The Crow-Girl (Children of Crow Cove Series #1))

Overview

A timeless novel about the kindness of strangers

Near a little cove where a brook runs out to the sea live a girl and her grandmother. All alone with no neighbors at all, the two lead a peaceful existence. They have a house, dine on sea kale and mussels and sand snails, and build fires from driftwood. But the grandmother is very old. When the time comes that the girl must bury the woman, she makes up a funeral song about the birds she is watching: Two crows never fly alone, and ...

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Overview

A timeless novel about the kindness of strangers

Near a little cove where a brook runs out to the sea live a girl and her grandmother. All alone with no neighbors at all, the two lead a peaceful existence. They have a house, dine on sea kale and mussels and sand snails, and build fires from driftwood. But the grandmother is very old. When the time comes that the girl must bury the woman, she makes up a funeral song about the birds she is watching: Two crows never fly alone, and death is never, ever past. The next day the same crows seem to beckon her, and so the Crow-Girl begins her journey, one in which she will meet people both warm and cold, hurt and hurtful. And the Crow-Girl, before she knows it, has the makings before her of a new family . . .

This lyrical story, with its characters' moments of darkness always overcome through incredible humanity, introduces a strong new voice for American readers.

After the death of her grandmother, a young orphaned girl leaves her house by the cove and begins a journey which leads her to people and experiences that exemplify the wisdom her grandmother had shared with her.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Poignant...symbolism and power of names thread through the narrative. Touching on universal themes, this quiet adventure story has the depth and flavor of a tale from long ago and far away...a rewarding read." —Starred, School Library Journal

"There's a fairy-tale quality about this well written story...compelling." —Starred, Booklist

"Luminous and uncluttered...With resonate concrete images and without sentimentality, Bredsdorff tells a harshly beautiful story that charts the characters' progress toward interdependence." —Starred, The Horn Book

"Satisfying...Readers will hope that more of Bredsdorff's sturdy fiction reaches these shores." —Publishers Weekly

"Strong-boned and sinewy...a potential new favorite." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Publishers Weekly
Knowing she is about to die, a woman shares with her granddaughter the wisdom necessary to survive in a sometimes harsh world. PW said, "Readers will hope that more of [the Danish author's] sturdy fiction reaches these shores." Ages 8-12. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
A young girl and her grandmother make their home together happily in an isolated cove living off the bounty of the land and the sea. When the grandmother dies, the girl sets off to find her way in the world. At her first stop, she is put to work by a greedy woman. Unwilling to put up with it, Crow-Girl follows the crows and encounters others on the road that eventually leads her back home and to happiness. There is almost a fairy tale quality to this story of a child being independent and surviving on her own which will appeal to children. Translated from the Danish, the writing is understated and simple and makes some of the unusual occurrences seem believable. 2004, Farrar Straus and Giroux, Ages 8 to 12.
—Joan Kindig, Ph.D.
Diana Harter
Crow-Girl is a Danish folktale comparable to a Hans Christian Anderson story. Crow-Girl lives by the sea in a small house where she spends her time caring for her dying grandmother and gathering driftwood and oysters. Before her grandmother dies, she promises Crow-Girl she will continue to watch over her in order to guide and comfort Crow-Girl on her life's path. Now an orphan, Crow-Girl decides to travel until she can find a new family. Led by a crow (that's the reason she is called Crow-Girl), she journeys to various towns where she discovers that not all people make good family members, and that it is best to find happiness when you help others. She assists a number of people on her journey—a small abandoned boy, an abused mother and daughter, and a lonely old farmer. By selflessly helping others, Crow-Girl gains a family from those she has helped.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Set in the indistinct past, this is the poignant story of a girl who lives with her grandmother on a lonely stretch of coast in Denmark. The two survive by collecting driftwood and carefully harvesting the gifts of the sea. The coziness of their life is punctuated by Grandmother's awareness that her own life is tenuous; she offers her granddaughter gentle advice that serves her well in the future. After the woman dies, the child bids farewell to her beloved home and follows a pair of crows as they fly along the shore. Hoping to find help, she arrives in a village where she works for a coldhearted woman who gives her the name Crow-Girl and tries to take advantage of her. Following her heart and the crows, the girl moves on in her search for a home. Her strength of character, innate kindness, and ability to care for herself prove invaluable in creating a new life and family. The justice of unfolding events and the satisfying ending will please readers, who will enjoy watching the pieces of the plot fall into place. The symbolism and power of names thread through the narrative. Touching on universal themes, this quiet adventure story has the depth and flavor of a tale from long ago and far away. It's a rewarding read for youngsters who are fond of the details and the simplicity of earlier times.-Carol A. Edwards, Sonoma County Library, Santa Rosa, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374312473
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 5/11/2004
  • Series: Children of Crow Cove Series , #1
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 810L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.38 (w) x 7.87 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Bodil Bredsdorff is a popular Danish children's book author. This is her first novel to be published in the United States.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Gentle adventure with a wonderful translation

    Crow-Girl has lived all her life alone in the cove with her grandmother, and when her grandmother dies, she intends to go on doing so. But one day, two crows call to her, beckoning her to follow them out into the world. On her journey she meets good people and bad, and slowly begins to form a new family for herself.

    Bodil Bredsdorff's novel is unusual in that it's both sweet and gentle and yet plotted in such a way that it's hard to put down. The characters are fresh and real, and Faith Ingwersen's translation retains a dreamy, poetic pace that reflects its foreign origin. The book mentions pebbled beaches, sea kale, and meals of mussels, fjords, spinning wheels, and bogs, but the reverence in the language for these details adds just as much to the book's foreign feel as the details, themselves.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2008

    A reviewer

    I just love with the book 'Crow Girl' it was a wonderful read. I couldn't put it down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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