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Graven Images

Graven Images

by Bagram Ibatoulline (Illustrator), Paul Fleischman
Three graven images'a wooden sailor-figure from a death ship; a copper weather vane depicting St. Crispin; and a statue commissioned by a ghost'effect revelations of murder and romance in three tales for young teens... 1983 Newbery Honor Book
Notable Children's Books of 1982 (ALA)
Best Books of 1982 (SLJ)
100 Favorite Paperbacks of


Three graven images'a wooden sailor-figure from a death ship; a copper weather vane depicting St. Crispin; and a statue commissioned by a ghost'effect revelations of murder and romance in three tales for young teens... 1983 Newbery Honor Book
Notable Children's Books of 1982 (ALA)
Best Books of 1982 (SLJ)
100 Favorite Paperbacks of 1989 (IRA/CBC)
Children's Books of 1982 (Library of Congress)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Older readers will be delighted with the return to print of Newbery Honor book Graven Images: Three Stories (1982) by Paul Fleischman, with haunting new acrylic gouache illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline, evoking the spinetingling aspects of this trio of tales about statues that seem to know and communicate secrets and desires. Via a new afterword, the author explains the stories' inspiration and describes this book's significance early in his career. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
First recognized in 1983 as a Newbery Honor Book, this trilogy of short stories remains timeless in theme and intrigue. Images come in the guise of power, love, and pride. Fast moving plots defy readers to put down the little volume until all are read. "The Binnacle Boy," wooden though he is, becomes the safe haven for village confessions, prayers, and dreams, until a deaf girl discovers his secrets. "Saint Crispin's Follower," reveals the sincere, though humorously misguided courtship of a lovely lass, but all ends happily. "The Man of Influence," haughty though he may be, learns dangerously late where real values lie, and prays for rain. Fleischman brings together compelling tales of human foibles with such charm that readers may serendipitously find themselves in the midst of learning profound lessons. 2006 (orig. 1982), Candlewick Press, Ages 11 to 15.
—Janice DeLong
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Three tales of the supernatural are rejuvenated in this spellbinding performance of Newbery Medalist Paul Fleischman's 1982 novel that is now back in print (Candlewick, 2006). The voices of actors Paul Michael, Susan Denaker, and Lincoln Hoppe provide a cushioning effect for these eerie stories about the secret lives of statues. Hoppe nails the youthful voice of a love-struck boy in "Saint Crispin's Follower," and Denaker's narration of "The Binnacle Boy" gently introduces listeners to the hidden knowledge of a shipboard statue. Michael has an uncanny ability to dramatically change his voice and switch easily between accents. He presents an especially compelling performance as a sculptor and his model in the final story, "The Man of Influence." The rich and mysterious lives of graven images are detailed further in the production's closing remarks as Fleischman divulges what inspired him to write his short stories. Older readers who have moved beyond Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories will find more than enough spooky thrills in this fascinating audio production.-Celeste Steward, Alameda County Library, Fremont, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.38(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.54(d)
Age Range:
12 - 14 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

When the brig Orion, three weeks out from Havana, appeared off her home port of New Bethany, Maine, Miss Evangeline Frye was just parting her bed curtains, formally banishing night.

While those who'd chanced to spy the sails wondered why the ship hadn't fired a salute, Miss Frye was combing her coarse, gray hair. While the Orion drifted unexpectedly about, at last presenting her stem to the harbor, Miss Frye was blowing the hearth fire into being. And while the harbor pilot's drowsy son rowed his father out to the ship, to return in a frenzy, eyes wide and hands trembling, Miss Frye was stationed at her parlor window, awaiting the sight of Sarah Peel.

She peered down the length of Bartholomew Street. Straight-spined as a mast and so tall that her gaze was aimed out through the top row of windowpanes, Miss Frye eyed the clock on the town hall next door. It was eight fifteen. The girt was late-and plenty of scrubbing and spinning to be done.

She pursed her lips, lowered her eyes, and looked out upon her flower garden. It was nearly Independence Day-tansy was thriving, pinks were in bloom, marigolds were budding on schedule. But the poppy seeds she'd bought from a rogue of a peddler, and gullibly planted with care, still hadn't sent up a single shoot. And probably never would, she reflected. In memory, she heard her mother's voice: "Girls take after their mothers, Evangeline. Men take after the Devil." She regarded the bare stretch of soil below, sneering at this latest confirmation.

The door knocker sounded. Miss Frye opened up and was surprised to find not Sarah Peel, but her ten-year-old younger sister, Tekoa.

"I'vecome to do chores, ma'am."

Miss Frye cocked her head. "But where is Sarah?"

"In bed, ma'am. Taken ill." The girl spoke softly, tucking a strand of straw-blond hair under her kerchief.

"Well then." Miss Frye motioned her in and closed the door behind her. "I suppose you've had practice scouring pewter."

Tekoa stood in the hallway, silent.

Miss Frye blinked her eyes. Was this some impertinence? Then at once she recalled what Sarah had told her-that the girl had been left deaf by a fever and was able to listen only with her eyes, by reading the words on others' lips.

Miss Frye passed Tekoa, then turned to face her.

"You can begin with the pewter."

"Yes, ma'am," said the girl.

Miss Frye led her down the hall to the kitchen. "And what manner of illness has seized poor Sarah?"

"Her jaws," said Tekoa. "They won't come open."

Miss Frye appeared startled. "And when did this happen?"

"This morning, just after the news of the Orion."

Miss Frye's eyebrows jerked. "The Orion? What news?" Among the crew of New Bethany boys was Miss Frye's adopted son, Ethan.

"She appeared offshore this morning, ma'am," Tekoa calmly replied.

At once Miss Frye rushed to the window.

"All of the crew were found to be dead."


Meet the Author

PAUL FLEISCHMAN received a Newbery Honor for GRAVEN IMAGES, then went on to win the Newbery Medal for JOYFUL NOISE: POEMS FOR TWO VOICES. Since then, he has crafted an ever more innovative library of books, including ZAP, a play for high school students mixing seven plays in one, and the horror novel parody A FATE TOTALLY WORSE THAN DEATH. Paul Fleischman is currently working on an updated edition of DATELINE: TROY.

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