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A White Heron
Sarah Orne Jewett
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A White Heron

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  422 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Do your students enjoy a good laugh? Do they like to be scared? Or do they just like a book with a happy ending? No matter what their taste, our Creative Short Stories series has the answer.We've taken some of the world's best stories from dark, musty anthologies and brought them into the light, giving them the individual attention they deserve. Each book in the series has...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 1st 1983 by Creative Education
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Nature in this story is really symbolic of the feminine and the Hunter is symbolic of the masculine. The hunter's offer of money was a lure to have Sylvy submit her independence to man. The money was a lure to the symbolic love of man. By choosing to keep the location of the White Heron a secret she is choosing to remain independent.

Independence to a certain extent is good in my opinion, but I don't think that being dependent is bad - in fact in many things related to family and the gospel it i...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
What was impressed upon my mind while I was reading this was the ambivalence of the character of the young hunter whom Sylvia, the young woman, met in the woods while she was leading their cow home from pasture. First I thought he is danger, a massacre in the woods. Then I felt he is love, young Sylvia's first, and he would break her heart. But it turned out he is really interested more in finding the white heron. The rare bird Sylvia could deliver to him. But will she?
The edition I read is the Candlewick Treasure, illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin. I don't think the story would work well with plain text, but Halperin made it seem lovely. I, personally, didn't thrill to it, or feel as moved by it, as Halperin surely was. I don't know why. Barbara Cooney is also a wonderful illustrator and probably did a great job in the edition she illustrated. I do recommend either to other tree-huggers, birders, and nature- and animal-lovers.
Shy little Sylvia, driving Mistress Mooly home one day, (her cow) runs into a stranger who asks for lodgings. He adores birds, and stuffs them. There is a paticular bird he is looking for..... a white heron. Sylvia knows this bird, and has an inner argument on who she loives more. the stranger, or the bird.

Sylvia should be older, for her matureness. I cant believe how much story is in 50 pages.GASP!
I really enjoyed the many dimensions to this text, even though it is a short story. The ability to read it as a child-like fairytale, on a simple level, or on a deeper metaphorical level... I found the tale quite powerful with a protagonist that stayed true to herself and her female independence, even though she is still a child.
This charming short story is akin to a fairy tale for adults. A case may be made for deeper metaphorical meanings, but this tale should be enjoyed simply for what it is. A girl, when asked to betray a beautiful creature, is not swayed by gain but makes up her own mind. A wonderful tale of trust and right.
Becky Jo Gesteland
Like "Daisy Miller," this story reads like early Jewett--Jewett before she put it all together and fleshed it out in "The Country of the Pointed Firs." Or maybe she's just better at longer works. Still, this is a fair piece about a young woman's desire and resistance to it.
A beautiful coming of age story. I loved the imagery of her world. When she reaches the tree top, I felt like I could see the world down below with Sylvia.
Mar 05, 2008 Pat rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Best Book ever written. Does a nine year old give up her soul symbolized by a White Heron? I read this in 1974 and it still reads as great in 2008.
Laura Clark
Short, purposeful read. Great short story.
this story is a fantastic read. such great storytelling from Jewett, a great and underappreciated writer. please read this story slow, you'll love it even more.
Read for American Lit class

I found this to be the most forgettable piece I read this week, but in the moment I thought it was well done.
This is a beautifully written short story. The written word is lovely and the images are vivid and pleasing. It takes you to the loveliest places out in the country with a young girl and her quiet appreciation of nature. Naturally, her love of nature is challenged at some point, but I will not give any more away. The point is, the story is truly a pleasure to read if you enjoy settling into the beauty of nature and of words.
The copy of this book that I read was illustrated by Barbara Cooney. Both the story and the illustrations were endearing, especially the page spread showing the main character Sylvia atop a tall pine tree looking over a forest with the elusive bird flying above the treetops.
Everett Darling
Good tale about allegiances, consent, and honesty-relevant, necessary, and often neglected themes. S.O.J. is a great writer, but my recommendation would be to skip this and go straight into The Country of the Pointed Firs, which is one of the best American novellas ever written.
Cute story. I would do the same as Sylvia did.
Some reviewers take this story as a representation of female independence from male, and I think that's an interesting view.
This was a really sweet short story and a very interesting discussion in Literature class. I kind of want to read more of her short stories.
I read this as a short story in college and didn't know until recently that it is also published as a children's book.
Story about a young girl who found a rare bird and protects it from the man who hunts it.
Tiffani Erickson
I enjoyed reading this for English. Such a cute little girl Sylvia is.
eeeh, didn't like this one so much.
nature, feminism, freedom
read this, you feminists!
Sean added it
Oct 17, 2014
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Sarah Orne Jewett was an American novelist and short story writer, best known for her local color works set in or near South Berwick, Maine, on the border of New Hampshire, which in her day was a declining New England seaport.
More about Sarah Orne Jewett...
The Country of the Pointed Firs and Other Stories The Country of the Pointed Firs A Country Doctor Novels and Stories: Deephaven / A Country Doctor / The Country of the Pointed Firs / Dunnet Landing Stories / Selected Stories and Sketches (Library of America #69) A White Heron and Other Stories

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