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

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  513 Ratings  ·  117 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
Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 5th 2006 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 1993)
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Hidden by Loïc DauvillierThe Lily Pond by Annika ThorBig Wolf and Little Wolf by Nadine Brun-CosmeA Faraway Island by Annika ThorEidi by Bodil Bredsdorff
Batchelder Award Books
6th out of 85 books — 4 voters
Harry Potter Boxset by J.K. RowlingThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. RowlingWhere the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
Proficient 10 year old books
37th out of 62 books — 11 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 921)
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What I have always (and perhaps even most) enjoyed about this book is the caressing and almost entrancing writing style; the speed and cadence of the narrative, reminds me of the ocean, its waves and tides, not surprising as The Crow Girl is for all intents and purposes a novel of the sea and by the sea (there is also a rather pleasant sense of appreciation and even surprise that a translated narrative can feel so authentic, so immediate, as especially a sense of authenticity can sometimes and p ...more
Lisa Vegan
Aug 28, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
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
May 11, 2010 K. rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 24, 2010 Kathryn rated it really liked it
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
Sep 04, 2010 Karol rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 01, 2011 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: international
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
Nov 10, 2010 Chrissie rated it it was ok
Recommended to Chrissie by: Manybooks
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
Jun 05, 2014 Beverly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j-fiction
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
Mar 07, 2015 Caren rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
This story feels very old, almost like a saga. It was translated from Danish and takes place along the coast of Denmark. It is the coming-of-age journey of "Crow-Girl", a name given her by a not very nice person after the girl realizes that her beloved and now dead grandmother only ever called her "Chick". That frail grandmother, with whom Crow-Girl lived in an isolated setting by the sea, tried to prepare her for life on her own, and indeed , Crow-Girl was very resourceful. After burying her gr ...more
Anne Slater
Aug 16, 2014 Anne Slater rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 23, 2016 Jaime rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: international
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mary Hoch
Oct 31, 2011 Mary Hoch rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1international
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
May 07, 2008 Emily rated it really liked it
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
Linda Lipko
Nov 13, 2012 Linda Lipko rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
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
Apr 01, 2014 Jenny rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
This is a lovely story translated from Danish about a little girl who lives alone after her grandmother dies. Her grandmother has taught her the most important lessons and she uses these to survive and to decide who to become close to and allow into her inner circle... soon she has a new, adopted "family" including darling "Doup". I love that the grandmother said that some people divide others into "good" and "bad" people but there are so many differing opinions on what makes someone good or bad ...more
Feb 26, 2009 Emily rated it really liked it
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
Jun 28, 2010 Melody rated it really liked it
Recommended to Melody by: Darsa M.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 21, 2015 Amanda rated it it was amazing
• Summarize the book

Crow Girl, the first in a series, is set in an unnamed seaside land and feels like it takes place in the middle ages. At the beginning of the book a girl with no name, early to mid adolescence, lives alone with her grandmother in a remote seaside cottage. They are poor but know how to keep themselves fed with mussels from the sea and other local foods. The grandmother is dying and in the opening chapters we hear her advising the girl on how to take care of herself after the
Arliegh Kovacs
This is the first in the series The Children of Crow Cove. I brought it home from the library because the cover and inset intrigued me. I also chose it because my (preteen) grandsons always seemed to choose the same sorts of books and I have been trying to expose them to something different from the ridiculous ones that now seem to be offered for school book sales. At first, the 11 year old (for whom I had chosen it) wasn't particularly interested because the protagonist wasn't a boy, it wasn't ...more
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.
Apr 13, 2014 Tanja rated it really liked it
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
Aug 21, 2014 Linda rated it liked it
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
Jul 01, 2014 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
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
Jun 13, 2014 Claudine Yanting rated it it was amazing
{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
Jan 05, 2016 Mo rated it really liked it

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

Nov 02, 2011 529_Gary rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1-international
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
Mar 14, 2011 pati rated it really liked it
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;
Nov 01, 2011 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mc-international
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
Nov 02, 2011 528_Laura rated it liked it
Shelves: 1-international
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
Jan 20, 2013 Maureen Milton rated it really liked it
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
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Bodil Bredsdorff is a popular Danish children’s book author.
More about Bodil Bredsdorff...

Other Books in the Series

The Children of Crow Cove (4 books)
  • Eidi: The Children of Crow Cove
  • Tink: The Children of Crow Cove
  • Alek: The Children of Crow Cove

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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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