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Afternoon of the Elves (Novel) [Kindle Edition]

Janet Taylor Lisle
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Will Hillary uncover the secret of the elf village in Sara-Kate’s backyard?

No fourth grader trusts Sara-Kate Connolly. Her boots are dirty, her clothes are weird, and she’s so maladjusted that the school had to hold her back a grade. But Hillary is her next-door neighbor, and can’t say no when the unusual loner invites her over to play. In Sara-Kate’s overgrown backyard, Hillary will find proof of a world of magic—the kind that can only blossom between true friends.
Among the rusted car parts and wild plants, a miniature village has sprung up. It has tiny houses made from string, sticks, and maple leaves; a well with a bottlecap for a bucket; and even a little playground with a Popsicle-stick Ferris wheel. But there’s absolutely no sign of who built this miniature world. To Sara-Kate, the answer is clear—only elves could be responsible for something so enchanted. As she and Hillary watch for their elusive new friends, they learn that friendship, like magic, springs up where you least expect it.
This ebook features a personal history by Janet Taylor Lisle including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s own collection.

Product Description


As Hillary works in the miniature village, allegedly built by elves, in Sara-Kate's backyard, she becomes more and more curious about Sara-Kate's real life inside her big, gloomy house with her mysterious, silent mother.


As Hillary works in the miniature village, allegedly built by elves, in Sara-Kate's backyard, she becomes more and more curious about Sara-Kate's real life inside her big, gloomy house with her mysterious, silent mother.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "MAGIC CAN BEGIN TO CHANGE THINGS" 8 May 1998
By A Customer
Someone is building a village for elves in Sara-Kate's junky backyard--could it really be that she has Elves back there? Nextdoor Hillary just has to find out and is fascinated inspite of herself. She wants to be socially correct and her somewhat snobby girlfriends at school shun the trashy girl and her recluse mother. But Hillary is torn between her fancy friends who sneer at Sarta-Kate's pedigree and her own delight in the possibility of Elves as neighbors.
Is there some kind of Magic at work back there that draws her, begs for her help, binds her to secrecy and makes her do the work of the Elves? And if she sacrifices all--even lies and steals for them--will they ever really Trust her as they do Sara-Kate? Will Hillary learn to see with Noticing eyes? First she must become a believer.
Hillary learns a lot about Elves from Sara-Kate, but how does this mysterious girl know so much to begin with? "It isn't where you look for elves so much as how you look...go slowly, quietly and look deep." So which of them is the best friend of the elves after all? And how can Hillary best prove her friendship to Sara-Kate, who insists that people like herself can not just ask for help; they have to steal it? Can the elves help their protector, Sara-Kate, or will she have to steal for her ailing mother? Is it all right to steal for a good cause? A fascinating book for instrosepctive and imaginative readers, about the processes of clinging to childhood and combatting adult mentality.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ...a Need for Magic 17 Mar. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This book was originally published in 1989 and awarded the Newbery Honor in 1990. I can see why. What a beautiful and wonderful story.

I'd like to thank NetGalley and Open Road for Young Readers for the review copy of this title.

Hillary is a popular 4th grade girl with proper clothes and many friends. Sara-Kate is her neighbor who lives down the hill. Sara-Kate was held back a grade, acts strangely, has no friends, and is far too small and skinny for her age.

The reader follows these two girls as they become friends. This is due to a magical village of elves found in Sara-Kate's backyard. Janet Taylor-Lisle paints a vivid picture of mini houses, roads, and even a Ferris wheel! The girls grow closer and closer trying to believe. They hear them. There is evidence of them being there - if you look hard enough, if you look at things differently you will see.

Slight spoilers ahead.

This story is both calm and intense. Readers will be taken away to a make believe place and then be shown glimpses into the real world surrounding these two girls. Sara-Kate has much to hide and wants others to look past reality. She is secretive for a reason. She can't invite Hillary into her house. She must make her friend ignore all that and see only the beautiful elf village. I don't think the circumstances of Sara-Kate's home life will be too much for young readers to handle, but there are tense and touching moments.

One note that surprised me, the ebook ends at 92% and we are offered supplemental information about the author, her family, and other books she's written. I enjoyed that material as well and thought the story wrapped up nicely, but was surprised with the sudden conclusion.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars magic and unexpected friendship 2 July 1998
By A Customer
Format:Library Binding
Hillary is an average girl, but her neighbor Sara-Kate is a strange person. Her clothing is always old and ill-fitting, and her back yard is the opposite of Hillary's neatly planted one. When Sara-Kate invites Hillary to come see the work of elves in her yard, it is surprising. Hillary has never thought of Sara-Kate as someone she'd like to be friends with. As the friendship grows, Hillary loses her skepticism about the elves, but she wonders about Sara-Kate. Why isn't she allowed to explore Sara-Kate's house? Why hasn't she been introduced to her parents? What is it that the elves see in Sara-Kate's messy yard? Hillary learns about friendship and helping people in this light enjoyable read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excitement, Emotion, All in one book? 24 Mar. 1998
By A Customer
This book I can recommend for most anyone. It's one of my favorites, and I hope everyone that wants to can get a chance to read it. It stars a misfit girl and another girl curious about her behavior. Once she meets this girl she discovers a whole new world: the world of the elves. Join this girl in her new, grand discovery.
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