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The secret language de Ursula Nordstrom
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The secret language (original: 1960; edição: 1961)

de Ursula Nordstrom (Autor)

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269674,715 (4)16
At first, Victoria North is miserable at the Coburn Home School. Her housemother is very strict, she' s terribly homesick and the other girls don' t seem to have any time for a shy new girl. Then Vicky meets Martha Sherman, and everything changes. Martha introduces Vicky to pie-beds, midnight feasts and all the other wonderful things about boarding school. She even teaches Vicky a secret language that only the two of them share. Soon, with Martha' s help, Vicky finds herself thinking of Coburn Home School as home.... Written by acclaimed children' s book editor Ursula Nordstrom, this is an enchanting story about two young girls who share a special friendship while away at school.Originally published in 1960, this enchanting story of two young girls who develop a special friendship— and a secret language— while away at school is the only novel ever written by renowned children’ s book editor Ursula Nordstrom. ‘ Nordstrom’ s gentle, acutely observedpicture of the boarding-school world catches the essential fascination of that special community and at the same time, deals with certain problems common to any little girl adjusting to a new school.’ — The New York Times Mary Chalmers is the illustrator of many books for young readers, including the I Can Read Book Marigold and Grandma on the Town by Stephanie Calmenson, and Easter Parade, which she also wrote. She lives with her three cats in Greenbelt, MD… (mais)
Membro:aliphil
Título:The secret language
Autores:Ursula Nordstrom (Autor)
Informação:Methuen (1961), 167 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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The Secret Language de Ursula Nordstrom (1960)

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I have fond memories of snitching this book from my sister's room, just so I could read it, yet again. And as an adult read, it's pretty good.

Vicky is 8, shy, and terribly homesick as a new student at boarding school. But she is drawn to Martha, incorrigible, sassy Martha. The two opposites attract and become best friends.

The author has painted a simple yet somewhat realistic picture of boarding school and life, some 60 years ago. The girls' flights of fancy and silliness are fun to read, too. ( )
  fuzzi | Sep 12, 2015 |
I just reread this because it’s the July book for the A Thrilling Term at Goodreads: The Girls’ School-Story Group. I can’t believe that it’s been nearly 50 years since I first read this book, this very copy I just reread, a hardcover edition priced at $2.95. This was my very first “school story” book, and it’s unusual in that the children are much younger than in most of the other boarding school books that I’ve read.

When I was young, I didn’t like the way the girls were scolded; I thought the (first) housemother was too stern. But, I also thought the way they were treated and the whole setting was unappealing except for their friendship.

This book is well written and it held up extraordinarily well reading it as an adult, much better than I’d expected. Given that I read it only a few times between the ages of 7 and 9, I was surprised by how much I remembered, down to many specific lines and passages. I read it with quite a different perspective than I did as a child, of course. Actually, I am probably more impressed with it now than I was then.

I really love the illustrations. They’re precious, in a good way, not in an “ick-en-spick” (one of only three words in the secret “language” in the book) way.

Some things that really struck me now: the wonderful (though not without its problems, which are addressed) sister like friendship between Victoria and Martha, the sending of such young children to a boarding school: Victoria from age 8 and Martha from age 6, and also what a different, more innocent time it was back in 1960 when this book was first published: these two eight year old girls befriending and receiving help, in a semi-secret way, from the school’s handyman, with no hint of or fear of impropriety.

I felt both melancholy and amused when reading this, and it was really fun to revisit it. I’m so glad I decided to reread it and I’m grateful to the A Thrilling Term At Goodreads… group for reconnecting me with what I consider to be my first school story.

This is certainly a ‘leebossa” book, my favorite of the three “secret language” words.

I just found out from Goodreads friend Constance that the author wrote then burned a sequel. I would have loved to read a sequel to this, if it had been done well. ( )
1 vote Lisa2013 | Apr 10, 2013 |
One of the most influential children's book editors of the twentieth century, Ursula Nordstrom oversaw the publication of such classics as Charlotte's Web and Where the Wild Things Are, but this middle-grade novel, about a young girl and her experiences away at boarding school, is the only work of her own to be published (apparently there was a sequel, but Nordstrom burnt it).

The story of Victoria North, sent to the Coburn Home School when her mother's (rather vague) work situation interferes with her ability to care for her daughter, it follows the unhappy young girl as she reluctantly adjusts to life away from home. Befriended by the rebellious Martha Sherman, who fiercely maintains that this will be her last year at Coburn (a claim she makes each year), Victoria is soon initiated into the "secret language," and involved in adventures large and small with her new boon companion.

Given my love of linguistics and sympathy for the idea of created childhood languages (I had one myself, complete with its own writing system), my interest in the girls' school-story genre, of which this an atypical American example, and my respect for Nordstrom's influential career, I really expected to love The Secret Language, especially as a number of goodreads friends list it as a childhood favorite. Perhaps my reading was sabotaged by such high expectations, but although I found the book moderately engaging, I simply wasn't that impressed. There just wasn't enough here to satisfy, and I found myself wishing that Nordstrom had told us more about the school - Victoria and Martha's classes, their activities - and (especially!) about the secret language. I wanted to learn more than three words! I wonder if Nordstrom herself, as an editor, saw the weaknesses here, and that was why she burned the sequel? ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 3, 2013 |
Eight-year-old Vicky goes to live at a boarding school where she is miserable until she gets to know Martha, a different girl with a secret language.
  211Fern | Mar 4, 2011 |
I first read this book when I was a pre-teen. I loved it! For a child with 3 siblings, nothing sounded more exciting than going away to a boarding school. And being a girl, I was already all in to the "best friend" special relationship. Highly recommended. I gave to my daughter around age 9-10 and she, too, loved it. She is now a grown woman with a copy on her library shelf as well. A treasure. ( )
  margoletta | Feb 11, 2008 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Nordstrom, Ursulaautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Chalmers, MaryIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Wohlberg, MegIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Informação do Conhecimento Comum em inglês. Edite para a localizar na sua língua.
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For Charlotte
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Sooner or later everyone has to go away from home for the first time.
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A similar book is A Year to Grow by Felice Holman.
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At first, Victoria North is miserable at the Coburn Home School. Her housemother is very strict, she' s terribly homesick and the other girls don' t seem to have any time for a shy new girl. Then Vicky meets Martha Sherman, and everything changes. Martha introduces Vicky to pie-beds, midnight feasts and all the other wonderful things about boarding school. She even teaches Vicky a secret language that only the two of them share. Soon, with Martha' s help, Vicky finds herself thinking of Coburn Home School as home.... Written by acclaimed children' s book editor Ursula Nordstrom, this is an enchanting story about two young girls who share a special friendship while away at school.Originally published in 1960, this enchanting story of two young girls who develop a special friendship— and a secret language— while away at school is the only novel ever written by renowned children’ s book editor Ursula Nordstrom. ‘ Nordstrom’ s gentle, acutely observedpicture of the boarding-school world catches the essential fascination of that special community and at the same time, deals with certain problems common to any little girl adjusting to a new school.’ — The New York Times Mary Chalmers is the illustrator of many books for young readers, including the I Can Read Book Marigold and Grandma on the Town by Stephanie Calmenson, and Easter Parade, which she also wrote. She lives with her three cats in Greenbelt, MD

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