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Children's Fiction General

Golden Twine, The

illustrated by Jo Rioux

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2012
General, Boys & Men, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2012
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2012
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7


Now available as a motion comic!

In this steampunk fantasy graphic novel, an orphan girl named Suri, barely earning her keep with a traveling merchant camp, has ambitions of becoming a heroic monster tamer. Suri is convinced monster taming is her destiny, defiantly explaining to those who deride her that she was born in “the land of monsters” and “was carried into this valley in the arms of a fire-breathing dragon.” But while Suri may be brave enough to challenge a monster, she still has quite a few lessons to learn about their world. Like how sometimes the most frightening-looking monsters are actually not scary at all up-close, while a normal-looking boy can prove to be terrifying. And sometimes a perfectly ordinary object, like the ball of golden twine Suri finds in the woods, can turn out to contain the most mysterious and powerful magic she could ever imagine!

With a multilayered plot, a range of intriguing characters and a smart protagonist whose sights are set on a seemingly impossible task, this first book from Jo Rioux seamlessly lays out the fantastic world the stories inhabit. The dark and spooky illustrations are infused with an energy that leaps off the page and, along with the story's numerous plot twists and savvy humor, are sure to keep even reluctant readers flying through the pages. Besides its general appeal to readers, this book could be applied to a language arts lesson on the components of genre fiction.

About the author

Jo Rioux was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario. An artist from an early age, she was eventually drawn to children’s books, illustrating Swordquest for HarperCollins and the graphic novel series A Sam and Friends Mystery for Kids Can Press. Her love for the comic medium spurred her to author her first graphic novel series, Cat’s Cradle. She lives in the lush suburbs of her hometown, where, when not working at her drawing desk, she can be found nestled within a pile of books.

Jo Rioux's profile page


  • Winner, Rocky Mountain Book Award Gold Medal
  • Winner, Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List, Texas Library Association
  • Commended, Great Graphic Novels for Teens, YALSA
  • Winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Short-listed, Red Cedar Award, BC Young Reader's Choice
  • Winner, Comics for Kids, Joe Shuster Award

Editorial Reviews

Action-packed, easy to follow and featuring a cast of monsters inimical and otherwise, along with a winningly intrepid heroine.

Kirkus Reviews

... a mix of adventure, excitement, mystery and humour ... This successful combination, along with a cliffhanger ending, makes The Golden Twine a highly accessible book, particularly for new readers of graphica.

Quill & Quire

The Golden Twine will appeal to reluctant readers who need an eye-catching book to grab their attention and to competent readers who appreciate a great fantasy story.

School Library Journal

This graphic novel's elegant, muted illustrations work with the story to combine humor and heart with fantastical suspense.

The Horn Book

... Rioux's full-color art sparkles with life ... readers won't feel short-changed; they will be eager for the next book.


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