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The Children of Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #1)
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The Children of Green Knowe (Green Knowe #1)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  5,101 ratings  ·  299 reviews
"Tolly" Toseland 7 is rowed up to great-gran Linnet Oldknow by servant Boggis - always been a Boggis. The real "castle" is over 900 years old. Gran tells old family stories, and songs. Everyone can see, hear, and feel the ghosts, evoked by white-on-black illustrations. Toby 14, Alexander, and Linnet 6 linger after Plague, as does cursed topiary Green Noah.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 1st 2002 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1954)
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Remember when you were young and wished the universe you created around the dull things surrounding you weren't completely ignored by your parents? That you could pretend that even your appartment is a place where things might actually happen, as if in a castle. When I was little I was told that there used to be a graveyard before they made the flats we live in. I was convinced of it for a while because of a big white cross placed in the nearby and certainly because spooky is way better than bor ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
One night when I was a teenager I heard my mother go into my younger sister's room because she was crying. Turns out the book she was reading scared her, which of course piqued my interest. It was The Children of Green Knowe, and it didn't scare me, and I loved it. I always meant to read the rest of the series but never did. Now they've been reissued with Brett Helquist covers. I must get the whole series and read them all!
Having fought my way through The Children of Green Knowe, I have been prompted to make a Non-New-Year’s-Resolution that I am DONE slogging my way through books I don’t enjoy. Note that this doesn’t mean I won’t read books I hate. I love hating books. But ones that I am just clawing my way through, page by onerous page, that are so blah I won’t even be able to actively dislike them… I’m done with those.


First off, there’s basically no plot. And the (plotless) pacing is… sluggish.

Tolly puts bu
This is that rarest of all things, a perfect book.

It is a beautifully told story about a little boy who's sent to live with his grandmother in a very rural England. He moves into a vast old house, complete with whimsical topiary, an empty stable, a river, and - ghosts. It's obvious that that's what Tolly's strange new playmates are, at least to us, but they seem as alive as anyone else in the story, which moves seamlessly from present to past to present again, using the medium of the grandmothe
Terri Lynn
What a warm and wonderful book this is!! I wish I had read it when I was a child but am so glad I have gotten to read it now as an adult. This book is utterly charming.

Tolly is a young boy whose mom is dead and his father and stepmother live in Burma. He has been at boarding school where they have been very kind to him but he really longs to belong somewhere with his own family. Then suddenly he does! His great-grandmother OldKnow sends for him to come to live with her at the family home Green
In the beginning of Lucy M. Boston's wonderful children's book, The Children of Green Knowe (1954), seven-year-old Toseland (pet name Tolly) travels by train through the flooded British countryside to spend his Christmas holidays with his great-grandmother Mrs. Oldknow in her old castle-like house Green Noah (true name Green Knowe). Tolly is a lonely and imaginative boy, Mrs. Oldknow a solitary and imaginative old lady, and they hit it off immediately, encouraging each other's fancies and treati ...more
Amy Masonis
I read this book in probably 3rd-4th grade, in the early 70's, when my mother was the librarian at my Episcopalian school in Newport News, Va. I would find any excuse to go down and visit her and our school's teeny tiny library, immediately to be sent back to class by my mom.

My friend Cathy and I hoarded books, checking them out again and again ("Half-Magic" and "Jane-Emily" in particular, I remember). We read greek mythology endlessly. We always wanted to write "our own myths" - as an adult, th
cover for children of green knoweI love these books, and The Children of Green Knowe, first in the series is one of my favorites(1). The Green Knowe series as a whole is the story of a house that has stood for so long and been loved so well that time is flexible. People who lived in and loved the house can meet, even after centuries.

The Children of Greene Knowe opens as Tolly makes his first trip to stay there with his great grandmother, whom he has never met. He is in initially nervous, but soon comes to love the place and me
Toseland, called Tolly, goes to stay with his great-great-grandmother for his holiday from boarding school. Mrs. Oldknow lives at Green Noah, a grand old manor with beguiling decorations and strange visual effects made by mirrors and shadows. But there are forces beyond the ordinary there, as well. It soon becomes apparent that there are unusual presences in the house – three children, whom Tolly at first cannot see, until they get used to him and show themselves. They are ghosts of siblings who ...more
April Knapp
Review originally posted HERE

This is seriously one of the worst books I've ever read. I am surprised it made the list of top 100. It had a lot of potential-the plot and characters both seemed interesting, but the book is BORING. Through 90 percent of the book, we read how Tolly, the little boy, explores the house and grounds (with mundane activity), listens to birds, and plays flutes. The actions are very mundane-look at the book cover; that's pretty much the whole book. Finally, toward the end,
Enchanting children's book, in the vein of The Secret Garden, which revolves around a lonely boy who comes to live with an aged relative in an isolated country house. It seems the house is haunted by the friendly spirits of some children who once lived there. That sounds rather trite as I write it, but the unfolding of the story is rather magical and lyrical, with an innocence that is special to the children's books from earlier eras.
I dunno. For some reason this just didn't quite hit me. I guess because I didn't feel I got to really know Tolly as an individual, or any of the characters really. The stories were interesting, the writing was graceful, the concepts enchanting - but it just felt, erm, superficial? bland? I haven't decided yet whether I'll read the second - I own it, but I may register & release it through bookcrossing & swap unread.
I have a long blog about this book and what it meant to me, and perhaps the best thing I can do is point you to that post! Briefly, this book has wonderful characters and a great sense of place, and I reread it every Christmas, almost without fail.

Here's my long review:
In light of Goodreads' new censorship policy, I am no longer posting reviews on this site. You can read it here.
Kira Yeversky
(Rating possibly exaggerated due to nostalgia)

Continuing my "read books that were old when I read them as a kid and are now really old" kick. I remember reading this as a kid and being terrified of some of the scary bits, like the owl and the parts with Green Noah. As an adult those aren't as scary, and the overall atmosphere of the book is magical and a little haunting.

One of the things I really appreciate about the way this is written is how everyone accepts the strange happenings at Green Kn
The Children of Green Knowe (Green Knowe #1) by L.M. Boston, illustrated by Peter Boston, is the beginning of a series, starting with the tale of Tolly. who comes to live with his great-grandmother at the ancient house of Green Knowe and becomes friends with three children who lived there in the seventeenth century.

Tolly's father has recently remarried and Tolly doesn't want to spend his holidays with his new step-mother, so instead he visits his deceased mother's grandmother and begins explorin
Like many of my generation, I was spellbound by the BBC's 1980s adaptation of Lucy Boston's "The Children of Green Knowe". It was one of those high quality children's dramas for which the BBC was renowned at that time and to this day, my sister and I will burst into giggles if one of us utters the line, "Green Noah! Demon Tree!"

Regular readers of my reviews will see a pattern emerging, in that I have a penchant for time travel and the supernatural - but what Lucy Boston cleverly does in this, an
The young boy Tolly meets his great grandmother for the first time and is greeted by her: "So you've come back!" I wondered whose face it would be of all the faces I knew." This is a rich story of recognizing your place in the fabric of time and the line of family. I can't think of a better way for the two main characters to be introduced than by learning that the great grandmother "recognizes" her descendent even never having seen him before. That says miles worth to me.

This story for young pe
Megan D. Neal
The story of young Tolly who goes to live with his kindly Great-Grandmother OldKnowe whom he has never met, in an old manor in the English countryside and finds it benevolently haunted by the spirits of three children (Tolly's ancestors) who died during the Plague in the 1600's. Lonely Tolly loves exploring the grounds with their whimsical topiaries, and learning about the history of the house and his ancestors and the three children, Toby, Alexander and Linnet.

Originally published in 1955, this
If you want your mind haunted forever with good ideas, read this book. It's dark in places, but full of wonder.

Tolly has spent his whole life surrounded by uncaring people until he goes to live with his great-grandmother in an ancient house called Green Knowe. Gradually, as he explores and she tells him stories of the children who lived there in centuries past, he discovers that time does not behave within the house as it does in the world outside, and that sometimes, some of those children are
One of my very favorites in life. I have read it many times but this time was different because I visited the Manor at Hemingford Grey (the model for the house in Green Knowe) in England this spring. This time I *saw* the house in the descriptions. Everything was informed by that experience. One odd thing is that the house and everything connected with it is much smaller in real life than I had imagined, including the St. Christopher statue. I think it's an occupational hazard (or do I mean nati ...more
I'm not sure if it was the book or my tastes, but I honestly got the impression that children's books have evolved considerably in the past few decades. There is a certain charm to the story telling here, particularly with the sense of menace during one section in the book. But otherwise, the story had a serious lack of pacing or plot. I felt that with 6 books in the entire set, it would be nice to read through them, but I'm afraid that this first book will be my last, as I simply have no desire ...more
Austen to Zafón
i can't believe I didn't come across these books when I was a kid! I enjoy books in which a young person has an equal friendship with an older person (something you rarely see in movies or tv, where the old are often mocked) and that shines through in this somewhat eerie story about a young boy who comes to stay with a relative in a very old English manor house. If you liked the Gone-Away Lake stories by Enright or the Five Children and It by Nesbit, you will probably like this. It might be a bi ...more
The first time I heard this book, my mother read it, and I always remembered it being more or less perfect; this time I listened to the lovely audiobook read by Simon Vance. Really it makes a splendid read-aloud. The Green Knowe books are odd but they joyfully embrace a specific kind of nostalgia and wish fulfillment that can't be anything but comforting. Tolly goes to live with his great-grandmother at an old English manor house, where he soon discovers that nothing really gets lost. The ghosts ...more
This book was recommended to me about a year ago, and I finally remembered to look for it at the library this month. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed in the book, although it is an enjoyable story. Some of the things that interfered with my enjoyment of the book probably don't bother other readers at all. For instance, there are no chapter breaks to this book whatsoever. Occasionally, the story is interrupted by a tale told by the great-grandmother about one of their ancestors. A ...more
An exquisitely written, wholly involving book, as interesting for adults as for children. It is a ghost story - but eerie, rather than frightening. I was fortunate to have a classroom teacher read this to me when I was about 9 years old, and I've read it many times since, especially around Christmas time. Just remarkably beautiful -- I think you won't find better writing anywhere, for any age.
My seven year old son, ten year old daughter and I all really enjoyed this story. It's special, magical even and old fashioned. It is a ghost story that depicts "ghosts" just the way I think of them (not at all scary).

Here's a link to the list of GK books
The Chimneys is now called The Treasure of GK
A magical book; tremendously full of gorgeous artistic details and like all the best books not just for children.

It is simultaneously a gentle and a frightening story.
The little boy, Tolly is essentially in a dream world; what IS real after all?

There are ghost children; most of the time sweet and comforting, but at other times, chilling(even to adults) as when they nonchalantly reveal the circumstances of their deaths from the plague.

His great grand mother is very solicitous most of the time but
An Odd1
More sweet than scary. Glimmers of white set in black, few black sketched on white, ghostly illustrations suit tale of children who died in Plague in real mansion "castles were meant to live in" p 9, 900 years old. In portrait, Toby "might be fourteen" p 15 wears a sword to be a soldier, poetic singing Alexander holds a flute (he gives to Tolly), and pretty Linnet 6 giggles. (On last page, author's daughter-in-law invites visitors to tour.) "Tolly" Toseland 7 comes to stay with great gran Oldkno ...more
A great book of magical, spiritual depths, with wonder and innocence making it all seem not only possible, but plausible. A good read for those who can enjoy this kind of world and learn from it. Toseland and his grandmother, and the 3 children from the past are delightful.
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  • The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (The Wolves Chronicles, #1)
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  • Magic by the Lake (Tales of Magic, #3)
  • The Picts & the Martyrs or Not Welcome at All (Swallows and Amazons, #11)
  • The Little Book Room
  • The Ghost of Thomas Kempe
  • The Haunting
  • The Swish of the Curtain
  • The Story of the Amulet (Five Children, #3)
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Also published as Lucy M. Boston. Full name: Lucy Maria Boston, born Lucy Wood.

Boston was a British author noted for her longevity; she did not have her first book published until she was over 60. She is best known for her Green Knowe books, inspired by her home The Manor in Hemingford Grey, Cambridgeshire, one of the oldest continuously inhabited houses in Britain. B

Boston was educated at a Susse
More about L.M. Boston...

Other Books in the Series

Green Knowe (6 books)
  • Treasure of Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #2)
  • The River at Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #3)
  • A Stranger at Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #4)
  • An Enemy at Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #5)
  • The Stones of Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #6)
Treasure of Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #2) An Enemy at Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #5) The River at Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #3) A Stranger at Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #4) The Stones of Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #6)

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“The moon shone in the rocking horsr's eye, and in the mouse's eye, too, when Tolly fetched it out from under his pillow to see. The clock went tick-tock, and in the stillness he heard little bare feet running across the floor, then laughter and whispering, and a sound like the pages of a big book being turned over. ” 8 likes
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