"The second rule says that the door to a person's heart can only be opened from within.
If there is someone who will not let you in, it's no use hammering and kicking
and lamenting and complaining. For what if the door is ajar, and you push it shut?
With some people it can never be opened again."
We never get to find out her real name.
The girl - she lives near a cove, by a brook that runs out to sea, with her wise but ailing grandmother. They live secluded from the rest of the town. The girl collects mussels and sea kale for food and gathers driftwood to keep them warm and alive.
Except ... we all know that Grandmother is dying.
After Grandmother passes away, the girl buries her and mourns all on her own.
Two crows fly over her, and it is those two crows that the girl sees again several days later. "Come along, come along," she hears them call. Alone, and terrified of being engulfed by loneliness, she wraps a few pieces of clothings with a large handkerchief, ties it to a walking stick, and wraps her grandmother's shawl around her. Then she walks out of the house, down along the shore.
The Crow-Girl, as she is called by the first seemingly kind stranger, goes on to meet new people and learns about leaving and staying. She travels on with a poor, young boy whose father is too grief-stricken to take care of him, and with a pair of mother and daughter fleeing from an abusive family. Unknowingly, a family of strangers forms and their bond grows strong enough to withstand hunger and further loss.
There is a quiet tone in the telling of The Crow-Girl's adventures that I particularly like. I understand this tone isn't every reader's cup of tea. (Too gloomy for my taste, some might say.) But if you like a story about loss and findings, told through prose clear as a bout of wind, and with an undertone that is slightly sad but which, at times, still promises hope, you might enjoy this piece.
The Crow-Girl is translated from the Danish. One of my favourite middle-grade novels, The Song of the Whales, is also a translation (from Hebrew). Both of them carry a narrative style that is, strangely, classy yet down-to-earth at the same time. I wonder if you guys know of other translated children's books (picture books, middle-grade or young adult novels) that I could check out? Feel very free to let me know ~
Just Received Word On:
~ An author interview over at Carolyn Hart's Storytime Standouts. Carolyn asked several fabulous questions and I had a great time hanging out over at her place!
~ A Sea Creatures Ebook Giveaway at Brooke Blogs. The winner will receive 5 children's ebooks/apps. If you know of anyone whose kids enjoy the sea-creature theme, be sure to point them to the giveaway!
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Hey, I'm Claudine. Welcome!
Want to know what children's stories can inspire & lead to?
by Kate Hanney
Really enjoyed the honest voice of this narrator ~ a teenager let down by his mother and the foster care system, and almost-picked up through his involvement with a gang.