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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
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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: #1,743,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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