Jepp, Who Defied the Stars by Katherine Marsh

Jepp, Who Defied the Stars

Written by Katherine Marsh

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A powerful and romantic historical novel based on the true story of the world famous astronomer Tycho Brahe. Fifteen year Jepp, born a dwarf but untroubled about his size in his loving home, is taken to the court of the Spanish Infanta. Here, amongst the glitter of court life, Jepp falls in love and discovers the sinister life style behind the glamour. To survive and to win the woman he loves, he must take control of his own destiny and defy the stars which predict a different future for him. November 2012 Book of the Month.


Jepp, Who Defied the Stars by Katherine Marsh

Being a court dwarf is no easy task. I know because I failed at it.

Fifteen year old Jepp's life is changed forever the day a mysterious aristocrat whisks him away from his life in the Dutch countryside to the court of the Spanish Infanta. However, Jepp's happiness soon turns to misery as he discovers that humiliation and cruelty lurk beneath the court's glittering facade.

Jepp must draw on all of his courage and charm to win the woman he loves, find his true identity and become the man he wishes to be. Jepp must defy the stars.


Real history is effortlessly woven into her fiction... Marsh transforms [Jepp's] footnote of a story into an epic search of love, family, respect, and a destiny of one's own making. Publishers Weekly A beautifully written coming-of-age story, inspired by real historical characters. A truly great read. Recommended Reads, Children's Books Ireland Narrating a young adult novel from a dwarf's perspective is nothing short of inspired ... Marsh transcends genre to create an engaging narrative complex enough to keep not-so-young adults turning its pages. The New York Times This highly unusual story about a highly unusual hero will also feel like your story. Few of us are imprisoned dwarfs, but all of us want to guide our own lives. Jonathan Safran Foer, author of EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED and EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE With a strong central character in Jepp, this is an unusual and powerful coming-of-age story about first love and taking control of your future. Booktrust In this work of historical fiction, Marsh has created a loveable hero who overcomes both physical disability and social constraints to find not only love but a place of standing in this world. This is an uplifting novel that explores an interesting and little-explored historical geography. We Love This Book A powerful and romantic historical novel based on the true story of the world famous astronomer Tycho Brahe. -- Julia Eccleshare Lovereading4kids Jepp is an itinerant dwarf who travels around Europe. Marsh's elegant historical fiction has a moving message, says Marianne The 50 Best Books for Christmas, Independent Delightful characters, unique setting, and lovely prose. This is historical fiction at its best! -- Ruta Sepetys, author of BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY Jepp, who defied the Stars, is not only an intelligent and thought-provoking book, it's also refreshingly different and a terrific read. Buzz about Books

About the Author

Katherine Marsh

Katherine Marsh

Why eleven? I was born in Kingston, New York, a town on the Hudson River, on 11/11/74 (7 + 4 = 11), eleven days early, at 12:26 pm (add it up...eleven).

I was the second shortest kid every year of elementary school. I was also the sickest kid, logging almost two months of absences in the sixth grade. These experiences were formative: I still have a fear of being picked up and tossed around. And I still love to lie in bed, milking a sickness, and reading.

I studied a lot of poetry at Yale. Upon graduation, however, I discovered that openings for poets were scarce and took a job teaching ninth and twelfth grade English at not just any Connecticut boarding school but my alma mater. I was only occasionally mistaken for a student.

I met my husband on a blind date in New York City. In 2002, we moved to Washington, D.C., where we still live today. For almost five years, my day job was editing political journalism at The New Republic magazine. That makes me two for two working at magazines that were the subject of movies (Almost Famous and Shattered Glass).

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400 pages
Interest Age: From 16


Katherine Marsh
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Hot Key Books

Publication date

1st November 2012




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Hot Key Books is an imprint of Hot Key

logo Hot Key Books, a division of Bonnier Publishing, publish stand out, quality fiction, for 9 – 19 year olds, print and digital that people like to talk about. If you are looking for something a little bit different from your books, something a little bit special then Hot Key Books may well have just what you want.

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