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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Giants in the Land Hardcover – September 27, 1993

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Realistic fiction for tweens
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The white pines of colonial New England were truly "giants living on this land," as first-time author Appelbaum imaginatively demonstrates. The trees, she notes, "stood taller than an apartment house twenty-five stories high, taller than the tallest building ever built in New Hampshire or Maine." Her story uses a wealth of such well-presented facts to describe how, in King George's day, these trees were laboriously cut, hoisted onto huge axles, hauled by teams of oxen to the nearest river and eventually transported to England, where they became the giant masts of British warships. These trees have all been felled, but as Appelbaum optimistically concludes, "giants are growing now." The scratchboard illustrations give this text real drama. McCurdy ( The Beasts of Bethlehem ) recreates the massiveness of his subject with heavily black trees that tower past the edges of the suitably tall (12-inch) pages or topple from one corner of a spread to another, dwarfing the men who harvest them. These powerful images make a potentially esoteric subject concrete and approachable. Ages 7-up.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-4. Much more than a simple ecology lesson, this picture book dramatizes both the power of nature and the drive of human technology. Giant white pine trees once grew in the New England woods for thousands of years; today there are none. In the eighteenth century, the British needed the trees for their great warships, ships that required masts 40 inches wide at the base, 120 feet tall, and absolutely straight. The facts are astonishing: Forests had to be cleared; roads had to be cut straight because a mast tree couldn't bend around a corner; special mast ships carried the great logs to England. The prose is restrained and lyrical, precise about the mechanism by which the trees were marked, cut down, and hauled to the sea, and romantic about the giants that lived on this land. McCurdy's dramatic black-and-white scratchboard drawings, many spread across two pages, capture the sweep and detail of the landscape, the anguish of the tree felling, and the huge, lumbering procession of the oxen straining at their chains to drag each heavy trunk to the sea. There's no hectoring about the environment, but the sense of grief is manifest; the trees are gone. And then the quiet surprise of the ending: "Step into the woods. . . . Giants are growing." Hazel Rochman
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 7
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Library Binding edition (September 27, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395647207
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395647202
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 8.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #352,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on November 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
An absolutely superb book about the 18th century process of selecting, felling and transporting enormous New England hardwood trees so that they might be fashioned into masts for the king's ships. This book is filled with wonderfully detailed drawings and fascinating information. An example: "A first-class British warship was larger than Faneuil Hall in Boston. It was larger than the State House at Williamsburg in Virginia, larger than any building in the colonies from Maine to Georgia." If only there were more books like this! A must for any classroom.
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By A Customer on January 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I really like this book because all of it is true and it happened where I live. I like to think that the giants once grew where my house is. It is also special that the giants only grew in New England. The story is good to listen to or to read because it is telling real things in a way that is fun to hear. I particularly like the part about having to put smaller trees and branches underneath to keep it from breaking when the giant falls. My Dad and I have cut down small trees it is exciting when they fall. Learning history through books like this is great.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very glad to have purchased this book. My children loved the artwork and the history. They were interested to learn about the colonial period logging industry.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Giants in the Land is a good book for children of all ages. Although it has a couple of small inadequacies, the information over all is well done.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been delighted with the wonderful response that this book has elicited from readers, as well as by the generous reception that it has had among teachers, librarians and reviewers. Most recently, it has been honored by YANKEE MAGAZINE, where the editorial staff has included GIANTS IN THE LAND on a list of the best 100 books ever written for children about New England. I hope that parents who enjoy reading GIANTS IN THE LAND with their children will also enjoy reading BULLOUGH'S POND, a book for grownups published under my childhood name, Diana Muir.
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