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East (also known as North Child in the UK and Australia) is a 2003 novel by the author Edith Pattou. It is an adaptation of an old Norwegian folk tale entitled "East of the Sun and West of the Moon" and is an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults. The novel is written in a style similar to that of Brian Jacques, including the use of a change in point of view in each chapter.
When Arne married the superstitious Eugenia, he agreed to have seven children with her, one for each point of the compass, excluding North. Each direction foretells a different personality and Eugenia believes North is wild and uncontrollable. Also, Eugenia was told years before by a skjebne-soke (a fortune teller) that any North Child she had would die crushed beneath an avalanche of ice and snow. Her favorite child, East-born Elise, dies young and Eugenia has another child to replace her, Rose.
Rose feels out of place in her family, so when an enormous white bear mysteriously shows up and asks her to come away with him--in exchange for health and prosperity for her ailing family--she readily agrees. The bear takes Rose to a distant castle, where each night she is confronted with a mystery. In solving that mystery, she loses her heart to a polar bear, discovers her purpose of life, and realizes her travels have only just begun.