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Green Angel Hardcover – March 1, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 160 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Green Angel Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up-Beautifully written prose fills this first-person narrative of a teen whose world is turned around in an instant. This is both a survival story and an homage to the need to cherish life's every moment. Moody, introspective Green, 15, stays at home while her parents and younger sister travel to the city to sell their produce. Her disappointment at being left behind causes her to be cold and not say good-bye. Then the city is engulfed in flames, and ashes hover in the atmosphere for a long time. Green is left with her guilt for her sullen behavior and the solitude of her ruined garden. Hoffman has created a multilayered, believable protagonist. Readers suffer along with her and share her fears as she tries to pick up the pieces of her life. The contrast between her original faith in the promise of the future and her later acknowledgment of the tentative nature of reality is vividly and eloquently portrayed. This is not an easy read, and though it is an absorbing tale, it will most likely appeal to more sophisticated readers. A powerfully written and thought-provoking selection.
Renee Steinberg, Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-12. Hoffman's latest fable for teens begins with an apocalyptic scene that mirrors the events of 9/11: a girl watches as her city across the river explodes into smoke and fire, and people leap from buildings. Green, named for her uncanny gardening talent, is 15 years old, and, in the tragedy, she loses her beloved family. Faced with grief and an anarchic world, Green finds solace in the brittle numbness of daily tasks and in the pain of the tattoos that she begins to draw on herself. Slowly, she connects with survivors, especially a mysterious boy, who helps her replant her garden and feel joy again. Hoffman's lush prose and moody, magic realism will easily draw readers into the harsh, ash-covered world that follows the explosion, as well as the sunny world that precedes it, when "bees would drink the sweat from . . . skin, and never once sting." Green's brave competence and the hope she finds in romance will appeal to many teens, particularly those with gothic tastes. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 910L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1st edition (March 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439443849
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439443845
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 4.7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #734,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alice Hoffman was born in New York City on March 16, 1952 and grew up on Long Island. After graduating from high school in 1969, she attended Adelphi University, from which she received a BA, and then received a Mirrellees Fellowship to the Stanford University Creative Writing Center, which she attended in 1973 and 74, receiving an MA in creative writing. She currently lives in Boston and New York.

Hoffman's first novel, Property Of, was written at the age of twenty-one, while she was studying at Stanford, and published shortly thereafter by Farrar Straus and Giroux. She credits her mentor, professor and writer Albert J. Guerard, and his wife, the writer Maclin Bocock Guerard, for helping her to publish her first short story in the magazine Fiction. Editor Ted Solotaroff then contacted her to ask if she had a novel, at which point she quickly began to write what was to become Property Of, a section of which was published in Mr. Solotaroff's magazine, American Review.

Since that remarkable beginning, Alice Hoffman has become one of our most distinguished novelists. She has published a total of eighteen novels, two books of short fiction, and eight books for children and young adults. Her novel, Here on Earth, an Oprah Book Club choice, was a modern reworking of some of the themes of Emily Bronte's masterpiece Wuthering Heights. Practical Magic was made into a Warner film starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. Her novel, At Risk, which concerns a family dealing with AIDS, can be found on the reading lists of many universities, colleges and secondary schools. Her advance from Local Girls, a collection of inter-related fictions about love and loss on Long Island, was donated to help create the Hoffman (Women's Cancer) Center at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA. Blackbird House is a book of stories centering around an old farm on Cape Cod. Hoffman's recent books include Aquamarine and Indigo, novels for pre-teens, and The New York Times bestsellers The River King, Blue Diary, The Probable Future, and The Ice Queen. Green Angel, a post-apocalyptic fairy tale about loss and love, was published by Scholastic and The Foretelling, a book about an Amazon girl in the Bronze Age, was published by Little Brown. In 2007 Little Brown published the teen novel Incantation, a story about hidden Jews during the Spanish Inquisition, which Publishers Weekly has chosen as one of the best books of the year. In January 2007, Skylight Confessions, a novel about one family's secret history, was released on the 30th anniversary of the publication of Her first novel. Her most recent novel is The Story Sisters (2009), published by Shaye Areheart Books.

Hoffman's work has been published in more than twenty translations and more than one hundred foreign editions. Her novels have received mention as notable books of the year by The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, Library Journal, and People Magazine. She has also worked as a screenwriter and is the author of the original screenplay "Independence Day" a film starring Kathleen Quinlan and Diane Wiest. Her short fiction and non-fiction have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe Magazine, Kenyon Review, Redbook, Architectural Digest, Gourmet, Self, and other magazines. Her teen novel Aquamarine was recently made into a film starring Emma Roberts.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Although intended for the YA market, this book will appeal to anyone who is a fan of lovely, poetic writing infused with magic.
Most of Hoffman's adult novels contain a certain amount of magical realism, and in "Green Angel", she tells a story that is totally magical. Maybe she felt she could let go for the YA audience more so than for adults. Well, I am one adult who will tell you that I am glad to have read this. I intend to pass it along to my 12 year old niece and then discuss it with her.
I actually read this book twice: the first time, I raced through it, and the second time, I took my time, reveling in the beautiful prose and making notes.
There were certain phrases I wanted to remember...like the people at the "forgetting shack" who did not know how to face the darkness of their lives. This made me think of the parallels in our world. Many of the characters in the book were "trapped in the foggy ground between forgetting and living". Or this: "She was so busy forgetting, she couldn't take a single step into the future."
This is a story so full of meaning and symbolism, so simple yet so complex, that I am sure one could get something new out of it each time it is read.
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Format: Hardcover
Green is fifteen. Her father is strong and honest. Her mother collects blue jay feathers, preferring them to pearls. Her little sister, Aurora, is as wild as she is beautiful. Then one day her father and mother and sister go into the city to sell vegetables, leaving Green at home to take care of the gardens. While they are there, a terrible disaster destroys the city. Ashes rain down on Green's home. Her family never returns. As she attempts to survive with burned eyes and looters raiding the abandoned homes, Green sews thorns into her clothes, drives nails into her boots, and covers herself with black tattoos. She becomes Ash. But despite everything she has lost, she has gained the talent to tell good from bad simply by touching, by feeling. She feels the sorrow of the pure white Greyhound she finds in the woods and names her Ghost. She feels the light in the mute boy in the black hood who appears on her doorstep and names him Diamond. But it takes the insight of the starving elderly woman next door to feel the changes in Ash and rename her Green.
Hints dropped in the last third of GREEN ANGEL imply that the city (and thus Green's family) was destroyed not by a natural accident, but by malevolent people. For me, this turned an already darkly powerful story into a tale that packed quite a punch. The first half was good, albeit slightly simple, but the second half made me cry. Alice Hoffman's way with words is both subtle and piercing. And the book's covers (with Green on the front and Ash on the back) add compellingly real images to the word portraits already painted inside. This tiny novel (116 pages) is sometimes confusing about time and place, but I felt the mystery added to the overall impression: In many places GREEN ANGEL reads like a fairytale.
While I can see where this story might not appeal to readers not easily able to suspend disbelief, GREEN ANGEL is still a mystical and haunting tale of one girl's search for healing that I could not recommend more highly.
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Format: Hardcover
this book-i honestly could not put down- i could relate to the characters in this story because i am the younger sister, the wild and fast one. i am not shy, socialibe, and generous to my sisters. i also felt the pain that Green went through when she lost her family. she lost the will to want to survive. like the darkness she lived in, she became it. she grew in the dark and then realized that she was not ever going to be the same girl. when she encounters the greyhound Ghost and the mute boy Diamond, she sees that they have the same pain as she does.
in her dreams, her sister speaks to her- asking for help, then when Green is turned to Ash, Aurora(her sister) no longer recognizes who she is.
this book is about losing things in life, enduring the pain that always trails behind that lost, and the reinvention of your indentity. remembering is a big part of this story as well as believeing that things will change. change is constant, it is something no one has control over
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Format: Hardcover
Hoffman's third short novel marketed to the young adult audience has appeal far beyond the angstful teen readers for whom it was likely written. This is more prose poem than novel, although there is a typically twisty-turny-quirky Hoffman plot that satisfies deeply. The deft use of archetypal/fairy tale/mythological concepts resonate the text on many levels. But language is the essence here: pure, poetic, lyrically luminous and unnervingly numinous. A sensual delight; a sweet and succulent literary morsel; simple lovely reading pleasure.
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Format: Hardcover
From almost the first line of the first page of Green Angel, Alice Hoffman's newest young adult book, I was transported to this author's special world of magic realism. Once the domain of writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabel Allende, today Alice Hoffman takes her place alongside of them.
A parable of September 11th, Ms. Hoffman using sparse language in a small book speaks volumes. The book centers around the emotional plight of a young girl whose parents and sister fail to return home after a day spent working in the city. After word reaches the young girl that a catastrophe has occurred and many are lost, she goes through various stages of grief. The young girl tries to find her way and a place for herself and encounters many events and other people shattered by a world gone mad. One cannot help but think back to those grim days after 9/11 and remember our own feelings that ranged from shock to sorrow and even anger. And when I finished the last page of this book I realized how well Hoffman presented this material to both young adults and adults alike.
There are very few authors whose writing moves me the way Alice Hoffman's does. She is a master for making her readers feel all of the emotions she captures on paper as if we are within the pages of this book. I finished this book with a sigh and wanted to begin it all over again. I also fully realized once again why I love to read and most of all why I love to read a book by Alice Hoffman.
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