Summary and book reviews of I, Coriander by Sally Gardner

I, Coriander

by Sally Gardner

I, Coriander
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2005, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2007, 288 pages

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About this Book

Book Summary

Seamlessly meshing fact and fantasy, the author composes a suspenseful masterpiece that will have audience members gladly suspending their disbelief. Ages 10-up.

Coriander Hobie, born in 1643, has a remarkable tale to tell -- the tale of a childhood touched by unexplained bits of wonder, but too soon marked by tragedy. After her beloved mother dies and her father is forced to flee London, Coriander is left at the mercy of a stepmother full of cruelty. In the very nick of time, Coriander finds that she has somehow managed to transport herself to a land of fairies, and there she discovers what she has always suspected: that her mother was from a more magical world than grimy old London. And that she herself has inherited some of her mother's mysterious abilities - abilities that she now has a desperate need to master.

Be prepared to be swept away by atmospheric writing that casts a lasting spell. Sally Gardner's prose is exquisitely beautiful and her story and characters enthralling. She has written a rare and glorious book.

A Tale to Tell

It is night, and our old house by the river is finally quiet. The baby has stopped its crying and been soothed back to sleep. Only the gentle lapping of the River Thames can be heard outside my window. London is wrapped in a deep sleep, waiting for the watchman to call in the new day.


I have lit the first of seven candles to write my story by. On the table next to me is the silk purse that holds my mother's pearls and beside it is the ebony box whose treasure I am only now beginning to understand. Next to that, shining nearly as bright as the moon, stands a pair of silver shoes.

I have a great many things to tell, of how I came by the silver shoes and more. And this being my story and a fairy tale besides, I will start once upon a time . . . .

My name is Coriander Hobie. I am the only child of Thomas and Eleanor Hobie, being born in this house in the year of Our Lord 1643. It is just a stone's throw from London Bridge, ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

December 2005 was a very special month for Sally Gardner - the month I, Corinder, her first book for older children, won the Nestle Children's Book Prize in the 9-11 years category. Not bad for a woman who was written off as "unteachable" and sent to a school for maladjusted children because she was so profoundly dyslexic.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Full Review Members Only (243 words).

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Seamlessly meshing fact and fantasy, the author composes a suspenseful masterpiece that will have audience members gladly suspending their disbelief. Ages 10-up.

Kirkus Reviews

Deft and dulcet language, a cast of supporters not the least of whom is Coriander's loving stepsister Hester, and the tie to a grim historical season will hold readers fast.

Sunday Times - Amanda Craig

This is a classic new novel by an author who has written a rich fairytale for our times.

Reader Reviews

MOLLY

wonderful
Beautiful writing and a gripping tale; I didn't want it to end.

Holly

Made me cry
This is one of the best books I have ever read. I picked this up at the book fair with little knowing how Sally Gardner would take us through the life of a girl with a heart wrenching story. This book is expertly written; and I think this book should...   Read More

Abinaya

Awesome!!
I believe this is a very good book because I find the way they embed fantasy, history, magic, romance and mystery altogether fascinating. Especially, it has been ages since I have read a book set in the 1600's. An interesting MUST READ book! a ...   Read More

sumaya

i coriander
I Coriander was very good story because it tell about how Coriander's life was after her mum had died, and a new world that she found out her mum was from. It also tells that her dad had to run away because he help prisoner escape and she is left ...   Read More

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Sally Gardner is an inspiration to all those children struggling with dyslexia. She is so severely dyslexic that it wasn't until she was 14 that she was able to read her first book. She says she can't explain how she finally learned to read but 'at 14 something clicked and I could read. I read the whole of Wuthering Heights. Every time before I tried to read there would be the awful finger-following-every-word, speaking each one out loud. But you're not reading, you're on that awful tram track and you haven't gone into the story.' She was labeled unteachable and sent to a school for maladjusted children. Despite this, she gained a degree with highest honors at a leading London art college, followed by a scholarship to a ...

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