web site hit counter Wise Child - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Wise Child

Availability: Ready to download

In a remote Scottish village, nine-year-old Wise Child is taken in by Juniper, a healer and sorceress. Then Wise Child’s mother, Maeve, a black witch, reappears. In choosing between Maeve and Juniper, Wise Child discovers the extent of her supernatural powers—and her true loyalties.


Compare

In a remote Scottish village, nine-year-old Wise Child is taken in by Juniper, a healer and sorceress. Then Wise Child’s mother, Maeve, a black witch, reappears. In choosing between Maeve and Juniper, Wise Child discovers the extent of her supernatural powers—and her true loyalties.

30 review for Wise Child

  1. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    There is no book more central to my development as a human being than this one. I can't possibly review it critically. Some good points include a lovely style of guardian/parenting and a true acceptance/tolerance of other faiths. I also appreciate that the herb references are accurate, but that's probably because I'm a little nutty. There is no book more central to my development as a human being than this one. I can't possibly review it critically. Some good points include a lovely style of guardian/parenting and a true acceptance/tolerance of other faiths. I also appreciate that the herb references are accurate, but that's probably because I'm a little nutty.

  2. 4 out of 5

    KA

    Recently re-read this, and found it again to be the rare kind of book that makes me want to work harder and be a better person (usually only George Macdonald can do that!). And it is a wonderful story from an excellent writer, one whose work mainly dealt with mysticism and the lives of certain Christian mystics. Furlong had a beautiful mind, and I wish she'd written more fiction! Recently re-read this, and found it again to be the rare kind of book that makes me want to work harder and be a better person (usually only George Macdonald can do that!). And it is a wonderful story from an excellent writer, one whose work mainly dealt with mysticism and the lives of certain Christian mystics. Furlong had a beautiful mind, and I wish she'd written more fiction!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    This and Ellen Kushner's Thomas the Rhymer were hugely, HUGELY important to young me. Why, WHY didn't anyone tell 1990s me about Diana Wynne Jones?!? This and Ellen Kushner's Thomas the Rhymer were hugely, HUGELY important to young me. Why, WHY didn't anyone tell 1990s me about Diana Wynne Jones?!?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Oh, Wise Child. You are so ornery and lazy and lucky. Re-reading this and Juniper for the first time in several years made me wonder if they had something to do with my desire to do nothing but milk cows and spin/dye wool and bake simple foods for the rest of my life. Oh, and do magic. Duh. But in all seriousness: a quiet, calm book that I love to a ridiculous extent. I fear the day my copy falls apart and I can't find a new one because it's stupidly out-of-print. Oh, Wise Child. You are so ornery and lazy and lucky. Re-reading this and Juniper for the first time in several years made me wonder if they had something to do with my desire to do nothing but milk cows and spin/dye wool and bake simple foods for the rest of my life. Oh, and do magic. Duh. But in all seriousness: a quiet, calm book that I love to a ridiculous extent. I fear the day my copy falls apart and I can't find a new one because it's stupidly out-of-print.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shan

    This is a middle-grade novel for grownups. Or rather, it's a novel intended for preteens that, miracle of miracles, expects a lot from its reader, and is just as rewarding at 35 as it was at 11. I read this as a kid and remember liking it, so I was expecting a fun nostalgia trip. What I wasn't expecting was to enjoy it even more twenty-five years later. The characters are still memorable, the writing excellent, the story compelling -- but there's a level of wisdom and thoughtfulness that had me c This is a middle-grade novel for grownups. Or rather, it's a novel intended for preteens that, miracle of miracles, expects a lot from its reader, and is just as rewarding at 35 as it was at 11. I read this as a kid and remember liking it, so I was expecting a fun nostalgia trip. What I wasn't expecting was to enjoy it even more twenty-five years later. The characters are still memorable, the writing excellent, the story compelling -- but there's a level of wisdom and thoughtfulness that had me cheering for authors who don't talk down to their intended audience. (Elizabeth George Speare's The Witch of Blackbird Pond succeeds in a similar way, I think, and I'm sure there are many many others I'm forgetting.) And as a parent, it's such a thrill to remember that books like this exist and to look forward to reading this with my daughter. Something else that struck me throughout the book was what an excellent parent Juniper makes. She's the very embodiment of "firm but kind," allowing Wise Child to make her own mistakes, teaching her lessons without reprimand or punishment. (Wise Child is a real pill at times, so this is quite a task, but Juniper never seems too nice to be believed.) If Juniper wrote a parenting manual, I would absolutely buy it. Perhaps Parenting the Juniper Way, or The Doran's Guide to the First Five Years?

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mariel

    I heard about Monica Furlong's Wise Child from fellow goodreader Ruby Hollyberry. She wrote that a friend of hers attributed this book making her a witch. That's a neat as hell description of a book, and of course, I had to check it out. I feel some major digressions coming on... Wait, is it just gas? Nah that was my dog. He's a ventiloquist pooter. He throws his fart stench to make it look like I did it. Crafty little bugger. Yep, digressions. A. Books making you a witch! I love that. So my Cher I heard about Monica Furlong's Wise Child from fellow goodreader Ruby Hollyberry. She wrote that a friend of hers attributed this book making her a witch. That's a neat as hell description of a book, and of course, I had to check it out. I feel some major digressions coming on... Wait, is it just gas? Nah that was my dog. He's a ventiloquist pooter. He throws his fart stench to make it look like I did it. Crafty little bugger. Yep, digressions. A. Books making you a witch! I love that. So my Cherokee great-grandmother told my mama that I was a witch when I was a baby. I lost the uncle lottery BIG TIME and my least favorite one honestly believed I was a witch. You wouldn't think people still confronted that Salem shit nowadays (or a Spanish inquisition). (If only NBC allowed SNL skits on youtube. The Shannon Doherty "Salem bitch trials" was priceless. 90210 made me a bitch.) No one asked me about Florida cults (despite wearing "Ask me about my Florida cult stories" button in another review) so I guess no one will ask me about those stories either (ahem okay so these ones happened in Alabama. I'll wear a bandana and have 'Bam flashbacks). Anyway, it was bizarre. My "powers" were really lame stuff like staring at bright lights and then watching the funky colors float over my eyeballs. (These days my little niece is a "witch" and has similar lame-o powers. I love it. Best thing after her trying to introduce *me* to The Beatles. Kids always think they got everything first.) Getting to the ACTUAL book at hand for a moment, the "witches" in questions are Cornish and Scottish. I dug that that wasn't the dealio at all. It's like making up these witchery stories on your own like me ignoring Indian folklore stuff and skipping straight to the staring at the sun magic. I loved the deciding for yourself message. I nicknamed myself "Mariel the Mean Machine" as a little kid. My grandfather renamed me "Mariel the Mean" and the name stuck. I'd have loved Wise Child as a kid 'cause she's fighting all that labeling from most in her life. A.1 (not the steak sauce) Are places and magic overrated? John Sayles is not Irish and he wrote and directed the film The Secret of Roan Inish about selkies and Irish folklore and it is most awesome movie (and if you haven't seen it, you should. It's sold in bargain bins pretty much everywhere, like begging to be this little lost gem you find by accident and love to heart). You don't need to give a fig about selkies at all. It's just great storytelling. So teachers who say "write what you know" aren't always right. You can know stuff by bullshitting and making it your own, anyway. I love that kid feeling of thinking you were the one who got it first. A(gain). This book is a little too telling too much, almost preachy. I loved best (better than the witchery and really nice husbandry building your own world through hard work and order) the feeling of the girl Wise Child coming up in her world and learning through repeated knuckles on bruises (Juniper refuses to beat her, though. Scandalous! Should've gone to Alabama public schools in the '80s if she wanted beatings...). If only that hadn't been shown so much through being TOLD these things. That's a little too after school special for me, at past thirty. I wanted it more at ease, other angles, sense of humor view like Terry Prachett. Pratchett's Tiffany Aching books came later, but boy do they have Wise Child beat on that. Wise Child is the relative from the past that you look at in photographs and appreciate but don't carry that photograph around in your wallet for day-to-day affirmation (I'd totally wear a "What would Tiffany Aching do?" bracelet). B. Mariel's scale of wish-everything-was-that-awesome-fantasy-stories: The Secret of Roan Inish. Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn and Tamsin. Juliett Marillier's Sevenwaters books (especially the third one, and that book was probably influenced by Wise Child? Marillier loves her some Margaret Mahy, that I know). I worship Patricica A. McKillip, some of Dianna Wynne Jones. You know the feeling of reading some really fun and interesting, and everything bad just faded away? Narnia and Harry Potter and Labyrinth. I'd do nothing else but read and watch movies if only I knew where all the more stuff like this was hiding from me. B.1 Then there's just the scale of becomes a frame of reference in my mind, like The Witches of Worm. I wouldn't say it is a *favorite* but it sure sticks out in my mind for creepy-witchy-paranoia-cautionary-tale stories. Roald Dahl's The Witches was a childhood favorite. B2 (not the vitamin) I don't know. Maybe it's too soon to tell. I do like to keep little homey pictures in my mind for warmth, and Juniper is very nice. C. Anyone remember that internet meme from a few years ago about which musicians made you gay just by listening to them? Sufjan Stevens scored 100%. Morrissey and Elton John didn't get that. David Bowie made me wish I was a lesbian. Anyway, Karin Andersson from The Knife and Fever Ray is a witch if anyone is, to my mind. If you're actually reading any of this you might have time to watch these two videos. Pass this On and When I Grow Up. D. The Life of Brian Juniper tree guy! E. Wise Child is out of print. I got mine used online. There's a dedication in the front flap: "Jessica, Merry Christmas, 1992. The Bicks". How come they got to give a gift as an entire family when my cheapo friends in 1992 bitched if my twin and I gave joint gifts? (They had no problem giving joint gifts.) Clearly, I'd have shared Wise Child's selfish side that wanted to be pampered and given nice things by her bad mama... And shout-out to The Bicks! Jessica didn't keep your book. Ooooh regifting! Mine came from the Goodwill from some Midwestern state. Our goodwill didn't have good anything the one time I went. I know a guy obsessed with the goodwill and he actually brags to me about getting "collectible" self-help books from the 1950s. I should give him Wise Child. Dude, material things don't matter. Mildly preachy kid's books are millions times better than self-help books (from the '50s!). F-Z Saving those for the other two books in the series...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Spider the Doof Warrior

    I love this book. I first read it when I was in 7th grade and my paradigm was being shaped. It was a soft as new cement at the moment. This book reminds me of Boulder Coaster by Acoustic Alchemy. it brings back memories of nicking chamomile tea from my grandmother's cabinet, drinking it and thinking about life and such. In this book, Wise Child finds herself living with the compassionate Juniper who treats the ailments of people in a Scottish village even though they look at her with suspicion an I love this book. I first read it when I was in 7th grade and my paradigm was being shaped. It was a soft as new cement at the moment. This book reminds me of Boulder Coaster by Acoustic Alchemy. it brings back memories of nicking chamomile tea from my grandmother's cabinet, drinking it and thinking about life and such. In this book, Wise Child finds herself living with the compassionate Juniper who treats the ailments of people in a Scottish village even though they look at her with suspicion and fear. Which annoys me. If someone is REALLY in the league with the devil, why would they take so much effort to heal you? Juniper is so kind to Wise Child, to the villagers, despite being a bit of an outcast because she's not Christian, but more of a believer in the unity of nature and using her powers for good. I really have to stop this book at the last couple of chapters because they bug me. It's not due to the quality of the book, but the fact that I hate the villagers so much. As a kid, I might have identified more with Wise Child, but as an adult, I find myself wanting to be like Juniper. I want to be compassionate, responsible and kind to people even when they don't deserve it, the jerks. 10/18/19 I continue to love this book but the last 3 chapters frustrate me. Not because they are bad, but because I just want Juniper and Wise Child to be happy forever. I also want to be a doran. I wonder if my friend crush would like this book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Trista Haggerty

    I read Wise Child 15 years ago and loved it so much that I introduced it to our students and staff at our wilderness school, Hawk Circle. The Wise Child books have now become a must read for just about every one that comes through our programs. I especially love Juniper and her incredibly wise way of teaching and mentoring. The story of Wise Child and Juniper has become so potent at our place that I've started a Juniper Retreat where I will be teaching many of the herbal and healing skills that I read Wise Child 15 years ago and loved it so much that I introduced it to our students and staff at our wilderness school, Hawk Circle. The Wise Child books have now become a must read for just about every one that comes through our programs. I especially love Juniper and her incredibly wise way of teaching and mentoring. The story of Wise Child and Juniper has become so potent at our place that I've started a Juniper Retreat where I will be teaching many of the herbal and healing skills that are woven through out the story. Can't wait!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Quinn

    "Wise Child, come to me, over the land and hill and sea..." That simple line has become a haunting sing-song in my mind, and I've been unable to forget it ever since I first read Wise Child by Monica Furlong when I was younger. It is not a difficult book to read, and it's easy to get wrapped up in Wise Child's story. With no one to turn to after her grandmother dies, she becomes the ward of the (rumored) witch Juniper. As she spends more time with the woman, though, she learns that appearances a "Wise Child, come to me, over the land and hill and sea..." That simple line has become a haunting sing-song in my mind, and I've been unable to forget it ever since I first read Wise Child by Monica Furlong when I was younger. It is not a difficult book to read, and it's easy to get wrapped up in Wise Child's story. With no one to turn to after her grandmother dies, she becomes the ward of the (rumored) witch Juniper. As she spends more time with the woman, though, she learns that appearances and rumors often have no basis on the character of a person. At first forcing the spoiled Wise Child to help with the chores, Juniper teaches Wise Child about the art of healing, and the manner in which all creatures should be treated. They form a bond that is tested when Wise Child's beautiful and manipulative mother puts a claim on her daughter, and it is suddenly up to Wise Child to decide whether she'll listen to the voices around her, or if she'll listen to an inner voice that she's only just starting to trust.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Finalefantasy

    Wise Child has recognizably modern content but an old type of writing for a novel. While it's full of good scenes, it doesn't mesh much as a single volume. Pros: Author Monica Furlong manages a convincing setting in terms of locale, culture, industry, and character. The main character is interesting and captures a striking feeling of truth in her narration. The book is full of interesting moments, as well, with some absolutely beautiful passages in the latter half. Overall, very unique. Cons: It f Wise Child has recognizably modern content but an old type of writing for a novel. While it's full of good scenes, it doesn't mesh much as a single volume. Pros: Author Monica Furlong manages a convincing setting in terms of locale, culture, industry, and character. The main character is interesting and captures a striking feeling of truth in her narration. The book is full of interesting moments, as well, with some absolutely beautiful passages in the latter half. Overall, very unique. Cons: It feels like lots of characters were ignored, when their development might have strengthened the point of the story. Wise Child herself is the only character who really grows at all. The main weakness is a looseness of plotting, which ends up making Wise Child feel like an incomplete memoir instead of a cohesive novel. The final sentences seem to tell what the author wanted the book to be about, but that ending doesn't quite mesh with what she has given readers. Overall. . . It's hard to say. It was enjoyable to read, but could have been stronger without changing much. The main themes seem to be overlooked when they most matter, and the climax leaves something to be desired.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Magda

    This was a wonderful book, making me, besides enjoying it, think about housework and religion. pp. 36-37; "After breakfast Juniper began to wash up the dishes, and she asked me to sweep the floor. I fetched the broomstick to humor her, but I thought I'd better have the housework problem out with her right away. 'I don't like cleaning or dusting or cooking or doing dishes, or any of those things,' I explained to her. 'And I don't usually do it. I find it boring, you see.' 'Everyone has to do those t This was a wonderful book, making me, besides enjoying it, think about housework and religion. pp. 36-37; "After breakfast Juniper began to wash up the dishes, and she asked me to sweep the floor. I fetched the broomstick to humor her, but I thought I'd better have the housework problem out with her right away. 'I don't like cleaning or dusting or cooking or doing dishes, or any of those things,' I explained to her. 'And I don't usually do it. I find it boring, you see.' 'Everyone has to do those things,' she said. 'Rich people don't,' I pointed out. Juniper laughed, as she often did at things I said in those early days, but at once became quite serious. 'They miss a lot of fun,' she said. 'But quite apart from that—keeping yourself clean, preparing the food you are going to eat, clearing it away afterward—that's what life's about, Wise Child. When people forget that, or lose touch with it, then they lose touch with other important things as well.' 'Men don't do those things.' 'Exactly. Also, as you clean the house up, it gives you time to tidy yourself up inside—you'll see.'" pp. 48-49: "When Fillan [Priest:] gave his exposition of the Gospel, he talked about the powers of darkness and how they must be overcome by the powers of light. Colman, who always listened in church instead of daydreaming as I did, nudged me gently with his elbow. As if guessing that Fillan might have spoken against her, Juniper asked me about him when I rejoined her. We were walking through a little wood, along the banks of the river, and I was already munching my bread. 'He talked about Pelagius,' I lied. Pelagius was an English scholar who had had a quarrel with the great St. Augustine, and Fillan was always defending him or else telling us about the other big quarrel about the date of Easter. 'Pelagius? He who thinks we are good entirely by our own endeavors?' Juniper asked. 'The man's a fool.'" I also like how the inquisitor, asking Wise Child about Juniper, brought out that the disliking of Fillan was not because he was a Christian but because he was not kind. Most of the time, the evil, nasty churchman is a representative of the Church, rather than seen as a man who is a part of the Church but not its definition.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Some years ago now, my parents and I purged a bunch of my childhood books. I kept some, the books I had loved and read over and over. Not long ago, I went looking for the box in their garage because I wanted something from the stash, and I rediscovered the full trove I'd saved, and I'm grateful to my younger self. It's always chancy to re-read a book you loved as a child; some of them lose their magic when read by one's adult self. But this book isn't one of those. Like Lois Lowry's A Summer to Some years ago now, my parents and I purged a bunch of my childhood books. I kept some, the books I had loved and read over and over. Not long ago, I went looking for the box in their garage because I wanted something from the stash, and I rediscovered the full trove I'd saved, and I'm grateful to my younger self. It's always chancy to re-read a book you loved as a child; some of them lose their magic when read by one's adult self. But this book isn't one of those. Like Lois Lowry's A Summer to Die (also stashed safely in that dusty box, along with a bunch of Madeleine L'Engle), I appreciated it as much or more now as I did then. I re-read it so many times as a kid that my copy is tattered, and the words echoed back to me a little, because they were still in my head somewhere. But like all the best books, it kept giving; it had a whole new dimension to me in adulthood. Everything about this book is thoughtful and gentle and patient, and encourages thoughtfulness and gentleness and patience -- something that often seems in short supply in the world just now -- in the reader. (I'm sure I did not notice, entirely, as a child, how often Wise Child says she finds something boring, but looking back, I now remember how often adult things were dull, dull, dull to me, too). I admire, too, the book's fundamental respect for children: their feelings, their fears, their impatience and intelligence and bravery, the way they see the world. It's instructive to be reminded that we don't only learn to be good people once, in one way -- we learn it over and over and over, for life.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ana

    Oh wow, this was so lovely! When I started I had no idea that it was going to include so many of my favorite tropes or elements to read about in fiction. One was chosen family/re-parenting. The jumping point of the book is that Wise Child's parents have both abandoned her in their various ways, so when her grandmother dies the village tries to figure out what to do with her. She ends up going home with Juniper, a witch of sorts, and... everything she had been brought up to believe about parenting Oh wow, this was so lovely! When I started I had no idea that it was going to include so many of my favorite tropes or elements to read about in fiction. One was chosen family/re-parenting. The jumping point of the book is that Wise Child's parents have both abandoned her in their various ways, so when her grandmother dies the village tries to figure out what to do with her. She ends up going home with Juniper, a witch of sorts, and... everything she had been brought up to believe about parenting and childhood (and that many of us are still brought up to believe) gets turned on its head. Juniper is kind, gentle, loving, and firm without rancor. Reading about Juniper as a caregiver, seeing her relationship with Wise Child grow, and in particular the ways Wise Child blooms when in a safe environment that is so full of trust... it made me melt. Juniper sets expectations, but she never ever punishes, and she lets Wise Child discover what she wants to do and how she wants to act in her own time. What I especially loved about this new parenting & family dynamic is that Wise Child doesn't suddenly turn into a perfect Good Little Girl who loves to do chores, learn her lessons, and only ever feels the Right Ways. She's still a child, and she gets sullen and vindictive, struggles to self-regulate emotionally, and is proud, impetuous, and rash. She finds many household tasks odious and lessons boring, and she very openly tells Juniper so! But oftentimes she still ends up doing them even if she doesn't unilaterally love it, for a variety of reasons: because she values her relationship with Juniper, because it's part of her routine, because there's nothing better to do... and also because she does grow to appreciate certain aspects of the work. That brings me to the second trope I love... that of cozy cottage witch doing cozy witchy domestic things! Gahhhhhh, there is so much of that here and it's so delightful. There's such loving description of household tasks, from the mundane like milking the cow, setting & cleaning the table, sweeping, to more magical things like herbalism, working in the garden, gathering ingredients from faraway places, cutting, drying, straining herbs... It forms a huge part of the book and it's a demonstration of Juniper's worldview that these daily tasks are what makes life worth living and how you express your appreciation of life. That it's possible to find joy in the work. There's tension between her and Wise Child in that regard, and appreciated that the author presented both viewpoints without judging Wise Child for her recalcitrance. Also, the writing takes delight in the sensory aspects of their life together, from the warmth of the fire to the softness and green-ness of the cushions in Wise Child's favorite chair. The routine of daily life is really tied into magic and spirituality, which really works for me. Magic in this book means as being aware of, understanding, and acting with the patterns of things. So it makes sense that much of it would be expressed through seasonal activities of tending animals and crops, as well as helping sick people. I first encountered that 'magic of the mundane' sort of worldview in Tamora Pierce's Circle of Magic books, and it's stayed close to my heart ever since. CW healing from trauma In the end, The Wise Child also turns out to be a book about recovering from abuse and trauma. This was the most unexpected aspect for me, but incredibly well handled. I was so deeply moved by the ways Wise Child kept being drawn back to her abusive mother, even after you'd think she'd have 'learned her lesson'. She struggles so openly with that pull, and Juniper always allow her to make her own choices while empowering her to have a different life if she wants it. The slow unfolding of understanding in Wise Child was extraordinary, heartbreaking, and beautiful. Readalikes: the aforementioned Circle of Magic series by Tamora Pierce, which similarly focuses on the magic of everyday tasks; the Earthsea series by Ursula LeGuin, in particular Tehanu, where another woman and a traumatized little girl live and work together on a mountainside, doing everyday magic; Coraline by Neil Gaiman, for the conflict between mother and Other Mother, and the discovery that getting everything you want is boring; and Hild by Nicola Griffith, because of the uncanny little girl growing up in medieval Britain, where older religions and Christianity uneasily rub up against each other.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    This was one of those incredible reads that encapsulate the reader in its fully formed world. It is not explicit in its world building, but trusts its readers to fill in the gaps for themselves. I was most enthralled when the book lingered on the slow, everyday experiences of the characters. The plot itself was the weak spot--the final climax and crescendo of conflict and action wasn't nearly as magical as the parts of the story that could be considered mundane. The rest of the book was too good This was one of those incredible reads that encapsulate the reader in its fully formed world. It is not explicit in its world building, but trusts its readers to fill in the gaps for themselves. I was most enthralled when the book lingered on the slow, everyday experiences of the characters. The plot itself was the weak spot--the final climax and crescendo of conflict and action wasn't nearly as magical as the parts of the story that could be considered mundane. The rest of the book was too good to knock it for that, though.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mackenzie Callahan

    Excited to read this to my daughter one day! 😊

  16. 5 out of 5

    Emily Joyce

    how is this SO GOOOOOD and I had never heard of it until Shannon recommended it?! This is a lost treasure of fantasy young adult literature.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jessika

    I've thought a lot about what I want to put in this review and keep coming up short. It's hard to describe how important this book was to me as a child. (This, by the by, was probably my gateway book to this genre. Quickly followed by Garth Nix and Tamora Pierce and Robin McKinley.) This book focuses on women in a way I desperately wanted to see. Juniper was kind and strong and most of all MAGIC. But magic in a quieter way than expected and that was so enchanting, because if she wasn't flashy wi I've thought a lot about what I want to put in this review and keep coming up short. It's hard to describe how important this book was to me as a child. (This, by the by, was probably my gateway book to this genre. Quickly followed by Garth Nix and Tamora Pierce and Robin McKinley.) This book focuses on women in a way I desperately wanted to see. Juniper was kind and strong and most of all MAGIC. But magic in a quieter way than expected and that was so enchanting, because if she wasn't flashy with magic then maybe I had magic. (Spoiler, I'm not a doran, so.) But this book made me realize that there was more to magic than spells and wands and eye of newt. That it was nature and kindness and trying your best. And then there's Wise Child, who grows and stumbles and makes mistakes and grows some more. And lord does Furlong write children in that utterly frustrating way where you just want to grab them by the shoulders and shake them a little, but it also feels so human. Because yes in my head I would take to being a doran's apprentice like a duck to water, but lbr I'd be just as miserable at first and just as unwilling to do basic chores and desperately want to go home where things were familiar and at least I had a bed (well, that applies more to Juniper than this book). This definitely held up to a reread some fifteen years later.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Carson

    An exquisitely well crafted novel. I simply couldn't put it down. It was a lovely introduction to pagan witchcraft for young readers with the right balance of light and dark aspects. It managed to convey a sense of mystery and wonder, without ever becoming saccharine for an instant. Furlong writes with a delightful sense of humour, and conveys a subtle sense of each character's personality, without going into belaboured descriptions. I had read Juniper years ago, and although I liked it well eno An exquisitely well crafted novel. I simply couldn't put it down. It was a lovely introduction to pagan witchcraft for young readers with the right balance of light and dark aspects. It managed to convey a sense of mystery and wonder, without ever becoming saccharine for an instant. Furlong writes with a delightful sense of humour, and conveys a subtle sense of each character's personality, without going into belaboured descriptions. I had read Juniper years ago, and although I liked it well enough to want to read Wise Child, I had never quite imagined how sophisticated this book would be. It actually bears the distinction of having the content bear up the beauty of the cover art. I'm pleased to see that the different publishing companies didn't demand new cover art with each edition, because the painting is almost divinitive in it's Tarot like mystery. While reading this book, I was totally unconscious of any sort of affected style in the writing. In fact, I was barely aware that I was reading. I was simply there.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I wish I'd found this when I was still little, because I think I would have absolutely adored it then. Coming to it as an adult, I didn't get quite so absorbed. While I still very much enjoyed it, I didn't feel particularly connected to the text. Juniper at times seemed a little too idealized, and despite the fact it was told from Wise Child's first person POV, I felt a sort of odd disconnect between the narrator's voice and the actual tale. It is being told from the adult Wise Child's perspectiv I wish I'd found this when I was still little, because I think I would have absolutely adored it then. Coming to it as an adult, I didn't get quite so absorbed. While I still very much enjoyed it, I didn't feel particularly connected to the text. Juniper at times seemed a little too idealized, and despite the fact it was told from Wise Child's first person POV, I felt a sort of odd disconnect between the narrator's voice and the actual tale. It is being told from the adult Wise Child's perspective, but still... it's almost more like a third person point of view than a first. However, it was still a charming and interesting book. I really loved the parenting/mentoring relationship between Juniper and Wise Child, especially as a positive bond between two women. The message of love and tolerance was lovely without feeling at all forced. Worth the read, especially for the younger reader.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Danika Dinsmore

    This book was recommended to me by one of my young friends. She said it was one of her favourites. I think if I had read it when I was younger first, I would have put it at the top of my list too. I probably would have dreamed of having a life like Wise Child. It's a lovely coming-of-age story. A slower, softer kind of fantasy that explores how a young girl, over time, learns about witchcraft. I like the authenticity of Wise Child's struggles. She doesn't like the hard work, but slowly begins to This book was recommended to me by one of my young friends. She said it was one of her favourites. I think if I had read it when I was younger first, I would have put it at the top of my list too. I probably would have dreamed of having a life like Wise Child. It's a lovely coming-of-age story. A slower, softer kind of fantasy that explores how a young girl, over time, learns about witchcraft. I like the authenticity of Wise Child's struggles. She doesn't like the hard work, but slowly begins to see the value in it over the more pampered lifestyle offered by her estranged mother. My only criticism is that Juniper (Wise Child's mentor) seems to be a bit too "perfect." This has always been a pet peeve of mine. Perhaps when I read the prequel (and I plan on it) I will change my mind about her. I liked her as a person, I just didn't see any of her own struggles. She is so even-tempered it became a bit unbelievable.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Wise Child is abandoned by her parents and the only person in the village who offers to take her in is Juniper, the strange woman who everyone says is a witch because she isn't married, doesn't go to Mass, and heals the sick. There is beautiful imagery in this book, which is why I've always liked it; the descriptions of the colors and plants and other items are wonderful. The character of Juniper seems a little too perfect, but Wise Child balances that out with her childhood stupidity. I always f Wise Child is abandoned by her parents and the only person in the village who offers to take her in is Juniper, the strange woman who everyone says is a witch because she isn't married, doesn't go to Mass, and heals the sick. There is beautiful imagery in this book, which is why I've always liked it; the descriptions of the colors and plants and other items are wonderful. The character of Juniper seems a little too perfect, but Wise Child balances that out with her childhood stupidity. I always found the ending to be too quick and unsatisfying, unfortunately. Still, this is a book I'm sure I'll continue to enjoy over the years.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    Hands down, all time favorite book growing up. I still read it on average once or twice a year even now. If you know any kids around fourth or fifth grade that somehow haven't read HP yet, get this to them first! It can't compare with the blatant magic/high-fructose energy of HP. This is a more natural setting where the magic/otherworldly happenings sometimes have a more 'real' explanation, but it's up the reader to decide what to believe. Loves! Hands down, all time favorite book growing up. I still read it on average once or twice a year even now. If you know any kids around fourth or fifth grade that somehow haven't read HP yet, get this to them first! It can't compare with the blatant magic/high-fructose energy of HP. This is a more natural setting where the magic/otherworldly happenings sometimes have a more 'real' explanation, but it's up the reader to decide what to believe. Loves!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kimberlyn

    read these books a long time ago, should really read them again, I don't remember much from this series, except for the feeling they gave me. Something with a cave and hunderds of herbs hanging from the ceiling of a cottage. The fact they stayed with me for all these years, makes me think they should get at least 4 stars. read these books a long time ago, should really read them again, I don't remember much from this series, except for the feeling they gave me. Something with a cave and hunderds of herbs hanging from the ceiling of a cottage. The fact they stayed with me for all these years, makes me think they should get at least 4 stars.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    One of my favorites fantasy books ever, hands down.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    I've had this book on my to-read shelf for... months, if not longer. I picked it up awhile ago but just wasn't feeling it. This time around, though, I really got into it and finished in it no time. Funny how you have to be in the right mood for a book... Anyway. This book was a combination between "Catherine, Called Birdy" and "The Witch of Blackbird Pond." It was set in medieval times when superstition and the occult existed right alongside the church, and there was a lot of suspicion of people I've had this book on my to-read shelf for... months, if not longer. I picked it up awhile ago but just wasn't feeling it. This time around, though, I really got into it and finished in it no time. Funny how you have to be in the right mood for a book... Anyway. This book was a combination between "Catherine, Called Birdy" and "The Witch of Blackbird Pond." It was set in medieval times when superstition and the occult existed right alongside the church, and there was a lot of suspicion of people who were different. Furlong did a fantastic job really bringing that period and place to life, and I felt it added a lot to the story. I really enjoyed Juniper as a character, and seeing her transform Wise Child with love, patience, and education was very engaging. The magic element was very well done. For the first half of the book at least, I wasn't even sure magic was "real" in this world. I appreciate the doubt about that - I felt it added to the story and invested me as a reader even more than spelling it out in black and white. The events leading up to the end were not surprising, but I was still sorry that they came about. I thought the way it ended was perfect, and I wish there was a sequel. I would enjoy reading more about Juniper and Wise Child.

  26. 4 out of 5

    TL

    Wise Child is an endearing YA novel about a 9-year-old girl who is mentored by witch named Juniper. Set in ancient Briton, the novel is engaging and well-written. The protagonist is orphaned and then gets taken in by the wise and kind Juniper. Wise Child gets taught the fine arts of herbology, magic, and witchcraft. Her beautiful mother, Maeve, wants to take her back, and Wise Child is torn between being loyal to her mother and learning the art of witchcraft from Juniper. There were many fine YA Wise Child is an endearing YA novel about a 9-year-old girl who is mentored by witch named Juniper. Set in ancient Briton, the novel is engaging and well-written. The protagonist is orphaned and then gets taken in by the wise and kind Juniper. Wise Child gets taught the fine arts of herbology, magic, and witchcraft. Her beautiful mother, Maeve, wants to take her back, and Wise Child is torn between being loyal to her mother and learning the art of witchcraft from Juniper. There were many fine YA novels during the 80s, when this novel was published, but Wise Child remains one of the enduring masterpieces of young adult literature. Wise Child is a page turner, evenly paced, and a quick read. Both young and older readers will be captivated by the warmth and magic of this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Pauline

    I read this one a long, long time ago and loved it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    The story of a young girl who gets taken in by a healer and learns how to use plants for medicine, and a little magic. One of my favorite books when I was young, and still love it as an adult.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Madeline

    Wise Child is a lovely book, a story about a spoiled girl who grows up a bit, but not by getting the fight squished out of her or losing her sense of self. I liked this book a lot when I was very young, but I haven't read it in years; it was nice to come back to it and see how much insight it offered me, the way it deals with learning and relationships, and the natural world. I still think it's a marvelous book for young readers, and one that older readers will find compelling (though probably n Wise Child is a lovely book, a story about a spoiled girl who grows up a bit, but not by getting the fight squished out of her or losing her sense of self. I liked this book a lot when I was very young, but I haven't read it in years; it was nice to come back to it and see how much insight it offered me, the way it deals with learning and relationships, and the natural world. I still think it's a marvelous book for young readers, and one that older readers will find compelling (though probably not to the same degree), and the kind of book you can come back to at various stages in your life. There is something a bit rose-colored about its view of nature, I sometimes think. (I don't think the sequel, Juniper has the same issues. Juniper has to kill a pig she's befriended, among other things.) But then, I wonder about The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, too. Juniper, I think, would have had, in some ways, a lot more help for the Lee family; but, Juniper is a fictional character. And even her resources and insights have limits. She can't, for example, stop smallpox or blight, and she can't do much about poverty. "Juniper, are you terribly rich? My cousins said you had a whole treasure chamber full of precious stones in the caves under the house." Juniper hesitated. "Wise Child, there are children in the village starving at this very moment. Do you think I would keep rooms full of precious stones if I could feed them?" I had never thought of that. "It would have been lovely," I said wistfully, "to pick up great handfuls of diamonds and rubies and pearls and let them run through my fingers." There is a lot to mine, here, about what it means to have a good human life. Most people in this book don't have that. Most people in the real world don't have that. Wise Child has to fight for hers, and sometimes she fights for the wrong thing. It's very moving, very satisfying to watch her sort that out. I don't remember how I felt when I first read it, but I do think it's worth mentioning that this isn't a tense book. It's not adventure story. Which is a bit odd, because there is a lot of real danger from other people in the book, there's an evil witch and a malevolent priest, and Wise Child works her way through a lot of distressing emotions. But Furlong writes so calmly that it's difficult for those things to get their hooks in you. Should they be getting their hooks in, though? I'm not sure; I tend to think of this as one of the books' good qualities, and in line with its general point of view, which is a very ordinary and quotidian one. But, again, I know how things turn out and have known since I was about five. So I'm not a very good judge. Maybe this would be deeply upsetting to someone reading for the first time.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    “Wise Child” is the first in a young adult trilogy set in ancient Scotland. The Wise Child of the title does not bear that nickname out of respect at first; it’s a sarcastic term for a child who thinks they know more than others. She’s spoiled and lazy. In the care of her grandmother because her father is at sea and her mother has run away to greener pastures, she finds herself out of a home when the old woman dies. When the nine year old is ‘auctioned’, she finds herself taken in by Juniper, an “Wise Child” is the first in a young adult trilogy set in ancient Scotland. The Wise Child of the title does not bear that nickname out of respect at first; it’s a sarcastic term for a child who thinks they know more than others. She’s spoiled and lazy. In the care of her grandmother because her father is at sea and her mother has run away to greener pastures, she finds herself out of a home when the old woman dies. When the nine year old is ‘auctioned’, she finds herself taken in by Juniper, an outsider who does healing and follows the old, pre-Christian religion. Wise Child is terrified; rumor has it that Juniper is in league with Satan, and that horrible things will happen to anyone go is taken to her house. Thankfully, like much of the wisdom children share with each other, these things are untrue. Wise Child has to do a lot of work at Juniper’s house and doesn’t like that, but it’s a far cry from being a human sacrifice. With Juniper, she starts learning things- to read and write and work with herbs- and finds it enjoyable- most of the time. Her life is peaceful, until her mother- who has powers herself and uses them for personal gain - decides she wants her daughter to come live with her, and then village priest decides it’s time to get rid of the local witch. It’s a very good story, written for ages 10 and up, and interesting enough for adults. It captures what life was like in that era; the enormous amount of work it took to stay alive, the superstitions, the power that Christian priests had even back then when the church young, and in a setting that far away from Rome. The description of Wise Child’s education and introduction to the old religion is fascinating. I had a couple of problems with the book; there are a few anachronisms (there were no fuchsias in the old world in that time and place) and the fact that while the other characters seemed realistic (Wise Child vacillates between happy and fretful at having to work so hard, which any 8 year old would), Juniper seems too good to be true. Not one, no matter what Wise Child or the villagers do, does she ever get mad, frightened or even mildly irritated. Was her training to be a doran so thorough that she attained a complete state of Zen composure? I know that the old religion is being portrayed as being all positivity and love, but Juniper could have stood to have a little bit of negative emotion to make her more human. And, this is not a problem but an observation: while the cover is beautiful in most ways with the herbs and the Celtic designs, the big eyes and facial expressions reminded me of those paintings by Keane in the 1960s, the ones with children with the big, dead, eyes that always creeped me out. But that’s just me.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.