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Minnow on the Say Paperback – 6 Sep 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; New edition edition (6 Sep 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192751484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192751485
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.6 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,503,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Philippa Pearce spent her childhood in Cambridgeshire and was the youngest of four children of a flour-miller. The village, the river, and the countryside in which she lived appear more or less plainly in Minnow on the Say and Tom's Midnight Garden.

She later went on to study English and History at Cambridge University. She worked for the BBC as a scriptwriter and producer, and then in publishing as an editor. She wrote many books including the Modern Classic, Tom's Midnight Garden, for which she won the Carnegie Medal. She was also awarded an OBE for services to Children's Literature.

Sadly, Philippa died in 2006, at the age of 86.

Product Description

Book Description

A classic novel by an award-winning author

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By F. G. Cottrell-boyce on 7 May 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a truly wonderful book. It has a great mystery story at its heart - with a clue that niggles away at your brain, trying to get you to work it out yourself. You really care about the characters and get caught up in all they do. The illustrations by Edward Ardizzone are tiny masterpieces that make you want to live inside them. No synopsis can do justice to the spell this story casts.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John McCartney, Amazon Customer on 4 Mar 2011
Format: Paperback
Whenever I'm feeling under the weather, perhaps with a cold, and I'm having extra time under the duvet, I tend to re-read books I'm familiar with - rather like the literary equivalent of whisky, honey and lemon - and particularly children's books. I first read this as a child a few years after it came out and have read it again on several occasions, the last a couple of months ago. It's a wonderful story, and it's not about rich kids or privileged kids like (at different ends of the spectrum) Arthur Ransome's or Enid Blyton's protagonists. The boat these boys use is an old canoe they have found, and they have to overcome real practical difficulties - and the facts of life in post-war England. In that way this book is a historical document, and children may need some of it explaining. No cars, no mobile phones, no television or computers, and so on. Anyway, suffice it to say I rose from my bed of sickness refreshed after reading it. Give it a go. You won't regret it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By bookworm100 on 20 Dec 2007
Format: Paperback
I read this book when I was a child, and it was one of my favourites. Now, thirty plus years later, I have read it to my own children who have been just as captivated by it. Althoguh the story is quite simple, the adventures of david and Adam as they search the riverbank for treasure keep you gripped. I love the fact that it is set in the real world, and makes you feel as though it could really happen - it doesn't rely on magic, or other worlds, just a simple story of two boys and a long summer holiday. I thought that my children may find it too slow or boring, used as they are to Harry Potter type novels, but they loved it as much as I always did. Highly recommended, especially for 8 - 12 year olds.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Secret Spi on 5 Sep 2008
Format: Paperback
This book belongs with some of the English classics about rivers and boats, from "The Wind in the Willows" to "Three Men in a Boat". The descriptions of the long summer days spent searching for treasure up and down the River Say (I believe this is the Cam) are truly enchanting.

Like the river itself, the book has depths beyond the mystery and adventure. The subject of friendship is central to the book and the characters are all very well drawn, from the two central protagonists, the likeable "everyboy" David and the more complex adolescent Adam, to the supporting roles of Squeak Wilson and Adam's eccentric relatives.

Finally, what makes this book particularly worthwhile is that the author does not shy away from themes integral to life from class differences to the meaning of poverty to mental illness to death, which makes the story as relevant today as when it was written.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Casburn on 26 May 2006
Format: Paperback
A beautiful piece of work which features childhood from a distant but more stable and reassuring age. I first read this in the late 60s at primary school and loved it then. When I read it to my children again recently I was taken back to those innocent far off days. Philippa Pearce wrote some definitive works for children and this is one of my favourites.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By booksetc on 24 Nov 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a delightful, old-fashioned adventure story and how sad that in today's world two 11-year-old boys would never be left to mess around for long days on a river. Philippa Pearce, who spent her childhood in this landscape, conveys her deep love of the riverside as she also does in Tom's Midnight Garden.
At the heart of the book is a cracking good historical puzzle, sophisticated enough to keep adult brains ticking over. But the appeal of Pearce's writing for children is that she never condescends or patronises.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Popsymom on 14 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Brings to life a peaceful, rural England of fifty or so years ago. A delightful adventure described in masterful language. A good story to share with youngsters or for competent readers to enjoy for themselves. However, I still prefer Tom's Midnight Garden, one of my all time favourite books from my own childhood.
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