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A Stranger at Green Knowe

(Green Knowe #4)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  929 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Illustrated by Peter Boston.

L.M. Boston's thrilling and chilling tales of Green Knowe, a haunted manor deep in an overgrown garden in the English countryside, have been entertaining readers for half a century. Now the children of Green Knowe--both alive and ghostly--are back in appealing new editions.

The spooky original illustrations have been retained, but dramatic new co
Published 1978 by Puffin Books (first published 1961)
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C.E. Murphy
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I re-read all of the Green Knowe books repeatedly as a child, but reading them again as an adult has been a revelation. The descriptions and the ability to reveal the world the way a child sees it are unparalleled throughout, even in RIVER, which is less a novel than a series of vignettes strung together on the back of a river.

STRANGER is the most powerful and heartbreaking of the four I've re-read so far; it's the story of Hanno the gorilla, captured in the Congo as a baby, and Ping, an orphan
Jan 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, fiction, sff
Boston is kind of amazing; I didn't read the Green Knowe books until I was in my late teens, and I always forget how good they are because they're not part of my childhood. Her prose is astonishing and subtle, and her stories are sharply insightful. This one, in particular - it falls into a bunch of racist traps, but for something written in 1961 it's so aware of Ping as an individual, and of the issues of exile and entrapment that it deals with. It doesn't pull its punches; for all the strong s ...more
L.H. Johnson
I've always had a messy relationship with the Green Knowe stories. They've appealed to me less than I suspect their components ought. In other words a mysterious story set in a strange house in the English countryside should have been my absolute jam and yet hasn't ever. I've tried The Children of Green Knowe several times now and failed to launch. Resolutely. Intensely. Might I even call it a bit dull? I might. But then, there's a lot here that doesn't appeal to me underneath the surface. Magic ...more
Kailey (BooksforMKs)
In this story, a gorilla escapes from the zoo and hides in the thicket behind Green Knowe, where Ping befriends and hides him.

This is not my favorite of the Green Knowe books, because I'm very "meh" about monkey stories, especially when monkeys are constantly being compared to men. Monkeys, gorillas, or any other primate are NOT like men. Seriously? They are animals. They work on instinct. That's pretty much it. Are they interesting and majestic? Yes, sure! But it gets so annoying after the firs
Jun 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Boston is a very fine writer. At the same time I was reading this I was reading something else as well and I was struck by the difference in good writing and great writing. Boston's prose is lyrical and seemingly effortless. Once again she communicates the special relationship between the older woman and the child with pathos and eloquence. This is a theme that my emotions are susceptible to - ever since A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote, and right on through to The Witches by Roald Dahl. I do ...more
Michael Fitzgerald
This is a bizarre series. As far as I can tell, there is hardly any "magic" (a essential of the first book), and instead, we get a rather unbelievable "realistic" story that is all rah rah animal-rights. It had the feel of (well-written) propaganda.

The first part of the book is very much in the style of Bambi: A Life in the Woods. We get a good sense of how gorillas live in the Congo, and we get some supposition about what they feel and think.

The rest is in England, and so many parts of this j
Ping returns to Green Knowe in what was to be the fourth installment. I am fascinated in Boston's attraction to this character since, at this point, he is 'as' present at Tolly. I wonder whether this is Boston's 'Children of Green Knowe' for Ping.
The first part of the story takes us far away from Green Knowe into the 'jungles of Africa' in which we follow a young gorilla as he is horrifically torn from his home and family and shipped to the UK. Skip forward in time and we find Ping's visit to a
Follows the exploits and escape of Hanno, a gorilla from the Congo living in a London zoo. He manages to free himself from the confines of his small cage and so begins a journey across the countryside to Green Knowe.

Ping who is an orphan is staying with old Mrs Knowe for the holidays, he has previously visited Hanno at the zoo and is thrilled to think he has made a bid for freedom. Once the two meet in the grounds of Green Knowe an unlikely friendship blossoms.

An enjoyable children’s book with b
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The fourth book in this wonderful series. Loved it!
Ivonne Rovira
Jun 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who has ever loved an animal
The eponymous stranger may be a primate, but he’s no human.

A Stranger at Green Knowe begins in equatorial Africa amongst a family of gorillas, far from the beloved mansion of Green Knowe. There, a 2-year-old gorilla and his sister are captured and their parents and baby brother killed. The gorilla, named Hanno by his captors, lost his sister, too, who wasted away on their journey from the Belgian Congo to England. Poor Hanno ends up, alone and lonely, at the Monkey House in a zoo near London’s R
P.D.R. Lindsay
I love this book. It well deserved that Carnegie medal and is relevant today when we have all those millions of refugees desperate for a home. The novel makes one think about displaced people, what they have lost and what they need. Although Lucy Boston is talking about the 1950s and not the 21st century.

Ping is a displaced boy. Returning to his jungle home in Burma from a morning's adventuring he finds it burnt, his family killed or vanished and nothing of their little community left except one
Austen to Zafón
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Momoka Yamaguchi
1. Oxford level2
2. 11/23=85minutes
3. A gorilla- a boy-a stranger-escape- zoo- refugee-help-
4. A) Ping lay down on his back like a dog, to show that he was only a small, friendly animal.
B) The scene was surprising me. If I was the boy, I thought I would die.
5. I was moved by the love between the gorilla and the boy. I think animals which are in the zoo are not happy. Animals should live feely.
Clare Trowell
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just re read this and finished it - how appropriate it is to today. All kids should read this book - also Teresa May and Trump (if he can read)!! It's about a young refugee from Burma called Ping and a n escaped gorilla. Covers themes of family, sanctuary, home and freedom from repression - in short it is about Human Rights and maybe also animal rights
This was a childhood favorite of mine. I loved the first one of this series "The Children of Green Knowe," and this one, "A Stranger at Green Knowe." (I do know, and knew even then, that the theology of the series was not quite right, but the first book was a strange and beautiful mystery.)

"A Stranger at Green Knowe" had almost nothing to do with the earlier books in the series and could be read alone. The older ghosts of Green Knowe are not in this book, and instead, it was an animal lover's bo
T.E. Shepherd
Feb 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was not sure that I was going to like this book, the fourth in the sextet of Green Knowe books, because from the beginning - indeed for the first 50 or so pages - it is decidedly un-Green Knowe-ish.

The original Children of Green Knowe has been a firm favourite for most of my life, and is still the best of them all with it's story of Tolly in the strange house by the river with the floods, the storms, and the ghosts. A Stranger at Green Knowe begins in Africa and is almost anthropological in i
Sirpa Grierson
Originally published in 1961, I first read this book in the series as a fifth-grade student in White Rock, BC, Canada. It reintroduces a main character, a displaced refugee boy named Ping from the third book in the series. This book has all of the ingredients of a well-written children’s novel, including a satisfying but unexpected ending. The attitudes and prejudices of the characters reflect the time period wherein the story takes place (WWII), and there is no mollycoddling of the reader.

Toni Wyatt
After reading this, the fourth book of the series, I do believe that the author is getting better as she goes along. The first couple of books tended to ramble and be a bit disjointed in places, making them hard to follow, especially for the audience for which they were intended. This offering was more enjoyable for me. I like the character of Ping, and I'm happy that he was asked to stay at Green Knowe. I'm looking forward to the last two book of this series.
Brennie Mahoney
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very long Audiobook. I honestly didn't want to listen to it, but my son insisted...and I'm glad. This was such a sweet tale of a young orphan boy, Ping, and his instant love and respect of a Gorilla, Hanno, he met at the zoo...who escapes! I really like the vivid details. Every word I heard, went straight to a picture in my head.
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful. Thoroughly engaging, very thought provoking and for a 'childrens book' written in it's time it is light years ahead in it's treatment of 'other' in both human and animal form.
The prose is engaging and at times seems to dance on the page. Thoroughly recommend.
Stephen Bigger
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Story of a refugee, Ping (no one could pronounce his Chinese name) meeting a gorilla, who he recognized as a similar imprisoned refugee. The idea at least is brilliant. Ping could change the world by thinking it. I wish.
Aug 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad for the racism (book published in 1961). I missed the mystical feeling of the past 3 books, but this was an enjoyable book all the same with very strong views on animal protection.
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book so much. I cried at the end.

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 MES
Jan 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Stranger at Green Knowe by Lucy M. Boston is one of the six Green Knowe fantasy novels written for children and published between 1954 and 1976. These were a family reading favorite that we discovered in the 1980's. However, we did not read this title, so I was interested in finding out if it held the same charm as those I remembered.

The book has excellent descriptions of the rain forest in the Congo and a gorilla's life there. A young gorilla is captured and taken to the London Zoo. Hanno esc
I read this book for a Young Adult Book challenge. The task was to read two books that won award each from a different country's list. Stranger at Green Knowe won the Carnegie Medal.

I ended up liking this book more than I thought I would after reading the first twenty pages or so. I wasn't fond of the section told from the point of view of the Gorilla. Perhaps I'm too literal, but I'm not a huge fan of the anthropomorphizing of animal thought as narration.

Once Ping became the primary narrator
Beth Bonini
I haven't read any of the other Green Knowe books, but scanning through the comments made on this one suggests it is an anomaly. Green Knowe is meant to be an ancient house in the English countryside (near Cambridge?) where all sorts of magical things happen. Magic of a sort does happen in this book; at least "magic" in the sense of something extraordinary and highly unlikely. A gorilla (who has escaped from Regent's Park Zoo) and a boy named Ping (himself a refugee, and thus displaced) meet in ...more
Oct 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young fans of fantasy
Shelves: favorites
Part of a six-book series, this book is uniquely entertaining: magical, surprising, and a little, just a little, frightening, it capitalizes on the feeling that the oldest houses keep some of their history within their walls. This book actually departs somewhat from this very successful strategy; there is little to no supernatural interaction or fantasy elements such as time travel. Instead, we have the exotic... a Chinese "orphan" and a displaced gorilla striking up an unusual relationship on t ...more
Dec 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lucy M. Boston/level2
Ping,Hanno,green knowe,Oldknow,gorilla,Africa,zoo
"It was Hanno!"
The main character named Ping met the gorilla named Hanno in the London zoo for the first time, and Ping liked Hanno. One day, Hanno ran away from the zoo. Then, Ping played in the forest, and Ping met the gorilla in the zoo. This was Hanno. This line appeared then. I thought awesome that Ping who was the general people could met Hanno which was object of longing of P
Elinor  Loredan
Feb 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
None of the subtle development of the first two books. And I miss Tolly and Mrs. Oldknow's stories too much. There are some lovely descriptions and it starts out promisingly, especially with Boston's characterization of the forest and gorilla family, but the rest is unsatisfying. So disappointing after my hopes for the series beyond the first two books!

Some quotes I like:

'Ping had the kind of imagination that never dismisses anything as ordinary. Nothing was ordinary to him. What was always mos
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add page numbers to A Stranger at Green Knowe 9 22 Jan 03, 2018 01:06PM  
  • The Wool-Pack
  • The Edge of the Cloud (Flambards, #2)
  • The Return of the Twelves
  • Return to Gone-Away (Gone-Away Lake, #2)
  • Pigeon Post (Swallows and Amazons, #6)
  • Magic or Not? (Tales of Magic, #5)
  • The Haunting
  • The House of Arden (Fabian Time Fantasies, #1)
  • Tulku
  • Bridle the Wind (Felix Brooke, #2)
  • The Ghost Drum (Ghost World, #1)
  • Marianne Dreams (The Magic Drawing Pencil, #1)
  • The Scarecrows
  • The Little Grey Men
  • The Ghost of Thomas Kempe
  • Linnets and Valerians
Also published as Lucy M. Boston. Full name: Lucy Maria Boston, born Lucy Wood.

Boston was a British author noted for her longevity; she did not have her first book published until she was over 60. She is best known for her Green Knowe books, inspired by her home The Manor in Hemingford Grey, Cambridgeshire, one of the oldest continuously inhabited houses in Britain. B

Boston was educated at a Susse

Other books in the series

Green Knowe (6 books)
  • The Children of Green Knowe
  • Treasure of Green Knowe
  • The River at Green Knowe
  • An Enemy at Green Knowe
  • The Stones of Green Knowe