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Afternoon Of The Elves
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Afternoon Of The Elves

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  1,553 ratings  ·  151 reviews
As Hillary works in the miniature village, allegedly built by elves, in Sara-Kate's backyard, she becomes more and more curious about Sara-Kate's real life inside her big, gloomy house with her mysterious, silent mother.
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published September 1st 1989 by Scholastic (first published 1989)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,686)
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Linda Lipko
This 1990 Newbery Honor award winner, is hauntingly complex.

Hillary is a child of comfortable middle class who is curious about Sara Kate, the neighbor girl who wears raggedy clothes, sporadically attends school and lives in a dilapidated house.

The story becomes darker as Hillary is enticed to explore Sara Kate's magical elfin village, complete with tiny houses of autumn leaves for roofs, bottle caps used for swimming pools and teeny stones for bitty lawn ornaments.

When the little village become
...more
Cher
Afternoon of the Elves is a delicate yet complex story of the friendship between two young girls: Hilary, who is a 9 year old, sweet and secure child and Sara-Kate who is a social outcast due to impoverishment. Sara-Kate lives with her ailing and incapacitated mother; her father is gone and occasionally sends money—however it alone is not enough to keep her and her mother from destitution. Sara-Kate introduces Hilary to a tiny, whimsical village in her weed-filled back yard, a village where she ...more
Becca
(My review as posted on www.therustykey.com.)

Recommended for: Girls, Ages 8 and up

One Word Summary: Enchanting.

From the book’s first sentence, “The afternoon Hillary first saw the elf village, she couldn’t believe her eyes,” you know exactly what to expect. You expect a book about a young girl, perhaps a bit of an elf skeptic, who finds herself in a world where elves leave traces of themselves for humans like her to find and study.

What you may not expect is for the tale that follows to be so abs
...more
Ashton
This was an OK read for me - I liked it, but I didn't like it. I liked some of the issues it presented, but what I never like in a book is confusing the reader. Reading this book as an adult was probably different than reading it as a kid, but I wouldn't really feel like handing it to any 9-12 year old I know. I think some of it was judgmental despite the main story line - accepting and befriending someone even though most people make fun of them. It also never shows any kind of concluding discu ...more
Logan Braden
Hillary doesn't believe all the mean things she hears about Sara-Kate. Sure, she wears weird clothes and she lives in a dumpy house, but if Sara-Kate's as bad as everyone says, how could she take such good care of the elf village in her backyard? She and Hillary spend hours fixing the tiny stick houses and the miniature Ferris wheel so the elves won't move away. But as Hillary is drawn further into Sara-Kate's world, she learns there are other mysteries besides the elves. Why doesn't anyone ever ...more
Becky
I enjoyed reading Afternoon of the Elves. At its heart, the novel is simply about an unlikely friendship, and how that friendship impacts the two girls. Sara-Kate is the oldest of the girls. She does not have any friends at school. She is not exactly invisible, but, her real self is not seen by anyone. If Sara-Kate were successfully invisible at school, perhaps the girls would not go to so much trouble to talk about her all the time, to tell of scandalous doings, to share every rumor, perhaps to ...more
Allison
This is the type of book that I would probably give to my child, if I was a mother.

For its child audience, it took a serious topic and added a bit of magic to it. I'm glad the author gave the protagonist some doubts about reality. If she would have ignored this and made her completely blinded by her imagination, then I would have been disappointed.
Overall, it was a cute read that forced me to self-reflect my childhood. Was there anything magical that enchanted me as a child? Did I reject reality
...more
Caitlintobin
I had high hopes for this books because it is a Newbery Honor. Overall, I thought it was depressing and did not offer any kind of satisfactory conclusion for Sara-Kate. Hillary, the main character, who befriends Sara-Kate is blind to all of the problems Sara-Kate has (hence her willingness to believe in the elf village in the backyard). I felt Hillary was too naive, and I did not like the fact that Sara-Kate is neglected for so long and no one notices.
L. Swan
This was a great book about a little girl named Hillary who visits a neighbors back yard where she finds an elf village Sara-Kate owner of the yard invites Hillary over every day to work on it but even though i loved this book iy had a sad ending and it left me hanging at the end too but i still reccomend this book very much.
Christopher
I can see why this book won a Newbery Honor. The writing was lyrical and has a nice flow to it. I really got into Hilary's mind space and Lisle did a great job of maintaining the thought process of a seven year girl. I saw the twist of Sara-Kate's situation coming from a mile away. Even though this is doesn't really have anything to do with how successful the book ultimately is, I was disappointed that there wasn't more with the elves. I thought there would be a whole lot more elves than there a ...more
Reno (Falling Letters)
Originally posted 31 December 2012 on Falling Letters.

***

One of my earliest favourite books (from when I was six or seven, probably) is The Lost Flower Children. I thought it a delightful little tale, but for some reason I never picked up the author's other books. I decided it was about time, and I blazed through this one. I'm glad I did not read it as a child. I would have been highly disappointed to find there were actually no fairies in it. I was still disappointed! But at my age I was able t
...more
Jenna Anderson
This book was originally published in 1989 and awarded the Newbery Honor in 1990. I can see why. What a beautiful and wonderful story.

I'd like to thank NetGalley and Open Road for Young Readers for the review copy of this title.

Hillary is a popular 4th grade girl with proper clothes and many friends. Sara-Kate is her neighbor who lives down the hill. Sara-Kate was held back a grade, acts strangely, has no friends, and is far too small and skinny for her age.

The reader follows these two girls as
...more
Liviania
It's hard for me to be objective about AFTERNOON OF THE ELVES. I first read it as a child, when the Apple Signature edition came out. I was entranced by the cover, of two girls playing with a small carnival, the title, and the fact that "Apple Signature" sure sounded fancy.

Reading it as an adult, it's a very simple story, but it introduces complex ideas in a way that's easy for kids to understand. Hillary makes friends with school outcast Sara-Kate Connelly when Sara-Kate invites her to see the
...more
The Rusty Key
Reviewed by Rusty Key Writer: Becca Worthington

Recommended for: Girls, Ages 8 and up

One Word Summary: Enchanting.

From the book’s first sentence, “The afternoon Hillary first saw the elf village, she couldn’t believe her eyes,” you know exactly what to expect. You expect a book about a young girl, perhaps a bit of an elf skeptic, who finds herself in a world where elves leave traces of themselves for humans like her to find and study.

What you may not expect is for the tale that follows to be so a
...more
Nerija
Back when I wrote my first Nostalgic Review, I mentioned that Zilpha Keatley Snyder’s The Changeling had a similar story line. I used to think Snyder’s story was a re-interpretation of Lisle’s, but in fact it’s the other way around, since The Changeling was published in 1970. Not that Lisle was necessarily conscious of the similarities — she describes her inspiration coming from an actual little village a neighbor’s daughter made in her yard — but just reading the jacket summary set the wild ech ...more
Christy
Hillary doesn't believe all the mean things she hears about Sara-Kate. Sure, she wears weird clothes and she lives in a dumpy house, but if Sara-Kate's as bad as everyone says, how could she take such good care of the elf village in her backyard? She and Hillary spend hours fixing the tiny stick houses and the miniature Ferris wheel so the elves won't move away. But as Hil...moreHillary doesn't believe all the mean things she hears about Sara-Kate. Sure, she wears weird clothes and she lives in ...more
Karen
Janet Taylor Lisle's book, [I]Afternoon of the Elves[/I], is an impressive "short" book. Very touching, too, as one realizes that the struggles that one of the heroines is going through. Sara-Kate, older than her backyard neighbor Hillary by two years, gradually draws Hillary into a friendship born of necessity and loneliness. Hillary resists a bit because Sara-Kate is ostracized by most of the girls their ages--her clothes are old and she looks unkempt. She is also disdainful of all the opinion ...more
Gale
MAGIC CAN BEGIN TO CHANGE THINGS!

Someone is building a village for elves in Sara-Kate's junky backyard--could it really be that she has Elves back there? Nextdoor Hillary just has to find out and is fascinated inspite of herself. She wants to be socially correct and her somewhat snobby girlfriends at school shun the trashy girl and her recluse mother. But Hillary is torn between her fancy friends who sneer at Sarta-Kate's pedigree and her own delight in the possibility of Elves as neighbors.

So-
...more
Excalibur Snape
That's I had well reading this book was what the hell. The only thing that kind of made sense was the elf village. The entire story revolved around this elf village although no elves made an appearance through out this entire book.
The ending was pretty much the same as the rest of this book.
It is a middle grade book.
Sara-Kate has a split personality the good Sara-Kate versus the evil Sara-Kate.
It is a fast read.
There is no action and very little drama.
Infact there is very little that this book o
...more
Breanne Driesel
This book stirred a lot of emotions in me. I was in a constant battle of whether I liked it or not. It was hard for me to follow the story of the elves because there were times when I too was confused if it was real or not. It was also very heartbreaking to see how this girl and her mother were struggling. I think it taught some great lessons and that it made a very good point. We never know what people are going through and sometimes we have to push to find answers.
Heather
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara
I remember owning this book as a kid, but after reading it I don't actually recall much of the plot.... So I don't know if I ever actually read it.

Reading it now, I found it kind of disturbing and I don't know if kids would really get it. I didn't really get it.... It ended without feeling like it had much of a point. It wasn't really great, or really bad. Just ok.

Hannah Koehler
I read this book because of an article that I read about bibliotherapy. This book is supposed to help children that have a parent with mental illness. I thought that the book was well written and I enjoyed reading it however I wouldn't have a student of mine read it to help them with such a situation. It's a good book but I wasn't completely impressed by it.
Josiah
Some of the issues that are tackled in this book remind me of other Newbery Honor and Medal winners, but there is much about this story that is very original.
I liked the flow of the words and the way that the relationship between Hillary and Sara-Kate is never certain; it seemed that anything might happen between the two. Sara-Kate is definitely somewhat enigmatic, and it was a real joy for me to watch as Hillary figures out that friendship is worth the hard work it takes to adjust to a new fr
...more
Rachel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
SARIT
HI
I read the book in one night. This is my 1st time to read one of Janet Taylor Lisle books and it really make me want her other creations. Janet Taylor Lisle gave a different meaning to "different" almost magical. Almost, because realty did catch up. The sad fact is, that below the nose of each of us hide a family like the Conolly's we really don't want to about them there are transparent most of the time to our eyes. Their sheer existence make us uncomfortable.We also don't know out to deal w
...more
Stephk
I read this book as a kid, so i chose this for the 2015 book challenge(read a book you read as a kid). I don't remember what happens, but i do remember being enchanted by this book and loving it.
I still love it, i think its a cute book for kids. not just a silly story about elves.
Brook
This book was really good. The only thing that I didn't like about it was that the e being wasn't really an ending, it just kind of stops and you have to just make up or think of an ending. Other than that, I thought that it w as s really good and very descriptive.
Ilana
Sep 29, 2011 Ilana rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ilana by: Joan
A Newberry honor book in the realistic fiction genre about the friendship of 2 neighbor girls and their village of elves in ones yard. Through the book it is revealed that Sarah Kate has reasons she is the way she is. I don't want to say too much and give away much of the plot and heart of this book. Great book about how cruel and misunderstood children and adults can be and what a difference one person and friend can make. Will make the reader think along with Hillary about what is the truth an ...more
Al_wani
I like the way that this story going,,, it makes me feel curious to know "whats" gonna happen next,, love it..hillary's friend always thinks that sara-kate is a weird girl which looks so messy at school,and they said that in sara-kate house is empty, nothing inside there, like as furniture and what not, but for Hillary there are a few beautiful furniture inside, nobody believe her. The mysterious thing is sara-kate have skin that have characteristic like an elf.She do not felt cold when comes to ...more
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“Even without being believed, magic can change things. It moves invisibly through the air, dissolving the usual ways of seeing, allowing new ways to creep in, secretly, quietly, like a stray cat sliding thought the bushes.” 9 likes
“If you don't believe it's elves, that's your problem. I know it's elves.” 5 likes
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