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Under the Green Hill


Under the Green Hill Cover

ISBN13: 9780805089844
ISBN10: 0805089845
All Product Details




Chapter One

“Oh dear,” said Phyllida Ash as she read the telegram. Even in these days of telephones and e-mail, the only messages that reach the Rookery are hand-delivered by a sly-faced young man who pads down quiet paths from the nearby town of Gladysmere. “They want to come here, Sander. On the first of May. Oh, this will never do at all!”

     She ran her free hand distractedly through short, thick curls that in some lights were almost lavender. Though she had, even at her great age, a brusque force to her movements, there was something about the way her fingers lingered at the ends of her curls that hinted shed once been a coquette. Lysander stifled a grunt as he pushed himself up with a stout, gnarled cane and crossed the garden kitchen to put an arm around his wife of sixty years.

     “Why now?” she moaned, leaning into him. “Of all the years, of all the times, why does she pick the most dangerous to send her children here?”

     Lysander Ash took up the telegram and scanned lines written in the age-old truncated style. Dear Aunt Uncle Ash, stop. “Aunt and uncle, hogwash! Great-aunt and -uncle, maybe. . . .”

     “One more ‘great, I think.”

     “Be that as it may.” He read aloud: “Urgent favor needed, stop. Fever rampant in States, stop. Can you take children for summer, interrogative. Awfully grateful, stop. Arriving May One, stop. Rowan, Meg, Priscilla, James, stop. Do they think we dont even know their names?”

     “Well, weve never seen them. Weve never seen any of them, not since Chlorinda left.”

     “Your sister wasnt able to take on her responsibilities,” Lysander began hotly.

     “Now, dont open old wounds,” his wife said, with a reproach so gentle it was obvious shed been repeating it for many years. When people have lived together for six decades, and played as children in the years before that, many of their conversations go by rote, and often entire arguments can take place with a brief glance.

     “Four generations living across the ocean, and those children so far removed from whats in their blood. And now they want to traipse across the ocean just in time to get themselves captured or glamoured or torn to shreds!”

     “Its not as bad as all that,” she said, wondering, as she frequently did, whether he became deliberately contrary just to force her into an opposing tack. Shed been dead against the childrens coming the moment she read the telegram, but now, in the face of Lysanders opposition—it was her family, after all—she was almost reconciled to their arrival. “We can take precautions. . . . Theyll be all right if we keep them on the grounds. The house and gardens will be enough for them, and theres nothing that can hurt them there. It will be safer than staying where theres fever. A lot of children are leaving the States, Ive heard, or going off to the mountains. Im ashamed I didnt think to invite them here. Why, our house could hold a hundred children, with no danger to anyone! What harm could four come to?”

     “Four children here, at Midsummer, on a seventh year? Even the villagers hide their children at the teind times.”

     “Theyll be fine,” she assured him, squeezing his hand. “Bran will look after them. Oh!” She gave a little gasp. “Someone has to tell Bran.” She looked worried, perhaps even a bit frightened.

     Lysander turned away from her abruptly to poke the low fire that burned winter and summer. “Well, its not going to be me.” After all, he had to put his foot down somewhere.

Excerpted from Under the Green Hill by Laura L. Sullivan
Copyright © 2010 by Laura L. Sullivan
Published in 2010 by Henry Holt and Company
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

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Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com, April 1, 2011 (view all comments by Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com)
When the Morgan children, Rowan, Meg, Silly and James, are shipped off to spend the summer in England with an elderly aunt they’ve never met, they aren’t exactly thrilled. But when they arrive at the Rookery, the castle fills their minds with thoughts of exploring and discovering secret passageways.

Those fantasies soon pale when they discover that their family is part of an ancient pact connecting them to the fairies who live under the green hill. When they realize that one of them must act as champion to the fairy queen in a coming battle, they all decide to do what they can to help out.

Under the Green Hill by Laura L. Sullivan paints a richly detailed picture of fairies and other fantasy creatures who live just out of sight of normal humans. They can’t be trusted, and they like to play tricks on people to get their way. The natural world depends on their guardianship, as they depend on the guardianship of certain humans.

While the story is mostly about the four Morgan children and their adventures, it focuses mainly on Meg, who at 14 is growing more self-confident and leaving the shadow of her older brother Rowan. Meg is responsible, and she’s teased for being very like an old woman, but she can’t help seeing the consequences of all of their actions. She’s also strangely attracted to a bad boy who is along with them named Finn.

Under the Green Hill is a delightful fantasy that mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 10 and up should enjoy reading and discussing. It’s beautifully written and group members should enjoy talking about the fairy world, English castles, and the personalities of each of the children.
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Product Details

Henry Holt & Company
Fantasy & Magic
Sullivan, Laura L.
Fairy Tales & Folklore - Country/Ethnic-General
Action & Adventure - General
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Fairy tales
Legends, Myths, & Fables - General
Family - Siblings
Fairy Tales & Folklore / Country & Ethnic
Children s-Science Fiction and Fantasy
Edition Description:
Middle-Grade Fiction
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 4 to 7
8.25 x 5.50 in
Age Level:

Related Subjects

Children's » Action and Adventure » Adventure Stories
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Children's » Reference » Family and Genealogy
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General

Under the Green Hill
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 336 pages Henry Holt & Company - English 9780805089844 Reviews:
"Review" by , “Sullivan draws heavily on her knowledge of Middle English folklore and creates a story rich with memorable characters and evocative language. The ending begs for a sequel in which readers can learn more about the history between the two opposing fairy courts and how the Morgan children fulfill their destinies.”
"Review" by , “With colorful characters, from Jenny Greenteeth to the dragonlike Wyrm, this engaging fantasy will attract readers intrigued by English folklore.”
"Review" by , “Like Edward Eager's Half-Magic, this debut contemporary fantasy pays homage to E. Nesbit, but it goes further, mirroring Nesbit's narrative quirks, syntax and even vocabulary.”
"Synopsis" by , Meg Morgan and her siblings are sent to the English countryside to stay with elderly relatives. The children are looking forward to exploring the ancient mansion, but they don't expect to find themselves in the middle of a fairy war.
"Synopsis" by ,
A trip to the English countryside lands four siblings in the middle of a fairy war!
"Synopsis" by ,

Meg and her siblings have been sent to the English countryside for the summer to stay with elderly relatives. The children are looking forward to exploring the ancient mansion and perhaps discovering a musty old attic or two filled with treasure, but never in their wildest dreams did they expect to find themselves in the middle of a fairy war.

When Rowan pledges to fight for the beautiful fairy queen, Meg is desperate to save her brother. But the Midsummer War is far more than a battle between mythic creatures: Everything that lives depends on it. How can Meg choose between family and the fate of the very land itself?  

"Synopsis" by ,
Rowan, Meg, Priscilla, and their little brother, James, are off to the English countryside to stay with relatives at the Rookery. The children are looking forward to exploring the ancient mansion and perhaps discovering a hidden secret or two. Little do they know this is a seventh summer. Every seventh summer, a fairy war is fought on the Green Hill—to the death—with a human champion. And Rowan has been chosen as one of the champions. Meg is desperate to save her brother. But the Midsummer War is far more than a battle between mythic creatures: Everything that lives depends on it. How can Meg choose between family and the fate of the very land itself?
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