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Olivia Kidney [Unabridged] [Paperback]

Ellen Potter , Nicola Slater
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

7 Jan 2005 Olivia Kidney
A wildly inventive debut novel that introduces Olivia Kidney – the girl who's no stranger to strange.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books; 1 edition (7 Jan 2005)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0330420798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330420792
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 913,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Olivia's fabulous, hilarious adventures are not to be missed."

Book Description

Olivia Kidney is always moving house. Which means she’s seen a lot. In fact, Olivia’s pretty sure she’s seen it all. Then she moves into the craziest apartment block ever. From murderous pirates to talking lizards, grumpy old princesses to a boy who smells like a barnyard, Olivia’s new neighbours are out of this world. But their extraordinary stories speed her into an incredible adventure. Suddenly Olivia has to start looking at everything, especially her own life, in a whole new, VERY special, way . . .

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First Sentence
Olivia Kidney's new home was an apartment building made of maroon and yellow bricks on New York City's Upper West Side. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Tabitha's First Online Book Review 2 May 2005
By A Customer
I thought Olivia Kidney was a brilliant, hilarious book. Olivia is a young girl and she can talk to dead people - but this is not a scary thing. She lives with her Dad and he is always changing jobs and they have to keep moving house. There are some really funny characters like George, Olivia's dad and the talking lizards. If you like Clarice Bean and Tilly Beaney you will love this book!!!
By Tabitha Jeanne aged 8
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful "realistic fantasy" a la Harry Potter 6 Jun 2003
By Editor05 - Published on
I bought this book and read it one sitting, then read it again twice within the first week. It's a magical, completely enchanting story with just the right amount of scariness. Olivia is a quirky preteen who has moved for the umpteenth time with her father, who's inept at his job as a building superintendent but lovable and loving as a parent. He and Olivia are both kind of lonely (they've lost some dear people in their lives and can't bring themselves to share their grief with one another).
They've moved into a rather unusual Manhattan apartment building. Well, the building isn't that unusual, but its tenants sure are. Olivia, who has been ridiculed by some of her classmates and is feeling pretty vulnerable and alone, gets locked out of their apartment one day and ends up making friends with some of her fellow tenants, people she would never in her wildest dreams have expected to met, let alone grow fond of.
The writer is deft and creative, with a vivid imagination and literary style that really draws you in. I am a big "Harry Potter" fan and think "Olivia Kidney" is just as compelling and just as good a read. I can't wait for the next installment. (I sure hope Ellen Potter is already at work on the second one.)
The age guidelines say 9 to 12, but I know an 8-year-old and more than a few teens and 20-, 30-, 40-, and 70-year-olds who love it, too. I've bought copies for seven friends and family members and can't rave about it enough. Enjoy!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Story! 4 Jan 2005
By Feathin - Published on
I loved this story! I listened to it to preview it before handing it down to my 8-year-old daughter, and I can't wait to share it with her. So much of children's stories are "fluff"-- endless volumes in series about flat characters that have adventures but never have any personal growth or deep thoughts. They get kids to read I guess but not to think or feel. THIS, on the other hand, is a quality story. It provokes emotions, and leaves you feeling moved. The characters are full and unique. Olivia, the heroine, is a likeable but lonely and grieving misfit who comes to terms with her feelings and experiences. She does this over the course of a single day full of improbable but wildly entertaining encounters with the very strange inhabitants of her apartment building.

Parents selecting this book for young children might want to know a few things more about the story. First of all, supernatural and magical things happen. These fantastical elements are not as obvious as in most "fantasy" novels. The story takes place in the everyday world, but there are séances, ghosts, people turned into lizards, and magical siren-call singing. Because these things are slipped into what is otherwise the "real world", younger kids might need some guidance about what is possible in the real world and what isn't. Similarly, in this story people talk to the spirits of the recently departed and are comforted by that contact. This also might need some "spin"-- I wouldn't want a real child who had lost someone to feel even more abandoned because THEIR lost loved one doesn't find a way to talk to THEM. It also might conflict with your family's religious and/or philosophical views about what happens after death.

With that in mind, I HIGHLY recommend this wonderful story for children and adults alike.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique bitter sweet story for all ages 6 Sep 2003
By Tsila Sofer Elguez - Published on
This is a truly surprising story, full of unexpected turns in the plot and holding several layers of understanding. It seems that as the story unfolds the writer strips yet another layer and plunges deeper.... Unexpected things happen all the time and every chapter brings us new information about Olivia, our heroine.
For me the story was painful and sad to read and I thought it had a very grown up message about death and life beyond. The story is about loneliness and overcoming great pain -how you have to cling to your loved ones...This is how I personally experienced this book and it is this feeling, the wonderful imagination, the captivating stories and the unexpected way the plot proceeds that make me declare this book as "surprising". However, this is first of all a great book full of imagination where the story line shifts between pieces of reality and imagination and the reader has to guess what is really happening in real life. Olivia is only a child but has already the need to deal with lots of hard questions. On one level this is an exciting adventure children story with a brave and clever heroine, pirates, sailors, ghosts and magic. On the other hand this is an adult story full of great truth about life. The adventure story can be seen as a long painful search in Olivia's soul until she finds an answer...
At first the story is read as a regular adventure story -Olivia's father is the superintendent in a rather regular and gray apartment building. As the father is the worst superintendent ever, he usually gets fired after a short while and Olivia thinks that maybe this time this is not so bad. She hates the neighbors. One afternoon when Olivia looses the keys and has to wait outside her door a series of coincidences happens and Olivia moves from one apartment to the other, meeting her weird, special neighbours, each with his own story that somehow falls, by the end of the story to the right place.... The most extraordinary things happen to Olivia but she does not question their reality for one minute; how can she? These things are happening to her! And the reader moves along with Olivia.
Ellen Potter succeeded in creating a delightful imaginative world. As the story unfolds the reader understands that some of the things might have happened and could be accepted on certain conditions; in any case there is an inner logic in the world Ellen Potter creates.
A very unique story which can appeal to many ages.
I am sure this book will get the attention it deserves.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars olivia kidney rocks!!! 24 Jan 2010
A Kid's Review - Published on
Awesome!!! A great, wacky story that you can't put down till you reach the last page!!! But you have to at least read the first chapter before you get into it. A great book for middle/advanced readers. I read it when I was 9. And its not that hard to read. If you like funny, wacky adventure books this is the book for you! If you like this book you should read book 2 Olivia kidney and the Exit Academy and book 3 Olivia Kidney and the secret beneath the city.
5.0 out of 5 stars Olivia Kidney 30 Jan 2006
A Kid's Review - Published on
Olivia Kidney

If you lost your apartment keys would you search all over for them? You probably would.

Well it all started one day when this girl named Olivia kidney lost her apartment keys at school. She had just moved into a new apartment and a new school, so as you would expect she didn't know her way around. As she was looking for her keys she ran into many strange things such as talking lizards, a rainforest apartment, ghosts that only she could see, and even an apartment made entirely of glass!!

Olivia Kidney is a shy and open girl, she is ready for anything coming her way as she is looking for her apartment keys she has to face almost death. My favorite character in this book is Olivia. She is an intelligent little girl who is on a mission and nothing can get in the way.

I would defiantly recommend this book to girls. I would also recommend this book to someone who likes adventurous, dramatic, and funny books.
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