” O.K., fair enough, though it’s the 21st century and we could mix it up, that’s not necessarily my issue. My issue is that the primary girl teddy, Sunny, who’s supposed to be Buddy’s complement, is presented as a thoroughly unlikeable character. This is further complicated by the fact that she is ALSO presented as smart and capable. Do you see the issue yet? As an adult female reader, I am able to reconcile the fact that a female character can be competent and smart WITHOUT also being mean, but an 11 year old girl might infer from this story that you can only be one or the other — that to be nice, you have to dial down your intelligence, or that to have your capability taken seriously, you have to be a b**ch. And make no mistake: she IS. I started marking the pages where Sunny’s action verbs had a negative connotation, just to compare against the other teddies. Sunny does not go a SINGLE PAGE for most of the book without growling, hissing, snapping, shouting, snarling, barking, or yelling. She is condescending to the other teddies and calls them “numbskulls” on multiple occasions. I think she’s *supposed* to read like Princess Leia, but she is much, much, MUCH less charming. Really, she was the most unpleasant part of reading the book, and as a female reader, she’s who I’m supposed to align with. Sugar, the other main girl teddy, is “damaged merchandise” and thus her character reads a little bit like Delirium from Sandman, except not as pleasant to read. The author has chosen to make her main characterization center on the fact that she rhymes words that aren’t generally rhymed ( “cozy-woozy,” “teddy-weddings”, “flushy-wushy” etc.) Again, I recognize as an adult reader this is probably more irritating to me than it might be for a younger reader... but this is really the only character trait that Sugar gets. The other 2 female teddies we meet — Pookie and Mad, are similarly dislikeable, even as they move the plot along. The boy teddies, however, get to be wise, selfless, empathetic, and the leader of the quest. The girl characters are irritating, grating, expendable, or evil. The worst part is that I don’t think any of it was intentional. I think that’s just how internalized casual misogyny is. Anyway, as an adult female reader that bothered me a lot and made me decide that I had no desire to send that message to the young female readers in my life. There are LITERALLY HUNDREDS of Hero’s Quest stories she’ll have to read in the course of her education that will do that. Now in to the good — because it’s really a shame that for me, the good parts of this novel were so deeply overshadowed by the parts I liked less. There’s some great kids-level ethics treated really well — most notably the line, “Once you see a group as individuals, it becomes harder to hurt them.” I wasn’t sure if The Mother/Proto characters were an overt religious analogy, or if the Creator/Creation dynamic is so recognizable for most religions of the book that most readers will be able to relate to it. Most of the Mother/Proto stories within the larger narrative read like religious parables, which, as we know from the Narnia books, is not necessarily a terrible thing, but there were definitely a few moments where I was struck with the thought, “Is this a sneaky Jesus book?” — I never could decide, but I did like the way that the ethics and moral themes in the story were presented in a way that I felt a 10 year old reader could relate to and understand. There’s also some low-key social commentary on subjects ranging from environmental issues (a lot of the story has to do with trash) and capitalism (Yellow Plastic Hills, the TM of Furrington Teddies, how The Voice calls Buddy by his patent number, etc.) These ideas are presented to a younger reader much like Murikami movies present complex, adult issues to kids in a way they understand. These parts of the book, I really enjoyed and I’d wished there had been more of that. In short: I wish I liked this book more than I did. If it were adapted into a movie or Netflix series, I would watch it. If it were adapted to a graphic novel along the lines of We3, I would read it. I’m not sure if I could pick up another novel and face the onslaught of adverbs, awkward rhymes, and well, SUNNY, but that’s another story. There’s a lot of potential here, and the good parts are really good. They’re just not (for me, anyway) good enough to balance out the parts that I didn’t like.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sadie Hartmann

    A few months after reading and reviewing THE LIVING DEAD by Daniel Kraus, I have finished his newest release, THEY THREW US AWAY, a story where Kraus trades his zombies for teddy bears. This is the first book in The Teddies Saga and I will tell you with full assurance of this reader’s enthusiasm, I am here for this series. Let me start by comparing this book to two iconic stories from my childhood: WATERSHIP DOWN and THE SECRET OF NIMH (Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH). When I think about those A few months after reading and reviewing THE LIVING DEAD by Daniel Kraus, I have finished his newest release, THEY THREW US AWAY, a story where Kraus trades his zombies for teddy bears. This is the first book in The Teddies Saga and I will tell you with full assurance of this reader’s enthusiasm, I am here for this series. Let me start by comparing this book to two iconic stories from my childhood: WATERSHIP DOWN and THE SECRET OF NIMH (Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH). When I think about those books and their movie adaptations, I immediately get these very familiar feelings of nostalgia, tone, and mood. THEY THREW US AWAY now joins them. Buddy is a specialty teddy bear. One morning, instead of waking up on the shelves of the department store, he finds himself in a garbage dump. Buddy is full of all kinds of feelings. Readers are inside Buddy’s head as he sorts through this unexpected dilemma and eventually encounters other teddy bears like himself. The stuffies form an unlikely fellowship and brave many threatening situations together, despite their conflicting personalities and attitudes toward their situation. Even though this book is clearly for Middle Grade readers, the trope of toys or animals taking on human emotions never fails to entertain people of all ages. One of my favorite movie franchises of all time is TOY STORY. There’s just something remarkably endearing about stories of the human condition as told through anything but humans (I’m also thinking of THE BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER). Kraus lends his unique storytelling voice to this book, making everything just a shade darker than your average children’s book and the illustrations are a delight. I absolutely love this book and I will continue on with this series as a huge fan. Note to other horror authors: Illustrated children’s books with a unique/subtle horror slant is a big ‘yes’ from me.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Daviau

    I definitely wasn’t expecting this book to make me FEEL so much. I know it’s supposed to be a middle grade novel but I think people of all ages would love this story. It reminded me of a beloved childhood classic of mine, Toy Story and the whole toys come to life trope is one I absolutely adore. This book does that trope so well and I fell so hard for this story. It made me feel so many different things, from sadness to laughter to horror to that warm little fuzzy feeling in my stomach. I really I definitely wasn’t expecting this book to make me FEEL so much. I know it’s supposed to be a middle grade novel but I think people of all ages would love this story. It reminded me of a beloved childhood classic of mine, Toy Story and the whole toys come to life trope is one I absolutely adore. This book does that trope so well and I fell so hard for this story. It made me feel so many different things, from sadness to laughter to horror to that warm little fuzzy feeling in my stomach. I really love that it’s a children’s story at the heart of it but it has that little darker horror-ish side to it, I’m a HUGE fan of that and everything else about this book! And I can’t leave this review without mentioning the illustrations of course. They are just stunning and I really wish more books had little illustrations like these sprinkled throughout, it adds so much depth to a story for me and upped my enjoyment of this story so much.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Pris

    Really weird, didn’t really care. The illustrations were beautiful and kinda disturbing though 🤣

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2020/10/25/... Described as equal parts Toy Story and Lord of the Flies, They Threw Us Away is the first book of a middle grade trilogy about a group of teddy bears who wake up lost and confused in a garbage dump, unsure why they’ve been discarded. Now if that isn’t the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever read, I don’t know what is! Our main teddy Buddy is the first to come to awaken, and finding himself out of his box, his initial thou 3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2020/10/25/... Described as equal parts Toy Story and Lord of the Flies, They Threw Us Away is the first book of a middle grade trilogy about a group of teddy bears who wake up lost and confused in a garbage dump, unsure why they’ve been discarded. Now if that isn’t the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever read, I don’t know what is! Our main teddy Buddy is the first to come to awaken, and finding himself out of his box, his initial thought is that he’d been claimed by a child—a goal that every Furrington brand bear aspires to. But very quickly, he realizes that cannot be the case, or else he would have entered Forever Sleep, the inanimate peaceful state teddies are said to fall eternally into the first time they are hugged by a kid who loves them. So no, Buddy hasn’t found himself an owner. He’s not even at the toy store anymore. Around him, all he can see is trash, mountains and mountains of it, and among the piles of greasy pizza boxes and old rusted pots are other Furrington teddies, still brand new in their packaging, just waking up now as well. First there’s Sunny, the feisty yellow bear who believes it’s a “Teddy’s Duty” for them to help each other. Next is Horace, the green scaredy-bear. Then there’s Sugar, the pink teddy who was sadly damaged in her box, giving her a childlike demeanor, though she sure doesn’t let it get her down. And finally, there’s Reginald, the grey bear who had been sitting on the store shelves the longest, and those extra years have made him the smartest teddy who knows the most. That said, even Reginald doesn’t know why the Furringtons have been unceremoniously dumped, but to a one, they agree they must not stop in their search for a child of their own. First though, they’ll need to flee the junkyard filled with horrors like monstrous dozers, or the merciless flocks of trash gulls ready to peck apart anything that moves. Even if they manage to escape, the teddies will need to endure hardships they have never faced before, as together they try to solve the mystery of why they’ve been throw away, all the while chasing the dream of Forever Sleep. I confess I don’t read much MG, but when They Threw Us Away was pitched to me, I saw Daniel Kraus’ name and immediately accepted. I’ve read and enjoyed a few of his books, though they were either Adult or YA, and I was curious to see how he would handle a children’s novel, especially one with such a, shall we say, ah, grim premise? After all, Kraus made his name with a lot of his horror projects, and some of those talents have definitely spilled over in this one too. Don’t let the cute little teddies on the cover fool you; despite the intended age group, this story packs a pretty intense punch with content that can potentially disturb young readers. What kind of content am I talking about? Well, take the scenes of the teddies getting their stuffing brutally torn out by vicious birds, for example, or of them falling into a dumpster full of disembodied teddy parts—the heads and limbs of their former comrades, gah! Bear in mind (sorry, I just couldn’t help myself), Kraus spends a considerable amount of time anthropomorphizing the totally adorable Furringtons, establishing them as living, breathing characters with individual personalities, values, and behaviors. Not surprisingly, it’s like a knife in the gut when bad things happen to them, and I can see how some of the stuff here can get a little rough and quease-inducing for more sensitive readers, no matter the age. Concurrently though, the language in the book makes it clear this can be nothing else but a MG novel. The style is childish, clearly written for kids in the 8-12 range. Adult readers might grow frustrated with the simplistic storytelling or the cutesy-wootsy speak of the teddies. At times, this gave the book an air of confusion, with the sunny saccharine dialogue clashing horribly with some of the story’s darker macabre themes. Still, in the end I enjoyed the book, even with its loopy ups and dumpy downs. Daniel Kraus has started something very special and interesting here in They Threw Us Away, and with my curiosity piqued over the mystery of why someone would want to destroy the hapless Furringtons, I’m definitely open to reading more!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Gerardine Betancourt

    They Threw us away is a book of endless suffering. Buddy is a teddy bear who together with his three friends finds themselves trapped in a garbage dump. Together they will find adventures in order to find a child who will hug them and make them enter the forever sleep. This was very sad to read is a mix of the movie Toy Story with Wes Anderson Isle of dogs. Since it's the first book in a series, the ending left me wanting to know what was going to happen to Buddy and his friends. It's a sad story b They Threw us away is a book of endless suffering. Buddy is a teddy bear who together with his three friends finds themselves trapped in a garbage dump. Together they will find adventures in order to find a child who will hug them and make them enter the forever sleep. This was very sad to read is a mix of the movie Toy Story with Wes Anderson Isle of dogs. Since it's the first book in a series, the ending left me wanting to know what was going to happen to Buddy and his friends. It's a sad story but it leaves you wondering that maybe Buddy and his friends will find the happiness and sleep they want so much. In spite of that, I will wait to see what will happen in the next one. 3.5 stars Thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for this ARC.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Victor The Reader

    We all must’ve had teddy bears to hug and snuggle to as children. But this story see teddies without children to be with. The story follows abandoned teddy bear Buddy and other teddies, after waking up to find himself in a garbage dump, who must embark on a grueling journey to find his way back home called the Store. It’s a story that feels dreary and sad like any abandoned toy would feel. It’s pretty much like a more harsher “Toy Story” but with teddy bears, and having similar feels of other sto We all must’ve had teddy bears to hug and snuggle to as children. But this story see teddies without children to be with. The story follows abandoned teddy bear Buddy and other teddies, after waking up to find himself in a garbage dump, who must embark on a grueling journey to find his way back home called the Store. It’s a story that feels dreary and sad like any abandoned toy would feel. It’s pretty much like a more harsher “Toy Story” but with teddy bears, and having similar feels of other stories like “Edward Tulane” and “The Velveteen Rabbit”. Still a good start with a small ray of hope in the end. B+ (83%/Very Good)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lindsi (Do You Dog-ear?)

    DNF at 49% I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product. I was really intrigued by the concept for They Threw Us Away, and thought it would be an interesting book to read with my son, but I was WRONG. This book is morbid. It's not just creepy and disturbing, but seriously screwed up. I honestly don't think anyone should read this to their child, or let DNF at 49% I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product. I was really intrigued by the concept for They Threw Us Away, and thought it would be an interesting book to read with my son, but I was WRONG. This book is morbid. It's not just creepy and disturbing, but seriously screwed up. I honestly don't think anyone should read this to their child, or let their child read it on their own. Maybe once they're older... MAYBE. If an author wants to address mental health in a book, I support that 100%. Unfortunately, it felt like the author was going for shock value instead of representing a character's mental illness in a way that children would understand. If you've read this book, you know I'm talking about Sugar. Her box was damaged somehow which resulted in her head being dented on one side. The damage wasn't just physical, but also mental. She very clearly struggled during conversations, and the other bears had to prevent her from getting hurt, and occasionally stop her from hurting herself (which she does in a VERY disturbing way). My husband and I try to be honest with our kids about everything (even when we have to simplify it for their ages), but there was no good way for me to explain to my son why she (view spoiler)[ ripped her fucking eyes out. (hide spoiler)] Sugar's self-harm may have been the worst part of this book, but there were a lot of other scenarios that required lengthy explanations on my part. It simply wasn't worth the effort, so we moved on to something else. The story also wasn't believable. The bears could smell and see, but they couldn't feel when they were being devoured by ants? Why were they sentient? What were the rules? Where were the explanations? There were too many questions and not enough answers. You would really have to suspend your disbelief to get through most of this book, and just ignore all of the inconsistencies and contradictions. I wish the author had developed the story more, so the bears being alive made sense. Side note: the concept of "forever sleep" was disturbing, and I have no idea why the bears wanted it to happen. (★★☆☆☆) Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Bloglovin' | Amazon | Pinterest

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Well, you know I couldn’t pass on a horrific teddy bear survivalist story! Daniel Kraus, who often writes adult horror, switched gears effortlessly, capturing the necessary tone for a middle grade novel quite well. Despite its fluffiness, he managed to weave in some scary scenes that will thrill young fright seekers! I loved how supportive these teddy bears were toward each other as they faced frightening challenges in a quest for safety. They cared for each other and willingly made sacrifices t Well, you know I couldn’t pass on a horrific teddy bear survivalist story! Daniel Kraus, who often writes adult horror, switched gears effortlessly, capturing the necessary tone for a middle grade novel quite well. Despite its fluffiness, he managed to weave in some scary scenes that will thrill young fright seekers! I loved how supportive these teddy bears were toward each other as they faced frightening challenges in a quest for safety. They cared for each other and willingly made sacrifices to demonstrate that. The descriptive writing was well-constructed and vivid. That wasn’t enough to fully captivate me, though, which could arguably be because I’m an “old” person. While I’ve adored many middle grade novels, this one didn’t quite hold my attention well all the way through, although it had a strong beginning. I imagine the target age group would find it more exciting. My biggest issue with this story pertains to gender stereotypes. This could have easily been a male heroic story that still presented females in dignified ways, but it didn’t really feel that way. While some females had limited redeeming qualities, it stood out that they were dopey, superficial, unkind, deceitful, naive, needy, and/or disposable. Although there was some implication that a couple were brave, it seemed more clearly conveyed that the males were courageous, level-headed and wise. As far as positive attributes go, this felt imbalanced, and there was a subtle, problematic message within that. If you consider this for your own kids, know that there are scenes that could be really upsetting for young readers. If your child isn’t a fan of scary books, don’t let the teddy bear theme misguide you. This is exactly what it claims to be - a teddy horror - and not every bear will make it out in one piece. Some of the imagery is graphic, even though it’s not a blood and guts type of story, and that may be difficult for some children to process. The themes of supportive friendship and perseverance don’t necessarily outweigh the negatives, but they do provide something worth chewing on. I didn’t consider this to be an exceptional story and I won’t continue with the series, but I’m glad that I gave it a try!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Grigsby

    Yes! What we all needed but didn’t know it. Teddy Bear horror! This fun middle grade book was nicely creepy. The second in the series comes out this week and I just might need to read it too.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bear (ettubrody)

    Full review video to come, but this is a new favorite book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sasha

    I am weirdly intrigued by this book and might pick up the sequel? But honestly I wouldn't consider it a middle grade book but hey all kids are different so maybe? It is very dark and touches self-harm amongst other more serious topic so if you are considering it for your kids maybe read it first... I am weirdly intrigued by this book and might pick up the sequel? But honestly I wouldn't consider it a middle grade book but hey all kids are different so maybe? It is very dark and touches self-harm amongst other more serious topic so if you are considering it for your kids maybe read it first...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    3.5/5⭐ [I received a physical copy for an honest review] Furrington Teddies DON'T -Talk -Walk -Get in Trouble -Be Mean They Threw Us Away is a new middle grade novel by author Daniel Kraus. It follows 5 teddy bears who find themselves discarded at a trash dump and are determined to get back to their store shelves in order to be chosen by a child. "Maybe that was the key to survival. Not to push fear away, but turn it into something else." This story is not light and fluffy, it's dark and depressing. The 3.5/5⭐ [I received a physical copy for an honest review] Furrington Teddies DON'T -Talk -Walk -Get in Trouble -Be Mean They Threw Us Away is a new middle grade novel by author Daniel Kraus. It follows 5 teddy bears who find themselves discarded at a trash dump and are determined to get back to their store shelves in order to be chosen by a child. "Maybe that was the key to survival. Not to push fear away, but turn it into something else." This story is not light and fluffy, it's dark and depressing. The story is told from the point of view of a teddy named Buddy. The teddy friends he finds in the dump are each unique. There's "girl scout" bear Sunny , "damaged merchandise" bear Sugar, Reginald the wise older bear, and the anxious and pessimistic bear Horace. The Bears have to survive vicious gulls, rats and man-made monsters like bulldozers and trucks. "Buddy...they're not what teddies were built to do." He shook his head. "It makes me worry we're turning into things we weren't meant to be." Daniel Kraus' writing is so descriptive and fantastic that the nasty trash heaps and filthy landscapes come to life in all their disgusting glory. The teddy bears' curiosity and feelings feel real as they struggle to survive the world. The story starts with 5 teddy bears with determination and hope but by the end they have each lost a good chunk of their innocence. Happy bears turn mean and cut-throat, not the type of teddies you want to bring home to your kids. I really enjoyed They Threw Us Away by Daniel Kraus and I look forward to what other trails these teddy bears will have to endure in future books.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    I'll be honest the comps and the following teddy bears got the better of me and I am so glad. This is one of the more violent middle grade books that I've read in awhile especially since it follows teddy bears. But with comps such as Toy Story and Lord of the Flies, it could only go so many ways. Additionally, there is artwork spread throughout at just the right moments. Seriously, if you're at all curious about this one, I say pick it up. I received an ecopy of this through Netgalley; however, I'll be honest the comps and the following teddy bears got the better of me and I am so glad. This is one of the more violent middle grade books that I've read in awhile especially since it follows teddy bears. But with comps such as Toy Story and Lord of the Flies, it could only go so many ways. Additionally, there is artwork spread throughout at just the right moments. Seriously, if you're at all curious about this one, I say pick it up. I received an ecopy of this through Netgalley; however, all opinions are my own.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Robinson

    Review now up on Sci Fi and Scary: https://www.scifiandscary.com/they-th... Review now up on Sci Fi and Scary: https://www.scifiandscary.com/they-th...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dan Poblocki

    This book is essential. Dang. So good. So dark. So fuzzy.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I don't know how to rate or review this one. I really don't. I don't know how to rate or review this one. I really don't.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cianna Sunshine & Mountains Book Reviews

    I really enjoyed this book, it’s written as a middle grade book, but it’s darker and more complex and wouldn’t be uninteresting to an adult or teenager. The story takes on a Toy Story vibe, and we meet a very special bear who’s on a journey. This is very much in the vibe of a bear that was forgotten and has to survive on his own. We stick with Buddy as he tries to understand where he is, how he got there, and how he has to move on. If you’re a fan of any book that brings inanimate objects to lif I really enjoyed this book, it’s written as a middle grade book, but it’s darker and more complex and wouldn’t be uninteresting to an adult or teenager. The story takes on a Toy Story vibe, and we meet a very special bear who’s on a journey. This is very much in the vibe of a bear that was forgotten and has to survive on his own. We stick with Buddy as he tries to understand where he is, how he got there, and how he has to move on. If you’re a fan of any book that brings inanimate objects to life, and tugs on your heartstrings, then this is for you. I think it will bring the teens and adults back to remembering their favorite stuffed animal, and where they are now. We make a unique connection with stuffed animals, so the bears we meet in this story, especially a few special ones, really just hit you in the feels. I really think that Kraus is a special author because few authors can transition well from the straight horror genre into something so general and interesting as a middle grade book, but he successfully does it and I will be sharing this book with readers of all ages in my life. I really enjoyed it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Saniya

    trigger warnings: addiction mention, violence, dead animals, abandonment, violence, physical injury Not sure how to tag triggers when the main characters are teddy bears but I'm gonna assume we're projecting characters onto ourselves no matter the species. Long story short, this book is grim and I cannot believe this is for children but also I can see exactly why this is for children. It really puts mortality and the meaning of life into digestible bits of storytelling so that kids are able to pro trigger warnings: addiction mention, violence, dead animals, abandonment, violence, physical injury Not sure how to tag triggers when the main characters are teddy bears but I'm gonna assume we're projecting characters onto ourselves no matter the species. Long story short, this book is grim and I cannot believe this is for children but also I can see exactly why this is for children. It really puts mortality and the meaning of life into digestible bits of storytelling so that kids are able to process it at their own age range. The themes of finding a purpose in life, growing up, friendship, overcoming hardships, and so on are beautifully blended in this story and it's incredibly nuanced. Paired with the motifs of industrial waste, the grim realities of profit and loss in the children's entertainment industry, and more, this book is so so so mature. Ends in a cliffhanger which is just... dude. Kids are gonna rage.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    (4.5/5 stars. I was provided an ARC by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.) I have lots of fond memories of reading middle-grade horror books as a kid. There’s just something so fun about those stories. These authors get to play around with scary ideas but can’t go too far with them. It’s like sitting around a campfire and hearing a scary story - it’s not necessarily scary, but it’s kind of creepy and it stays with you for a while after you’ve read it. The best children’ (4.5/5 stars. I was provided an ARC by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.) I have lots of fond memories of reading middle-grade horror books as a kid. There’s just something so fun about those stories. These authors get to play around with scary ideas but can’t go too far with them. It’s like sitting around a campfire and hearing a scary story - it’s not necessarily scary, but it’s kind of creepy and it stays with you for a while after you’ve read it. The best children’s horror books are like that - Coraline, Goosebumps, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, etc. It’s with this context that I approached They Threw Us Away. I am a fan of Daniel Kraus’s work; he’s written some of my favorite books over the last few years and I was very excited to see what he’d do with a story aimed at a younger audience. In some ways, he did exactly what I expected him to do, delivering a story that mixes scarier elements with more adventure-filled ones. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the book and I think it’s gonna be a big hit with its target audience. While I compared They Threw Us Away with books like Coraline and the Goosebumps series, I think it’s important to state outright that it’s not a horror novel - at least, not really. That’s not to say, though, that it’s not creepy. From page one, there’s a darkness that lingers at the edge of the story and that darkness never departs - instead, only getting more and more prevalent. The novel opens in a junkyard with Buddy, Sonny, Horace, Sugar, and Reginald each awakening inside of their respective boxes and learning they've been thrown away for some mysterious reason. And almost immediately, they are in danger. At first, from the vultures and other birds of prey in the junkyard and, later, from the dangers of the world and whoever is responsible for their predicament. The scares are not as overt as they are in Kraus' adult work but they're there. From the instant terror of teddies running for their lives from vultures, to the more existential horror the teddies face as they make their way through the world and figure out their situation, to some fairly startling visual descriptions, there's a lot for terror-seeking youth to take pleasure in. But it's not all darkness and terror; the bulk of the novel reads as more of an adventure book in the vein of Toy Story. Most of the narrative is spent following the teddies as they try to survive and find their way to the children they hope will love them - thereby achieving a kind of peace known as the Forever Sleep. It's a pretty solid idea for a story and one that had me instantly hooked - especially with the intriguing character work Kraus delivers. The novel is primarily told from Buddy's point of view – except for three chapters that hint at Kraus' grander backstory for the teddy bears of his Teddies Saga. And, as a result, Buddy gets the bulk of the character development. His arc is nothing that hasn't been seen in tons of other novels, one in which he must learn how to be a better friend and leader, but that doesn't make it any less effective. Buddy is a great surrogate character for the audience; at the start of the story, he is nearly as lost as the audience is, meaning we got to learn what's going on alongside him. It's a tried-and-true formula for a reason and it's one that works well here. This is true for everything about the novel, though. It all works very well. While Buddy is the most developed of the teddies, the other four are still well-defined. As is the world of the novel, which feels both mysterious and lived in. It's an enticing setting for a trilogy of novels and it feels like Kraus is just getting started with this world and the characters that live in it. That's not to say They Threw Us Away doesn't tell a whole story, though. Its main narrative certainly reaches a conclusion but that conclusion includes many unanswered questions and one heck of a cliffhanger that sets the sequel up to move even deeper into the mysteries of this world. Someone, or something, is behind all that's happened to the teddies and I have a feeling the identity of who, or what, that is will be an exciting one to learn. At the end of the day, I loved They Threw Us Away. It’s an exciting adventure that’s dripping with intrigue, mystery, and lovable characters. There’s a darkness at the edge of the story that will prove appealing for older viewers, but there’s something that will appeal to all ages about these teddy bears seeking the love they feel has been denied to them. It’s reminiscent of Toy Story, Goosebumps, and Lord of the Flies, and it’s a really fun read. I don’t think it’s too dark or scary for younger readers; I read much scarier fare in middle school. But, I suppose, if you’re not careful, the cover art and some of Rovina Cai's (gorgeous) illustrations might lead you to think this is a book for very young kids. It’s not; it’s definitely a book aimed at the upper-elementary-to-middle-school crowd. But it’s a book that should please that crowd immensely. However, that’s not to say that older readers won’t find plenty to enjoy here. It’s a book for all ages and many of those older readers will find themselves returned to their childhoods as they think of their own teddy bears while reading of Buddy and his friends’ exploits. It’s a great novel and well worth a read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cris

    Ok, WoW! First off let me say this is suppose to be for middle schoolers but I don’t feel that it’s limited to that age by any means. The story is about a gang of bears, teddy bears that is, that is trying to find there humans. The first wakes up in a dump, outside his box. He “frees” the others and their journey starts. During their journey they learn some, we will call it history, of teddy bears. You have to read book two, book one leaves you hanging.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Katie Mac

    This is too depressing for me right now; I picked it up to read for a committee and couldn’t finish it. It’s overwhelming even as an adult reading about the gang of lost teddy bears, some of whom TEAR OUT THEIR OWN EYES, but maybe there’s a middle-grade reader who’s longing for a tragic adventure story.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Wright

    HOLY WHat did I just read! Cute fluffy teddies freaking me out and I want more! Did they find a place? Do any more teddies find them?? So many questions and I will never look at my bears the same again.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    Daniel Kraus has done it again. He really messed with my head in this one. I loved Rotters and Scowler. There's just so much raw emotion in his stories. This tale of discarded teddies longing for a forever home and forever rest doesn't disappoint. Daniel Kraus has done it again. He really messed with my head in this one. I loved Rotters and Scowler. There's just so much raw emotion in his stories. This tale of discarded teddies longing for a forever home and forever rest doesn't disappoint.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Glatt

    I enjoyed this book and would call it a dark adventure. I can definitely think of some students who will enjoy it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Great book! Did not expect it to be horror! How did he make a teddy bear story into horror??

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    I couldn’t escape the feeling that the story was a religious allegory. And I struggle with allegory. One of the reasons that I refuse to read Chronicles of Narnia despite heavy admiration for C.S. Lewis. I bought the physical book for my 13-year old son for…reasons. We then sorta buddy read it. My first reading of a Kraus book. I suppose, from the blurbs, that the author is primarily known for horror. That possibly contributed to a weird, uneven tone in the story. Kraus writes the story in a third pe I couldn’t escape the feeling that the story was a religious allegory. And I struggle with allegory. One of the reasons that I refuse to read Chronicles of Narnia despite heavy admiration for C.S. Lewis. I bought the physical book for my 13-year old son for…reasons. We then sorta buddy read it. My first reading of a Kraus book. I suppose, from the blurbs, that the author is primarily known for horror. That possibly contributed to a weird, uneven tone in the story. Kraus writes the story in a third person voice from the teddy bears’ perspective which results in a lot of naivete. A very innocent feel. Hopeful. Almost like Candide wandering around Europe. Or Forrest Gump’s life story. Then, Kraus mixes in some macabre elements: Sugar’s eyes and Mad. The innocence of the bears, their near continuous struggles, Buddy’s inner, but separate, voice and the teddy bear mythology recounted by Reginald combined with the more sinister aspects of the book left me feeling confused. The juxtaposition of such contrasting parts was just too much for my cranky brain. I thought the book would be a middle grade or perhaps even a children’s book. Not so. Not sure for what age the book was intended. Gaiman’s Coraline navigated these waters much better. The bears fill the story with true friendship and perseverance and sacrifice and even a nod of self-discovery outside the bounds of rules. I enjoyed the final third, starting with the teddies sheltering in the clothes donation box, immensely. The rest felt uneven to me. And sometimes even preachy (which probably wouldn’t bother a (much) younger reader than me…I have fond memories of Max Lucado and Shel Silverstein from my childhood). Those moments, in this book, are not entirely subtle, and became off-putting to me. In my opinion, this story would have made an incredible graphical novel. I thought the illustrations provided were perfect for the story. My son enjoyed the book much more than I did, and he is not a reader. That’s a definite victory for Kraus’ well-constructed style. The Soundtrack (for now) From the Minstrel of the Island of Misfit Toys. We all want to be wanted. We all want to belong. And this man became a musical icon allowing outsiders to share those needs and unrequited emotions without shame. Now My Heart Is Full (Live) Hold on to Your Friends (Live)

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Glatt

    I thoroughly enjoyed this dark adventure from Daniel Kraus. The teddies are endearing and multifaceted and easy to root for, and the perils they face are sometimes creepy, sometimes thrilling, and always harrowing. I like the lore that has been created surrounding their Creation as well. I am intetested to see where the next book in the series leads.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: A weird, wild ride of a story about five sentient teddy bears who must work together in order to survive in the wide, wide world. Did Buddy have two sides? Did every teddy? He was both magical and ordinary—Made in America but Surface Washable. He had both a Real Silk Heart and Polyester I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: A weird, wild ride of a story about five sentient teddy bears who must work together in order to survive in the wide, wide world. Did Buddy have two sides? Did every teddy? He was both magical and ordinary—Made in America but Surface Washable. He had both a Real Silk Heart and Polyester Fibers, Plastic Pellets. He didn’t matter at all. Yet he mattered to his friends, right here, right now. Five teddy bears find themselves knee-deep in garbage in Daniel Kraus’s latest, the start of a new middle grade series that combines hairy adventures, gooey sweet emotional moments, unexpectedly thoughtful musings on life, and even some social commentary. Why did I read an MG book, you ask? Well, I read it because of Daniel Kraus, an author I’ve enjoyed in the past. Also, I thought the concept sounded like fun, and guess what? It was! Also, I want to mention that I never read MG, and so please know that my thoughts come from a place of having no idea what today’s MG books are like. Furrington™  Teddy Bear Buddy wakes up in a strange place—the city dump. He’s spent his entire life in a box, but now he seems to have been set free. His excitement doesn’t last for long, though, when he discovers he’s lying on a mountain of disgusting trash. Nearby are four other Furrington Teddies, still in their boxes. Once Buddy frees them as well, he and his new friends—Sunny, Sugar, Horace and Reginald—realize they are in mortal danger. Not only are they being attacked by seagulls and bulldozers, but they need an answer to a big question: why would anyone throw away a Furrington Teddy Bear? Setting off on a perilous journey out of the trashlands to find the Store where they used to live—and to locate some children, because that is a Teddy’s greatest wish, to find a child of his own—Buddy and his friends will brave a highway full of cars, an angry office worker, and a terrifying teddy named Mad, all while learning some harsh life lessons and becoming fast friends. They Threw Us Away is a very odd book with a strange mix of elements, and I have no idea whether this is typical for a book marketed as middle grade. But I have to say I really enjoyed it! The story has quite a few dark elements, which worked well for me, but some of them seem like they might be a little too much for the younger crowd—although I could be wrong. The darkest of these was the creepy idea of Forever Sleep. Forever Sleep is exactly what it sounds like. Once a teddy is chosen by a child, and once that child hugs the teddy, the teddy will blissfully go to sleep—forever. That’s right, lights out, no more sentience, no more adventures, no more philosophical conversations with other teddies. And this is what teddies long for, Forever Sleep. I don’t know about you, but that sounds a lot like death to me. You’ll also find a lot of body horror in They Threw Us Away , and folks, that’s something I never thought I’d be writing about: Teddy body horror. Teddies get torn apart by seagulls, put in shredders and ground to pulp, and nearly hit by cars. Sugar loses her eyes at one point and the other teddies tape them back on with packing tape. And let’s not mention what happens when the teddies run into a man cleaning up trash in the park. Of course, teddies can’t feel pain (at least I hope they can’t) so the horror is more of a gentle type of horror, I guess. Nonetheless, readers should be prepared for some wince-inducing scenes! Balancing out all the bad parts are lighter, sweeter moments. All five teddies bond because of their harrowing experiences, which creates some nice opportunities to talk about friendship, selflessness, helping others and sticking together no matter what. The yellow teddy named Sunny has a teddy code she lives by (“It’s a Teddy’s Duty”), which involves paying others back for kind acts and never leaving anyone behind. Some of the language was a little too sickly sweet for me (“Forever Sleep would make all the scares float away.”) and my favorite Teddy, a pink bear named Sugar whose box was stamped DAMAGED MERCHANDISE because her head is caved in, speaks in baby talk (“We got to get upsy-pupsy!”), which got old, I’ll admit. Although I forgave Sugar for her odd ways because she was just so charming and adorable! I also liked the story of how the Furrington Teddies came to be, which Kraus tucks into his main story. Reginald seems to know far more than the other teddies, and he’s happy to tell them about their creator, Mother, how they came to be different colors, and even how Mother got the idea to include a Real Silk Heart in each teddy (a la Build-A-Bear Workshop!) Illustrations by Rovina Cai are scattered throughout, and I thought they added a wonderful, whimsical touch to the story. Cai manages to capture both the horror of the teddies surroundings—including some truly scary looking seagulls!—as well as a playful quality that reminded me of books from my own childhood. Kraus answers some of the questions he raises, but he also leaves the reader with a couple of intriguing mysteries, like the reason the teddies were thrown away in the first place. The ending has a cool twist that made me want to keep reading this series, which means the author did his job. I guess if I have to read middle grade, I’d want it to be written by Daniel Kraus. Big thanks to Kaye Publicity for providing a review copy.This review originally appeared on Books, Bones & Buffy

  30. 5 out of 5

    Margaret (Maggie)

    By reading the title of the book and viewing the cover, I thought this would be a picture book. However, the book “They Threw Us Away” was actually a chapter book. What I loved about this book was that the author (Daniel Kraus) had such a big imagination, which was apparent through his writing. Some things I didn’t like were how long the book was and how some parts were written in a frightening manner. The length of the book and the word usage would make it perfect for upper elementary students, By reading the title of the book and viewing the cover, I thought this would be a picture book. However, the book “They Threw Us Away” was actually a chapter book. What I loved about this book was that the author (Daniel Kraus) had such a big imagination, which was apparent through his writing. Some things I didn’t like were how long the book was and how some parts were written in a frightening manner. The length of the book and the word usage would make it perfect for upper elementary students, but as an educator, I know that third through fifth graders would probably not read a book about teddy bears. Also, some of the words (like the poem at the beginning, the information about Forever Sleep, and the detailed situations that the bears faced in the garbage dump) may scare kids. Overall, I would rate this book 2.5/5.

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