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The Singing Tree (Kate and Jancsi #2)

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  1,214 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Life on the Hungarian plains is changing quickly for Jancsi and his cousin Kate. Father has given Jancsi permission to be in charge of his own herd, and Kate has begun to think about going to dances. Jancsi hardly even recognizes Kate when she appears at Peter and Mari's wedding wearing nearly as many petticoats as the older girls wear. And Jancsi himself, astride his priz ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 1st 1990 by Puffin (first published 1939)
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Tadiana
Sequel to The Good Master, a childhood fave. Kate's and Jansci's fathers go off to war, and the younger generation (who are now teenagers) takes care of the family farm in the Hungarian steppes, as well as their grandparents, some neighbors who need a place to stay, six Russian POWs, and six German children who are refugees.

My reaction to this book as a teenager was "meh;" I didn't care for the more serious tone of this book, set during WWI. I decided I needed to read it again to give it a more
...more
Corey
A personal tale (the author is retelling her childhood) of the shift from the farms of rural Hungary to the effects of WWI. The Jewish storekeeper having faith that this war will help keep his people safe for good, the Russian prisoners of war working in the farm and being grateful to be there, safe from the battlefield, the soldiers coming home changed and shell shocked, the solidity of community and family...
CLM
Oct 18, 2009 CLM rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to CLM by: SLM
I read this until our copy fell apart.
Wendy
One of the great books of my childhood, this one is much more serious that its predecessor "The Good Master." War and prejudice enter and interrupt the halcyon days of Kate and Jansci's Hungarian village. The illustrations of these books add to their appeal.
Heather
We all loved this book. It tells the story of a Hungarian family during WWI. While it discusses the war, and how it affects others, the main purpose was to show that people are people and we are all the same. Russian chicken, Hungarian chicken...all same.

My boys have repeated parts of the book to each other many times. I've seen it in their play. They all sat and listened intently, laughing and even crying. They were always eager to read it and often chose to read it before our other books. (For
...more
Penelope Dreadfulle
This was one of my favorites as a child, so much so that I go back and read it every few years. Kate Seredy brought the Hungarian landscape to life, and taught me about World War I though the eyes of two Hungarian Children: Jansci and Kate. Its issues are more complex than The Good Master and a good introduction to adult subjects such as war and religious and racial discrimination for younger readers without the hammering that is so often seen in modern and preachy children's books. I highly rec ...more
Monica Fastenau
The book starts off happily–it’s a continuation of The Good Master, an earlier Newbery book written by Seredy, and the plot of The Singing Tree picks up where The Good Master left off. Jancsi and Kate are cousins (preteens at the beginning of the book) who ride horses, take care of chickens, and get into trouble together on Jancsi’s father’s farm in the Hungarian countryside. All the characters from the first book are enjoying life together, working on the farm and spending time with family, eve ...more
Cheryl
Oh those proud, good, brave, kind, beautiful Hungarians! I have no idea if the the (softened) history is accurate, but what a different picture of WWI is given here than other accounts I've read. I liked this more than The Good Master because, even though it wasn't as much of a fun story, the info-dumps were helpful and so the story made more sense - the exotic culture didn't seem so mysteriously alien.
Emily
I grew up rereading THE GOOD MASTER (prequel) because of the wholesome story, the beautiful illustrations, the delightful prosperity of the Hungarian ranchers. I had extremely low expectations when I stumbled upon THE SINGING TREE the other day. Well, I was wrong--it's excellent. It's not as comforting as THE GOOD MASTER, but this one is much more satisfying to the soul.

Kate Seredy has a lot more to work with in this book, with WWI as the backdrop. From racism to gender roles, compassion to the
...more
Melanie
This book always makes me cry, no matter how often I read it. I think it's because it takes place during World War I, which I just see as such a waste. But the language is beautiful. Kate Seredy transmits her love for Hungary to the reader. You kind of get hit over the head with "all same," but it doesn't matter because it's true.
Sindy Zakrzewicz
This was a book that I could not put down. Although it is about a war, it shows the compassion and caring of a family and how even when times are hard they are willing to open their doors and their hearts to take in as many people as they can. To show them that life and others are there to help guide them and teach them.
Thomas
Book Report,
The Singing Tree,
historical novel, the Singing Tree by Kate Seredy, the author of the book. Wrote about life of the Hungarian including Jancsi and his cousin Kate. There life change a lot when Jancsi's father give him a permission to be in charge of his owe thinking. Because his father is going to war in 1914. Jancsi's father also Wrote about farming for his family, so they will know what they have to do when he went to war. Jancsi and Kate must grow and take care of the farm and th
...more
Saralyn
The sequel to "The Good Master," I might even like this one even better. Tells of what happens to the family during WWI. Nice to hear it from their perspective. LOVE this book!
Crystal
The cultural setting in this book is good (just like the Laura Inglles Wilder books), and it's got a simple message with nice, loveable characters.
Tammy
Loved the story again. Seredy's descriptive way of writing is very pleasant to read aloud with my kids!
Ruth
World War I. War and prejudice cause pain but family love wins over all.
HeavyReader
This is the second book I had forgotten that I read until I heard my 67 year old friend describe it to someone else. Again, I was so impressed that she remembered the name of the book. (I would have never come up with the name, even if I had remembered the plot or characters.) And I was so touched that she and I had read and enjoyed the same book, probably twenty years apart.

I remember this book being very old when I read it, probably in the early 1980s and probably borrowed either from my schoo
...more
Voracious
Beautiful, simple and sweet.
Nancy
True confession: I have never read a Kate Seredy book, but my kids LOVE almost all of her books they have read. The Good Master and the Open Gate are beloved, and G is to review The Singing Tree. She thinks is it more for teens than The Good Master. I hope this review will finally help me to break down and read one of her books!

Giuli: The Singing Tree is the sequel to the Good Master. (if you haven't read the good Master, then this won't make as much sense).

Jancsi and Kate (kate is Jancsi's cou
...more
Starry
In this sequel to The Good Master (a juvenile novel set in rural Hungary in the early 1900s), cousins Kate and Jancsi are now 15 years old and still enjoying a serene life rich with Hungarian traditions. However, this life ends abruptly with the outbreak of World War I. Suddenly, Kate and Jancsi must shoulder the tasks of adults, see their fathers and neighbors off to war, and share their house with neighbors, relatives, Russian prisoners of war, and German refugee children.

This novel has a hap
...more
Jill
I liked this one better than The Good Master.

"Home, as no place in the city can ever be. There you are always walled in like a prisoner, and your closest neighbors are strangers. Each family seems to live in a little cell, not knowing or caring what goes on next door. Here, miles of the plains separate us from the nearest neighbor and yet I feel among friends. I know that, should we really need help, they'd come from far and near, as we would go to them."

"Against the trunk, owls huddled sleepil
...more
Alicia
Feb 13, 2013 Alicia rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Alicia by: 1940 Newbery honor
I love this book. I read it aloud years ago, but just reread it to 11-year-old Josh and he loved it, too. This is the sequel to the Good Master, continuing the story of Hungarian farmers and peasants at the outbreak of World War 1. In this book, Kate Seredy shows the damage war causes to people and the land. The overall message is that people are all the SAME at heart and should be treated with respect -- Jewish, Russian, German, Hungarian. We come to love the Jewish shopkeeper, the Russian pris ...more
Jorgina
After reading the first book, "The Good Master," this family became so dear to my heart (sounds corny, I know)so I couldn't wait to read the sequel. But in the second book, war comes to Hungary and all the tragedy that accompanies it. I have to admit that I jumped to the end of the book because when the men of the family were sent to war, I just had to know if they survived.
The book maintains the goodness of the Hungarian village residents and shows that people can choose how tragedy effects t
...more
Lea Lea
There is a real sweetness to this book. Its main themes are: simplicity of farm life, respect and dignity for human life, the struggles of war, and family blessings. My favorite contrasts were between the innocence of its characters and the price of evil. The family unit was so strong in this book and its strength became a haven for friend and foe alike. The taste of Hungarian culture and WWI history was icing on the cake.
Susan Rothenberg
Considered a "young people's book," the so try takes place in Hungary and tells of several young people and their family dealing with the issues of World War I and their fathers being gone and the ways the family manages to run the farm, have Russian prisoners of war helping with the farming, and taking in 6 hungry German children to care for. A major message of the book is that all people are alike regardless of their nationality or religion, inclusind Uncle Moses, the Jewish shope keeper who m ...more
Mckinley
Continuation of the Good Master story. WWI's impact on the Hungarian family.
Juliet
Sep 17, 2014 Juliet marked it as to-read
How do I read on this
Andrea
A classic featuring good old fashioned values, this book is set in 1917 during WWI. What makes it unique is that it is told from the perspective of a Hungarian farming family on the homefront. There is very little about the war, but a lot about helping each other get through a hard time. Of interest to kids: horses, and kittens play a role in the story. Jews and Russians are portrayed in a positive light. The family takes in five young German children and cares for them until they can be returne ...more
Crystal
One of my most favorite books of all time. A teen novel that is entirely worth the adult read. It's a snapshot into family life in Hungary during WWI. Characters are charming and the folksy tales reminded me at the time of how similar, by lifestyle and geography, that farmers in that part of Europe were to their American counterparts well through the 1950's. Jansci and Kate, puppies, gypsies, soldiers and easter eggs are some of my favorite parts.

Read the prequel, The Good Master, to really set
...more
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Seredy (Serédy Kató) was a gifted writer and illustrator, born in Hungary, who moved to the United States in 1922. She is best known for The Good Master, written in 1935, and for the Newbery Award winner, The White Stag.
More about Kate Seredy...
The Good Master The White Stag The Chestry Oak A Tree for Peter Philomena

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“I make money using my brains and lose money listening to my heart. But in the long run my books balance pretty well.” 0 likes
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