- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; First edition (September 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0152053107
- ISBN-13: 978-0152053109
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 319 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Northern Light Paperback – September 1, 2004
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Starred Review This is a breathtaking tale, complex and often earthy ... Donnelly's characters ring true to life, and the meticulously detailed setting forms a vivid backdrop to this finely crafted story.
--School Library Journal
Starred Review ... (an) ambitious, beautifully written coming-of-age story ... Many teens will connect with Mattie's fierce yearning for independence and for stories, like her own, that are frank, messy, complicated and inspiring. --Booklist
A Northern Light is a quintessential coming-of-age story ... exceptionally well told. Honest and unflinching in its portrayal of loss, poverty, racism, and pregnancy, it nonetheless avoids melodrama and polemic. --Christian Science Monitor
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Life in Mattie's world is portrayed vividly. All the town's characters come to life, especially the enigmatic Mrs. Wilcox, Mattie's teacher. Mrs. Wilcox drives a fast car, smokes and has a few secrets of her own. And she believes in Mattie's ability as a writer. When Mattie receives word she's been accepted to Barnard, she is excited but torn between her promises and responsibility to the family. And then add love interest, Royal Loomis, an attractive farmer who wants to start a life with Mattie. Mattie has feelings for him but realizes he may never fully understand or support her love of literature and writing.
The descriptions and characters from this time period really come to life in this well written novel; the reality of how women were treated back then and what few choices they had is heart wrenching at times.. I loved this book very much! Highly recommended!
I laughed, I cried, I hoped and I learned. A Northern Light is a beautiful story everyone should read.
This was a beautifully written book, told from the point of view of Mattie. You come to root for both Mattie and Weaver even though there seems to be little hope in their dreams coming true. The mystery surrounding a girl's drowning death is woven into the story well. I was initially the most intrigued by the mystery of the drowning but I was quickly overtaken by my interest in Mattie as a character. She loves books and picks a word from her dictionary each day and attempts to use it--even in word battles with Weaver. I could relate to Mattie as a character and despite Grace (drowning victim) being the person who really existed, Mattie felt the most real to me. I loved the addition of Miss Wilcox and the twist with her background. The circumstances and time in which Mattie lived really makes you think. If I had be born during that time I may have been one of those women who was considered insane just for having a mind of her own....thanks to a plethora of events and time passing now I just get dirty looks and attitude with only scant mentionings of being institutionalized.