Kristine's Reviews > A Stranger at Green Knowe

A Stranger at Green Knowe by L.M. Boston
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Apr 08, 13

bookshelves: juvenile, carnegie-medal, classics, series
Read in August, 2012


Number 4 of the six-part Green Knowe series...Green Knowe is based upon an actual English house where author Lucy Boston lived: The Manor at Hemingford Grey built in the 1130s complete with moat and gardens; it is one of the oldest continuously occupied houses in Britain -- there are wonderful photos online for the curious: search using the name of the house (The manor at Hemingford Grey) or the village (Hemingford Grey.)


Number 4 a bit unusual...a book with compassionate nature writing...a MESSAGE (humane treatment of zoo creatures like Hanno the gorilla) ...received a Carnegie Medal ...

Book 4 offers a distinct look at the insensitivity, misunderstanding, and inhumaneness of humans toward a wild creature, a gorilla, captured in the wild and imprisoned unnaturally for years in a zoo... until the gorilla Hanno escapes and tastes freedom again, with a little help from a deeply empathetic Ping, himself a displaced being...

I serendipitously saw an internet photo + article today...of two gorillas separated for three years from one another who reunited with hugs and obvious memories and pleasures... added potency to this particular book of fiction about Hanno, the gorilla.

A long chapter one about gorillas in the wild had me stumbling for my bearings at the outset of this fourth book in the Green Knowe series by Lucy Boston.

Apart from that early misstep, I was delighted that Mrs. Oldknow was back --- after her unexplained absence in the last book. But, oh dear, NOT Tolly.

The new child star in book four is the sensitive "refugee" Ping, invited to join Mrs. Oldknow at Green Knowe. Ping steals the show with his fiercely protective friendship with the gorilla Hanno...

A change of pace from the time weaving fantasy of the other books...I added a star for the gorilla...but I didn't feel quite right having another Green Knowe book without Tolly.
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