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Storyteller

3.52  ·  Rating Details  ·  477 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
Elizabeth is drawn into a dramatic story from the American Revolution when she discovers a portrait of her ancestor, a girl called Zee, who has a striking resemblance to Elizabeth. The girls' lives intertwine and Elizabeth's present-day story alternates with Zee's. As Elizabeth learns about Zee, and walks where Zee once walked and battles raged, the past becomes as vivid a ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published August 9th 2011 by Yearling (first published September 10th 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 954)
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Shelley
2.5 stars. This just didn't work for me. All of Zee's chapters (set during the Revolutionary War) are in italics and that makes me think that her story isn't worth reading, that it's not the main plot. Except when I actually concentrated on reading and not skimming those parts, I realized that it was far more interesting than Elizabeth's story now. But everyone felt very flat and there was little emotional connection shown, which made the characters' changing feels lack depth or logic.

It did ma
...more
Karla Hutchinson
Feb 20, 2015 Karla Hutchinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-5-literature
Storyteller, is a beautifully written historical fiction young readers' novel. I loved reading the story and getting to know Elizabeth and Zee. The story starts with Elizabeth and how she must go stay with her mother's sister for a few weeks because her father must go away on a business trip. At her aunt's house she gets to hear stories of a girl in a painting who is undoubtedly one of her ancestors. We get to read the intertwined stories of these two girls, and even as an adult I teared up and ...more
Kristin Jacobsen
Aug 24, 2015 Kristin Jacobsen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book Storyteller by Patrica Reilly Giff was really entertaining. I really like how the author made every other chapter from the past. The other made the book very suspenseful and mysterious. I dislike how the book was in third person. It would have been more interesting if it were in first person.

Elizebeth and her father were the only two people who lived in the house. Her mother had passed away in a car accident a few years ago. Elizebeth's father was trying to figure out how to tell her h
...more
Olivia Hope
Oct 16, 2014 Olivia Hope rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am reading Storyteller by Patricia Reilly Giff, it is an inspiring story about a girl named Elizabeth, her mom died and she lives with her dad, she lives in the 21st century. There is another part in the book about a girl named Zee who is like Elizabeth's long lost twin in the eighteenth century. They both have similar story's with losing their mother and having their dad leave for a while but for different reasons. When Elizabeth's dad leaves to go sell artwork, he leaves her with her aunt sh ...more
QNPoohBear
lizabeth, a 21st century girl, is sent to live with her Aunt Libby she's never met when her father has to leave the country for business. Elizabeth is upset at being left with a stranger and having to change schools but she and her Aunt Libby begin to bond when Elizabeth notices an old drawing of an ancestor who looked just like her. Elizabeth begins to feel a kinship with the other Elizabeth (called Zee) and Elizabeth's quest to know Zee's story helps her bond with her mother's family and find ...more
Josiah
Apr 28, 2011 Josiah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
History becomes very real for Elizabeth in the pages of Storyteller, as a trip to stay with her Aunt Libby brings her into a close connection with an adventurous family past that she didn't even know had ever occurred.

Author Patricia Reilly Giff relates the stories of Elizabeth and of her Revolutionary War era ancestor, Zee, in chapters that alternate (for the most part) between the twenty-first and eighteenth centuries. It's easy to tell which is which, even at first glance; not only is the w
...more
Rachel
Apr 13, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reviewed for www.compassbookratings.com

Beautiful and engaging, Storyteller is another excellent novel from two-time Newbery Honor-winner Patricia Reilly Giff. Modern-day Elizabeth is likable and relatable, especially in her struggle to fit in. Zee's life as a young girl in colonial America was fascinating. Through Zee's eyes, the book also sheds light on a lesser known battle of the Revolutionary War and discusses it in a realistic, yet age-appropriate way. I was both surprised and thrilled with
...more
Margo Tanenbaum
Patricia Reilly Giff's newest release, Storyteller, tells the stories of two girls, Elizabeth and Zee, distantly related to each other across more than 200 years. When Elizabeth's father leaves for Australia, she is sent to live with her Aunt Libby, her mother's sister, whom she barely knows. At her house she discovers an intriguing old framed portrait of a distant relative named Eliza, known as Zee, who looks almost exactly like her. She is immediately drawn to the picture, thinking how strange ...more
Emily
Jan 06, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Storyteller had a very sweet ending; the only problem was that it never got to be one of those books where I want to keep reading. I always found myself drifting off into my own thoughts as opposed to reading it. I like how it was from Elizabeth and her ancestor’s point of view; that made it really intriguing. I thought it was really good but the plot was weak. There was something else that needed to be added to the story to make it whole.
I thought it was cute how Elizabeth and her aunt Li
...more
M.
Jan 07, 2011 M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When her widowed father has to go to Australia for business, Elizabeth is sent to stay with her deceased mother's sister, a woman she's never met. She has to go to a new school in a town she's never been to before. She doesn't want to go. Aunt Libby is nervous about her houseguest--she's single and has never had children, but she welcomes Elizabeth as best she can.

Aunt Libby has an old portrait of an ancestress--Zee, a girl who lived during the Revolutionary War--and Zee looks just like Elizabet
...more
Kgmedia
Jan 23, 2012 Kgmedia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story of the American Revolution from two-time Newbery Honor–winning author Patricia Reilly Giff.

While staying with her aunt, Elizabeth finds something remarkable: a drawing. It hangs on the wall, a portrait of her ancestor, Eliza, known as Zee. She looks like Elizabeth.
The girls’ lives intertwine as Elizabeth’s present-day story alternates with Zee’s, which takes place during the American Revolution. Zee is dreamy, and hopeful for the future—until the Revolution tears apart her family and her
...more
Matt Guion
Genre: Children’s historical fiction, coming-of-age

Synopsis: Elizabeth, forgetful and clumsy, lives alone with her father in the twenty-first century, until he sends her to live with her Aunt Libby while he goes off to Australia on business. While adjusting to a new life, a new school, and a relative she barely knows, she comes across a drawing of a distant relative named Eliza, but called Zee, who lived in the eighteenth century during the American Revolution. During her visit, Elizabeth learn
...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

When Elizabeth's father tells her he will be traveling to Australia to sell his wood carvings, she thinks it means she'll have to stay with Mrs. Eldridge and endure her overweight bulldog and his bad breath. She's in for a surprise. Father says Elizabeth will be staying with her Aunt Libby, her mother's sister.

Staying with Libby means living with someone she doesn't even know and going to a new school where she doesn't have any frie
...more
Karen
Elizabeth is a young girl sent to live temporarily with a maternal aunt she has never met before. While struggling to adjust to her new situation, Elizabeth finds herself drawn to a painting in her aunt's house of Zee -- a relative who lived during the time of the American Revolution and who bears a striking resemblance to Elizabeth. In alternate chapters, the reader hears Zee's first person account of the war's effect on her and her family -- with a particular focus on an interesting but little ...more
Reading Vacation
REVIEW

Storyteller presents historical fiction in a new way. There are both a historical and a modern story being told. The historical story centers on Eliza (aka Zee), who lived in the time of the American Revolution. The modern story is about Elizabeth, who is sent to live with her Aunt Libby when her own father travels overseas for work.

I liked that each girl gets to tell her point-of-view in alternating chapters. Patricia Reilly Giff has a way of making her characters jump out of the scene a
...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I'd really like to give this book 3 1/2 stars, or 3 for the part that takes place in the 20th century, and 4 for the part that takes place in the 18th century. The story shifts between Elizabeth in the 20th century, and her ancestor Zee in the 18th century, during the American Revolution. Elizabeth and Zee not only look alike (according to an old drawing of Zee), but are similar in personality. While in the 20th century Elizabeth discovers a side of her family she never knew, Zee loses family in ...more
Ashley Busbee
Feb 25, 2015 Ashley Busbee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Patricia Reilly Giff wrote this book the Storyteller. It's in the genre of story. This chapter book is about two young girls lives. it goes on and off through chapters on zee and Elizabeth's preference. They both come from the same family and Elizabeth is trying to find out more about her ancestor Zee because they look very similar. I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars because I liked it very much but I wish the ending would have been a little bit more exciting. Overall, great book!
Briar Viager
Dec 09, 2015 Briar Viager rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i love this book the revonary war was a good toch to put down i just love the way they swiched back in forth from the 21st centry and the 18th centry i just loved the way zee was so much like elizabeth and this book had so many great details i also love the part where elizabeth meets henry and aunt libby when she broke the glass on the pic of zee was sad and not fixable they tryed to get the frame glue back but that was a oringnal frame from the 18th centrty
Yordana
Apr 22, 2014 Yordana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story is the best historical fiction i ever read so far. There are some parts in the story that is sad but it's still a good book. Those who are not sure to read this book i recommend this book because it is a interesting book. The reason why im not saying the events that happen in the story is because i don't wanna spoil any thing.
Cheryl
Oct 04, 2012 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My middle-school aged daughter and I enjoyed this story. It was neat to flip back and forth between modern day Elizabeth and Revolutionary War Zee's perspectives. I love hearing the stories that my grandparents told and finding out interesting facts about my ancestors.

The only complaints I might have is that the book felt very short and the strained relationship between the modern day aunt and uncle felt forced. Also, if the uncle loved history and especially the history of Zee, then why did he
...more
Kayley
Sep 22, 2015 Kayley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book although it's slow in the beginning it really picks it self up in the end. About a girl learning about her family's difficult past teaches people that they really should learn more about their ancestors because you never know what they done or what's happened to them.
carissa
Recommended Ages: grades 4-7

While staying with her aunt, Elizabeth finds something remarkable: a drawing. It hangs on the wall, a portrait of her ancestor, Eliza, known as Zee. She looks like Elizabeth.
The girls’ lives intertwine as Elizabeth’s present-day story alternates with Zee’s, which takes place during the American Revolution. Zee is dreamy, and hopeful for the future—until the Revolution tears apart her family and her community in upstate New York. Left on her own, she struggles to survi
...more
Alyssa (The Shady Glade)
Meh. The whole book felt a little anti-climactic, based on what I was expecting about a big family secret from the back of the book description. In the end, I ended up caring more about what happened to Zee than what happened to Elizabeth in modern times.

Longer review to come later.
Carla
Jul 08, 2014 Carla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
Interesting view of girl in search of her family history, with interchanging chapters of her past relatives during the Revolutionary War. It would be neat to discover such a rich family history even with some tragedy.
Jan Carlson
This is a good book but not Patricia Reilly Giff's best. I like that it connected the present with the past by using two narrators, one from the 18th century and one from the 1st. The two young girls are related and similar in personality. Elizabeth, who lives in the 21st century, uncovers the story of Zee, who lived during the American Revolution. Historical fiction fans should like this book.
Phoebe
Sep 27, 2010 Phoebe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Elizabeth's father must go to Australia unexpectedly, so he takes her to live with her aunt Libby. Shy, awkward, clumsy Elizabeth is strangely drawn to a sketch of Zee, a girl about her own age, and her ancestor. Giff tells Zee's story in alternating segments with Elizabeth's, and she does a pretty good job with Zee and her terrible experiences during the Revolutionary War. I was less interested in Elizabeth and was surprised that such a veteran author as Giff would people her story with such fl ...more
Gerri R.
Similar to A Long Walk to Water. Format goes back and forth in time. I prefer books that stay in one time period. Could have been written as Part 1 and 2.
Amanda
Feb 09, 2014 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Very quick read. Historical fiction, but also modern day coming of age tale. Good for 5th grade and up. 'Though I think adults will find it dull.
Mr. Steve
OK, so this book has a boring title and a rather boring cover. And it starts off kind of boring too, I think. That is all a shame because it turns into a pretty good book. The story alternates between Elizabeth, a girl in the 21st century whose story is told 3rd person, and Zee, a girl in the 18th Century whose story is told first person. The stories are somewhat intertwined and it turns out that Zee's story, which is during the Revolutionary War, is very interesting and has a definite appeal to ...more
Kristi
Jul 03, 2016 Kristi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The premise of this story is fascinating but the character development, detail, and imagery fell a little flat for me.
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PATRICIA REILLY GIFF is the author of many beloved books for children, including the Kids of the Polk Street School books, the Friends and Amigos books, and the Polka Dot Private Eye books. Several of her novels for older readers have been chosen as ALA-ALSC Notable Books and ALA-YALSA Best Books for Young Adults. They include The Gift of the Pirate Queen; All the Way Home; Water Street; Nory Ryan ...more
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