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The Wizard in the Tree by Lloyd Alexander

The Wizard in the Tree (original 1974; edition 1998)

by Lloyd Alexander, Laszlo Kubinyi (Illustrator)

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413636,689 (3.57)11
Title:The Wizard in the Tree
Authors:Lloyd Alexander
Other authors:Laszlo Kubinyi (Illustrator)
Info:Puffin (1998), Edition: 2nd THUS, Paperback, 144 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:children's/young adult, fantasy, read 2010

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The Wizard In The Tree by Lloyd Alexander (1974)



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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
A rather charming children's story about a kitchen maid who finds a wizard locked up in a tree, a la Merlin, and proceeds to save her village from the villainous new squire. It has lots of Lloyd Alexander's usual position on stories (true in a deep sense, useless in particulars), but there's nothing outstanding about it. ( )
  jen.e.moore | Mar 22, 2015 |
I found this book very entertaining. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the book is the wizard's perspective on magic, and how it differs so greatly from common human myths about magic. It is frustratingly funny how the wizard's magic fails, and Alexander does a good job of breaking out of the stereotypical magical character. Also, the eccentricities of the supporting characters makes the book all the more fun to read with children. This is a great book for introducing fantasy to a budding reader as it contains all the fantastical elements of the genre while being short and fast paced enough to keep up with the shortest of attention spans. ( )
1 vote jchancel | Jun 19, 2009 |
Lloyd Alexander wrote consistently good children's fiction, usually with an element of fantasy. While The Wizard in the Tree is not up to the level of the Chronicles of Prydain, it still holds up as a well-written tale of a hapless wizard losing his powers and the young girl who discovered him.

The story begins when Mallory, a young village girl, discovers Arabicus, a wizard who has been trapped in an oak tree since he broke the rules concerning harming living things. She frees him, and discovers that he was trapped while on his way out of our world into a place where all magical creatures retreated long ago. Soon enough, they discover that Arabicus' magic is fading away and he will die if he doesn't leave.

Unfortunately, Mallory and Arabicus run afoul of the greedy village squire, who is trying to industrialize the town and make himself rich. Mallory and Arabicus lurch from silly adventure to silly adventure. The tone is much more light-hearted than the Chronicles of Prydain (the villains don't, for example, burn people alive as they do in The Book of Three) and much more like most young adult adventure fantasy - the problems are those a villager would encounter, and the villains are venal rather than vile. The book is fun, but it is not anything more than that.

This review has also been posted to my blog Dreaming About Other Worlds. ( )
2 vote StormRaven | Oct 16, 2008 |
A girl discovers a wizard who's been imprisoned in an old tree for centuries.

I'm sure Lloyd Alexander has written a bad book or two, but I've yet to read it. Everything I've read so far has been fun, thoughtful and creative, with tons of appeal for both kids and adults.

This particular book is just a tiny little thing, but was it ever enjoyable! It reads something like Dickens Lite; the characters and situations have a definite Dickinsian feel to them, (perhaps because of the setting, with its Squires and shrewish wives), but they're toned down somewhat. The style is definitely that of children's lit, but Alexander gives his young readers full credit as he spins the story. He turns traditional storytelling upside down in some fascinating ways, and he allows his readers to come to their own conclusions about just what's going on.

I highly recommend this, particularly to readers in the 6-8 range. Parents who've read a lot of fairy tales should also enjoy it. And even if you don't, it's such a short little thing that you'll hardly have spent any time on it!

(Longer review available on my blog, Stella Matutina). ( )
2 vote xicanti | Sep 23, 2008 |
Anna O’Rourke
EDCI 4120/5120: Literature for Young Adults
Alexander, Lloyd. (1998). The Wizard in the Tree. New York, NY: Penguin Putnam Inc.
Grade Levels:
I would recommend this book once again for grades six through eight.
This novel belongs in the fantasy category.
I think I would read aloud the section of the book in which Arbican has changed into a pig and cannot change back and has a hungry farmer after him. This provides comic relief to the students while simultaneously bringing up some more serious underlying issues. Things aren’t always as they seem and this provides the perfect and entertaining way in which to discuss this.
This novel follows an adolescent girl named Mallory in her journey with a wizard that she unknowingly frees from a tree. His magic has faded as a result of his isolation and they go through some pretty funny situations trying to get it back.
I think the main theme in this novel is that of helping others. Mallory aids Arbican in finding his powers and he in turn helps her save her village. Kind of a karma/what goes around comes around promoting novel.
Discussion Questions:
1) Which character do you identify with most and why?
2) Which character do you identify least with and why?
3) What is the most meaningful point in the story for you?
Reader Response:
I found this novel very entertaining and comical. I think it would be a good novel to introduce hesitant readers to if they like the fantasy genre.
  annaorourke14 | Aug 5, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lloyd Alexanderprimary authorall editionscalculated
Craig, DanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Mallory's oak was down. It lay where the woodcutters felled it. The villagers hired to clear that stretch of woods had already moved on, leaving a wake of toppled trees and raw stumps.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014038801X, Paperback)

Mallory notices there's something funny about an old oak tree, takes a closer look, and before she knows it, she's broken a magical spell. Arbican the wizard has been trapped in the oak for thousands of years, and his powers are gone. Will he get them back in time to save Mallory's village from greedy Squire Scrupner? Deft storytelling.[Full of] quotable bits of wisdom about the real nature of magic. --Booklist, starred review

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:25 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Mallory's encounter with the wizard in the tree begins a chain of events that change the lives of the villagers dominated by a suspicious squire.

(summary from another edition)

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