Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A White Heron” as Want to Read:
A White Heron
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A White Heron

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  550 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Sylvia, a shy child of the woods, keeps the secret of the rare white heron in this classic tale.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 1st 1983 by Creative Education (first published 1886)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A White Heron, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A White Heron

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 767)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Feb 10, 2015 Laura rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Petra, Wanda and Bettie
Recommended to Laura by: Constant Reader
You may read online here.

Opening lines:
The woods were already filled with shadows one June evening, just before eight o'clock, though a bright sunset still glimmered faintly among the trunks of the trees. A little girl was driving home her cow, a plodding, dilatory, provoking creature in her behavior, but a valued companion for all that. They were going away from whatever light there was, and striking deep into the woods, but their feet were familiar with the path, and it was no matter whether t
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
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?
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sasha Ryzhova
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Audrey Snow
My favorite short story in the world! I want to name my future daughter Sylvia after the outdoorsy, inquisitive, animal-loving girl in this story. Definitely one to pass down!
Tim Wilks
I thought the length of the story affected the detail in the story
The story is in third person.
I think the third person gets well with the plot
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!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I didn't really like the story because I thought it was a little bit dull and boring because I think the story should have been longer so that she could have put more detail and depth into the it. But she did make it clear to the reader what was happening throughout the story.

Plot: The story starts when a girl goes to her grandma's house to help her. Then she meets a man in the forest Who is looking for a special bird to kill for his collection, but she does not understand because she says how
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.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
The book was ok because there wasn't much but interesting enough because, I don't want to spoil anything so read it yourself and write what you think.

Here's what I think:
The book was great, technically not much in the book, but great for a small book. I really like the way of having a protecter and a killer. The protecter is the protagonist, the main character. The killer is the antagonist, maybe even the heron is the antagonist, causing tension to the protagonist. The protagonist is always the
Apr 26, 2015 Annika rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Annika by: n/a
The story was short, sweet, and simple. Nothing amazing, but I really liked it. It was cute, had a good ending, and was intriguing. Loved Sylvia.

Content: G- No inappropriate content.
Power of choice and whats better for life over all. Nice little story with far more meaning than some might realize.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
Wordy, yes, but it is very moving. It makes you feel how a part of your life that you had wished to live has been taken away an how much you have been deceived by the modern world and its scheme of values. It is a terrible loss, at least it was for me. This story breaks you on the inside and is devastating, although the story is not grim at all, on the contrary, but maybe is that what it makes it even more hard. I needed to take some aire and shake my head after I read it, and above all, holding ...more
Because the short story is in third person you’re more likely to stay on track with the story as it goes along.
Therefore, for me this story is rated a 4 out of 5 for it's a short story with a short climax or a climax not at all to me. The couple of sentences that don't make sense to me are "He could give Sylvie and her grandmother ten dollars. He had promised to do this, and they needed the money." they don't make sense to me because the ten dollars that the young man offered the winner
Paige Vincent
I don't know why I am seeing so many bad reviews for this short story. I just finished reading it for my American literature course, and I really enjoyed it. I didn't find the analysis and plot complex, but it asks some compelling questions. The writing was rich, and all the description had symbolic value. Just because the story isn't filled with thrills and action, doesn't mean it's bad, people.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hannah Baird
I thought the short story was boring and dull. The story should have more detail and longer so the reader might get into the book.
Plot:a little girl goes to her grandma and meets a hunter the hunter wants to kill the white heron but the girl wants to protect the heron and she must choose to tell the hunter or protect the heron.
Read this for class and I quite enjoy it! Rich with imagery and thematic language. But best of all it tells a simple, straightforward story that resonnated with me.
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.
A short, sweet story of a young girl and how she protects her little piece of the world and the creatures in it.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 25 26 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A New England Nun and Other Stories
  • A Pair of Silk Stockings
  • Paul's Case
  • The Open Boat
  • The Norton Anthology of Children's Literature: The Traditions in English
  • Barn Burning
  • The Birthmark
  • Trifles
  • The Signalman
  • The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Volume B: 1820-1865
  • Short Stories by Gabriel García Márquez: A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings (Study Guide)
  • The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories
  • The War Prayer
  • A&P: Lust in the Aisles
  • The Snows of Kilimanjaro
  • Good Country People
  • Everyday Use
  • The Private Life of the Cat Who... (Cat Who... SSC3)
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 A White Heron and Other Stories

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »