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The Chestry Oak

4.58 of 5 stars 4.58  ·  rating details  ·  163 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Young Michael of Hungary carries an acorn all the way from his castle home in Chestry Valley to the warm soil of the Hudson Valley farm in the USA where he makes a new home after WWII.

It was difficult to decide which are the most unforgettable; the scenes in Hungary, Michael's proud, valiant father and his beloved Nana, or the friendly young GI and his family who take Mich
Hardcover, 236 pages
Published 1948 by Viking Juvenile
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Community Reviews

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"One had to be so careful...about remembering things. Thinking and remembering were something like walking along well-known paths and passageways that always used to lead to something lovely...but now, the same paths and passageways might end in something dead or frightening.
Yes, one had to walk on tiptoe, remembering to look carefully ahead and turn quickly away before one was faced with something ruined or dead. The thing to do was to make little tunnels or thoughtways, from now to once-upon
Sep 23, 2007 Grace rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone!
I love this book. Love, love, love, love, love, love. Get it? Got it. Good.

Unfortunately, despite its grippingly dramatic (how's *that* for a cliched phrase?) story, style and illustrations, this book is quite rare and almost impossible to find for less than an arm and a leg. Which means I don't have a copy. Sadness.
Jan 23, 2013 K. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to K. by: JoDean
What a treasure! Someone please reprint this lost book!

If I paste the link to this review here:

Can you find it? I hope so, because Mr. Jones says almost everything I don't have time today to say.

If not, and if you are interested, look up Josiah Jones's review of this book.

At any rate, this was a MARVELOUS, GORGEOUS, MAGNIFICENT book. I hope it's okay with the owner of the copy I'm currently borrowing, but I'm absolutely forcing my two eldest to read th
On the topic of favorite books:

Finding a favorite book is a series of events for me. First, I read the book. Sometimes months or years go by. Then, I remember the book fondly. Finally, I reread the book and if it is as favorable of a read as it was the first time, it usually becomes a favorite of mine.

I started this book last Sunday and had the feeling that it could become a favorite. Finished it yesterday and I can already tell that it goes in the favorites pile. Even more, it might be my top f
Dec 27, 2010 Ben rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everybody
Amazingly stirring, adventerous, and understanding. Written beautiful voice by Kate Seredy. The Chestry Oak is a tale of good and evil, of love and family, of hardships, of horses, and of the earth. It tells the story of a young Hungarian prince's coming of age in a time of war, the German occupation of WWII, and of his eventual journey to an American home. The way it captured the hearts of its characters, especially Michael, swelled my own. Never before has a book made me feel loss so deep, and ...more
Leslie Sewell
Oh, how I love this book. I first read it as a child, and even today the sheer beauty of the story and Kate Seredy's writing bring me to tears. My favorite book, ever.
A simple, lovely, moving tale about love and courage. This needs to be back in print so generations to come can learn from it!
Catherine Meza
This is an incredibly evocative, magical book I've been wanting to read for a long time. Kate Seredy's charcoal illustrations are fantastic. One of the few books that has the power to make me cry at the end. There is little I can add to the other reviews; the 1948 edition is long out of print, and a good copy costs three figures on Amazon. Thanks to the power of inter-library loan, I have read the book as it was meant to be seen. Great experience.
It was difficult for me to really get into the first several chapters of this book: it begins very deep and serious - and rather sad. I missed the peaceful simplicity that I have come to love in Seredy's books. If the early mood had persisted much longer, it would have made a very solemn book; but the story picked up and the second half is full of childish optimism and charm. I enjoyed it very much and feel that it was well worth the read.
You know when I saw this on a list several people gave it 5 stars. I think I'm just a little to old now, or had to high expectations. However I thought it would be level with "Where the Red Fern Grows" or something like that, but it was just o.k. I think a child would really love it. It was just pretty good. I didn't enjoy it as much as some of the other classics.
I hardly remember this book because I was pretty young when I read it (or maybe my mom read it to me. hmmm.) I just remember loving it a lot!! I remember the beginning pretty clearly and the end. Sorry I can't give a better review. The best thing I can say is to definitely read it, or at least read it to your kid if/when you have one.
Amy Wilder
Sad, sad story. A young boy, a prince, is forced in a time of war to flee his country and leave behind the horse he loves.
Years later, in America, the boy and horse are brought together again by coincidence.
It's a simple plot but so movingly told that I remember this as one of the teariest reads of my entire life.
I enjoyed this book and would recommend it. It did not draw me in quick but it did hold my attention and once it got going I had to keep reading, only wished the story had kept going.

A young prince in Hungary, Nazi's using his father's castle as a secret stronghold, the boys majestic stallion and his journey to a new future.
This book sat for years on my bookshelf as I thought the cover looked boring (slap me now!!!). When I did finally pick it up and read it I must have been about 15, and I SOOO fell in love with the characters ( trying not to give anything away lol). And EVERY time I read it I cry at the end
Oct 21, 2008 Annette rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Annette by: my mom
This is one of my very favorite children's books--beautifully written! It's not a happy story, but it is very hopeful because it demonstrates the incredible strength of the human spirit to overcome incredible obstacles and to begin anew.
Almost historical fiction. I read this book after living in Hungary and many aspects sounded very familiar. A touching look at what happens to a boy torn from his family, his home, and his country, and the family that adopted him.
Feb 03, 2011 Logan marked it as to-read
Shelves: historical, cultural
WHY: Excellent WWII story about a Hungarian boy who is forced to flee Hungary and leave behind his beloved horse. Very hard to find and the library doesn't have it, so the hunt is on! I love this kind of challenge.
Beautiful, beautiful book. Extremely sad, but very happy as well. Beautifully written. I cried when I read it.
Just re-read a childhood favorite. Have enjoyed it many times through the years as I read it to my children.
I really, really enjoyed this rare little gem. It deserves more said about it when I have more time.
my 6th grade teacher gave me this to read. i remember liking the book much more than the teacher.
Aug 13, 2008 Erin rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: kids, 2011, 2013
I loved this book when I was young. I believe it is now out of print.
A classic WW2 story about a prince in Hungary who goes to America.
One of the most hauntingly beautiful stories of my childhood.
Misha Herwin
Loved this book as a kid, read and re-read it.
An old favorite from childhood.
Liked The Singing Tree more.
Feb 16, 2009 Marni marked it as to-read
I love this one! An absolutely beautiful story. I read it when I was much younger and it still had the same wonderful charm that I remembered when I had the chance to re-read it over a decade later. For some reason this one always stays with me. Love it, one of my all time favorites.
Myswedishbookcase marked it as to-read
Aug 03, 2015
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Chestry Oak--Any big fans? 1 5 Feb 08, 2013 04:38AM  
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Seredy (Serédy Kató) was a gifted writer and illustrator, born in Hungary, who moved to the United States in 1922. She is best known for The Good Master, written in 1935, and for the Newbery Award winner, The White Stag.
More about Kate Seredy...
The Good Master The White Stag The Singing Tree A Tree for Peter Philomena

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“(W)hen a load is too heavy for one horse to pull, what do we do? Hitch another to it, don't we? That's just common sense. Well, son, things that sort of weigh on a man's mind and heart may be too heavy for him to make much headway with alone.” 4 likes
“One had to be so careful...about remembering things. Thinking and remembering were something like walking along well-known paths and passageways that always used to lead to something lovely...but now, the same paths and passageways might end in something dead or frightening.
Yes, one had to walk on tiptoe, remembering to look carefully ahead and turn quickly away before one was faced with something ruined or dead. The thing to do was to make little tunnels or thoughtways, from now to once-upon-a-time, each leading to a lovely thing to remember.”
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