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The Gammage Cup

(The Minnipins #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  2,885 ratings  ·  194 reviews
The Minnipins have lost their past. Long ago, the hero Gammage led them in war against the horrible Hairless Ones. But now -- Bravery? Forgotten. Courage? No more. Heroes? The stuff of storybooks.
Yet sometimes heroes turn up when they are least expected....

Muggles, Gummy the poet, and Walter the Earl are not like the other Minnipins. They dress differently, speak their
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 28th 2000 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1959)
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Priscilla King She wrote several other books, mostly nonfiction, many on history and anthropology. She also wrote some picture books, the sequel to "The Gammage Cup"…moreShe wrote several other books, mostly nonfiction, many on history and anthropology. She also wrote some picture books, the sequel to "The Gammage Cup" ("The Whisper of Glocken"), and another fantasy adventure, "The Firelings," with more of a Hawaiian flavor rather than British/Appalachian. (less)

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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  2,885 ratings  ·  194 reviews

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Once a week, I enjoying reshelving library books at the local library as a volunteer. One particular rainy, autumn day, I ran across this book. The age of the book was what first caught my attention, and I must admit, I often judge a book by its cover. The cover was intriguing. Impulsively I pulled it off the shelf and put it in my check-out pile.

The Gammage Cup, by Carol Kendall, was a fun read with an undercurrent of a realistic message: there can easily become an aristocracy in leadership
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good little fantasy story with the underdogs bringing all together in the end. Like the little ink illustrations and the maps. Did not like the new cover on the Harcourt Odyssey edition that the library had. . Much prefer the older original cover.
Mar 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another book I would have absolutely loved when I was younger. There are parts reminiscent of Kneeknock Rise and The City of Ember, although I know this came first so it really should be the other way around. There was also a part that made me think of The Lord of the Rings due to the swords that glow only when the enemy is near.

I really liked the main character, Muggles. She had so much common sense and untapped leadership ability. It was fun to watch her grow and develop as a
Allison Tebo
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buy, mary-recs, fantasy, v
This book perfectly balances a tone of thoughtful sweetness with a plot involving daring and courageous adventure.

It was a relief, for once, to read a book that focuses entirely on mature characters (30s to 50s, approximately), all of whom had unique and lovable personalities.

The overall mood has the same quirky sensitivity of hobbits and Hobbitan, while still maintaining a unique element of world building.

This book does some beautiful fist-shaking at cliches, communes, and clans– boldly
Michael Fitzgerald
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Problems, but a lot of good things too.

There are flaws with this book, starting with the absence of a good description of Minnipins. Are they a race? A nationality? They are "Small Ones" but are they like The Borrowers? Are they like Hobbits? The dreadful new (Brothers Hildebrandt) cover shows them as humans - no implication of smallness. The original Blegvad drawings inside have quite a different look, but still not a lot of information. The title is a bit of a red herring as it is not of
The Premise:

Muggles is content to lead a peaceful life, dwelling alone in her cozy cottage with her candymaking job and her neatly organized heaps of clutter.

But one day, her cheerful, quiet existence is interrupted by a strange and unsettling sight in the middle of the night. She's half-convinced it was all a dream.

But the next day--after an unexpected chance-meeting and other unusual occurrences--Muggles is gradually but inescapably drawn into the center of a series of events, conflicts, and
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was given this book as a gift when I was in the 4th grade during an anonymous gift exchange at school. I remember being so disappointed. Little did I know that the adventures and acts of bravery in this book would still be with me 30 years later. I have read it many times since then and still love it today.
Chris Thompson
Jun 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"When something happens, something else always happens."

This quote is a sample of the whimsical writing you'll find in Carol Kendall's wonderful fantasy tale, The Gammage Cup. The whimsy is not without substance, and much of the story's content is a document of American attitudes towards conformity and individualism during the Cold War era. The Minnipin people find themselves threatened by a race of beings who were no doubt inspired by the red scare, and their only hope lies on the
Nice introduction to the fantasy genre.
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books as a kid and I still love it. Solid and fun fantasy novel that I highly recommend as comfort food with a dash of excitement.
Adrian Rose
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
The Minnipins are a people who have lost their history. Over 800 years ago they came to the Land Between the Mountains to escape war, and now they have become so conservative in their customs that they have no patience for any with different ideas. In the village of Slipper on the Water there live five Minnipins with different ideas, and they are ostracized from their homes for not conforming to the way their neighbors think they should behave. But, during their exile, the five outcasts discover ...more
Oct 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was good. There were a few parts I sort of felt were slow but otherwise a good story. At first I thought "Muggles" (the main characters name) just sounded like a guys name and Gummy a girls name. It's the other way around, by the way. And now Muggles is nothing but a girls name and Gummy nothing but a guys.
There were two things that annoyed me:
1: The main character (and my favorite character) was not on the cover. That irked me.
2: (This only annoyed me at first) The character, Walter
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A really good plot; I'll definitely try to read the sequel.
Katie Fitzgerald
This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.

When Fooley the Brave, a Minnipin explorer, returned home from traveling to the Land Beyond the Mountain, he brought with him many artifacts and journal entries to help his people understand what he had learned on his journey. Four hundred years later, the Minnipin settlement of the Land Between the Mountains is ruled by Fooley's descendants, the Periods, whose names are abbreviations such as Wm., Co., Ltd., and Etc., all taken from Fooley's
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone who enjoys fantasy literature, of all ages
This is the second time that I have read this magnificent fantasy children's book, the first being in childhood with my mother, and I found it as wonderful as the first time. It was like returning home. The world is so full and refreshing, relatable in the humanity but with just enough idiosyncrasies and magical elements to make it exciting, and the universe is not complicated or confusing. (I do not mean to denounce comprehensive world-building; JRR Tolkien remains one of my favorite authors.) ...more
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
It is a book that needs to be read now by the Hero Generation over any other book that is coming out right now. For the heroes are often needed when one has become complacent; and the heroes might not be looked to as such at the beginning. In fact they might not consider themselves heroes, but grow into it through trials and labors. This book in only 221 pages in length, but has so much contained within it’s pages.

Some of my thoughts upon finishing this really good book, and some of the things
Priscilla King
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children, fantasy fans
Recommended to Priscilla by: library display
I was too old for this book when I first read it. I liked it then; I like it still. It's a classic fantasy adventure story for children. I've re-read it several times in the last 39 years, whenever children I know reach the right age to share it.

The Minnipins are adults, but apparently short adults who behave the way adults like to represent themselves to children. Very orderly and rational, they suffer only occasional episodes of egotism and social-hierarchy-forming urges, which are quickly
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes I come across a book that, more than just being an enjoyable read, seems to reach right off the page as if it’s speaking directly to me. What doubles the wow factor with this one, though, is that it was written nearly sixty years ago, in 1959. I acquired my copy of this book in the early 1990s at a middle school book fair. I remember vividly the first time I read it. Summer vacation, listening to soundtrack-type music in the background to set the scene even more. I remember it was ...more
Jennifer Freitag
Apr 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
The heading of this comment box says "What did you think?" but The Gammage Cup is a book I read first many years ago and will continue to reread, so my thoughts on it are on-going. It is an understatement to say that I love it. It really is my favourite book; it never ceases, despite the fact that I have nearly memorized it, to make me laugh, to make my heart race, to sweep me up into the events and the characters' lives. Kendall has written a story in a style with a background that makes me ...more
Kayla Loewen
Not once did I ever think that this book would become one of my all time favorites. In fact,I can't say that I even enjoyed the first few chapters. This book has such a wonderful,magical quality to it (my brain finally realized) that I just want to keep reading more of it.I love the characters; heck,I even like the mushrooms! Reading about the glowing swords,glittering cloaks, and the houses with their green-painted doors made want to be there. It's not often that I find a jewel like this in my ...more
James Wirrell
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book when I was a kid, and when I came across it as an adult, I decided to read it again. I can say that I had good taste as a kid. This book is a good adventure read that mixes in a theme of respecting individuals as distinct from bossy group-think. This book describes a village where there is tremendous pressure to all be and look the same. There are a handful of free-thinkers who are kicked out of the village. They end up thwarting an attack, which results in everyone ...more
Amber Scaife
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Meh. Reads like someone read The Hobbit and became poorly inspired to write her own version: smallish people (Minnipins) who live predictable lives and who generally shun difference; a small group of these folk (who are deemed different and so are banished) go off on their own on a quest of sorts and stumble onto magic swords that light up when the Mushroom People (human-like creatures who live in the mountains) attack, and so on. And written by someone who is no Tolkien. Yoicks.
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: older-elementary
I've been reading a lot of middle school literature lately-- so that I can discuss with my children. I guess I don't get it. Yes, the book is odd. But it all seemed so predictable to me: social outcasts saving the day and earning the respect of their peers... I felt so unsatisfied when I finished. Maybe children would appreciate it better than an overly critical adult?
Kelsey Bryant
Apr 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I highly recommend this to anyone who likes fantasy! It's well written, imaginative, and a keen social/personality commentary put into a fun and interesting story. This is the kind of book that teaches kids valuable lessons while they're not looking. :) As Lloyd Alexander believed, "fantasy [is] not an escape from reality but a way to understand reality." (Who Should We Then Read? by Jan Bloom)
It was all right but I didn't find it to be any thing special. The characters were quirky and enjoyable but I was intensely bored while reading after the 30th page or so. I couldn't tell you exactly why but this just wasn't a book that got to me or kept my interest.
Dec 07, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of childrens' fantasy
Charming and fun, with a clever message and good adventure! The characters are nicely drawn and the fantasy world intriguing.
Another childhood favorite serendipitously chosen from a library's shelf, not knowing what I was getting myself into.
Kristine Hansen
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
I'd saved this book to read for years. I'm not sure if that statement makes sense, so please bear with with me.

When I find a book that looks especially wonderful, I tend to save it. I want to read it under the right conditions, where I can savor it without interruption. I need to be in the right mood, the right mindset. When I finally do sit down, these books become those I typically treasure the most.

This particular book I've been dragging around with me through 14 moves over the last 40 years.
Amy Mittelman
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Last night when I couldn't sleep, I reread one of my favorite books,The Gammage Cupby Carol Kendall. I loved the book when I was a child and I still do. Kendall wrote several books, including a sequel butThe Gammage Cupis her most famous work.As an adult, I read the sequel,The Whisper of Glocken but I didn't like it as much. I am going to reread it aks; just to seeif I will like it better.

The Gammage Cup is about five outsiders, people who were different, living in a very traditional, insular
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book really surprised me! I thought it was okay initially but a bit juvenile, and the beginning was a bit slow, but the later parts were actually pretty engaging and interesting.

- Muggles and co. are actually all interesting, fun characters.
- I especially love Muggles getting organized and taking charge, and how she handled being the leader.
- The later parts with the more dangerous occurrences really pull you in.
- I loved that the story didn't over-villainize the "bad" characters from
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Carol Seeger "Siggy" Kendall was an American writer of children's books. She has received the Newbery Honor, Ohioana award, Parents choice award, and the Mythopoeic Society Aslan award.

Other books in the series

The Minnipins (2 books)
  • The Whisper of Glocken (The Minnipins, #2)
“When you say what you think, be sure to think what you say.” 16 likes
“No matter where There is, when you arrive it becomes Here.” 9 likes
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