Afternoon of the Elves
Afternoon of the Elves

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Annotation: As Hillary works in the miniature village, allegedly built by elves, in Sara-Kate's backyard, she becomes more and more curious about Sara-Kate's real life inside her big, gloomy house with her mysterious, silent mother.
Catalog Number: #5290
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 1989
Edition Date: 1999
Pages: 122 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-698-11806-5 Perma-Bound: 0-605-30926-4
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-698-11806-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-30926-5
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 88035099
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 4-6-- A fascinating portrayal of a manipulative yet touching friendship. Nine-year-old Hillary lives in comfortable suburbia with her parents. In the house behind lives tough, independent Sara-Kate. Her father's gone, her sick mother hides, she dresses like an urchin, and is despised and mocked at school. However, Hillary stumbles on Sara-Kate's secret; she tends a tiny village in her weed-filled back yard, a village where she says elves live. Hillary is fascinated, and in helping her neighbor maintain the village, gradually becomes closer to Sara-Kate despite her school friends' disdain and parental disapproval. She starts not only to believe in elves, but also to wonder if Sara-Kate is not one herself. The ambiguous clues as to whether Sara-Kate is really an elf or just a disturbed child are so well wrought that readers will be as uncertain as Hillary. The children's emotions and behavior are believable and authentic, depicted clearly without over-explaining, especially Hillary's inner conflict. Lisle captures the subtlety of childhood feelings and perceptions, while maintaining a language and style accessible to average readers. Hillary grows from a bland follower to someone who knows that it is she, ultimately, who must make up her mind, despite the opinions of those around her, and perhaps become a little like all that was good in Sara-Kate herself. --Annette Curtis Klause, Montgomery County Department of Public Libraries, MD
Word Count: 27,390
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.0 / points: 4.0 / quiz: 353 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.1 / points:8.0 / quiz:Q00146
Lexile: 820L
Guided Reading Level: S
Fountas & Pinnell: S

Hillary doesn't believe all the mean things she hears about Sara-Kate. Sure, she wears weird clothes and she lives in a dumpy house, but if Sara-Kate's as bad as everyone says, how could she take such good care of the elf village in her backyard? She and Hillary spend hours fixing the tiny stick houses and the miniature Ferris wheel so the elves won't move away. But as Hillary is drawn further into Sara-Kate's world, she learns there are other mysteries besides the elves. Why doesn't anyone ever see Sara-Kate's mother? And why isn't anyone allowed in her house? This updated edition will bring new life to Janet Taylor Lisle's best-selling novel.

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