Alida's Song

Alida's Song

by Gary Paulsen


View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Want it by Wednesday, September 26?   Order by 12:00 PM Eastern and choose Expedited Shipping at checkout.


Alida's Song by Gary Paulsen

A remarkable novel about one of the most important, and loving, relationships in Gary Paulsen's life.

The wonderful grandmother seen through the eyes of a young boy in The Cookcamp reaches out to him at 14, offering him a haven from his harsh and painful family life. She arranges a summer job for him on the farm where she is a cook for Gunnar and Olaf, elderly brothers. Farm life offers the camaraderie and routine of hard work, good food, peaceful evenings spent making music together, even learning to dance. Life with Alicia gives the boy strength and faith in himself, drawing him away from the edge and into the center of life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440414742
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 04/10/2001
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 96
Sales rank: 348,133
Product dimensions: 5.19(w) x 7.63(h) x 0.24(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Gary Paulsen is a three-time Newbery Honor winner. Among his best known titles are Brian's Winter and Soldier's Heart. This novel is based on his own life.

From the Hardcover edition.

Read an Excerpt

Saturday came fast, too fast for the boy, but not so fast that he did not have time to think of the problems he faced.

He had never been to a party.

He did not know any of the people who would be there.

He had never been to a dance.

He could not speak to girls.

He could not be with crowds of strangers.

He could not, he finally decided, go.

The boy started in early in the day on Saturday. As they did morning chores he mentioned that he was not feeling well. His grandmother felt his head and Olaf and Gunnar both looked at him strangely.

"You did not seem sick at breakfast," Olaf said. "You ate good."

"He ate more than me," Gunnar said. "More than both of us."

"I just feel kind of sick," the boy said, knowing it was a lost cause. "It only came over me now."

"Well," his grandmother said, "I'll just have to stay home tonight and make sure you are all right."

The looks Olaf and Gunnar sent him were withering and he knew it was over. "I think it will be all right. I think I just drank too much milk. I'm still not used to whole milk."

Preparations began right after evening chores.

From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Alida's Song 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Aurel Wang More than 1 year ago
Alida's song, written by gary paulsen, is an interesting and fun book. It bas a great message to it too. This book is about a boy who lives with careless parents that are ofren drunk. He later on receives a letter frim his grandmother, Alida, saying that he will be working for her and two brothers on a farm in Northern Minnesota. He learns many things in his time with his grandmother. I'm not going to give out everything though! Anyways, the boy goes to a dance and thats where the special moment began! He seems a little shy at first, but he starts to change with the help of his grandmother. His grandmother had a song that she picked to dance to with the boy. The boy becomes, well, more comfortable. From then on, he was never afraid and kept that special moment in his head. He still thinks that his grandmother is still guiding him in life! HOPE U READ AND ENJOY THIS BOOK!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You_can_trust_me More than 1 year ago
Alida’s song is a great book with heart. It is about this boy and his grandmother. When the boy was four his grandmother Alida took care of him. The boys parents were often drunk and cared a tad for their son. He worked every day and night, he found himself lonely. One summer his grandmother is cooking for two male farmers, that need a young boys help on their farm. The boy gets to have great experiences with his grandma. Read the book to find more out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alida's Song written by Gary Pulsen a guy that comes to see his grandma. He is in the army.He remembers his past of coming to his grandma's house. He grew up poor and his parents were always drunk. He found ways to make money his self. That's why he goes to his grandma's house. He learns to take care of his self and does it all on his own. I gave this book ** stars. I recommend this book to anybody that likes to read novels about people going back to the hard times.
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
Set in the early to mid 1950s, this book tells the story of a summer in the life of a fourteen-year-old boy whose parents were always fighting and often drunk. He nearly flunked the eighth grade like every grade before it and is in danger of being drawn into the gang life of the city where he lives. But he receives a letter from his grandmother Alida, who is working for the bachelor Nelson brothers on their farm in northern Minnesota and invites the boy to spend the summer there. The first book by Paulsen which I read was Dog Song, which I found so revolting that I decided not to read any more of Paulsen's books. But Hatchet was recommended by several, so I read it and it is not bad. Then when I saw Alida's Song at a used curriculum sale, I picked it up. Aside from a few references to stealing, drinking alcohol, using tobacco, dancing (this would not be a problem for many people, but there are those of us who do have religious objections to social dancing), and swearing (the only actual instance of swearing is one use of "by god"-do authors really think that if they do not capitalize the word "god" that it really is not taking the Lord's name in vain?), this is not all that bad a book and does have good message to it. It is identified as "a companion to The Cookcamp," an earlier book of Paulsen's that I have not read, of which it is said, "This short, lyrical novel concerns a five-year-old boy who is sent to the north woods of Minnesota to live with his grandmother, a cook for a rough-and-tumble road-building crew, because his father is off fighting in World War II and his mother has taken a job in a factory." Alida's Song apparently picks up the story some ten years later. I tire of children's books that present nuclear families as broken or dysfunctional, but those situations do exist and it is good that there are grandmothers like Alida who can step in and do something to help. The jacket cover calls it "a memorable novel about one of the most important and loving relationships in Gary Paulsen's life," so we might assume that while it is fictionalized, it is somewhat autobiographical. Common Sense Media said, "Parents need to know that clear writing and strong, wholesome characters are the trademarks of this pastoral novel." The book was reissued in 2001.