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The Fossil Snake by Lucy M. Boston

The Fossil Snake

by Lucy M. Boston

Other authors: Peter Boston (Illustrator)

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This brief chapter-book by L.M. Boston, creator of the wonderful Green Knowe Chronicles, follows the story of a young boy whose treasured fossil snake comes alive after he warms it under the radiator. Boston, justly celebrated for the powerful sense of place and the compassionate characterization that informs so much of her work, seems to stumble a bit here. The traces of intolerance in her portrayal of Peter, the Museum Curator, as well as the gang of boys who threaten young Rob, surprised me in an author whose cast of characters has included displaced Polish and Burmese refugees and unhappy Welsh farmboys. I wasn't sure whether to put it down to some sort of residual class prejudice, or just an elderly woman's disgust at the "loutish" behavior of the young.

There wasn't a lot of "meat" to this story, but the reader is rewarded with a few passages of remarkable beauty. The final chapter includes a lovely description of Rob's moonlit trek, and displays that particular sensibility to the delicate nuances of enchantment that is a hallmark of Boston's writing. Like most of her titles, this was illustrated by the author's son, Peter Boston. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jun 27, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lucy M. Bostonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Boston, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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When Rob puts the rare fossil of a coiled snake he has discovered under the warm radiator in his room, a wonderful thing happens.
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Rob puts the rare fossil of a coiled snake he has discovered under the warm radiator in his room. A wonderful thing happens.

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