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12 Reviews
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best, 7 May 2001
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book, 4 Mar 2011
This review is from: Minnow on the Say (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 In that way this book is a historical document, and children may need some of it explaining.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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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two boys in a canoe, 5 Sep 2008
This review is from: Minnow on the Say (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
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 somethings - this will take you back to your childhood, 26 May 2006
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R. J. Casburn "Richard Casburn" (Felixstowe, Suffolk United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Minnow on the Say (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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful, charming adventure story, 20 Dec 2007
This review is from: Minnow on the Say (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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Before over-protective parenting was invented..., 24 Nov 2008
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This review is from: Minnow on the Say (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable, 14 May 2013
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This review is from: Minnow on the Say (Kindle Edition)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Childhood ecstasy.........., 11 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Minnow on the Say (Paperback)
............... I too read this at a young age , I was captivated throughout , it was "real" , and at 56 years of age I am really looking forward to opening that first page again and immerse myself once again inside this wonderful story. I am thankful to have had a stepmother who taught English A level , and so our house was full of books of all genres........ I was encouraged to read from 5 years old , and this book is one of the many that are stored in my memories of a beautiful , book-filled world that was my childhood ................thank you Eleanor for providing me with a library of a house , with very many "Minnows On The Say" on the shelves............. I shall sit on a dark and cold autumn evening in front of an imaginary coal fire , and disappear for several hours , back to the river ............ a must read.....for all ages !
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5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic, 8 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Minnow on the Say (Paperback)
This is a great old-school treasure hunt with a wonderful sense of freedom given to the characters in the form of their small boat.
Abundant mysterious clues and a forgotten treasure trail.... we loved it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars on my son's reading list, 1 Aug 2013
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S. Forrester - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Minnow on the Say (Paperback)
lovely, fresh but old-fashioned adventuring for children who enjoy the outdoors and all its exciting opportunities. Lovely stuff. More words
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Minnow on the Say
Minnow on the Say by Philippa Pearce OBE (Paperback - 6 Sep 2001)
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