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David and the Phoenix Paperback – January 1, 2001

149 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-6-Edward Ormondroyd's 20-year-old fantasy title (Purple House Press, 2nd ed., 2001) makes a welcome re-appearance in this full-cast recorded version. He narrates it himself, bringing a lively interpretation to his words thanks to an energetic and touching reading. Young Galen Druke reads the part of David, providing a terrific feel for the awe-struck child who desperately wants his novel education to continue with his secret friend, the Phoenix. From their hidden mountain ledge, they launch visits to a Banshee, a Griffon, and other fantastic beings while plotting to avoid discovery by a scientist who wants to kill and study the Phoenix. But as the Phoenix's 500th birthday approaches, he begins to build a huge nest of twigs and branches without quite knowing why. When he and David both realize what is happening, their anguish and sense of loss is apparent. Yet the story ends on a hopeful and even triumphant note of renewal. The recording offers listeners a fine opportunity to become acquainted with this winsome fantasy, perfect for independent or family listening. Classroom use with younger students would provide a great introduction to longer tales from the fantasy genre. School and public libraries will want this for their patrons looking for such offerings.
Jane P. Fenn, Corning-Painted Post West High School, NY
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"...charming, funny, and touching fantasy. Move over, Harry Potter. David and his Phoenix deserve a place next to you..." -- Brad Strickland, Author

...enchanting book ...distinguished by Ormondroyd's deft, literate prose. -- A Common Reader

Booklust's librarian Nancy Pearl recommends her childhood favorite, as "the Phoenix leads David on an adventurous journey." -- NPR's Morning Edition summer reading list, May 16, 2005

Edward Ormondroyd has written a stimulating, ageless story. It combines beautiful writing, topnotch adventure, and enchanting fantasy. -- Chicago Tribune

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Purple House Pr (January 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930900015
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930900011
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,280,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Richard A. Bouton on September 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is THE book! This is the book that made this boy fall in love with reading over 40 years ago. This book was my first love. This book has never left my memory. It is as though I read it yesterday. This is the book which filled this 10 year-old with wonder and thrills. This book was the first piece of art that made me cry. Read this book to your children or grandchildren... or better yet let them read it themselves... but don't be surprised if they can't put it down and read in bed under the covers with a flashlight when they are supposed to be sleeping. Through the years I have met so many of my contemporaries who fell in love with this book and have never forgotten it. One doctor who had read it suggested that it helps children of that age deal with their questions about life and death. After reading the first two Harry Potter books I am convinced that Rowling must have read this book. Be sure to read the reviews of this book in the "Out of Print" section of You'll see the impact that this book has. The people who read and were moved by this book brought it back into print through the internet reviews, auctions and rare book sites. If you have a 9-12 year old child buy them this book. Thank you Purple House Press for listening and bringing this book back into print after 40+ years. Thank you so much, Edward Ormondroyd!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Trinque VINE VOICE on November 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I first read "David and the Phoenix" in 1958 when it became a selection of the Weekly Reader Chilren's Book Club. I loved it then and I love it still. I cannot think of another book which quite so filled me with a sense of wonder. Edward Ormondroyd's vivid descriptions paint bright scenes of characters and places in the reader's imagination. It is the kind of book that a child takes to heart, where it very well may remain ever after. I know that, even before reading the recently reprinted edition, I could recount virtually every episode in the tale, with Joan Raysor's simple pen sketches still providing the framework for my mind's eye recreation of the story. The book is full of humor, adventure, wonder, and gentle wisdom. This is a genuine classic of imaginative children's literature.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 31, 1999
Format: Paperback
My husband made me read this, when he re-discovered his copy on his parents' bookshelf. Thereafter, I read it to every third grade class I taught for 15 years, and my husband, David, read it to our two boys. My classes did drawings of the action while the characters came to life in their minds. Wonderful! The fantasy is embellished with wonderful drama, emotion, and vocabulary to enrich one's life. I still think about the Griffens and Griffons sometimes, and frequently miss the antics of the ever-loveable Phoenix.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jill Morgan on December 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
Please everyone, consider buying the classic edition (ISBN 1930900015) of David and the Phoenix which we (Purple House Press) republished in 2001 :) It is the ONLY authorized edition in which Edward Ormondroyd (the author!) receives royalties, AND the pages are a facsimile of the original 1957 text including all of the illustrations by Joan Raysor! David and the Phoenix
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kiwi on August 18, 2010
The reviews for "David and the Phoenix" are associated with a number of different imprints of the book available from different Publishers. Unfortunately, some Publishers are unethical to an extreme. A classic example is the reprint published by Books LLC, for which this one star review is reserved.

Books LLC do Print-On-Demand (nothing wrong with that) but the Books LLC version has been put together using automated OCR scanning with NO editing and no quality control whatsover. As some reviwers who've been unfortunate enough to be scammed into buying the Books LLC version have commented, the text is poorly formatted, virtually unreadable in places, there's numerous errors and no chapter headings and certainly no illustrations.

If you read the Books LLC website, you'll see that there, they clearly state there's no editing, the OCR scanning is done by a robot, there may be missing pages, numerous typos can be expected, there are no illustrations, no table of contents etc etc etc. In other words, the Books LLC version is very poor quality el cheapo reprint for much the same price as far better imprints. Your money is far better spent on a good quality imprint of the book. Even second hand is better than the Books LLC rubbish.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Matt Hetling on February 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
"The Phoenix caught David's glance, cleared his throat several times, and looked apologetically at the Sea Monster. `Monster, old chap,' he said soothingly, `I am deeply sorry for having doubted you just now. Deeply sorry.'
`Quite all right.' said the Sea Monster stiffly.
`Yes,' the Phoenix continued, `we both know that you have passed through perilous times, through dangers which (I must confess) would have left me a shattered wreck.'
The Sea Monster sighed sadly, but its whiskers were beginning to rise again."

David has just moved with his family to a new home at the base of a mountain, and he can't wait to explore its heights. While wandering the mountain, he comes upon the Phoenix, a man-sized bird who loves cinnamon and mangles his latin studies. While the Phoenix resists the idea, he soon agrees to give David lessons in life.

This is a great story, because much of it is lighthearted and silly, but then suddenly a very forbidding element enters in the form of the Scientist, who is intent on capturing the Phoenix for his own evil purposes. The book is unexpectedly bittersweet, which makes it very gripping emotionally.

The language is clean and crisp, and the author obviously has fun with the stodgy old bird who uses british phraseology and is comically indignant whenever he is offended.

Another nice touch is the chapter names, which are teasers for what is to come. For example, one chapter is "8, In Which David and the Phoenix Visit a Banshee, and a Surprise is Planted in the Enemies Camp." I wish all children's authors would include names for their chapters; when I was a boy, I distinctly preferred them, as they just seemed to add a bit of flavor to the text.

This is a great read that any young reader will enjoy.
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