Childrens Book Reading Extravaganza 2010: Novel #98

Well, friends, there’s been a bit of anticipation around what old Mrs. Mimi was going to say about Novel 98 from the list of the Top 100 Children’s Novels.  You see, evidently #98 made it’s way into the childhood hearts of many of you while I, an avid reader as a child, had never heard of it before.  (gasps from the crowd)

#98 is The Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston.

The Children of Green Knowe  (Click on the image if you can’t resist and must have the link to buy this title asap.)

And I have to admit, I’m a teensy bit nervous to review this one.  Just a smidge.

Now don’t freak out on me here.  I didn’t hate it.  No, no, no.  No worries.  Mrs. Mimi is NOT going to rip this book a new one.  HOWEVER…I can’t say that I loved it.


Is it safe to come out now?

In general, I have to say it was hard for me to stay engaged in this one.  I found myself reading ahead, skipping pages and skimming.  Which is not a good sign.  I hardly EVER do that.  In fact, I have a girlfriend who religiously reads the last pages of chapters and books FIRST and then (I suspect) does a good skim job with the rest.

(Is anyone else giggling over the term “skim job”?  No? Maybe?)

Anyway, I think this is a TERRIBLE habit, but from time to time, I find myself doing the same thing.  And, I’ve done it so few times, that I can actually name the books this has happened with.

So, um, yeah….there was some skimming.

Basically, this book is about a little boy, Toseland, (I’m not kidding, that’s his name.) who is sent to live with his great-grandmother in what seems to be a really old-school fabulous castle with crazy grounds, horse stables and some ghosts.  (Did she say “ghosts”?)  Yes, I said ghosts.  You see, there are all these children who used to live in Green Knowe (the castle) and have evidently died.  Their ghosts visit the great-grandmother and soon, the little boy as well.  Throughout the book the boy is entertained by stories of days-gone-by told by his great-grandmother as well as quests to spend time with these ghosts or memories…I’m not really sure if there ARE actual ghosts or this is all imaginary or if that fact matters at all.

Coming in at a level T (according to this leveled book list which uses Fountas and Pinnell’s leveling system), this book is appropriate for just right readers probably in sixth grade. (You’re totally right ChrisinNY- thanks!)  Although I know that there are smarty pants out there who may be a level T all ahead of schedule…and kudos to them!

I feel like I am NOT doing this book justice AT ALL.  And I feel really bad about it.  For realsies.  I wanted to log on and write this post where I was all, “This book is amazeballs!”  But I can’t.  (Noah, my arctic friend, I feel like I’m letting YOU down in particular…please chime in!)

Help me, oh lovers of this book?

Next up…#97 The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane…join me!

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  • There, there. I am a long time lover of this title, but it IS a special one and not good for all. It moves slow at a meandering, gentle pace, kinda like Wind in the Willows. It will definitely appeal to those that like more old fashioned kind of books. Also, I think that 4th grade level is off. More like 6th or so. Sorry you did not love it, but sometimes a book just has to catch you at the right age. This may be one you had to read when you were young to have that deep resonance.

    May 21, 2010 at 4:24 pm
  • I've never heard of that book either. But thanks for sharing the Leveled Book List…that' a treasure trove!

    May 21, 2010 at 4:24 pm
  • ps – you couldn't let me down if you tried – particularly after using the word "amazeballs".

    May 21, 2010 at 7:33 pm
  • Never fear Mrs Mimi – I think you did by it just fine. I totally agree with ChrisinNy – it is a special one and not for everybody. It caught me at a particularly old-fashioned point in my development!
    Books are so personal – never fear!
    I'm a week away from heading home and catching up with you reading wise. Can't wait!

    May 21, 2010 at 7:33 pm
  • I think this book is all about the mood and the language, and if you aren't enjoying those then it will leave you pretty cold.

    You might enjoy "Stranger in Green Knowe" more, which is much more about action. If you are determined to like a Green Knowe book, that is. I admit, I love them all.

    May 22, 2010 at 1:22 am
  • I spent awhile hunting this one down a few years ago and was pretty disappointed. As an adult, I think I was a tad too harsh – for instance, I felt that it was totally creepy that the grandmother seemed far more interested in the former children than Toseland.

    May 22, 2010 at 1:21 pm

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