Book Review: An Enemy at Green Knowe by L.M. Boston

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An Enemy at Green Knowe by L.M. Boston The last of Lucy Maria Boston’s five books about Green Knowe injects a rare element into the magical adventures and nature-idyll of the English manor house of the title. That element is terror. It begins when Tolly (Mrs. Oldknow’s great-grandson) and Ping (a displaced Chinese boy who visits on holidays) come to spend the summer together at Green Knowe. It involves an ancient manuscript of great magical ... Read More »

Book Review: A Stranger at Green Knowe by L.M. Boston

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A Stranger at Green Knowe by L.M. Boston Lucy Maria Boston once again proves herself to be a tremendously lyrical writer in this fourth book about Green Knowe, an ancient English manor house where all kinds of magic can happen. But this book marks a departure from the earlier stories in the series, as it actually has a tightly plotted story line as well. There are good writers and there are good storytellers, and in ... Read More »

Book Review: The River at Green Knowe by L.M. Boston

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  The River at Green Knowe by L.M. Boston Lucy Maria Boston’s third book about Green Knowe uncovers a whole new aspect of the English manor house’s magic. This time, the characters are different. Granny Oldknow has apparently rented out the place to Dr. Maud Biggin– an archaeologist obsessed with finding evidence that giant people existed thousands of years ago– and her friend, Miss Sybilla Bun. And Aunt Maud has, in turn, decided to invite ... Read More »

Book Review: Treasure of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston

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  Treasure of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston In this second book in Lucy Maria Boston’s Green Knowe Chronicles, little Tolly returns to his great grandmother’s manor house for another school holiday. Once again he gets to explore the nooks and crannies of a fascinating old house, and play in its equally fascinating grounds. But most excitingly, he gets to solve another historic mystery, interacting with children who lived in another time. Are they ghosts from ... Read More »

Book Review: The Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston

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  The Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston Lucy Maria Boston lived almost a hundred years, and it was a good thing. She wrote eight books for children — or rather, she wrote them for herself, though they have been loved by many children — and she didn’t even start writing until she was over sixty. Five of her books were about the homey, magical grounds of the English castle Green Noah, also known ... Read More »

Book Review: His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

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At the urgent request of many, many Book Trolley visitors, I feel compelled to put in a word or three about Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy, a teen-oriented fantasy series that includes the books The Northern Lights (The Golden Compass), The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. These stories bring together a boy from our world (?) and a girl from a parallel world in which the Reformation, the Age of Reason, and the Industrial Revolution never happened and ... Read More »

Book Review: The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis

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The aptly-named last title in the seven-book Chronicles of Narnia brings the wonderful adventures in that magic world to a heartbreaking and yet victorious close. The beginning of the end comes when a lion-skin washes ashore and the wicked ape Shift conceives a plan, making use of the innocent donkey Puzzle to deceive the good folks of Narnia. Pretending that Aslan has returned, Shift sells Narnia to their Calormene enemies and afflicts the talking beasts and trees ... Read More »

Book Review: Watership Down by Richard Adams

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  Watership Down by Richard Adams Don’t be deceived by the title. The book has nothing to do with a shipwreck, or any kind of vessel whatever. Watership Down is a place–a pleasant, natural place, whose threatened inhabitants include a group of young rabbits. Hazel, Fiver, Pipkin, Hawkbit, Bigwig, Dandelion, and other friends break away from their “Owsla,” flee the destructive encroachments of men, and set off in search of a new home. It is ... Read More »

Book Review: Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce

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This book first came out in 1958, which is important to know if you’re going to follow the time-line of the story. It’s about a then-present-day boy named Tom Long, who is miserable about being exiled to his boring aunt and uncle’s flat for the summer, instead of being able to romp around the backyard with his beloved brother Peter. The reason is Peter has the measles, so if Tom doesn’t have them he has ... Read More »

Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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Naturally, I have to recommend that you see the award-winning, classic film based on this book, starring the late Gregory Peck. As a movie buff it would go against my principles not to. But I also, wholeheartedly, recommend reading the 1960 novel by Harper Lee. It is an incredibly moving experience. Whether you have seen the movie or not, the image that probably comes first to your mind is the trial of a black man accused of raping ... Read More »