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The Children of Green Knowe (Penguin Audiobooks) [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

Lucy Boston , Sian Phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

26 July 2001 Penguin Audiobooks
"What if my great-grandmother is a witch?" thought Tolly. Tolly's great-grandmother wasn't a witch, but both she and her old house, Green Knowe, were full of a very special kind of magic. And Green Knowe turned out not to be the lonely place Tolly had imagined it to be. There were other children living in the house - children who had been happy there centuries before.

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Penguin; Abridged edition edition (26 July 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141803304
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141803302
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 10.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,621,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Amazon Review

This is not an easy book, and therein lies its charm. L M Boston's classic is a sophisticated mood piece disguised as a children's ghost story. As young Toseland goes to live with his grandmother in the family's ancestral home, the reader is plunged immediately into the world of Green Knowe. Like Toseland, who actually rows up to his new home in the midst of a flood, we have a hard time finding our bearings. Toseland discovers a funny kind of grandmother awaiting him--one who speaks elliptically of the children and animals she keeps around the house: they might be memories, they might be ghosts. It's never quite clear where real life leaves off and magic begins. Toseland admires a deer: "A deer seems more magic than a horse." His grandmother is quick to respond: "Very beautiful fairy-tale magic, but a horse that thinks the same thoughts that you do is like strong magic wine, a love philtre for boys."

With this meshing of the magical and the real, Boston evokes a childlike world of wonder. She compounds the effect by combining gorgeous images and eerily evocative writing. Toseland goes out on a snowy morning: "In front of him, the world was an unbroken dazzling cloud of crystal stars, except for the moat, which looked like a strip of night that had somehow sinned and had no stars in it." The loosely plotted story is given more resonance still through liberal use of biblical imagery and Anglo-Saxon mythology. For those willing to suspend their disbelief and read carefully, the world of Green Knowe offers a wondrous escape. - -Claire Dederer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Lucy Boston was born in 1892 at Southport, Lancashire, one of six children. She went to a Quaker school in Surrey, and was married at seventeen. She later moved to a beautiful manor house near Cambridge which provided the setting for her Green Knowestories. Boston started writing at the age of sixty and won the Carnegie Medal for A Stranger at Green Knowe in 1961.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
I first read this book thirty-odd years ago and have just reread it to my son. It still has the same magical evocation of a childhood world and has lost nothing over time. It tells the story of a very lonely little boy called Tolly, who goes to spend the Christmas holidays with his great grandmother at Penny Soakey in a house called Green Noah, that has belonged to the Oldknowe family for many generations. Gradually he comes to learn more about the children that lived there in times past, and to form some very special friendships. Lucy Boston's delicate yet vivid descriptions are filled with the kind of detail that paints pictures in your mind. This is the perfect book to inspire a child struggling with descriptive writing themselves, or just as an antedote to 21st century life.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic and flawless english ghost story 14 July 2001
By A Customer
all the elements of the magic of childhood- ghosts, mysteries, Christmas,joy and fear; perfectly crafted story of a boy finding ghostly companions from long ago,with evocative and thrilling details on every page; no children's writer has ever bettered the pace and narrative of lucy boston in this flawless, timeless story of childhood
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Play hide and seek with memories and imagination 11 April 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
This book is one of a series written by Lucy Boston; conjuring a truly magical world just this side of reality. My mother read this book aloud to me as a child, I have enjoyed re-reading it as an adult and my 10 year old daughter is hooked now too. The story introduces us to a wonderful house and the people connected with it...by the end they feel like friends we long to spend more time with. Lucy Boston brilliantly connects with the dreams of children (of all ages).
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely classic children's novel 25 Oct 2007
I was first introduced to The Children of Green Knowe through the BBC's TV adaptation which, like the Box Of Delights, was a brilliantly memorable piece of children's television for the festive season (they really don't make them like that anymore). My best friend had all of the books and after I watched it on TV I immediately sat down and read them all. I feel so fortunate to have discovered them. As children's classics go the whole series is up there with the Chronicles of Narnia, although the Green Knowe books are arguably better written - yes, I know CS Lewis was an Oxford don, but Lucy M Boston writes such beautiful, vivid, flowing prose. I'm just re-reading the Children of Green Knowe again now and it's still as beautifully written, as captivating and as poignant as I remember it. I still have the rest of the series (I collected a set of my own after I read my friend's copies) and after I've enjoyed The Children of Green Knowe I'm going to read them all. What a treat! The Children of Green Knowe is a perfect Christmas read, whatever your age, and if you're looking for a book to read aloud this one is perfect. I'm glad my 1988 Puffin editions have the Peter Boston illustrations though, they're much more evocative and magical than the new illustrations.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dreamy, original and quite wonderful 29 Sep 2005
By A Customer
Time-travelling happens fairly regularly to you if you're a character in a children's book - but seldom with the same dreamy and original result as in this book by Lucy Boston.
The first scene is a familiar one: a lonely child (in this case a boy called Tolly) arrives by train to some isolated country station, to stay with relatives in a crumbling, English mansion.
What follows is more original, as stories of an almost mythical, 18th century past mingle with with Tolly's 50s (?) present... He catches glimpses of three mysterious children in the old rooms of the house, and soon enough we understand they come from another time.
Tender melancholia and great fun go together in this book. It's a comforting read for children - or at least it was to me as a child - and definitely something I will want to read to my own kids in the future. In the meantime, I'm buying a copy for myself to read on cold winter nights!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breaks all the rules 14 Jan 2008
By Secret Spi TOP 1000 REVIEWER
It is a sheer delight to read such a beautifully written and imaginative story in today's world of formulaic writing for children. "The Children of Green Knowe" defies categorisation but somehow captured the imagination of 40-something Mum and 7 year old son alike.

The language and some of the concepts involved in the book seem, superficially, to be beyond the scope of younger readers but somehow, when read aloud, the gist of the meaning on a number of levels can be picked up by children. The descriptive passages are beautifully evocative: you can see the greenness of the garden, feel the sharpness of the yew and hear the crisp footprints on new-fallen snow. I read the book to my son at Christmas-time which added to the atmosphere.

Perhaps what I loved most was the room for mystery and wonder, and for questions that don't all get answered. Are the children ghosts or spirits? Is the house itself alive in some way?

Finally, the woodcuts by Peter Boston are enchanting and further add to the other-wordly feel of the book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical 14 Oct 2003
I read a fair amount of books as a child and this is the one that stands out to this day. A beautifully written story that encapsulates the wonder and magic that should go with childhood. I don't think calling it a 'ghost story' does this book any justice at all - there is nothing sinister or haunting about it. Instead it is a gentle and moving account that cleverly blends a young boy's innocence with a living history.
Absolutely first rate. Don't let your children miss out...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A small review of the Green Knowe Books
The Children of Green KnoweExcellent for children and and young teens. Would be good as a book read out to a group and an excellent look at the changing face of history and the way... Read more
Published on 5 Oct 2011 by Dicon
5.0 out of 5 stars A deserved classic
I would take issue with Amazon's own verdict that "this is not an easy book". It's not a conventional book - it hasn't even got chapters - but it is easy because the writing and... Read more
Published on 6 May 2011 by Martynrb
5.0 out of 5 stars Read the book, then step into its pages!
I came to this book in a back to front way. Most people read the book then visit the Manor at Hemingford Grey, where the story is set. Read more
Published on 20 Sep 2008 by Four Violets
5.0 out of 5 stars A childhood classic
I read and reread the Green Knowe books when I was a child. Boston wrote about her own house, fictionalising its history for her books. Read more
Published on 28 Oct 2007 by Mrs. K. A. Wheatley
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely!
I am reading this book to my 6(nearly 7!) year old little boy now and I really am not sure which of us is enjoying it more! Unlike the other reviews I didn't read this as a child. Read more
Published on 3 Feb 2007 by M. Jeffery
5.0 out of 5 stars A Forgotten Classic
The Children of Green Knowe is an enchanting story. It is beautifully written, the descriptions are vivid and Lucy Boston's characters are drawn superbly well. Read more
Published on 6 July 2006 by EL Dollard
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, Warming and Childlike
I remember this book from when I was a child and I loved it then as I do now. It is a charming story that brings a smile to my face every time I read it or watch the excellent... Read more
Published on 27 Sep 2005 by Mrs. J. S. Wheable
5.0 out of 5 stars The Children of Green Knowe
I remember being entranced by this book when I heard it read (I think on Jackanory) as a child. I looked for it many times in libraries but no one had ever heard of it. Read more
Published on 22 Jun 2005 by "fmr281"
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, just beautiful.
I first came across The Children of Green Knowe when, as a child, the BBC broadcast a dramatisation which my parents taped. Read more
Published on 27 April 2005 by K-Bone Wallace
5.0 out of 5 stars The Children of Greene Knowe
A wonderfully written childrens story, one of my favorites which I read, and re-read as a child with as much enthusiasm and awe as the first time I picked it up.
Published on 31 Mar 2005
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