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The Owl Service
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The Owl Service

4.5 4
by Alan Garner

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The Carnegie Medal–winning classic about a most unusual dinner service and the ancient, deadly magic it holds.


The Carnegie Medal–winning classic about a most unusual dinner service and the ancient, deadly magic it holds.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Three teenagers, Alison, Roger, and Gwyn, hear strange noises coming from the attic of their summer home. When Gwyn, the housekeeper's son, investigates he finds a stack of old dinner plates. Immediately Alison begins creating owls by tracing the floral pattern on every plate. As each plate is completed, the patterns and owls mysteriously vanish. Gwyn tries to make sense of it all with Alison's help but her mum forbids any contact. Distraught, Gwyn runs away but returns after he learns the truth. Garner's work of fiction is a complicated story that may need to be read more than once to be fully understood. A tragic Welsh love affair is repeated through Alison, Gwyn, and Roger. Gwyn must solve the mystery before it is too late. In the end Gwyn gets answers from a surprising source. Several examples of classism are apparent in this novel. The reader will either love or hate this story. 2006 (orig. 1967), Odyssey Classics/Harcourt, Ages 12 up.
—Mary Jo Edwards
From the Publisher
"A book to be read and re-read....Stirring to the emotions and the imagination.”—Christian Science Monitor
"It is hard to write with restraint about Alan Garner’s talent, so deftly does he build his story...of bright fantasy and somber Welsh legend, of romantic adventure and acid realism.”—Saturday Review

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Odyssey Classics Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.53(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Alan Garner was born and still lives in Cheshire, an area which has had a profound effect on his writing and provided the seed of many ideas worked out in his books.His fourth book, ‘The Owl Service’ brought Alan Garner to everyone’s attention. It won two important literary prizes – The Guardian Award and the Carnegie Medal – and was made into a serial by Granada Television. It has established itself as a classic and Alan Garner as a writer of great distinction.

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The Owl Service 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book so much that I read it three times! It was full of mystery and it kept me reading late into the night. I read it months ago, and still remember every little detail because I loved it so much.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alison, Roger and Gwyn end up releasing evil upon themselves by innocently tracing plates that reveal images of owls that later disappear. There's just enough info to confuse and interest you...since that's all I'm telling...read the book and be fascinated.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The owl service is an outstanding and reccomended book for readers. The story twists throught the book but it is quite hard to understand but once you have read it all you will find out that it was well worth your time reading it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is kinda weird, but I like it! I stumbled upon it in the library. I think that people who really enjoy fantasy stories will like this.