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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best read in ages
I loved this book. It filled your mind with joy, sadness, suspicion and horror. I particularly love 'Letter from Kalymnos' one of the many short stories in this book. I loved it beacause i never expected the ending to be so dramatic and heart renching. Just the poem 'From Hereabout hill' gave a warm picture of a perfect life. No book i've read compares with this...
Published on 7 Dec. 2000

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2.0 out of 5 stars Disabled Jess gets side-lined by abled Jack
If you get this because you wanted a book with a disabled child lead then I have to say that the book starts well but ends up being a disappointment. Lead character is Jess a girl with cerebral palsy who lives with Mum and Dad. Initially the writer gives Jess a good central place in the story – she fights her way up the Big Hill (which has previously defeated her)...
Published 4 months ago by Fly on the Wall


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best read in ages, 7 Dec. 2000
By A Customer
I loved this book. It filled your mind with joy, sadness, suspicion and horror. I particularly love 'Letter from Kalymnos' one of the many short stories in this book. I loved it beacause i never expected the ending to be so dramatic and heart renching. Just the poem 'From Hereabout hill' gave a warm picture of a perfect life. No book i've read compares with this collection of short stories.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Collection of Short Stories, 26 Nov. 2012
By 
ACB(swansea) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: From Hereabout Hill (Paperback)
In his foreward, Michael Morpurgo compares mining with writing, hoping for the 'rich seam' we need. He has struck gold with nine short stories that start with a mining adventure, 'The Giant's Necklace'. The author is a massive contributor to childrens' literature. I have passed this through my primary school teacher-daughter and my 9 year old grandaughter and the feedback was the same. Excellence, variety, gripping and everything children wish for with sustainable suspense and attention capture. I confess, as a senior citizen, I found the stories captivating as well. Morpurgo hits his audience with the right content applicable to age and reading ability. Marvellous talent and book.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful story, 17 Oct. 2000
By A Customer
My children can't get enough of Michael Morpurgo books at the moment and this is the latest in a series that I have read aloud to them. This is the story of Jessie, who with the aid of her cousin Jack and the ghosts of Grania o'Malley and her crew, overcomes her own disability to fight for what she believes in. This is a fast moving story with believable and likeable characters and will appeal to children of all ages.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars just 1 word, EXCELLENT, 20 Nov. 2002
By 
As I read this book I just couldn't get enough of it and I loved Grania o'Malley. when Jessie called out for her I just wished she would turn up and help her through her problems. When Jack first came into the story I didn't like him too much but as the story developed he became my favorite character. When I was reading this book I was dying to find out what happened but as I got towards the end I started to read it slower as I didn't want the book to end.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!, 11 April 2010
By 
This review is from: From Hereabout Hill (Paperback)
Rich in descriptive language, clever "twist-in-the-tale" endings and incredible characterisations- Perfect for engaging and challenging my able Year 6 class.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Hereabout Hill, 12 Nov. 2006
Very good, although the stroies are only around 20 pages long each you can't put the book down.

I recommend this for ages 10 and up

Very good book, Morpurgo exceeds himself with each book he writes.

Review by

Campbell, age:11
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disabled Jess gets side-lined by abled Jack, 23 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: The Ghost of Grania O'Malley (Paperback)
If you get this because you wanted a book with a disabled child lead then I have to say that the book starts well but ends up being a disappointment. Lead character is Jess a girl with cerebral palsy who lives with Mum and Dad. Initially the writer gives Jess a good central place in the story – she fights her way up the Big Hill (which has previously defeated her) and is excited to get to the top. No-one believes she did it though. Then her American cousin Jack arrives and becomes popular at her school with his knowledge of baseball and his set of rollerblades (that Jess can’t use). We see another kid bully Jess saying she belongs in special school. Jack is on her side and believes she climbed the Big Hill. So far, so interesting.
The main plot concerns the Big Hill being exploited for gold. The islanders have voted for a gold-mining project (except for Jess’s Mum and the old man who lives on the hill) because they think it will lead to jobs. The ghost pirates are against the hill’s destruction and Grania shows Jess the whereabouts of her treasure chest to try and solve the problem and pay off the islanders. This doesn’t work and ultimately Jack puts sugar in the diggers’ engines to delay them. Then when the diggers are mended Jess sits down in front of them on the hill and Jack makes a big speech which makes the islanders change their minds and climb the hill to camp out on it overnight. Next day the diggers encircle them, but the ghost pirates arrive and drive the diggers into the sea. The kids win.
The problem with the book is that if you want a disabled heroine she gets side-lined by Jack. There is a scene where the two are fishing and Jack’s line snags a fish. He slips and Jess grabs him, but they both fall in the sea. When they re-tell this story they say that Jess fell in and Jack dived in to save her. Why was that necessary? Why not say it as it first happened? (I know it is fiction, but the writer must have had a reason for casting disabled girl in the story and presumably it was NOT to make her look inept!) Jess also has a few times where she complains about her ‘lousy palsy’. Being angry maybe would be OK but I’d rather she had focussed her energy outward, e.g. on the meanness of the teacher who has her hand-write lines as punishment even though her hands cramp. (Why don’t her parents notice and get involved?). The writer might intend to show us unfairness but children’s fiction also needs to be aspirational. Jess’s body won’t change so challenge the social injustices around her… Finally, the way Jack saves the day could have been shared between the two kids. Jess might have liked engines and decided to sabotage the diggers, and then Jack could have the speech on the Hill. Or Jack could have sabotaged the engines whilst Jess had the speech. Most stories would split the ‘hero duties’ between the two leads, but the story didn’t and I felt that Jess trailed away into becoming an observer. Nearly a good book but the writers misses his own point, I think.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very special, 6 Mar. 2013
This review is from: The Ghost of Grania O'Malley (Paperback)
I don't remember exactly when I first read this book - or in fact had it read to me - but from then on it has held a very special and unique place in my heart.
Firstly, I think it is the only book - certainly children's book - I know of that features a disabled central character, something which I feel is very important. The character Jessie suffers from cerebral palsy, but does not let it stop her and continues on, strong and determined. As a child with this condition, but knowing no others the same, this was a great thing to read - although I don't think I was in fact aware of how important that inspiration was for me until I was much older. Michael Morpurgo also writes of CP very well - his description of the way Jessie walks, for example, I relate to exactly. I would urge any parent of a child with CP to try this book for this reason.

Further, it was in these pages that I first learnt of Grania O'Malley (Grace O'Malley or Granuaile). Though she does sound like someone straight out of a children's adventure story she really existed, leading the most incredible life in the termoil of 16th century Ireland. Since first learning of her I have spent many happy years learning all I can of her and the world in which she lived, much time in beautiful County Mayo and now am embarking on my own work about her.

So to conclude I must say that in my opinion this is one of the finest works of children's fiction out there, being both entertaining and inspirational. Thank you Mr Morpurgo.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book, Morpurgo defines the way you have to fight for your beliefs perfectly., 28 Feb. 2015
This book is about a girl called Jessie Parsons, and she suffers from celebral palsy. She lives on Clare island in Ireland, and the people of Clare island are struggling to find work. Jessie's dream is to one day climb the 'Big Hill'

Micheal Murphy, the richest man on Clare island, wants to cut the top off the Big Hill and use it as a gold mine. He wants to kick Old Mr Barney out of his house and move him somewhere else just because he's in the way. Jessie's mother had gone to Dublin to appeal directly to the Taoiseach.

When her mother is coming back, she picked up Jessie's cousin, Jack, who comes from America. He was coming because his father, Jessie's Uncle Sean, was very sick. Jessie and Jack meet the ghost of Grania O'Malley (she was an Irish pirate who gave the English hell during the reign of Queen Elizabeth). She isn't going to let them tear off the top of the Big Hill, but can her and Jessie and Jack stop Micheal Murphy ?

This is a really, really good book, and Morpurgo captured the Irish way of talking perfectly.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jake or Jack, 20 Feb. 2011
A Kid's Review
This review is from: The Ghost of Grania O'Malley (Paperback)
The Ghost of Grania O'Malley is entertaining fun book about a girl and her cousin willing to save a hill that contains gold. This is a thrilling story but I think maybe Michael Morpurgo rushed this book or the publisher did not check it properly as the back of the book it describes the boys name as Jake and in the book the boys name is Jack. There is also no one in the book named Jake but all together it is quite good book.
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The Ghost of Grania O'Malley
The Ghost of Grania O'Malley by Michael Morpurgo (Paperback - 1 April 2013)
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