A SOUND OF LEAVES by Lenore Blegvad


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 11
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 A moody, bittersweet novella about the difficulties of Sylvie's family in their first outing away from the city, to a cousin's vacant house at the beach. For Sylvie and her brother, Dell, it is strange to be anywhere other than in their apartment, especially without her father, who has to work that week. None of them is familiar with the country--with trees, a backyard that is creepy and overgrown, picnics--and Sylvie's mother is injured on the first day. Those troubles pale, though, when Sylvie is dismissed by the local children as ``some little slum kid.'' The crux of this gentle story, told from Sylvie's naive perspective, is not her defiance of prejudice, but her recognition that she would have likely behaved the same way if the situation were reversed. Blegvad (Anna Banana and Me, 1985, etc.) has created an offbeat, lyrical story--with little action and a mild resolution--that will need a little booktalking to find its audience. The understated message, however, that prejudice is seldom solely the province of the hateful, is well worth the effort. (b&w illustrations, not seen) (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-689-80038-X
Page count: 58pp
Publisher: McElderry
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1996