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The Summer Birds par Penelope Farmer
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The Summer Birds (original 1962; édition 1962)

par Penelope Farmer (Auteur)

Séries: Aviary Hall (1)

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914242,655 (3.97)12
A strange boy spends the summer teaching Charlotte, Emma, and their friends to fly, but the magic ends when they learn his true identity. Carnegie Medal Commended Book, 1962. The sequels are Charlotte Sometimes (1969) and Emma in Winter (1966). Outstanding Quality.
Membre:emrsalgado
Titre:The Summer Birds
Auteurs:Penelope Farmer (Auteur)
Info:Harcourt Childrens Books (1962), Edition: First Edition
Collections:Votre bibliothèque
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Mots-clés:to-read

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The Summer Birds par Penelope Farmer (1962)

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Originally a short story, intended for inclusion in the author's first book, The China People, and then expanded into a novel in its own right, Penelope Farmer's The Summer Birds is a poignant, lyrically descriptive children's fantasy that addresses itself to the common childhood dream of learning to fly. Opening one summer morning, as sisters Charlotte and Emma Makepeace encounter a strange bird-like boy, on their way to school, it chronicles the magical season that follows, one in which the boy - never named - teaches the entire class how to fly, and leads them on a number of extraordinary adventures. From an idyllic Saturday at the nearby lake, in which the sisters and their schoolmates fly and play; to a deadly serious 'tournament,' in which the leader of the group - whether the boy, or Totty (Thomas) Feather - is to be chosen; the children are entirely engrossed in their new aerial activity, and, by the end of the summer, ready (almost) to follow the boy to a new world...

Farmer's sense of the ineffable here, of the deeper and truer meanings and feelings, running along beneath the surface of events - sometimes sensed, but so infrequently captured or expressed - is really quite astonishing! There is this lovely passage, toward the close of the book, that describes Charlotte's reaction to her first flight, in the style of a seagull, diving toward the sea: "Nothing would ever be as good as that. Not even the next fall, when she tried again to act as a gull, not even that was as good...Nothing would ever be like that first drop to the sea - down like a gull falling seaward from the cliff. It had been the best, yet somehow the saddest, happening of her whole life, but she could explain neither the happiness nor the sadness." - that perfectly captures the feeling of the book, for me. There is both joy and sadness here - the joy of a dream's fulfillment, and the sadness of that dream's fulfillment. And there is danger, and a worrying sense of disquietude, in the midst of the magic. This isn't a sweet story, but a strangely beautiful and sharp one, that haunts the reader long afterward.

My first foray into the work of Penelope Farmer, The Summer Birds most assuredly will not be my last! Recommended to young readers who dream of flying, and who have a taste for stories with an odd, eldritch flavor. ( )
1 voter AbigailAdams26 | Apr 23, 2013 |
As the only Penelope Farmer book I had read before this was Charlotte Sometimes this book was not what I had expected. I did like it but it was a very different sort of book. ( )
  matamgirl | Apr 3, 2013 |
Summary: A strange, magical boy approaches Charlotte and Emma Makepeace on their way to school one day, and offers to teach them to fly. Soon all of the children in the village have have learned, and are given one precious summer of flight and freedom, although they must struggle to keep their outings secret.

Review: I picked this book up because Charlotte Sometimes was one of my favorite books as a kid, and I never knew it was third in a series until this year. The Summer Birds is the first book in the series, written first, and is obviously geared towards a younger audience. The plot is less complex and nuanced, and the writing and tone are less mature. Still, it's a charming, quaint, and whimsical little book, and what child hasn't dreamed of being able to fly?

Recommendation: Charlotte Sometimes is deservedly the more famous book, but it's a shame this one isn't better known - it's light, summery, and very enjoyable, particularly for youngish children. ( )
1 voter fyrefly98 | Aug 26, 2007 |
A charmer of a children's book about the summer a mysterious boy teaches all of the children of the village to fly. ( )
  Crowyhead | Nov 2, 2005 |
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Nom de l'auteur(e)RôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Penelope Farmerauteur(e) principal(e)toutes les éditionscalculé
Spanfeller, James JIllustrateurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé

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Innumerable swallows nested in the battlements of the old house and swooped and dived all day from May to October, skimming off the green lawn surface.
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A strange boy spends the summer teaching Charlotte, Emma, and their friends to fly, but the magic ends when they learn his true identity. Carnegie Medal Commended Book, 1962. The sequels are Charlotte Sometimes (1969) and Emma in Winter (1966). Outstanding Quality.

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