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The Crow-Girl: The Children of Crow Cove
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The Crow-Girl: The Children of Crow Cove (The Children of Crow Cove #1)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  409 ratings  ·  108 reviews
A timeless novel about the kindness of strangers

Near a little cove where a brook runs out to the sea live a girl and her grandmother. All alone with no neighbors at all, the two lead a peaceful existence. They have a house, dine on sea kale and mussels and sand snails, and build fires from driftwood. But the grandmother is very old. When the time comes that the girl must b...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 5th 2006 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 1993)
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Lisa Vegan
Aug 28, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: readers who aren’t overly sensitive to grief and sadness and deprivation and loneliness
This is a lovely little story; it almost feels like a philosophy book, and it’s very poetically told. There are some deep messages here that are given as a genuine part of the story, and they’re very meaningful. While I can’t read it in its original Danish, the translation seems to be excellent.

Thank goodness for some joy toward the end. It is a kids’ book so I was expecting it. Most of the book was dismally grim though. It was bone chillingly depressing for quite a long time, and I think it wou...more
Kathryn
Aug 24, 2010 Kathryn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kathryn by: Children's Book Group--International Club Read
This lovely story is the first of popular Danish author Bodil Bresdorff's to be translated in to English and printed in America. Lucky us! I really enjoy reading about other cultures--and the underlying humanity that is so very much the same no matter what--and this book delivers.

I was actually surprised by how somber much of the story is. I expected that, after the (expected) grandmother's death, things would improve for the Crow-Girl. But, her journey is filled with as many nasty snags and sor...more
K.
Another KEEPER!

Beautiful language and story.

Just before she dies, Crow-girl's grandma gives her three rules for life.

1) "You will find two kinds of people in the world. Some say there are the bad and the good. But it isn't like that. Since what is good for one may be bad for another. No, that doesn't work. You have to depend on your intuition. There are those who make you feel inside as if you are drinking a good, warm soup--even if you are hungry and the two of you have nothing to eat. In sp...more
Karol
I loved every word of this story - it seems that the translation into English has been extremely well done. It is a story of hope and perseverence in a time of great hardship and pain. The young girl's perseverance and hope help her overcome one obstacle after another until finally her hopes and wishes are fulfilled.

The book starts with three life lessons passed down from a grandmother to her granddaughter, and then we see each one played out in the story that follows. It is more than a story of...more
Emily
This book had me spellbound. The lifestyle is so far removed from our own today that I just soaked up the details of scratching together a living with the bare necessities (gathering driftwood from the sea for their fire and mussels and kale for their ancient stews)just to maintain a meager livelihood. I must gravitate to stories of an orderly, simple life (as maybe I feel mine isn't?).

I loved the characters of the grandmother and granddaughter and the way they turned bleakness into beauty--the...more
Margaret
Batchelder Honor 2005

The Crow-Girl is about an unnamed girl who lives with her grandmother. The grandmother warns the girl that she will die soon and how to know when that happens. She then tells her that people have both good and bad inside and you have to see if it is the right goodness for you. When her grandmother dies, the girl sets out. She first finds a woman who wants her to work for her and then wants to take all her things, but she escapes one night. Then, she finds a man and a toddler...more
Chrissie
Nov 10, 2010 Chrissie rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Chrissie by: Gundula
This YA book did not work for me. There was a lot of talk about the Crow-Girl books by the Norwegian author Bodil Bredsdorff in the Comfort Reads Group of which I am a member here at GR. There is an overall gloom that I did not enjoy. I am NOT one to shy away from a book that focuses on "difficult times". It is not enough for me that a story ends on a positive note. No, I even prefer a novel that ends half-way happy as long as the passage through the book isn't dismal and provides a chuckle or a...more
Cheryl in CC NV
3.5 stars A wonderfully sweet, quiet & concise tale of what it means to be a family. Just enough scary reality stirred in the mix to make it believable. Definitely stands alone; if you're concerned about it being part of a series don't be. However, the sequel, Eidi: The Children of Crow Cove, is valuable, too, although just a bit different. (Different translators might have affected the tone of each.)

This review edited after a re-read because the first time I read too fast - the book is mea...more
Anne Slater
Did you ever pick a book for the cover and title and actually find a treasure? This is one of those books, originally published in Denmark, and only translated and published in the US in 2004.

Crow-Girl lives a meager but happy life with her very elderly grandmother on a distant cove of a Scandinavian country on the east side(I'm guessing) of the North Sea.

At the outset, grandmother, dying, is teaching Crow-Girl the three great lessons of life. Her final one:
"There are two kinds of people... Ther...more
Beverly
A sweet, quiet story of an orphaned girl who finds her way in the world and a new family. The writing is simple but elegant, and the story moves along at a good pace. The characters are well-rounded. At first, I thought that the author must hate men, because of the wicked stepfather and the man who abandoned his young son to a stranger (the Crow Girl). Fortunately she was a good person and cared for the little boy. I don't know if Norwegians are weak people or what, but I thought that this fathe...more
Mary Hoch
This story takes place near a quiet cove, where 3 small houses sit, 2 of which are empty. In the only occupied house lives a young girl and her sick grandmother. Following her grandmother's passing and as a result of her loneliness and desperation, the girl leaves her home. She meets a woman, who takes her in and feeds her, but then treats her as a slave; and when she discovers the woman’s intention of taking her home, she leaves. She lets the crows lead her on her journey, where she encounters...more
Emily
Summary(CIP): after the deathe of her grandmother, an orphaned young girl leaves her house by the cove and begins a journey which leads her to people and eperiences that exemplify the wisdom her grandmother had shared with her.

Review: This story is a great survival story in so many ways. It deals with both physical and emotional survival. The advice given by the grandmother is honest and rings true and then is reflects in the story. The Crow-girl learns that people are neither good or bad, what...more
Melody
Jun 28, 2010 Melody rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Melody by: Darsa M.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mo

A captivating, somber, almost philosophical read. The image of a lonely cove's rocky shoreline, populated by only a few small, mostly empty, mostly ruined homes; some sea life; a girl; and her bed-ridden grandmother, set the tone of the book. Though the time and place (other than being coastal and boggy) are indistinct and vague, that never seemed to matter - the story was very timeless, and the mysteriousness seemed appropriate, considering the protagonist's ignorance of her own name. I would n

...more
Karen
The story of a pure heart. Crow-Girl goes searching for companionship after her grandmother's death, and finds it by trial and error, but also by listening in her heart to the tenets of "truth" her grandmother imparted to her before she died. Hopeful, but not saccharine. Lovely and simple, like a parable.
Tanja
A little gem that was sleeping on our library shelves, waiting to be discovered. I am sometimes drawn to books that don't draw much attention to themselves through their cover and often make unexpected discoveries. I loved this story, originally written in Danish, about a young girl who after the death of her grandmother leaves their simple home to discover that there are different kinds of people in the world, some that will want to help and others that would try to take advantage even of the p...more
Linda
3 1/2 stars
A sweet and pastoral story of a young girl who is orphaned by the death of her grandmother, and of her search for belonging. Her grandmother’s parting advice was Crow-girl’s guiding light and is fitting for us today: “There are those who make you feel inside as if you are drinking a good, warm soup…they nourish you. And then there are those who cause you to freeze inside…they are not good for you, even though others might say that they are good people.” This book was originally writte...more
Elizabeth
I just finished reading The Crow-Girl: The Children of Crow Cove and I must say that I really enjoyed it. This is a first in a series of books about crow cove, so I plan to read the rest. It was a sweet, very moving story about those who have experienced loss and have come together and made the best of their situation. The book has vivid imagery and I could imagine the places as I read. Excellent story!
Claudine Yanting
{A 4.5* for me.}

"The second rule says that the door to a person's heart can only be opened from within. If there is someone who will not let you in, it's no use hammering and kicking and lamenting and complaining. For what if the door is ajar, and you push it shut? With some people it can never be opened again."


We never get to find out her real name.

The girl - she lives near a cove, by a brook that runs out to sea, with her wise but ailing grandmother. They live secluded from the rest of the t...more
529_Gary
Crow-girl is a tale about a young Dannish girl who lives with her grandmother. Her grandmother is very old and is mostly bed ridden. Her grandmother is preparing her for the possibility of her death. They live in a modest home along the sea shore. The young girl takes care of the house and her grandmother. Her grandmother dies and she buries her next to her grandfather. After she grives for her grandmother she decideds to go and find a family to live with. The first family she finds doesn't work...more
pati
Beautifully written but I cannot imagine just any child reading this book - too profound for the modern American child. translated from Danish

From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7-Set in the indistinct past, this is the poignant story of a girl who lives with her grandmother on a lonely stretch of coast in Denmark. The two survive by collecting driftwood and carefully harvesting the gifts of the sea. The coziness of their life is punctuated by Grandmother's awareness that her own life is tenuous;...more
Elizabeth
The Crow-Girl by Bodil Bredsdorff
The Crow-Girl by Bodil Bredsdorff is a Danish story of a young girl who faces the harshness of life with love and acceptance. The girl, who has no name, is left alone when her grandmother dies. Faced with the words of wisdom her grandmother has given her, Crow Girl, as she gets called, heads off to find her way in the world. As she travels, she meets people who are kind on the surface but dark underneath, people who have faced hardships much worse than her own, a...more
528_Laura
The Crow-Girl by Bodil Bredsdorff is the a coming of age story about a girl who is forced to go out on her own after her Grandmother passes. Having lived a peaceful, quiet, and desolate life in a meager house in Denmark, she follows a set of Crows to find a new life for herself. After being taken advantage of by an old greedy women, she finds friends of her own (a small boy who she has saved as well as two women) who become her new community. Crow-Girl’s new family create a home in the cove wher...more
Maureen Milton
A Batchelder winner in translation from the Danish, The Crow Girl reads like a fairy tale or parable. The story & setting are spare like the rocky coastal settlement where much of the story takes place. The characters, beginning with Crow-Girl & her grandmother are depict human experience (removed from texting & screens) & reality both bitter & sweet.

Crow Girl's grandmother eke out a simple existence &, as Grandmother approaches her death (the vehicle for subsequent acti...more
01AmandaL
The Crow Girl, By Bodli Bredsdorff.

This book is about a girl named Crow Girl, she is 13 years old and a very hard worker. Crow girl lived with her grandma in a very small old house, in the middle of nowhere. One day her grandmother passsed away and crow girl is by herself. She leaves her home and two crows lead her to different places and people.

Crow girl wanted to find someone who would take her in and take of her. Two crows lead her to a house with a man and wife. They let Crow girl in bu...more
Larissa
Judging from my less than extensive forays into Danish children's literature, I feel relatively confidant in the judgment that the Danes do not coddle their children like Americans do. Within the first few chapters of The Crow-Girl, the titular character's grandmother dies. The now-orphaned 'Crow-Girl' has to then bury grandma herself, and embark on a quest (for...well, there's really not much of a reason...she lives in the middle of nowhere, has no family, and some crows tell her to go on a jou...more
Jojo
This is the second book that my now 10-year old daughter has recommended for me to read. So far, both have been great recommendations (the other book was The Giver). In her honor, I am creating a new book shelf for her recommendations.

The Crow Girl is a quiet lyrical book, originally written in Danish. It tells the story of a young girl who lives with her grandmother in an isolated home on the shores of the ocean. Their life style is austere, and because the grandmother is very old, the girl mu...more
Jane G Meyer
Translated from the Danish, this story of a young girl who is tossed into hardship, but has the tools to survive and make good decisions is really lovely. The story is somehow soothing despite her struggles, and I think it comes from the simple setting and plot line that pulls the reader forward. I would LOVE to read this in Danish, but alas, all I can say is "tak" which I think, from my very short trip to Denmark a million years ago means, thank you...

(They thought I was Danish from my strawber...more
Linda Lipko
This is an author who knows how to write! The images painted are poetic. As an old grandmother is dying she imparts wisdom to the grand daughter she loves. Living together on a rugged cove near the sea, when her grandmother dies, the young girl must bury her and seek others who can help her.

Remembering her grandmother's words regarding two kinds of people," those that make you feel good inside, and then those who cause you to freeze inside, even if you are sitting before a roaring fire and have...more
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Bodil Bredsdorff is a popular Danish children’s book author.
More about Bodil Bredsdorff...
Eidi: The Children of Crow Cove Tink: The Children of Crow Cove Alek: The Children of Crow Cove Die Mädchen Aus Der Villa Sorrento Liebe lange leichte Tage

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“You will find two kinds of people in the world. Some say that there are the bad and the good. But it isn’t like that. Since what is good for one may be bad for another. No, that doesn’t work. You have to depend on your intuition.

“There are those who make you feel inside as if you are drinking a good, warm soup – even if you are hungry and the two of you have nothing to eat. In spite of that they nourish you.

“And then there are those who cause you to freeze inside, even if you are sitting before a roaring fire and have eaten your fill. Those you should keep away from. They are not good for you, even though others might say that they are good people…”
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