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The Crow-Girl: The Children of Crow Cove (The Children of Crow Cove Series) Paperback – September 5, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7-Set in the indistinct past, this is the poignant story of a girl who lives with her grandmother on a lonely stretch of coast in Denmark. The two survive by collecting driftwood and carefully harvesting the gifts of the sea. The coziness of their life is punctuated by Grandmother's awareness that her own life is tenuous; she offers her granddaughter gentle advice that serves her well in the future. After the woman dies, the child bids farewell to her beloved home and follows a pair of crows as they fly along the shore. Hoping to find help, she arrives in a village where she works for a coldhearted woman who gives her the name Crow-Girl and tries to take advantage of her. Following her heart and the crows, the girl moves on in her search for a home. Her strength of character, innate kindness, and ability to care for herself prove invaluable in creating a new life and family. The justice of unfolding events and the satisfying ending will please readers, who will enjoy watching the pieces of the plot fall into place. The symbolism and power of names thread through the narrative. Touching on universal themes, this quiet adventure story has the depth and flavor of a tale from long ago and far away. It's a rewarding read for youngsters who are fond of the details and the simplicity of earlier times.
Carol A. Edwards, Sonoma County Library, Santa Rosa, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 4-6. Crow-Girl lives happily with her grandmother in a cove far from any neighbors. When the old woman dies, Crow-Girl buries her and leaves to make her way in the world. Taken in by a greedy woman who demands her labor and steals her belongings, Crow-Girl eventually escapes and finds new friends with troubles and talents of their own. Together they create a community of friends and family in the cove that was Crow-Girl's original home. There's a fairy-tale quality about this well-written story. There is also unflinching realism not only about the grandmother's death and burial but also about the cruelty, greed, violence, pain, and sadness that the child finds when she ventures beyond the shelter of her home. Still, young readers will be comforted when Crow-Girl survives the loss of the only person who loves her and goes on to create her own family from those whom she befriends and grows to love. Translated from the Danish, this novel has clean, spare prose, a compelling story, and several scenes that readers will long remember. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 810L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Children of Crow Cove Series (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1st edition (September 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374400032
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374400033
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #803,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on February 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
There exist, in this world, a few perfect children's novels. And by perfect, I mean that they adeptly combine meaningful storylines that contain universal themes with plots and characters that kids are genuinely interested in. "Charlotte's Web" is one of these. And now, joining the ranks, comes another. "The Crow-Girl" is a recent import from Danish author Bodil Bredsdorff. In this remarkably small but astoundingly well-written book, a girl sets out on a quest whose course she does not dictate and proceeds to create something she has needed all her life. Kids may look at this book and shy away because it looks dull. Don't let them. This is one of the best books written in a very long time. A deeply satisfying novel.

The girl and her grandmother have lived in their tiny cottage by the sea for as long as the child remembers. Brought up by this single relative, the girl has learned everything she needs to know about gathering food and staying alive on what the sea provides. With her grandmother's death she at first plunges into misery, but continues to live and work. In time, the girl sets off to find other human beings and runs across a variety of people. She acquires the name of Crow-Girl due to her appearance and escapes the machinations of a cruel couple. She rescues a boy from his depression-infused father and leads two women from starvation. By the end of the tale the people she has helped and the life that she has led results in the formation of a small community and, more importantly, close-knit family to which the Crow-Girl now completely belongs. This is a book about survival as well as what a person needs beyond food and water to truly be alive.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on May 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
A young girl lives with her grandmother in a simple whitewashed house in a little cove by a brook. They live a simple life together. The girl collects driftwood for fires and gathers sea kale, mussels and sand snails for their meals. However, the girl's grandmother is very old and knows her time is limited. Before she dies, she tries to share her knowledge of the world with her granddaughter "chick." She tells the girl about the two kinds of people in the world --- those who make you feel cold inside and those who make you feel warm inside.
One day the girl wakes up and finds her beloved grandmother cold and still. She holds a lovely funeral for her and sings a song about her flying like a crow. The next day the girl sees two crows in the sky that seem to be calling to her. She follows the crows and begins her adventure.
During her journey the girl meets people who make her feel warm inside and others who make her feel cold inside. One of the people on her journey names her Crow-Girl. She always trusts her instincts, and does not journey alone for long. Soon, she has before her the makings of a new family.
THE CROW-GIRL is translated by Faith Ingwersen from its original Danish, and is written in lyrical prose. Young readers who want a tender, feel-good story about trusting your own intuition will love reading this timeless novel.
--- Reviewed by Renee Kirchner (renee.kirchner@usa.net)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. G. on November 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a lovely story about family ties and the love that binds even those not related into a family unit out of desire or necessity. When reading this book to my 6 year old son, I had to skim ahead to be sure things turned out okay for Crow-Girl. She's an engaging child and her grandmother was very wise in her teachings. My 6 year old, although very active, loved listening to this story and we were both sorry when we came to the end. Luckily, there is another book by this author which I will get next. If you tire of the books about bratty children, Junie B. Jones and Fudge, for example, this book is far superior...real literature rather than books churned out for a quick buck.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Randi Freedman on January 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
I read this book when I was 7 or 9. I loved it, it inspired me to write (shortly after I wrote a 200 page, no double space, typed, 12 font book. Unluckily, I forgot to save it and only fragments of the printed copy were found.) and showed me the significance of life and that there is always hope. Now I'm more of a dreamer and much better at writing. I had to read it twice! The book was in my school library but in the, "dump" section (meaning no one reads the books in that corner.) I found it to be a treasure and really wanted to buy the book. I'm now many, many years older and want to read it again. plus have my own copy. Parents your children will love this book there is adventure, somewhat a bit of suspence, and to me just pure magic. Although, I recommended this book to my friend she didn't really understand it, but I don't really understand what she reads so I guess some books were made for each personality.
I got my copy!!!
PS. It's a good book for a book report since it's set in Scandinavia, but doesn't really tell you where so what I did (to get an A)I looked up the Scandinavian peninsula, told all the characters and there is an interesting and thick plot. If done properly, this if an A (or A+) report.
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The Crow-Girl: The Children of Crow Cove (The Children of Crow Cove Series)
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