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The Diddakoi
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The Diddakoi

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  570 ratings  ·  59 reviews
A young Gypsy girl is shunned by the children in her village because she lives in a covered wagon. And when her guardian great-grandmother dies, she must adjust to a new life and learn to accept life's inequities.
Paperback, 144 pages
Published February 2nd 1988 by Puffin (first published 1968)
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Jan 29, 2013 Nic rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anybody who has kids!
Oh my word!!!
I read this book in primary, and LOVED it. I can't believe I found it here, and I would never have remembered the name if not for that gypsy list.
We did this book in 2005 for the subject "Book Studies" and I mean we had to study this book for the whole year. So imagine a less-than-200 page for a whole year. So slow!! I read the whole thing in the first term and had to shut up on the spoiler :P hehe.
It would be soooo interesting read this book again!
Faith Spinks
When I found The Diddakoi in a box of books from up in the loft I let out a little sound of excitement. I remember loving this book as a child. It is a 1985 edition and falling apart because it has been read so many times over the years.

At the end of that day of sorting boxes I couldn't resist it, picked it up and started reading it again. In the early hours of the morning and half way through the book already I forced myself to put it down and get some sleep. Getting home the next day it took
A tale about a girl who only wanted to be herself, and everyone's bizarre efforts to force her to blend in.

Kizzy was a little gypsy girl, who only wants her wagon, her Gran, and her horse. Sadly, she loses all three. But somehow, no one can understand why Kizzy is upset after losing everything she cares about in the whole world.

The schoolchildren torment her, the adults want to punish her when she misbehaves, Kizzy accidentally destroys Olivia's house, but somehow everyone gets exactly what they
Kizzy is a half-romani girl aged 7 or 8 who has been brought up by her great-great-grandmother. She is first discovered by the authorities and made to go to school, which is not a good experience, and then when the old lady dies she finds her distant romani relatives don't want her and she is not going to be allowed to live on her own.

I loved this children's book. There are some great characters - not only Kizzy but the adults too. There are also some well-meaning characters who make mistakes (
Zen Cho
See review of Peacock Spring for critique. I did find this enormously satisfying in a lot of ways. I was tremendously invested in the characters, and I liked how Kizzy's trauma and recovery were depicted -- reminded me a lot of Goodnight Mr Tom. I would have loved the book and reread it millions of times as a child, but I'm not really sure about this message in the end that being taken in by Nice White People and having them graciously preserve your ~beautiful culture~ is the answer. Sigh ... it ...more
Andreas Stavros
I recently re-read this book 35 years after first discovering it, and it's lost none of its intelligent charm. The story is simple: Kizzy is a young gypsy girl, shoe-horned into a mainstream society riddled with bullies and well-meaning but naive do-gooders, but whose innate determination and pride enables her to survive without losing her dignity or identity.

The book was also adapted into a children's TV series in 1976 (which is how I discovered it), but the tale itself is timeless. In short,
Having just finished the Maisie Dobbs’ book about gypsies—“An Incomplete Revenge,” I was reminded of this book that I read as an adult back in 1992. It’s about Kizzy, a young half gypsy girl who learns about prejudice when her grandmother dies and she enters the local school where she suffers the taunts and cruelties of her schoolmates. The book, directed at young adults, not only deals with bullying (a topic very much in the news today), but with Romany culture and kindness that reaches across ...more
The cover pictured here is in even twee-er than the edition I read. But, really, I haven't enjoyed an actual kid's book this much in a long time. Maybe because it was written a while ago? I read YA all the time, but anything for the tween set and under just seems way way way too young to keep my interest.

But reading this was like going back to when books were not only good, but were magic, and were always going to work out all right.

I could use more of that.
I read this book when I was a young girl and was throughly captivated by the story of the gypsy girl and her life. When I was an adult, I managed to find the book through Powell's used books and now have a copy of the edition I read back in the 1970s (when it was still a "new" book!). Excellent!
The most interesting thing about this book is that there adults who know that bullying is going on but wait to see if the kids sort it out themselves. This would never happen in a book written today.
This is a lovely story of a rebellious little gypsy girl struggling against prejudice, learning to function within a family, and finding healing for her wounded heart. I read it all in one sitting, I was so enchanted by the characters.
The writing style is definitely odd; it's disjointed sometimes and there are a million flashbacks, but the ideas stick together well. It has a flow to it that is quite unique.
This book has a wonderful message, and a moving plot!
This charming story was written in 1972 and tells of the life of seven year old Kizzy, a young gypsy girl who finds herself totally alone after the death of her Gran. She has all sorts of difficulties with going to school, interacting with the other children and adults and resists conforming to the standards of the town. This is a remarkable story of how the human spririt survives despite all odds and of the generosity and love given to this young girl from some caring people in the town. It is ...more
Written in 1972, this children's story tells about gypsies and how they lived their lives. The protagonist is a fiery little girl and the descriptions of her gypsy wagon are very homey. Sweet story.
This was my favourite book as a child, I loved this book to pieces. I read it so many times that the pages all fell out. It has a great story line and vibrant characters.
The Diddakoi is a lovely book. Some of Rumer Godden's books can be a little melancholy (at least IMHO), but this was just charming through and through (even if I did have to get the tissues out a few times). Godden has created a terrific cast of characters, from seven year old Kizzy, to Sir Admiral, Clem, and Miss Blake, and the villagers in all their shame and glory.

The writing style was interesting, with an unusual method of weaving dialogue into the sentence structure and a tendency to inters
Probably my favourite book ever. It's where my mum got my name from and it's so special to me.
One of my favourite childhood books.
Lisa Houlihan
GR link
I am always fascinated with anything to do with gypsies and would love to have read this as a child. I did enjoy it as a grown up but wished for a fleshing out of certain characters such as the Admiral and his household of men. I'd also loved to have had Miss Brooke's back story. The idea of the old ways and the new ways even within the Romany group themselves was also intriguing. I want to run out and read some grown up books about gypsy life now.
I've just read this to see if it's something to do with my planned class which will have Rom as the theme... not sure my teenagers will be able to get past the sickly sweet cover image, but the story itself is very moving. Interesting approach to exclusion and integration.
First read this on December 1st, 2007.
Now reading again to decide whether to use it with a class again.

Once again moved by this story. Now I'm keen to read more by this author.
Jasmine Anne Victoria Bamber
This book is writtebn in an old fasioned style. It is a lovly str=ory about young gypsy whos family die and is put up for adoption. She goes to live with to man who love her but has to leave to go live with a woman but all the othjer childeren hate her ad their is a fussy woman who tries to get vrids of her. Their is a bit of romance across the was and a lovly anding.
Gena Froggatt
Charming story, again I read it after seeing the dramatisation as a child of 'Kizzy'.
I absolutely loved the programme so bought the book for my children but read it myself first to bring those childhood memories back, and I wasn't disappointed. It has since been read by my son and daughter who both enjoyed it too.
Jan 28, 2008 Joni rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids/teenagers
Loved it! A classic. I've read it so many times... I never tire of it. Very moving. Very unique. What can I say? It's on my top ten list of books, for sure.

I've tried lots of other Rumer Godden books, but was never captivated by the stories as much as I was with The Diddakoi.
I can see how English schoolchildren would love this book. From my adult perspective, it seemed too facile and marvelously coincidental. I also didn't consider it the ideal resolution. The original problem of half-Romany children not being accepted in the Romany community still exists.
Wonderful dramatisation by the BBC. A perfect book for young adults (and old ones, too). Who wouldn't want to have bonfires at night and sleep in a little wagon? My thanks to Bettie for recommending this - I now have another book to add to my Gypsy theme.
A melodramatic fantasy, really. Everything's neat & pat, and rather implausible. And the themes are not subtle. A joyful read for a good young reader; I would have loved it when I was seven or eight. But it's just not all that good a book. Sorry.
Fluffy Things & Red Roses
I really like the idea of this book as I am a good fan of horses and the likes, however it is quite difficult to read. Tried reading it when I was younger and couldn't get through it. I haven't tried reading it since although I, a some point in time, will. :)
Was a young girl (preteen?) when I read this and really loved it. Made me wish I had a tiny, perfect caravan and a pony to pull it. Wished I was exotic. Was not exotic but in books could experience lives unlike mine. I love reading!
After losing her gran, Kizzy must move into new homes and attend school. Here, she is bullied and shunned. Language may be a bit dated, but a short study on prejudice, bullying, gender roles.
Rumer Godden is one of my favorite authors. I discovered this book when I was in grade school. It goes with my love of the gypsy/carnie theme that I had going on for years.
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She was born in Sussex, England, but grew up in India, in Narayanganj. Many of her 60 books are set in India. Black Narcissus was made into a famous movie with Deborah Kerr in 1947.

Godden wrote novels, poetry, plays, biographies, and books for children.

For more information, see the official website: Rumer Godden
More about Rumer Godden...
The Story of Holly and Ivy In This House of Brede The Dolls' House The Greengage Summer Miss Happiness and Miss Flower

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