Reviews

They Threw Us Away, by Daniel Kraus

onceupon_a_bookdream's review

Go to review page

3.0

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.

librarianlk's review

Go to review page

4.0

In a book about teddy bears, I sure didn’t expect so much grim gruesomeness! The ordeal a band of thrown away teddies endure hurts to read about. There’s death, abandonment, torture, being stalked, deranged terrorizers—do NOT give this book to a sensitive child.

That said, it’s a pretty terrific book. The author carefully crafted character development, so you end up rooting for the bears as they grow and learn. The desire for mysterious “forever sleep” that is bestowed on teddies when they are hugged by a child is every teddy’s fervent wish. To see the characters grow beyond this simplistic desire was a treat.

The story within the story, about Proto and Mother, had just the right touch of mythology, allowing Buddy, the leader, to ponder the nature of existence and his place in the world. Looking forward to the next book!

jaynecm's review

Go to review page

4.0

At first, I was picturing a story about cute cuddly teddies. They reminded me of Care Bears as they had fur colours like yellow, pink, blue and mint green.

Then shit got real! As the story progressed, the writing had made the teddies become much more like people. When terrible things happened to them, I was seeing it through my human eyes and it was horrifying.

And this book ended on a definite cliffhanger; I need to know what happens to the teddies next!

mayr3adsab00k's review

Go to review page

adventurous challenging dark emotional hopeful mysterious reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

booksnink's review

Go to review page

2.0

The less said the better. Illustrations were creepy and strange but somewhat likeable.
As for the book it just was not for me at all.
I wouldn’t say it is a middle grade book and I wouldn’t say it was YA so where you place this god only knows.

A very strange read…if you want to try it and see what Buddy gets up to then go ahead as it might well be the book for you.

I won’t be continuing with series and am glad I waited so long for the second book not to turn up and me to end up cancelling it.

adrianas's review

Go to review page

3.0

I am confused by this book. It reads like it's not a middle grade, but it's not YA either, it's sad but also endearing in a way, and it does make me think about humanity in general. It's definitely a weird one.

pris's review

Go to review page

2.0

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

readbyashleyd's review

Go to review page

5.0

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.

lisadoeslife_'s review

Go to review page

3.0

not sure if this should be classed as middle grade. . although not sure what age category it would be. it was very middle of the road for me

linares15's review against another edition

Go to review page

adventurous dark mysterious sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25