Saturday, February 12, 2005

The Crow-Girl

Bredsdorff, Bodil. 2004. THE CROW GIRL. Farrar. Straus & Giroux. ISBN 0374312478 [Suggested Grade Levels 4-7]

This Danish novel has a timeless appeal. Set in the distant past, this is a moving story of a young girl who lives with her grandmother in a small, isolated weathered house on the coast of Denmark. The two survive by their various collections of driftwood and treasures of the sea. Knowing that the grandmother is dying, she offers her wisdom to the nameless girl, sharing her aspiring thoughts on hope and dreams—for they will come true if one holds true to them. After her grandmother's death, faced with being wholly alone in the world, the girl begins her many struggles while attempting to make sense of her new life. Through her despair she packs up a few treasured pieces and her little personal belongings and sets off on her journey to create a new life for herself. Lost in her search for a new life, she follows a pair of crows as they fly along the shore. She quickly struggles to make sense of her lonely life and meets up with an old woman who tries to befriend her and gives her the name of Crow Girl, but she quickly learns of the old woman’s greed and wicked ways. By the end of the novel, the Crow Girl has returned home with a new name and family. The symbolic story will take readers to a place of long ago, with life lessons that will stay with the reader throughout their lives.

Read stories about crows. Discuss how the crows were symbolic to the story.
Display sea treasures you could find along the seashore, (e.g., sea shells, weathered sea rocks, branches, pictures of starfish, sea crows).
Invite children to talk about other treasures you could find along the seashore.

Other books about personal journeys:
Snicket, Lemony. THE SLIPPERY SLOPE. ISBN 0064410137
Weeks, Sarah. SO B. IT. ISBN 0066236223
Creech, Sharon. HEARTBEAT. ISBN 0060540222

By Kim Southwell

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