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A Stranger at Green Knowe (Green Knowe #4)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  634 ratings  ·  42 reviews
L. M. Boston's thrilling and chilling tales of Green Knowe, a haunted manor deep in an overgrown garden in the English countryside, have been entertaining readers for half a century. Now the children of Green Knowe--both alive and ghostly--are back in appealing new editions.
The spooky original illustrations have been retained, but dramatic new cover art by Brett Helquist
Paperback, 208 pages
Published April 1st 2002 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1961)
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Northern Lights by Philip PullmanWatership Down by Richard AdamsThe Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanThe Borrowers by Mary NortonMonsters of Men by Patrick Ness
Carnegie Medal Winners
19th out of 78 books — 74 voters
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan AikenA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'EngleThe Phantom Tollbooth by Norton JusterJames and the Giant Peach by Roald DahlCharlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer
Children's Fantasy of the 1960s
14th out of 60 books — 10 voters

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Community Reviews

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Boston is kind of amazing; I didn't read the Green Knowe books until I was in my late teens, and I always forget how good they are because they're not part of my childhood. Her prose is astonishing and subtle, and her stories are sharply insightful. This one, in particular - it falls into a bunch of racist traps, but for something written in 1961 it's so aware of Ping as an individual, and of the issues of exile and entrapment that it deals with. It doesn't pull its punches; for all the strong s ...more
C.E. Murphy
I re-read all of the Green Knowe books repeatedly as a child, but reading them again as an adult has been a revelation. The descriptions and the ability to reveal the world the way a child sees it are unparalleled throughout, even in RIVER, which is less a novel than a series of vignettes strung together on the back of a river.

STRANGER is the most powerful and heartbreaking of the four I've re-read so far; it's the story of Hanno the gorilla, captured in the Congo as a baby, and Ping, an orphan
Boston is a very fine writer. At the same time I was reading this I was reading something else as well and I was struck by the difference in good writing and great writing. Boston's prose is lyrical and seemingly effortless. Once again she communicates the special relationship between the older woman and the child with pathos and eloquence. This is a theme that my emotions are susceptible to - ever since A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote, and right on through to The Witches by Roald Dahl. I do ...more
Austen to Zafón
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ivonne Rovira
Jun 04, 2013 Ivonne Rovira rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who has ever loved an animal
The eponymous stranger may be a primate, but he’s no human.

A Stranger at Green Knowe begins in equatorial Africa amongst a family of gorillas, far from the beloved mansion of Green Knowe. There, a 2-year-old gorilla and his sister are captured and their parents and baby brother killed. The gorilla, named Hanno by his captors, lost his sister, too, who wasted away on their journey from the Belgian Congo to England. Poor Hanno ends up, alone and lonely, at the Monkey House in a zoo near London’s R

Number 4 of the six-part Green Knowe series...Green Knowe is based upon an actual English house where author Lucy Boston lived: The Manor at Hemingford Grey built in the 1130s complete with moat and gardens; it is one of the oldest continuously occupied houses in Britain -- there are wonderful photos online for the curious: search using the name of the house (The manor at Hemingford Grey) or the village (Hemingford Grey.)

Number 4 a bit unusual...a book with compassionate nature writing...a MES
I read this book for a Young Adult Book challenge. The task was to read two books that won award each from a different country's list. Stranger at Green Knowe won the Carnegie Medal.

I ended up liking this book more than I thought I would after reading the first twenty pages or so. I wasn't fond of the section told from the point of view of the Gorilla. Perhaps I'm too literal, but I'm not a huge fan of the anthropomorphizing of animal thought as narration.

Once Ping became the primary narrator
Beth Bonini
I haven't read any of the other Green Knowe books, but scanning through the comments made on this one suggests it is an anomaly. Green Knowe is meant to be an ancient house in the English countryside (near Cambridge?) where all sorts of magical things happen. Magic of a sort does happen in this book; at least "magic" in the sense of something extraordinary and highly unlikely. A gorilla (who has escaped from Regent's Park Zoo) and a boy named Ping (himself a refugee, and thus displaced) meet in ...more
This has always been my least favorite of the Green Knowe books. It is divided into three parts, the first of which I still find surprisingly boring as it datedly and sentimentally follows the family life of a tribe of gorillas. The tone of this book is much sadder and less magical than the others in the series, though it is pleasant and heartwarming to watch the growth of the companionship between Ping and Mrs. Oldknowe.
Momoka Yamaguchi
1. Oxford level2
2. 11/23=85minutes
3. A gorilla- a boy-a stranger-escape- zoo- refugee-help-
4. A) Ping lay down on his back like a dog, to show that he was only a small, friendly animal.
B) The scene was surprising me. If I was the boy, I thought I would die.
5. I was moved by the love between the gorilla and the boy. I think animals which are in the zoo are not happy. Animals should live feely.
Mar 23, 2008 iamtedae rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young fans of fantasy
Shelves: favorites
Part of a six-book series, this book is uniquely entertaining: magical, surprising, and a little, just a little, frightening, it capitalizes on the feeling that the oldest houses keep some of their history within their walls. This book actually departs somewhat from this very successful strategy; there is little to no supernatural interaction or fantasy elements such as time travel. Instead, we have the exotic... a Chinese "orphan" and a displaced gorilla striking up an unusual relationship on t ...more
Arisa Shimokawa
1.Oxford level2

2. 6/9=85minutes

3. Gorilla, boy, refugee, zoo, escape, secret, help

4.(a)The scene which the gorilla, Hanno, tried to help the boy.
(b)I like this scene because Hanno was placed dangerous position, but he tried to help the boy. I was deeply impressed by his kindness.

5. I felt the love between human and animal.
Elinor  Loredan
None of the subtle development of the first two books. And I miss Tolly and Mrs. Oldknow's stories too much. There are some lovely descriptions and it starts out promisingly, especially with Boston's characterization of the forest and gorilla family, but the rest is unsatisfying. So disappointing after my hopes for the series beyond the first two books!

Some quotes I like:

'Ping had the kind of imagination that never dismisses anything as ordinary. Nothing was ordinary to him. What was always mos
As a child, I ws rather disappointed in this one, as it had no magic, no ghosts, no sense of history. Philistine that I was, I just could not dredge up the interest in gorillas, or animal rights! Coming back to it as an adult, I am now quite glad that Ping/Hsu got his very own book--he didn't seem terribly fleshed out in "River"--not to mention reading of Hanno's joyous flight to the freedom he's not known for ten years.

I don't know how much scientists' take on gorillas has changed since "Strang
Although this is a children's book it is so well written. I'm not sure that today's children would find it so engaging as there are no wizards, magic or vampires, this is such a tragedy as the prose puts many adult books to shame.
Virginia Walter
I first read this classic British novel more than 40 years ago when I was in library school. Winner of the Carnegie Medal in 1961 and an ALA Notable Book for Children, it is a haunting story of a Chinese refuge boy, displaced from his home far away, who discovers a strong empathy with Hanno, a gorilla in the London Zoo who has also been displaced from his home far away. When Hanno escapes from the zoo and shows up at Green Knowe, the country estate where Ping is visiting, he tries to keep him sa ...more
I enjoyed having a book all about Ping.
This is possibly the saddest of the series, the theme of being homeless and snatched from native lands is strong.
I liked that the plight of gorillas is explored too.
My bugbear? Some of the writing seems a bit racist and Ping is the little, different Chinese boy. But I believe it is fondly done, the grandmother makes her comments as a compliment not a put down, or perhaps because she is of a generation where difference was noticed.
Still a very good book an
I love all the Green Knowe books, for all their datedness. Reading them felt like going home.

1. OXFORD Level.2

2. 80 minutes 6/25/2013

3. 1. gorilla 2. zoo 3. a boy 4. kill 5. cow 6. forest 7. refugee

4. Q-What do you have memories in the zoo?
A-I went to the zoo when I was a child so I didn't remember about zoo. I liked watching monkeys.

5. I tried to read this book because a cover of this book had a gorilla so I was interested in this book. The story of this book is nice but people killed gorillas. I thought people kill often wild animals so we should protect wild animals. I like this boo
Yuval Amir
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Takahiko Masuda
1.Lucy M.Boston, Oxford, Level 2
3.gorilla, zoo, cage, wood, wild, cow, keeper
4.Do you have experiences of being helped by animals? What?
No,I don't.
5.This is the good animal story but I think that there are a lot of books which is similar to this book. The story is written about the friendship between animals and person. The main animal of this book is a gorilla, and he helped a boy from a cow. He broke the cow’s neck like a stick. He is strong and very kind. I respect the gorilla.
This is an anomaly among the Green Knowe books; it's the only one that contains no magic in the strictest sense of the word. But it's Lucy Boston and Green Knowe and it has its own special magic in the tale of Ping, a Chinese orphan, and the unlikely bond he forms with Hanno, a runaway gorilla. Neither of these characters are exactly what you would expect to find in the heart of the English countryside, and yet Green Knowe takes them both into itself and makes them its own.
Alaina Sloo
Fourth book in the wonderfully spooky Green Knowe series, though this book in the series is missing the spooky elements common to the other books. Originally published in the 1950s, these books are great for grades 3-5.Read the first book in the series, The Children of Green Knowe first. The Children of Green Knowe ...more
This is actually one if my favorite Green Knowe books. The description of the gorilla's life in the rainforest is amazing. Boston really captured the feelings of being taken to a place where you don't belong and how the inner animal (or person) remains. A product of its time, the book portrays some characters in a stereotypical way. For me, the writing, descriptions and story are wonderful.
This is easily the best book in the entire Green Knowe series. It's a beautiful story of unexpected friendship and loyalty, centered on Ping (the displaced Chinese child from The River at Green Knowe) and Hanno, the titular stranger.

As with all the books, the story unfolds smoothly and logically from one point to the next. The conclusion is well-done and emotionally satisfying.
Wow! What a poignant story - an interested period presentation of an eco issue,in the midst of Green Knowe. It is a nice intro of Ping to Mrs. Oldknowe, and their growing friendship is a delight to read; and Ping's friendship with Hanno is very touching as well. This series defies classification as any one type of literature! But all is very well-written and developed.
A most unusual children's book, quite unlike the other Green Knowe book I read. In many ways, the perspective seems advanced for its time. The climax, while inevitable, was nevertheless heartbreaking; the ending, while just as inevitable, was satisfying. I'm sorry I didn't know about these books when I was a kid, and I'm so happy to have discovered them now.
thrilling, but sad. love Ping, looking forward to seeing him with Tolly in the next book
Well since it is a Green Knowe book and I love and adore Green Knowe books, I think it was ok but the other books are much better. I thought the gorilla thing was kinda weird and I hated that it had a sad end. But I love how in a later book they call upon the gorilla to help them and he does.
This was a huge departure from the rest of the series. While I liked it, it should have been separate from the Green Knowe books. The tone is different, and it belongs in a different genre altogether as the others are more fantasy. The ending was terribly sad, but predictable.
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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)
  • The Children of Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #1)
  • Treasure of Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #2)
  • The River at Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #3)
  • An Enemy at Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #5)
  • The Stones of Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #6)
The Children of Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #1) Treasure of Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #2) An Enemy at Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #5) The River at Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #3) The Stones of Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #6)

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