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3.76  ·  Rating details ·  127 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Spurned by her lover, and with her uncle threatening to
marry her off to his odious widowed brother, Gwenifer is
almost relieved to be sent away to escort the magistrate’s
old, blind mother to Ransomwood, where the tears of the
statue of the Holy Mother are said to have healing qualities.
Together with Harry, the village halfwit, who is escaping a
sentence of hanging for being i
Paperback, 268 pages
Published July 1st 2012 by Scholastic
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3.76  · 
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 ·  127 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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It all began with a bee, an ox and a simple-minded young man. The bee flew down Halfwit Harry's shirt. He hollered, the ox started to run wild and eventually hurt a little girl, Tilly. Most of the villagers blamed him for the young one's disability even though it was an accident.

"And the others, they came after me again. Always, they come after me. Don't know as why."

Poor Harry. He meant well; he couldn't help that he was simple-minded. The townspeople had little patience; his own mother was ve
Ms Mare
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read, I laughed, I cried. This would have to be one of the most delightful books I have read in a long time. It is set in the Middle Ages, a time of superstition, hardship, religious persecution and accusations of witchcraft. What I loved the most are the main characters. Harry is known as the half-wit, because he is as strong and as big as a bull but slow in thinking and talking. Harry is facing the prospect of a hanging as he was in charge of an ox that trampled a young girl almost to death. ...more
Book Chatter-Cath
Jul 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Booksellers NZ for the review copy :)

Ransomwood by Sherryl Jordan has been an absolute pleasure to read.
The author’s very descriptive and emotive writing style immediately swept me up into the beautiful if harsh small town of Grimblebury, a seemingly sad farming community full of mean spirited and spiteful gossips.

I immediately fell for Halfwit Harry, especially after his very funny, very insightful conversation with his mother about being the last man on earth! He may speak rather slo
Angie Belcher
Aug 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Another winner from Sherryl Jordan. Her young adult novels are also enjoyable for those of us who are long past being a young adult. A great novel to read and share with my students.
Nadia Theresa
Jan 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Uplifting story about three pilgrims.
Brit McCarthy
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Absolutely lovely.
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read in year 9 // Don't remember much but it had a good ending
Anyta Sunday
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Not a great fan of the omniscient POV, but getting over that, I really enjoyed this story.

A lot of the warmth I had reading this came from the memories it brought back from reading Sherryl Jordan in my childhood, but even without that this is a sweet read. It's quite fairytale-like, and I loved the subtle-slow romance between Gwenifer and Harry (Halfwit Harry).

I loved Harry--he might have had trouble speaking, but he wasn't all that stupid. In fact, he said some of the most poignant things in t
Ransomwood is set in the middle ages in a village called Grimblebury. Halfwit Harry is simple minded. He was looking after an ox for Gwenifer lover, Jeffery, while the two go off romping in the woods. Harry panics when a bee has flown down his shirt, he releases the ox who then sprints and tramples on Gwenifer cousin Tilly. Tilly is alive but severally injured. Tilly’s father is a deceitful and greedy man and really couldn’t care less about his daughter but thought it might be a good opportunity ...more
Aug 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Set in the middle ages in Britain, Ransomwood is the story of Gwenifer, a parentless teenager who has been taken in by her relatives. She is treated as a slave and can not wait to get away.
Harry (a simpleton) caused an accident by losing control of an ox he is taking home for Gwenifer’s sweetheart. Gwenifer’s cousin in seriously injured, and Harry is blamed.

After a court hearing, both Harry and Gwenifer are in deep trouble, when they are both give the task of taking the old blind aunt of the ma
Melinda Szymanik
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
As always Jordan's writing is fluid and lovely, with a light but steady and credible hand on the period detail. Its a great story with a satisfying ending. My only quibbles are the use of familiar tropes from a number of her other books and a slightly youngish voice for what I presume is a YA read.
Oct 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Not as emotionally gripping as most of Jordan's other novels but still very easy to read. Very likeable characters in a setting that could very easily have existed at some stage. Felt a little bit like The Raging Quiet to me, which may be why it has come off second-best (I've 5-starred RQ)
Jun 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book, it was so beautiful! The story was interesting from the word go and there was rarely a dull moment.

A really great read.
Emmah-lee Rose
Aug 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved it!
Gillian Ross
Jul 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book as I'm a fan of the Middle Ages period genre.
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Not well known enough!!! Seriously, it's amazing how many great authors exist on the frays of popularity. Although it's more for children/teens, you can still enjoy it as an adult. Now go read it!
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-favourites
I love this story. I love Harry.
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2014
The book was very...meh. Not that good, not that bad either. It was just Ok.
L. Petunia
Dec 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Slow-paced but very sweet. I love the setting!
Lorraine Orman
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
A gentle and absorbing love story set in the Middle Ages. It's a long way from the violence and supernatural themes dominating today's teenage fiction...
Sweet, period tale of faith, myth and twists of fate, with a touch of romance.
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really like this author, and this book didn't disappoint! It was very cute! I have to say that I even fell in love with Harry at the end of it!
Jul 31, 2012 is currently reading it
Guess what i got!??? Yes thats right currently reading Her new book!!
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Award-winning New Zealand author Sherryl Jordan began her writing career with picture books, but soon moved on to novels for older readers. Her breakthrough came with Rocco, published in the United States as A Time of Darkness, and since that time she has gone on to pen many more titles for young adult and juvenile readers that have been published both in her native New Zealand and throughout the ...more
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