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A Light in the Attic

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  358,915 ratings  ·  2,858 reviews
Alternate-cover 25th Anniversary reissue edition can be found here

Last night while I lay thinking here
Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
And pranced and partied all night long
And sang their same old Whatif song:

Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?...


Here in the attic of Shel Silverstein
...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 175 pages
Published October 7th 1981 by HarperCollins
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Julio Bonilla I was in the 5th grade the first time I saw one of these books. Yesterday I bought this one at an Estate Sale in my neighborhood. I might use this as…moreI was in the 5th grade the first time I saw one of these books. Yesterday I bought this one at an Estate Sale in my neighborhood. I might use this as inspiration to finish writing my next book.(less)

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Average rating 4.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  358,915 ratings  ·  2,858 reviews


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Austin
Feb 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Austin by: Almost Everyone
Every child eventually discovers the perverted old man who wrote songs for Johnny Cash, did illustrations for Playboy, appeared on the Dr. Demento show numerous times, and managed to get a few books published along the way.

For some reason, parents never seem to think this creepy old guy who was so fond of children was in any way "disturbing," something I'm continually impressed with in the "ban now, ask questions later" climate of modern culture. If there are people who don't like Shel
...more
Emily May
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens, poetry
Do a loony-goony dance
'Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain't been there before.
...more
Whitney Atkinson
I got some Shel Silverstein books from the library to feed my nostalgia, and it was an interesting reread. They're as funny and easy and light as I remember, but I'm shocked by how much I didn't remember. Maybe I just skimmed it for the pictures as a kid, but still, these were entertaining to read out loud to my cats.
Janine
Apr 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who is or was a child. Those who were never children probably wouldn't get it anyway.
Shelves: kidsbooks
The feelings I have about Shel Silverstein's A Light in the Attic and Where The Sidewalk Ends contrast so sharply with the books themselves. I loved these funny, whimsical and sometimes downright sadistic poems with all of my young heart. Even now, I feel like I'm getting away with something when I think of Clarence Lee from Tennesee who loved the commercials he saw on TV. I am still afraid for Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too who never returned to the world they knew. In Shel Silverstein's ...more
Ronyell
A Light in the Attic is one of Shel Silversteins best yet most controversial books of poems ever written. This book is full of poems about clowns, pirates, monsters and all manner of strange people and animals doing crazy things. A Light in the Attic may be too suggestive and morbid for smaller children, but older children will easily delight themselves with the silly shenanigans of the characters.

Shel Silversteins writing is as witty as it is funny as he writes each characters stories in a
...more
Neda
Apr 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The saddest thing I ever did see
Was a woodpecker peckin' at a plastic tree.
He looks at me, and "Friend," says he,
' "Things ain't as sweet as they used to be."

While reading I noticed that I've had read it long ago.. But I just couldn't stop! I just love Shel!
Elyse  Walters
May 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!! When I saw my Goodreads friend 'post' she read this book, I smiled BIG time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Valerie
Oct 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Recently, I started re-reading A Light in the Attic with my younger daughter, who's four-and-a-half. I think when I first read it I must have been about eight or nine years old, because I remember reading it myself, and loving it. (I must have checked it out of the library about a million times.) What's not to love? Shel gives us such gems as:

BEAR IN THERE
There's a Polar Bear
In our Frigidaire--
He likes it 'cause it's cold in there.
With his seat in the meat
And his face in the fish
And his big
...more
N.N. Light
Why I love it: Really? This is a banned book? Somewhere, Mr. Silverstein is shaking his head sadly. Its a hilarious book of illustrations and poems. Silly poems. Its message is clear: use your imagination, laugh often and your life will be good. It promotes kindness, goodness and understanding. Theres nothing wrong with that.

My Rating: 5 stars
...more
Stephen
Jul 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
4.0 to 4.5 stars. One of those books that can be enjoyed by children and adults depending on how deeply you dive into the meaning of the stories. Incredibly imaginative and very well done.
DJ Harris
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Need to feel like a kid again? Cozy up with this humorous and whimsical book of poetry. Kids of all ages are sure to enjoy Shel Silverstein's fanciful word play in this amusing collection.

Besides reading this book myself, I also purchased a copy of this book for my children and grandchildren. It is a good book to get your children into reading.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book!

A Light in the Attic (Hardcover) by Shel Silverstein

Excerpt:

"Somebody Has To

Somebody has to go polish the stars,
Theyre looking a little bit dull.
Somebody has to go polish the
...more
Gauri
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read a little bit from this book everyday to my younger brother this past week. I can't remember if I finished this myself in my own childhood, but it felt like I read it for the first time, so I'll put this in the list of books I read this year.
This is a book full of poems about jokes or about little lessons presented in comical ways. It gets little kids thinking and gets them interested about deeper thinking. Definitely a must-read for children!
Rebecca McNutt
I really liked A Light in the Attic, and its oddly-optimistic style and cheerful little illustrations. A few of the poems were a little vulgar, which I didn't enjoy, but otherwise this is a great book that both adults and kids can have fun reading.
Ammara Abid
Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely brilliant.
Every time I read it, every time I love it more.
Many poems are my favorite, I can't write all of them here but couldn't resist myself sharing these two,

The Nailbiter
Some people manicure their nails,
Some people trim them neatly,
Some people keep them filed down,
I bite em off completely.
Yes, its a nasty habit, but
Before you start to scold,
Remember, I have never ever
Scratched a single soul.


Zebra Question
I asked the zebra
Are you black with white stripes?
Or white with
...more
Sarafina Brachlin
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh my! I remember how much I loved to read these poems back in elementary school! Such good memories, I NEED to own this.
Rachel
Jul 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Shel Silverstein was the author of my childhood, and I was surprised to find that, in (sort of) adulthood, A light in the Attic hasn't lost any of its charm. In fact, I've discovered new layers of humor and meaning I couldn't have processed when I was eight.

I credit Shel Silverstein with my early love of poetry and, ultimately, literature. Recommend to anyone at any age, but a GREAT gift for a godson/ goddaughter, niece/ nephew, etc.. They'll cherish it forever!
Leona  Petrovic
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
As with all of Shel Silverstein's poetry collections, this one is fresh, imaginative and highly amusing. The cleverness of his poems often made me chuckle to myself and I love how well his poems flow. This is truly an "all ages" sort of book, and I can see both adults and children giggling in delight over it. The illustrations are also well done. This man was extremely talented, and I love everything he's ever written.
Cathy
Oct 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who giggle
Shel Silverstein was misunderstood.

He was a genius, but not an evil one. Just a hilarious one.

His books are looked at with suspicion. But shouldn't be, because they are full of fun, pun, and literate value.

Here is why this one was challenged by others, however:

"features a caricature of a person whose nude behind has been stung by a bee; the poem 'Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony' is morbid; imparts a 'dreary' and 'negative' message; encourages kids to break dishes so that they won't have
...more
Michael Strode
May 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
In the pantheon of literature shaping my nascent creative flicker, Shel Silverstein remains a master of lunacy and language. Long after losing my appetite for R.L. Stine's "Fear Street" or the frightful suspense of Alvin Schwartz' "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark", Silverstein's whimsical passages continue to invoke nostalgic and thoughtful reflection. Of "The Giving Tree", my mother echoes the undeviating refrain that it is a woeful fable of an ungrateful child and a loving, long suffering ...more
Amber J
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Children
This was one of my favorite books as a child, and I loved being able to read it again. Even more so I got to read it to my 7 year old daughter and some to my 10 year old nephew. They both loved it. They laughed at most of them and my daughter commented about it being sad when it was a sad poem. I got two more of his books from the library and I'm very excited to read them for both myself and my daughter.
Beth
Aug 02, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
Picture this,
I am 7,its Christmas and all the gifts are wrapped and under the tree.
I could see through the wrapping paper a faint outline of the cover of A Light in the Attic.
I begged.
I screamed.
I was not allowed to open the present even though I knew what it was.
But... I still have the original copy and read it to my son and because of my harrowing experience I love this book even more.
Kennedyf froehlich
Usually I don't like poetry books that much. I find them kind of boring. This book though was really good. I love Shel Silverstein's books and I plan on reading some of the others. This book is would be good for 3rd-6th graders. I like this book a lot better than any other poetry books I've read before. This book has a lot of interesting poems in it like Adventures of a Frisbee and It's all the same to the Clam.
Luke Lafountain
Apr 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Luke by: Everyone
I am going to start out by saying I really loved this book. i have been getting into poems lately so i decided to read this. There really is no main story but is just a collage of poems. It is primarily meant for children but the values expressed in it are one everyone should know-no matter what age. Everything is pretty direct and simple so its not a chore to read. This is a very simple book that i think everyone should read.
Kathryn
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
A load of fun to read these poems. I can see how they might be considered a little subversive by some and can see how they banned this book for a little while somewhere! I'd buy this for all my little relations no problem.
Jeanette (Again)
Feb 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giggles, poetry
Alas, there will never be another Shel Silverstein...boo hoo.
jessica
read in 2000 - random pick up at book fair - better review to come

3 stars
Jillian Haro
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These poems are so much fun! They talk about life in a very humorous way. And some of the poems are actually very profound, but simple to read. I loved it.
Dee's Reading Zone
Silverstein's "A Light in the Attic" was a very witty and fun good read! The late author's word play and drawings will always be memorable to kids and adults alike!

Check out a few of his poems below:

"There's a light on in the attic.
Though the house is dark and shuttered,
I can see a flickerin' flutter,
And I know what it's about."

"Draw a crazy picture,
Write a nutty poem,
Sing a mumble-gumble song,
Whistle through your comb.
Do a loony-goony dance
Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the
...more
Courtney (bookplaces)
I liked this collection of stories and artwork! It was fun and nostalgic to reread this adorable collection. I didn't enjoy it as much as Where the Sidewalk Ends, but found the art to be particularly enjoyable in this collection! I found "PECKIN'" to be particular impactful for the state of our environment today. I would recommend giving this collection a read!
dina
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the poems are either borderline creepy or giving me childlike warmth there's no between (and i like it)
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Goodreads Librari...: A Light in the Attic cover issues 2 12 Dec 26, 2018 05:32PM  
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Poetry 2 13 Aug 25, 2016 01:24PM  
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Shel Silverstein was the author-artist of many beloved books of prose and poetry. He was a cartoonist, playwright, poet, performer, recording artist, and Grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated songwriter.

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