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Gone-Away Lake (Gone-Away Lake Books) Paperback – March 6, 2000


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Gone-Away Lake (Gone-Away Lake Books) + Return to Gone-Away + Thimble Summer
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  • Return to Gone-Away $6.26
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 - 5
  • Series: Gone-Away Lake Books
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; English Language edition (March 6, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152022724
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152022723
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-6-Elizabeth Enright's 1957 Newbery Honor book (Harcourt, pap. 1990) will continue to entertain and enlighten today's children in this audiobook format just as the print version has for generations. A brief opening train ride (one of the only somewhat dated segments in the book) introduces listeners to Portia and Foster, siblings on their way to spend a summer in the country with their cousin Julian and his parents. But from that point on, the magic of discovering a small summer community, derelict for decades as its lake slowly dried, is just as enchanting today as it was nearly 50 years ago. Even Foster's play at robots and space stations contributes a contemporary feel to the story's details. The story is beautifully written with fairly sophisticated language, and it is even more of a treat to listen to thanks to a charming narration by Colleen Delany. Her lightning-fast transitions from voice to voice are absolutely on target, and she voices each character distinctly. The unfolding tale of the once-upon-a-time summer colony at the turn of the 20th century is wonderful, and Delany's clear, artful reading adds value. This story of a summer of discovery and adventure would be an outstanding choice for elementary school youngsters with a good reading and vocabulary skills.
Jane P. Fenn, Corning-Painted Post West High School, NY
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Review

"[Has] a brilliance and a humor that make it seem as if it were happening right this minute."—The New York Times Book Review
"A beautifully written, wonderfully imaginative story."—Publishers Weekly

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Customer Reviews

It's a well-written, absorbing story with charming characters.
Allis
It was heartwarming, sweet and fun. it's a great children's book, but also one a parent could read and love as well.
S. Moore
I also loved this book as a kid and couldn't wait to read it to my own kids.
K. Guess

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
I'm 12 and just finished the book today and was totally SHOCKED at the bad reviews!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have read Miracles at Maple Hill and I loved it and these books are very similar but in a good way, a very good way! I am convinced that all of the people who disliked this book were either disappointed because they rather idiotically judged the book by it's mysterious cover or they just plain old don't like to read happy books with happy endings or just don't like to read at ALL (which is beyond my imagination)!! I was supposed to read this for school but I started it early having nothing else to read and finished LONG before the date i was supposed to START it!

So it's not a horror or a thriller, SO?!?!?! So it's not violent or action packed, WHO CARES?!?!?! It's sweet and fun and I read it for hours! It is one of the few books I could read again!
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Sheila L. Beaumont VINE VOICE on August 21, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Gone-Away Lake" is a delightful, beautifully written story, just this side of fantasy and filled with interesting, likable characters. A brother and sister from the city take the train to visit their country cousin. The children discover an old, mostly abandoned summer colony of houses near a swamp that used to be a lake. There they meet the most charming people in the book, an elderly sister and brother, Minnehaha Cheever and Pindar Payton, who are living happily in the place where they spent summers as children. The pair wear old-fashioned clothes stored away many years ago by their family, cultivate a variety of gardens, and have chickens, goats, a duck, and a cat named Fatly. Once a month, Pindar cranks up the antique Franklin car and drives into town for supplies. The children are adventuresome and imaginative, and have no need of TV to keep themselves amused. The descriptions of the country are amazingly vivid, and there's plenty of humor too. Don't miss the sequel, "Return to Gone-Away." And Elizabeth Enright's series about the Melendy family is also fun to read.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
These books made me wish I'd had this perfect summer adventure. Two children come across a group of old houses, mysteriously vacant and abandoned on the shore of a swampy lake. Somebody has been there -- there's a warning and an inscription carved into a rock. Can the children keep their find a secret? Who left the houses and where did they go? What's lurking in the lake?
A terrific story -- the main characters are a boy and girl who are good friends, interesting people, and respectful of each other's strengths and weaknesses.
It was one of my husband's favorite books and it has become one of mine after we read it aloud to our daughter. The sequel is just as good (Return to Gone-Away). If you enjoyed Enright's books about the Melendy children ("The Saturdays" "Four-Story Mistake", etc.) you'll love these.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By The Wingchair Critic on March 31, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A product of late Fifties America, Elizabeth Enright's 'Gone Away Lake' (1957) feels, in tone and spirit, more like a reflection of mid-Forties America or earlier.

'Gone Away Lake,' a light children's novel, is an excellent showcase for mid-century American manners and mores, the same manners which cynics today like to denigrate or deny ever existed outside of wishful thinking.

The story of two cousins who befriend an isolated pair of elderly siblings living happily at a now abandoned but once magnificent lake resort, 'Gone Away Lake' also demonstrates how those children and teenagers of the era lucky enough to escape the spell-binding pull of television entertained themselves.

Nature was generally closer and more available to the average child then than it is today, and the novel is composed around the myriad ways in which Portia and her freckled, insect-collecting cousin Julian embrace the majesty and mystery of nature.

Luckily, their new friends, Mrs. Minnehaha Cheever and Mr. Pindar Payton, are nature's Edward Carpenter-like custodians: each is a planter, a gardener, and a conservationist, and Mrs. Cheever is an avid canner and pickler.

Mutually delighted in one another's company, the two generations meet, mingle, and become beloved friends and companions over the course of a magically described summer.

'Gone Away Lake' also touches on aging, memory, personal history, and the importance of mentoring, as Mrs. Cheever and Mr. Payton delight the cousins with subtly ethical reminiscences and tall tales about the lake's glory days when they were children themselves.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 17, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How disturbing to read the negative reviews of this gentle classic. Their key complaint? A pleasant tone and a lack of "plot." This good-natured novel is filled with rich descriptive vocabulary and a subtlety of storytelling that should be admired rather than criticized.
The plot? Not much, really. Just a few noble thoughts. Value the past and learn its lessons. Coexist with nature and reap its rewards. Treasure your elders, and find out about the fascinating experiences they have had.
Probably not as exciting as novels heavy on conventional "plot" formulas, but skillful and eloquent writing, and enriching reading for those who are prepared to enjoy it's subtleties.
Highly recommended--but not for the cynical.
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