The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale
Over the years I have noticed that I remember where I was when reading a book almost as much as I remember the book. I began listening to Goose Girl while on a cruise in the Caribbean. Saying the names Ani, Selia, and Falada instantly take me back to salty sea air and the rocking, vibrating motion of a ship. I loved the audio version of Goose Girl as the narrator had a fantastic fantasy voice, and all of the beautiful names were pronounced much better than my own head could have managed. Sometimes we need to remove ourselves from the real world and enter someplace that doesn’t actually exist, simply to enjoy the pleasure of using our imagination, Goose Girl did just this!
Ani is a unique character with an honest and real personality. I felt she was my own friend as I watched her be betrayed by her mother and her lady-in-waiting, Selia. I felt her sadness as she lost her dearest companion Falada. I knew that the man from the fields would turn out to be her salvation and I was thrilled to see how the truth was revealed.
Shannon Hale is truly a magnificent story teller!
Historical Value- 0
Emotional Value- 4
Entertainment Value- 5
Personal Character Value- 4
Age recommendation-10 and up
"... If we don't tell strange stories, when something strange happens we won't believe it."
"It’s important to know stories. I felt the earth shift to make a place for you when you were born, and I came to tell you stories while you are young. And like me, you were born with a word on your tongue."
"She closed the book and put her cheek against it. There was still an odor of a library on it, of dust, leather, binding glue, and old paper, one book carrying the smell of hundreds."
“Many times I have learned that, you never judge a book by its cover. Like people, it is the inside that counts."
"No more crying. It's all wetness and no comfort at all."
"Poor gosling. It hurts to be lost. And worse to be home with no kind of homecoming...I'll be lucky if I can do as well as you when all this's done, just a bit out of breath, a bit bruised and scratched, a bit wiser and sadder for it all."
"Ah, now, don't cry over lost years and forgetfulness. The tales tell what they can. The rest is for us to learn."
"Saying my story makes me want to change it, make it sound pretty the way I do with the stories I tell the workers. I'd like it to have a beginning as grand as a ball and an ending in a whisper, like a mother tucking in a child for sleep."
"We know it's all just daydreaming... But sometimes, it'd be nice just to hold something real in your hands that felt like a measure of your worth."
"Sometimes it seems my identity’s a matter of opinion"
“There are so many tales, so strange and beautiful and perfect. They are not what are real, but better. I thought I had something that was magic once, but I lost it, and now I don’t think it was at all…I wish there was magic. If all the tales were true, then maybe they could tell me what I’m doing, and what I am to do now.”