The Crow-Girl: The Children of Crow Cove
Ages 8 to 12
Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2004, 0-374-31247-8
The girl lives on the coast with her grandmother and though it is a hard life at times, and though she does not always have quite enough to eat, the girl is happy. Then her grandmother dies and the girl is left on her own. The loneliness and isolation is hard for her to bear and it is not long before she allows a pair of crows to guide her, to lead her to a new place and a new life. At times it is as if the crows are able to speak to her, to tell her what she must do.
The girl's first stop is in a small village where a woman takes her in, seemingly out of kindness. It is this woman, with her sugary words who gives the girl a name, "Crow-Girl." Crow-girl soon discovers that kindness does not lie in the heart of the woman and fearing the all she cares for will be taken from her, the girl flees.
As she continues her journey, guided by the crows, the girl encounters several people. There is a little boy, Doup, whom she adopts and takes with her. There is a woman and her daughter who are fleeing a cruel man who beats them. There two also join Crow-Girl on her journey.
The four ill-treated and somewhat lost souls come together to form a sort of family of their own. Despite their own sad state the four have kindness in their hearts and they offer what little they have to another whom they meet on the road. This man, Rossan, offers them shelter and help and later he gives them some of the things that they will need to build a new life for themselves, for they plan to live together back in Crow-Girl's little house by the sea.
Touching, powerful in its simplicity, and quite impossible to put down once started, this is a book which celebrates the courage which lies in the human spirit, and the kindness that can be found there. Crow-girl embodies much of what we would like to see in ourselves, and in her story we can find a message of both hope and peace.
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