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79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 1999
Often overlooked in favor of CHARLOTTE'S WEB (and probably STUART LITTLE, what with the film coming out), THE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN is an unforgettable, poetic and deeply moving story of love, friendship, and most importantly, coming to terms with a disability. I read this book as a child, and years later, can appriciate it on a whole new level. Years after I read this book, I was diagnosed with fine and gross motor disabilities, which made tasks like handwriting very difficult for me. Thanks to computers and the like, I have been able to surpass this problem- and am now actually pursuing an English Major in college. One of the things that helped me over the years was thinking back to this book, with its story of Louis the mute swan, whose father commits a crime to give him a trumpet to let his voice be heard and live some semblance of a normal life- and how Louis, in a quest to repay the world for his father's crime, manages to win the heart of his great love and gain world-wide fame. Written in White's own simple yet profound prose (this is the co-author of THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE, after all), no one who reads this book will ever forget it. This book literally changed my life- buy a copy, and let it change someone else's life as well.
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful story that teaches kids about individuality. The message that comes through says even though no one is perfect, they can find their own voice in the world. This is a story of courage, honesty, redemption, and most of all, love. I was touched by Louis' determination to repay his father's debt and impressed with his strength and character.

Kids and adults will love this classic by E.B White and it makes a great addition to your collection. "The Trumpet of the Swan" has my highest recommendation because it teaches as it entertains.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 12, 2004
First of all, I love it when you have to use your imagination in a story and E.B. White is a wonderful story-teller. Whenever I read this book, I think of lazy summer nights by the campfire and someone telling this story to sleepy-eyed children, while the lightening bugs flicker and owls hooting in the distance. It's a great story for all ages.
Louis is born without a voice. He is a Trumpeter Swan and he must have a voice otherwise he won't be able to mate someday. He went to school with his friend, Sam Beaver, and learned to read and write. But that didn't help because none of the other swans knew how to read and write. So his father decided to steal a trumpet for Louis so Louis can "talk." And the adventures for Louis begin as he works all across the USA to pay for the stolen trumpet and the damages to the store. Along the way, Louis finds his true love again and they get married.
It's a wonderful story about courage, honesty and bravery. Louis braved strange places and made himself a living to earn money to pay back his father's debts. It's a deeply imaginative story as well ~~ you can almost see the mist rising off the small pond in Canada in the early sunrise.
No matter how old you are, you are never too old to read this rich story. It's written for everyone who has an imagination. It's a must-read for serious readers ~~ it stays with you for a life-time!
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2000
If you like swans and adventure, I would highly recommend this book. It is about a boy about 11 years old and Louis, a trumpeter swan who, sadly, has no voice. He needs help because he is in love with Serena, a beautiful female swan, and needs to communicate with her. So Louis flies to Sam's house to go to school and learn to read and write. Louis can't communicate with his own family (they can't read). So his dutiful father steals a real brass trumpet for him. Louis feels very compelled to repair and repay the store from which his father took the trumpet. In the process, Louis takes you out on an exciting adventure to the public gardens and Swan Boats of Boston, the Philadelphia Zoo and more. This is a fun story you'll really enjoy!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2007
The Trumpet of the Swan turned out to be another big hit for my family and I to share together. You know you have a big hit with my kids when they will do whatever you ask of them just so you will sit there and read the next chapter!!

TOTS is told from a number of different perspectives. It starts off from the perspective of Sam Beaver, a young boy from Montana on vacation with his father in the Canadian Wilderness. Sam is an introspective young man. He likes to explore and think by himself, he worries about his future, and he keeps a journal where he asks himself questions to ponder every night before he goes to sleep. My 8-year-old Noah was quite taken with that idea and I am getting a journal book of his own to write down his thoughts and make little pictures to keep. Sam is also brave and patient. His patience pays off when one day the Mother Swan and her Cob allow their new cygnets to meet him. And that is how Sam meets Lois, the little swan without a voice. In a very tender moment little Lois, who has no voice, pulls Sam's shoe lace as a way to say hello. The imagination of my young sons were so inspired with what it would take to have a wild bird like Lois come that close to them. We can't even get the stray cats in our neighborhood to stand still long enough for a pat on the head!!

The Cob and his wife have come to Canada for the purpose of raising a family. The first couple of chapters are dedicated to the challenges of building a nest and hatching the young cygnets. This is my favorite part of the book! The cob, is a master orator! He never says in anything in 5 words when 50 will do much better! He is arrogant, verbose, flamboyant and charming. He cracked us all up more than once!

But the central character in the book is Lois the swan, a trumpeter swan without a voice! As it turns out this is a major birth defect for this young swan if he ever hopes to communicate with his fellow swans, but particularly if he ever hopes to woo and court a female trumpeter swan. Lois sets out on his own to learn how to communicate and with the help of Sam Beaver, he learns to read and write! With his trusty chalkboard and pencil he certainly can communicate with people. But swans cannot read. My children were mortified at the illustration of Lois swimming around with the sign saying "I love you" trying to woo the swan of his dreams, Serena. Love even makes swans surrender some of their dignity I guess.

Thanks to bold and brave actions by the cob, Lois does get a voice through a regular musical trumpet! This series of events sets on on a path that leads him to Ontario, Boston, Philadelphia and then eventually through the American South and
then back up to Montana.

For geography, tracking Lois's adventures on the map and learning about each of these places can make for interesting lessons. [...]

The Trumpet of the Swan is a family story, a love story, and adventure story, and a comedy. I highly recommend it for the entire family!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2000
Louis is a trumpeter swan. He is born one summer on a little pond in Canada, along with four brothers and sisters. But Louis has a terrible problem. Unlike the rest of his joyfully noisy family, Louis can't make a single sound. And without a trumpet sound, his true love--the beautiful swan Serena--just ignores him. Louis's father promises to help. So does Sam Beaver, a boy who loves all wild animals. First Louis goes to school with Sam and learns to read and write. But swans can't read, so Louis still can't make himself understood. That's when Louis's father puts his honor aside and steals a brass trumpet to give his son a voice. Louis's determination to pay off his father's debt to woo his own true love takes him far from the wilderness he loves. But his faith and his joy in life are always with him.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2002
Louis is a swan that is born dumb. That just means that he can't talk. He decided to go find Sam, one of his human friends and hopes that Sam could help him out. Sam does help alot and changes Louis's whole life. First, Sam lets Louis go to school; second, Sam helps Louis pay for the trumpet Louis stole and last, he helps Louis get Serena, the swan that Louis is in love with. Louis helps Sam discover one thing: Sam's future job, being a zoo keeper.
My favorite part was the part when Sam found the perfect job for his future. There the story seems to end, because Louis helps Sam and it's like a pay back for what Sam has done. I especially remeber that a boy and a swan are best friends. I think that that is very perticular: a boy and a swan, what an inmagination!
I thought that this book is a very good book. I think that is has good vocabulary. I learned new words like "crepuscular." I really liked the ending idea adn the ending sentence.i also learned some things about the trumpeter swan. I greatly enjoyed this book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2000
My teacher read this book to the class when I was 7-8 and I LOVED this book! I went home and pleaded with my grandparents to buy this book for me.. but sadly they could never find it.. I'm 21 now and I still remember how inspiring, heartbreaking, tear jerking, funny, and over all calming this book made me feel. My family had always read to me.. but this was a different kind of story.. I had never cried listening to my grandmother read.. but this one was different.. I loved this book.. its a tale of love and triumph and over coming impossible odds.. every child should read this! Buy this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2006
I remember loving this book as a child, and rereading it now with my kids it does not disappoint. The adventures of Louis the mute Trumpeter Swan, his trumpet, and his friend Sam, are at the same time lovely and fascinating. They are touching and beautiful moments, but not so much so that the book seems sappy or weak. Of all the books we've read at bedtime, this is the first to get such a resounding chorus of "Read more! Read More!" at the end of every chapter.

It is strongly suggested for children off all ages, particularly ones who might enjoy dreaming of being life long friends with a wild animal.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2000
I would recommend the book, The Trumpet of the Swan, to anyone who likes a loving and caring book. I liked it because the characters are so funny, smart, caring, and loving. One of my favorite characters in the book is Louis, a swan who can't talk but can write in English and willingly plays the trumpet for all of his fans. I also liked Sam, a boy who unexpectedly meets Louis in his hometown and tries to help Louis. Other characters include Sam's father, Mr. Beaver, Louis' father, mother, and brothers, Serena, Louis' girlfriend/wife, and many other interesting people that Louis meets in his adventures. The Trumpet of the Swan taught me two lessons. The first is to never give up. Louis never gives up on his dreams. The other leson I happily learned from this book is to always try your best. Louis did the very best he could in any situation he ran into. I think everyone should read this book because it is entertaining, fun, and teaches valuable lessons about life. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves an exciting and uplifting story.
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