True Loaf by Austen Johnson: Short Story Review

I was fortunate to receive an audiobook copy from the publisher and author through Netgalley in exchange for feedback and my honest review. These are my opinions, uninfluenced.

True Loaf by Austen Johnson is a fantasy, childrens/middle-grade short story. Inspired by Balkan Folklore, the story follows Riley who works at a bakery. When a strange man has a strange request for her, Riley goes on an adventure to finding an essential ingredient. Along the way, she realises that not all is as it seems.

This was short, sweet and fun. It started off a little slow, but then it hooked me in. I felt immersed into Riley’s world and became invested in her journey. The story finished on a high with some unanswered questions. I think this would’ve been more satisfying, if a few more of my questions would’ve been answered. A younger audience will really enjoy this and it will provoke enough thought for the gears in their heads to turns.

All the characters were quite interesting. Riley was an easy to love character. Her thoughts were witty. It was a short story, so there was not a lot of development and complexity, but I wouldn’t expect that from a short-story.

Listening to the audiobook was really good. The narration was engaging and easy to follow.

Overall, this was a great, quick read. It would definitely keep younger kids occupied and interested.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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