Juliet loved the folk stories Paddy Old used to tell, and when he died nothing was quite right anymore. She fell out with Kitty Ann, her mother was expecting a baby, and Juliet got as cross as two sticks. Then Grandmamma takes Juliet on a journey - a long journey, by train and boat and train and boat, so Grandmamma tells stories to while away the time. They are different from Paddy Old's stories, and they all seem to be a little bit about Juliet, as well as witches and Christmas sunflowers and talking snails. And when Juliet and her Grandmamma finally arrive at a small fishing port in France, a sea-trout and an amazing toy maker give Juliet the courage and insight to start a wonderful story of her own...
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William Trevor was born in Cork in 1928, was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and has spent a great part of his life in Ireland. Since his first novel, The Old Boys, was awarded the Hawthorndon Prize in 1964, he has received many honours for his work including the Royal Literature and the Whitbread prize for fiction. He was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1991.From School Library Journal:
Grade 4-6-Through vibrant characters and expressive language, this acclaimed author's first novel for children explores the magic of storytelling. Juliet loves listening to Paddy Old, the village storyteller in County Tipperary. The elderly man says that everyone has a story, but Juliet is worried that she doesn't. When he dies, her grandmother takes her on a trip across Great Britain to France, hoping that she can work through her grief. Stories are told along the way, which makes the journey seem shorter and helps Juliet begin to resolve her feelings. Her travel is a heroic journey of sorts. She meets a toymaker who helps her save some trout from the hotel dining room and gives Juliet something that is hers to tell. She returns home triumphant, knowing that wherever stories are, she will find them, make them her own, and share them with the next generation. She has taken up where Paddy Old left off. She has been allowed to grieve and comes to accept Paddy Old's death in her own way. The stories allow her to observe life from a safe distance and recognize parallels to her own life as she is ready. This novel is interesting enough to recommend for reluctant readers, and would make a great read-aloud.
Cheri Estes, Dorchester Road Regional Library, Charleston, SC
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Book Description Red Fox, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000112112
Book Description Red Fox, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0099417731