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The Family Under the Bridge Paperback – February 15, 1989


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 6
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reissue edition (February 15, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064402509
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064402507
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.3 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The story of a Parisian tramp, Armand, who finds a ready-made family to live with him under the bridge, was a Newbery Honor book when it was first published more than 30 years ago. Ages 7-11.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"A thoroughly delightful story of humor and sentiment Garth Williams' illustrations are perfect." -- --School Library Journal

"Told with warmth and humor. A charming and memorable story." -- –- ALA Booklist

Customer Reviews

This is an award winner for a good reason.
amby
You do your job not because you like it (even though that might be the case), but because you must for your family's sake.
J. Williams
Perfect for children aged 9-12, this is also a great read-aloud book the entire family can enjoy and discuss.
Roz Levine

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on August 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
Armand is a hobo who lives in Paris, under a bridge. He begs and does odd jobs for money to take care of himself and buy food. One day he finds a mother and her three children in his "home", under the bridge. At first he is gruff and unhappy about sharing the bridge, but in time he begins to like and help care for this poor homeless family. As Christmas nears, the children ask for nothing except a home of their own and Armand comes up with a plan to make their wish come true. Natalie Savage Carlson has written a beautiful, sensitive story full of humor, insight and wisdom. With fast paced, interesting scenes, young readers will be able to identify with the characters of the children in the story and begin to understand the meaning of family and the rewards of giving and accepting help from others. Perfect for children aged 9-12, this is also a great read-aloud book the entire family can enjoy and discuss. The Family Under the Bridge is a thoughtful, heartwarming story and Ms Carlson deserved all the awards this book won.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Meghan on May 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
Natalie Savage Carlson perfectly illustrates what it means to be a family in this heartwarming book. The book is set in Paris in the early 1900's. It explores the world of hoboes and homeless people, a topic which children usually have little experience with. Armand is a homeless man who lives a solitary life under a bridge over the Seine River. He faithfully avoids children, calling them starlings, and saying they will steal your heart if you aren't careful. One day he arrives back home under the bridge, only to find a group of starlings sleeping in his spot. He tries his best to keep them out of his heart, but they work their way in and call Armand their grandpa. The importance of family is the main theme of this book. Armand finds a family and in the end couldn't be happier about it.

Children will love this book. Homelessness isn't something that most children are very familiar with. This unique book will help children understand that even children their age can be homeless. Most homeless people are looked at as being lazy and worthless. This book will show children that some homeless people are just like them, but they are just down in their luck. This is a heartwarming book and deserves attention in the classroom.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
The Family Under the Bridge is about an old crabby hobo named Armand who had nothing but the raged clothes on his back and a little baby buggy with his belongings. He lived in crowded corners and alleys and then in the winter he would live under a bridge. One winter, he was surprised to find three children living under his bridge, and to make matters worse, Armand absolutely hated children. He decided to find another bridge since there were many bridges in Paris, but the children begged him to stay. He softened his heart and decided to stay with the three children and their mother. Armand took the children along with him while he traveled around the streets. It was not long before Armand realized he had gotten himself a family- one he loved with all his heart. They stayed together and Armand soon found a job and got a house for the five of them to live in.
I enjoyed The Family Under the Bridge but it wasn't one of my all-time favorites. It was fairly entertaining. Many parts of the book were exciting and I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened next, but there were also some slow parts. Overall I thought it was a pretty good book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
I thought this book was great. Right from the start A gypsy tells Armand that he would have an adventure that day. That day he meet the Calcet family and his life was not the same. Even though he tried to guard his heart, the kids got through to him. It is a great book to read with your family because it offers hope and takes you though on an adventure through Paris, including Notre Dame Cathedral, and The Court of Miracles. Armand said "you should never give up hope," when the fisherman wound up the fishing pole and found the missing pair of his shoe. It it a great book for families that are homeless or having a hard time in life and for all ages.
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35 of 45 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
What ever happened to the good old days when children and tramps could live under the bridges of Paris, France in peaceful harmony? Well now we can return once again those halcyon days with Natalie Savage Carlson's Newbery Honor winning little book, "The Family Under the Bridge". A simple remarkably upbeat little tale, it defines what it means to be a family while telling the tale of an adorable homeless man and his unwilling adoption by three fatherless children. As storybooks go, this one has aged a bit poorly in light of its child abandonment and transient issues. But it has a good heart and a fine little story. I'm not going to put it on a pedestal or say that in 200 years it should be remembered as one of the top 100 children's books of the 20th century. But it's cute and probably has legions of fans who remember it from their own youth.

Hobos may come and hobos may go, but Armand of Paris isn't going anywhere. He loves his beautiful French city with its history and ample bridges to sleep under. With winter fast approaching, Armand's just on his way to put his ever moving home under his favorite bridge when he receives a nasty shock. There, camped out under a thin blanket, are three red-haired children. Armand doesn't trust children as a rule. His greatest fear is that he'll grow to love them and then no longer be the freewheeling king of the road that he currently is. These fears prove to be well founded when the kids adopt Armand as an unofficial grandfatherly figure and go with him all around and about the city. Their dream is to someday have a home of their own, and with Armand's help and a little gumption, that dream starts to look a little more possible every day.
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