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Once Upon a Marigold Paperback – June 1, 2004

150 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Upon a Marigold Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a gratifying fantasy that contains elements of classic fairy tales, Ferris (Love Among the Walnuts) breathes new life into archetypal characters by adding unexpected and often humorous dimensions to their personalities. The protagonist, Christian, has been raised in the forest by a troll named Edric. As he nears manhood, Christian decides it is time to see the world-or at least the section across the river, where the lovely Princess Marigold resides. Having spent many hours gazing at Marigold through a telescope and corresponding with her by "p-mail" (letters sent by carrier pigeon), he has already felt the sting of Cupid's arrow by the time he lands a job in court. Marigold readily returns his affections, but unfortunately, she is about to become betrothed to Sir Magnus. Meanwhile, Marigold's evil mother, Queen Olympia, is plotting to murder both Marigold and her kindly, doting father, King Swithbert. Readers swept into the lighthearted spirit of this novel will likely not be bothered by the predictability of outcomes. As in fairy tales of old, jabs are made at social values and norms, and concepts of nobility and ignobility are painted in very broad strokes. Nonetheless, heroes and heroines emerge as convincing, well-rounded characters embodying flaws as well as virtues. Their foibles-Edric's tendency to mix up adages, Christian's stubborn streak and Marigold's penchant for "awful" jokes-make the good guys all the more endearing. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-9-As the cover proclaims, this story is truly "part everything-but-the-kitchen-sink." Readers first meet Chris when he is a strong-willed, clever child of six. He has run away from home, determined to live on his own in the forest. Edric, a troll, finds him and gives him shelter but cannot make him go back home, and Chris grows up with Edric and his dogs as his family, guided by an etiquette book found in the forest and Edric's own wisdom. As the boy grows, he continues his interest in inventing and watches the princess in the castle across the river. She is headstrong but lonely, and when Chris contacts her by carrier pigeon (or p-mail), they become best friends. When he takes work at the castle, there is no way that Chris, a commoner, can tell Marigold who he is, and he can only stand by as she is to be married to an unsuitable suitor. When he learns that her life is in danger, he must find a way to save her and the kingdom. This complex, fast-paced plot, a mixture of fantasy, romance, comedy, and coming-of-age novel, succeeds because these characters are compelling, well developed, and sympathetic. Quirky personalities and comic subplots give the story additional texture. Readers will be drawn into this world and be satisfied by the denouement. This blend of genres will appeal to a wide range of readers, and it's all great fun.
Shara Alpern, The Free Library of Philadelphia
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Paperbacks (June 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152050841
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152050849
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,115,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
Once Upon a Marigold by: Rachel Kemel

The book I read was Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris. This book is about a boy, Christian, who is looking for adventure and runs away from home. He ends up living with a forest troll. Christian liked to invent things and to watch the royal family through his telescope. He falls in love with the princess and one day sends her a letter. The boy and the princess are soon writing letters to each other all the time. The forest troll tells the boy that he has to grow up, to start figuring things out by himself and to get a job. The boy gets a job at the palace, where he learns about a plot. The plot is for the queen to kill the princess and her father so she could take the throne. The boy is put into a dungeon but he escapes, crashes the princess's wedding, and gets married to her, all of this in one day.

I thought this book was exciting to read because you could never predict what was going to happen next. I like unpredictable stories because when you read there are surprises that make you read it more and more. I was able to feel like I was in the book because the author was very descriptive when she was writing. I was able to paint a picture in my head of what was happening in the book, I feel that it is a good quality in a book. The main conflict did interest me because it helped the story get more interesting as the main conflict got bigger and bigger. The characters seemed realistic because the author described them really well, so I could picture them like a painting in my mind. The book's ending was very satisfying because everything turned out okay, the boy married the princess, the queen was defeated, and the boy was able to invent a bridge for the kingdom.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
Once Upon A Marigold, is a novel by Jean Ferris. It takes place in an enchanted forest and King Swithbert's castle.

The main characters are a commoner named Christian, a princess named Marigold, a troll named Ed, a King named Swithbert, and a Queen named Olympia. This story is about Christian who falls in love with Princess Marigold. Christian started to P-mail (pigeon mail) her. Surprisingly enough she writes back. One day his foster father Ed says he has to go and get a job. So Christian gets a job at the castle where Princess Marigold lives. He over hears Queen Olympia saying that if Marigold gets married to one of her suitors named Sir Magnus, who does not have a kingdom of his own and they would be have to live at the castle. She would have an "accident" happen to Marigold and King Swithbert. Then Queen Olympia would rule. Now Christian has to convince Marigold that her mother is trying to kill her! There are surprising secrets at the end that I will not tell so you have to read the book to find out.

My favorite part was when Christian and Marigold first met and Christian finds out about Marigold's powers. This is when the story gets exciting because it is what the beginning is leading up to.

I recommend you should read this book if you are between the ages of 9 and 14. I would give this book 5 stars because it was one of the best books I have ever read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By shiara the witch on January 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely loved this book! I loved that it was a fairy tale, and I loved the story.
Christian is a boy that ran away from home and was adopted by a troll and his two dogs. He grows up admiring the princess marigold from across the river, and when he is 17 he starts coresponding with her.
Edric, the troll that adopted Christian, thinks that Christian should go and see the world, so Christian goes and takes a job at the castle. The night he arrives a banquet is being held in honour of princess Marigold's two suiters, neither of which she likes. Marigold and Christian finaly meet and fall in love, but before they can live happily ever after they have to foil the plans of Marigold's evil mother.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By BookAddict on November 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I got this book at a book fair at school, and wasn't expecting much, as I'm well over the age limit of "Intermediate". I happen to be a sucker for fairy tales, which is why I picked it up. I was in for a treat -- this book is great! It's funny, witty, and has a great ending that leaves you spinning with great ideas. It's definitely a great book worth a read, and even more so if you like fairy tales and comedy intertwined. It nails a few comical society problems (without sounding drab one bit), and has the exact amount of tension to keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last period. I'll be looking for a sequel to this book, because the end leaves you grinning for more! It's one of the rare books that I've found actually ends complete but leaves room for a sequel, which is one of the qualities that draws readers in. Great work, Ms. Ferris!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
Where does a young child usuallly live? With his or her parents, in a cozy, little home filled with pets and a warm fire, right? Not Christian. He lives in a cave covered in sparkling gems with a troll, named Ed, and two dogs, named Bub and Cate.

As Christian grows older, he takes interest in a princess across the river. They've never actually met, but they communicate through p-mail, which means they send notes attached to pigeons. While Christian is p-mailing the princess, Ed is trying to figure out how to put Queen Mab, the tooth fairy, out of business. Ed plans to bring up his ideas about putting Queen Mab out of business at his next once-a-year LEFT meeting, which stands for Leprechauns, Elves, Fairies, and Trolls. But he keeps getting distracted by a beautiful troll that he gazes at every year.

When Ed finds out that Christian likes a princess, he starts to worry. He doesn't want Christian's heart to be broken by some snooty princess. But Christian doesn't care what Ed thinks; he is determined to meet the princess...but how?

Is it possible for a troll to fight with a crazed fairy while ogling over another troll that he thinks he doesn't deserve? Can poor Christian win the princess' heart by p-mail? The answers can be found in the dangerous and romantic fairytals called Once Upon a Marigold.

Author Jean Ferris never lets this enchanting tale get boring. You fall in love with Once Upon a Marigold from the beginning.
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