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The Golden Acorn by Catherine Cooper

The Golden Acorn (2010)

by Catherine Cooper

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189562,490 (3.28)3



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Showing 5 of 5
Why is it that some adults can write for children, and create a whole new world for the child to get lost in wonder, and others write as if "child" is synonymous with "stupid?"

The entire time I was reading this, I felt like a Stepford mom was leaning over my shoulder reading, "and then, THIS happened, and then THIS happened, and THEN do you KNOW what that means little girl? Well, I will just have to tell you! Wheeee!"

The story's potential (and it wasn't a bad story,) was suffocated under this apparent assumption that the target reader would be a moderately dull-witted six year old, which is a shame. One of the most important things I look for in a children's book is whether I would enjoy reading it aloud to a child. There are brilliant books for this activity - The Hobbit, The Marvelous Land of Oz books, Dr. Seuss is just good laugh out loud fun, I'll even concede that Harry Potter seems like the read with children sort, even if it's not my personal cuppa. This book, however, in my opinion, would be painful. I'd never make it. ( )
  StaceyHH | Apr 8, 2013 |
Although written for children, this is a story that can be enjoyed by adults who've retained their enjoyment of a simple but entertaining yarn. I admit I downloaded it because it was free, but also because the Amazon reviews (many from adult readers) were generally very positive. The 'chosen one' plotline was fairly cliché and the peril was pretty tame, but it was enlived by a cast of characters who were consistently engaging and well-drawn, even the minor ones.
I would have adored this book when I was a kid - especially the Night Guard rats and the trip back in time to Roman Britain! - and even as a cynical adult reader I still found it a charming and refreshing read. It makes a good opening novel for a series. ( )
  Lesley_Webb | Mar 29, 2013 |
Free book from Kindle. Little lengthy. Started OK but dragged on ( )
  ChuTrandinh | Nov 24, 2011 |
Jack is a likeable character who is afraid but doesn't let the fear stop him from trying new things (like embracing the world of magic). Ms. Cooper has created a fantastical world that feels safe - even though there are scary things, the reader knows that in the end it will all work out. An enjoyable read. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Aug 7, 2011 |
Jack stood very still and listened. There wasn’t a sound apart from a slight rustling of leaves. For the third time today he could hear his own heart pounding. He didn’t like being alone in the lane. He got the feeling he was being watched. Next time he went for a walk he’d go with Grandad.
He was about to turn and run when he saw a gleam of light; something underneath the hedge glinted in the sunlight. He bent down and pulled the grass apart. A small shiny object lay on the ground. Where had it come from? Jack looked around before he picked it up and examined it more closely. It was a golden acorn; not quite like any acorn he’d ever seen before. It was beautifully carved, big and heavy and felt warm in his hand. Jack put it in his pocket then searched around to see if he could find any more.

When Jack Brenin comes to live with his grandfather he is drawn into a magical quest to save the hamadryad of Glasruhen Forest and re-open a lost gateway to Annwn (the Celtic Otherworld) who have been trapped in this world since the closing of the gateways between the worlds. His grandfather's neighbour Nora turns out to be a lot older than she looks and needs Jack's help to retrieve some cauldron plates from Roman Britain, and whenever he isn't at school Jack is learning the magical skills he will need to take part in a solstice ritual to pass through the time portal and return to the time when the Romans were burning the sacred groves of the Druids.

The story is quite convoluted and it took me longer to read than I expected for a children's book, but I liked the Night Guard of rats, Jennet the water sprite and the other creatures who helped and hindered However, my favourite character, and probably most readers' favourite, is Camellin the raven. At first he just seems to be a rather grumpy and extremely greedy bird, but it turns out that there is a lot more to him than that.

The book starts with a map showing the main characters' houses and the surrounding forests, which I always like to see, and there are cute illustrated chapter headings, showing what Camellin gets up to in each chapter, with my favourite showing two ravens asleep in cat baskets with their legs in the air). ( )
  isabelx | Jul 23, 2011 |
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Nora tapped her wand impatiently on the kitchen table before speaking to Camelin.
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When Jack Brenin finds a golden acorn lying in the grass, little does he know that it is the beginning of a thrilling and magical adventure. Just an ordinary boy, Jack has been chosen for a hugely important task, and enters a world he believed only existed in legend.… (more)

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