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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  264 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book! Nine-year-old Phineas William Walsh has an encyclopedic knowledge of the natural world. What he can't understand is people and why they're poisoning the planet around him. Shouldn't everyone be losing sleep over the fact that so many animals are on the endangered species list?
ebook, 216 pages
Published April 14th 2005 by Coach House Books
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Rating details
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Jun 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian
I read this book, yay. It has a frog on the cover, yay.

Okay I read this book specifically because of the frog, he is adorable. I like him. His name is cuddles, I did not name him, Phin did, it was a joke, you cannot cuddle a frog.

I am giving this book five stars. This book is not a book that was written for me. I don't like precocious little boys they annoy me. For example I hated that book about the kid with the maps soooo stupid. Also I don't like books whining about the environment. I know
Sep 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book. A fabulous voice in the child narrator. Although the blurb on the back compares it to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, I wouldn't go so far as to say this child's quirky personality has to do with a disability. I saw him as an extremely bright child with some anxiety, and since I've got one of those in my life it was a delight to read his adventures trying to save the world. Written for adults and probably most appreciated by them, this book woul ...more
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: can-lit
I absolutely LOVE this novel. Reading it for the second time was every bit as enjoyable as the first. Why the heck it has failed to get any recognition in the Canadian literary scene is beyond me. Critics have compared it to "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time", and I'd agree.

The protagonist of the novel is 9-year-old Phineas William Walsh - a boy whose encyclopedic knowledge of environmental issues, and his resulting anxiety over the plight of Earth's animal kingdom, has the adu
Jan 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Una persona sola non può cambiare il mondo.
Questa l’ho aggiunta alla mia Lista delle Bugie perché il dottor Barrett dice che non possiamo cambiare il mondo. Mrs. Wardman e il poliziotto, invece, dicono che una persona sola può cambiare il mondo. Credo che sia più probabile che il dottor Barrett si sbagli, perché credo che ognuno cambi il mondo ogni giorno. Per esempio, se Gordon uccide il ragno che ha fatto la sua ragnatela nell’angolo della finestra, allora quel ragno non potrà mangiare tutt
Marta M.L.
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, animales, favoritos
Me ha encantado de principio a fin. Este libro ha conseguido dos cosas que valoro mucho, la primera es que me ha arrancado más de una carcajada cuando lo leía y la segunda es sentirme (muy) identificada con el personaje de Phineas. Phineas, no estás solo en tú lucha por preservar el planeta, su fauna y su flora. Este es un libro muy necesario, acerca al público de manera amena y divertida datos interesantes sobre animales, conceptos biológicos y se abordan temas espinosos para la mayoría de la s ...more
What makes Phineas Walsh, at the age of nine, heroic is mainly naiveté and good-fortune. His creator, Carla Gunn, exercises a deft hand in Amphibian in balancing, on the one hand, the insight into environmental problems that children see much more clearly than adults with, on the other hand, a seductive dose of extraordinary precociousness that captivates her reader and illustrates perfectly the imbalance of power that exists in environmental conflicts. Might, it seems, has always trumped right. ...more
Barbara Morris
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't want this book to end. Besides being thought-provoking about some major issues that I won't give away, the main character is wonderful.

... my spelling exercises. One of the questions was 'Lions live in the j-----.'

I raised my hand and Mrs. Wardman came over. I asked her if this was a trick question since there's no J word for savannah. She said, 'Phin, the answer is jungle. Just write jungle down.' Then she walked back to her desk.

I thought about not telling her that lions don't live in
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Phin is a 9 year old boy who loves to watch "The Green Channel". He loves animals and worries a lot about the problems of lost habitat. This knowledge sometimes gets him in trouble at school, and drives his mother crazy. In fact, he worries so much that he can't sleep at night, causing his mother to worry also. When Phin's class gets a White's Tree Frog for a pet, Phin and his friend Bird, hatch a plot to 'save' the frog from its aquarium home.
Throughout the book
Dec 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As in any novel written from a child's POV, there is a suspension of disbelief that must occur in order for the plot to function effectively. Phin writes at a level far beyond his years, and there are a few points in the novel where his reactions seem a little forced and unlikely. But far greater are the novel's strengths; a sure sense of self, beliveable characterizations, a crackling good plot, and a fine understanding of the confused interior monologue that marks a child's growth. Gunn presen ...more
Leo Saumure
Nov 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Phin, the main character in the book, is an incredibly intellegent and logical little boy. He is obsessed with humanity's impact on wildlife; he absolutely agonizes over it!

Now, think back to when you were a child, and one of the subjects you might have had a penchant for. Do you remember how many thousands of interesting facts you memorized (no, not memorized...absorbed) about that obsession? Well take all of those facts, and liberally pepper them within a lovely narrative, told from the perspe
Sasha Boersma
Sometimes you need to read a book where the main character's brain works like yours. And 9-yr-old Phineas is just that. Beyond precocious, his mind just doesn't turn off. He has characteristics of aspergers seeped in anxiety, but it drives him. I especially loved his response to therapy, and in the end just being understood is all he needed to find peace.

The ending is a bit fast and jarring, not uncommon for a first-time novelist. I'm intrigued by the author's background in occupational therapy
Mandy Brouse
Though published as a novel for an adult market, Amphibian has total teen appeal. Not just because Phineas is nine and he’s dealing with some very nine-year-old issues like bullying, his parents’ divorce and his grandfather’s death. Amphibian is a teen pick because it speaks about that horrible anxiety of being a certain age where you feel out of control, not able to make a difference in the world around you but accutely aware of the problems that need attention.

read the rest here: http://eoseve
Gerard Collins
Oct 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sharp, funny, poignant writing and an unforgettable young protagonist on a mission to make a difference despite a world that seems to prefer indifference and inaction.
Apr 20, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Similar to the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime.
It's ok, not much happens, but it's an interesting perspective.
Beth Lamborne
Jul 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
cute book. i read it fast. a little too similar to my favorite "extremely loud and incredibly close."
Debra Komar
I started this book but the story just wasn't for me. No slight to the author, but the subject matter didn't hold my interest. Great cover art, though.
Bruno Hache
I read it a few years back as Carla was one of my university profs of old.. fun and overall cute read with a side of quirky :)
Mar 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, canadian, ya
I can't believe it took me so long to read this. It will be a re-read for sure.
I had high hopes for this book. I was really disappointed in the constant responses of the adult characters. Phineas was noticing the constant "lies" as in "everything will be okay" when to him clearly it wouldn't be with his knowledge of global state of the environment. It seemed unrealistic that 3 of his adult role models (mother, teacher and psychologist ) couldn't take the time to explain the nuances of language or address the contrasts he was being told about making a difference in the worl ...more
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Totally loved this book. So glad to have read about environmental conservation/ecoanxiety in Amphibian.

This novel is funny and thought-provoking, well-researched and intelligent but is never haughty and condescending. Phineas is a normal kid with just the right amount of sass and wit. I learned a lot from him (and Bird).

Made me realize that being kind/caring towards house pets and ogling at and feeling sorry for animals in zoos are not enough. There are other creatures, big and small, that nee
May 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian
Interesting perspective on the environmental issues from the point of view of the 9 year old boy; young boy sees that us humans are the most invasive species that destroy planet earth and his frustration with the adults who do not care and pretend that we can continue to behave the same! He finally wins his mother over and she starts to understand that her son is not crazy but rather is a part of the movement to save the planet.
Daniela Pérez
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I literally loved this book! Really it leaves us a message so important in our lives, like how a 9 year old boy can be so worried of our planet and we are not. We are the specie in this world that is destroying our home, our planet. This book was really funny, i laughed a lot. Is an inocent book, i really loved it.
Apr 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tipetto strano, questo Phin. Ossessionato dall'ecologia, dalla vita degli animali, e con in più tutti i problemi di un bambino di nove anni. Fra la morte del nonno, il divorzio dei genitori, il bulletto della scuola e la sua fervida immaginazione, non si sa proprio dove vada a pescare il tempo di preoccuparsi così tanto per il pianeta.
Eppure ultimamente Phin non pensa ad altro, mettendo in crisi la maestra e soprattutto la mamma, che decide di mandarlo da uno psicoterapeuta per farlo tranquilliz
Shonna Froebel
Nov 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian, fiction
I loved this book! I could hardly put it down, starting it yesterday evening and finishing it at breakfast this morning.
The novel centers on 9-year-old Phineas Walsh, a boy who loves knowledge and is passionate about the environment. Phin has created his own world Ruell, that he writes about and draws pictures of. It is a world with a variety of life forms, interdependent on each other, but sometimes destructive (similar to earth).
He is also hooked on the Green Channel, a channel focused on the
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un libro carinissimo!
Phin, il protagonista, è un bambino con un’intelligenza sopra la media, è sveglio, acuto e sa ragionare con la sua testa, ma allo stesso tempo è ingenuo come si confà alla sua età, ha bisogno d’amore, di essere compreso, ed è affetto da eco-ansia, il che lo porta a entrare un po’ in conflitto con la madre perché il confine tra responsabilità e logica è ancora troppo flebile per essere riconosciuto bene.
È un romanzo divertente, sarcastico e tragico, attraverso gli occhi di Ph
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Goodreads and Evergreen Awards
I have met a few young boys like Phin who are in love with nature and absorb information like sphagnum moss and dew. These same boys are imaginative and creative, also like Phin, and quick to create fantasy worlds that are quite perceptive. I love the satire of Phin's Ruell and the Gorachs.

I am partial to any book with a unique narrative voice, and this one sits on the shelf beside Curious Incident about the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon and Come Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant. The uncon
Sandra Dussault
J'aurais apprécié davantage ce roman si je l'avais lu il y a plusieurs années, à la même période où j'ai dévoré Quand j'avais cinq ans, je m'ai tué et Le Souffle de l'harmattan. Ces trois romans ont comme point commun d'être raconté par un enfant un peu fou, incompris des adultes autour de lui. On ne peut que les aimer et les trouver très drôles malgré les malheurs qu'ils vivent.

Toutefois, j'ai trouvé qu'Amphibien trainait en longueur. J'ai sauté plusieurs passages, surtout ceux où Phin nous pa
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to give this a 4.5 out of 5 but that option doesn't exist ;) The character wrote dumb side stories that I couldn't get into.

It was good! It's about a 9 year old boy, Phin, who is concerned about what humans are doing to the Earth, something that should worry us all. He is worried about everything and he doesn't know how to feel better. This book touches on the relationship between humans and animals, humans and humans and animals and animals. We're all connected and something to do to o
La Stamberga dei Lettori
Il personaggio di Phin è un ibrido tra Oskar di “Molto forte,incredibilmente vicino” (J. S. Foer) e Marcus di “Un ragazzo” (N. Hornby). Tutti e tre sono ragazzini di nove anni, con una sensibilità notevole e una saggezza non comune che li rende diversi da tutti i loro coetanei e, per questa ragione, diventano spesso vittime di compagni prepotenti o francamente violenti. Phin trasferisce le incongruenze della realtà che lo circonda nelle vicende di Reull, un pianeta abitato dai Gorachs, esseri in ...more
Mar 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Phin is 9 and he has trouble sleeping because of his eco-anxiety. Compounding his anxiety are his troubles with bullying at school, worries about his parents separation, and the death of his grandfather. The teacher, Mrs. Wardman, is often outsmarted by her student in amusing ways. In order to do his part Phin tries to save a White's Tree frog. Gunn captures the voice and imagination of a child well; especially through Phin's fictional stories about the planet Ruell.

I laughed aloud and shared P
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La Stamberga dei ...: Amphibian di Carla Gunn 1 6 Feb 18, 2013 02:42AM  
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