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Children's Fiction Mysteries & Detective Stories

The Green Man

by (author) Michael Bedard

Initial publish date
Nov 2014
Mysteries & Detective Stories, Fantasy & Magic, Girls & Women
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2012
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2014
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 10 to 18
  • Grade: 5 to 12


When Ophelia's father heads off to Italy for the summer to finish work on his book on the poet Ezra Pound, O - as she prefers to be called - is sent by train to stay with her Aunt Emily, who runs a secondhand bookshop back east called The Green Man. Emily has recently suffered a heart attack. Part of the reason O is sent to stay with her is to see if she can help out with the shop.
Part mystery, part fantasy, this compelling and beautifully written novel slips between the real world, and that of the creative imagination. Cloaked in the simple story of a young woman taking over a bookstore from her aged aunt, The Green Man is an eerie story about finding voice and courage, and about suspending disbelief!

About the author

Michael Bedard is a multi-award-winning author of middle-grade and young-adult novels that blend his love of literature with a flair for the ominous. His novels include A Darker Magic, The Green Man, and Redwork, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award and the CLA Book of the Year Award for Children. Michael was born and raised in Toronto, where he still lives.


Michael Bedard's profile page

Editorial Reviews

PRAISE FOR The Green Man:

"Mystery, fantasy, romance, horror, and poetry come together in this classic outsider story with sometimes shocking twists and turns that reveal heartfelt connections.... [T]he action is fast, and the simple prose is pitch-perfect...." - Booklist

"...This atmospheric exploration of what it means to be a poet offers memorable corporal and incorporeal characters, a realistic intergenerational relationship and a deeply rooted mystery connecting past and present. Ideal for those with a penchant for magic, mystery and poetry." - Kirkus Reviews

"Bedard writes with grace and wit, but also with deceptive ease...." - School Library Journal

"...[An] imaginative, gracefully written [story]...." - The Horn Book

"...Bedard takes full advantage of the genre's atmospheric creepiness and sepia-toned timelessness...." - Starred Review, Quill & Quire

"Mr. Bedard masterfully interlaces the real with the supernatural in these passages, evoking a sense of myriad magical possibilities." - New York Journal of Books

Librarian Reviews

The Green Man

With his latest novel, writer Michael Bedard mines rich and familiar territory (the town of Caledon), familiar characters (the Endicott family) and familiar concerns (the forces of life and creativity and the nature of evil) — all of which he explored in his previous books, A Darker Magic and Painted Devil. But, in doing so, the Governor-General’s Award-winning author reminds us that no territory is really familiar — that our real world and mysterious worlds are interwoven.

When 15-year-old Ophelia (who prefers to be called O) heads east for the summer to help her Aunt Emily run her used bookstore, The Green Man, she knows that her aunt, a poet, is somewhat eccentric. Through the layered perspectives of O and Emily, we learn that Emily is haunted by the legacy of a recurring magic show presided over by a malevolent magician, Mephisto. Emily grows increasingly anxious as the anniversary of the show approaches. O finds herself drawn to a young poet who appears in the aisles of the bookstore. As she, too, is caught up in the mystery, the cluttered bookstore gives way to lush green ravines and rooms of flickering fire, magic and danger.

You don’t need to have read A Darker Magic or Painted Devil to enjoy The Green Man. Bedard’s latest novel of illusion and allusion offers rich rewards to the alert, patient reader — and an alternative to much current YA fare. It will appeal to teens and adult readers who enjoy mythology and literature and who will appreciate references to Rimbaud, Mallarmé and the healing Green Man. It will also appeal to writers who will savour Bedard’s language and cheer O’s growth as a poet, as she takes her own place in a community of creators.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2012. Volume 35 No. 2.

The Green Man

Fifteen-year-old O, not Ophelia, agrees to spend the summer with her Aunt Emily, an eccentric poet and owner of a secondhand bookshop. While O attempts to bring order to the shop, she begins to write poetry herself, uncovers mysteries she cannot sweep away and falls under the spell of a strange boy. Will O be able to discover the truth behind the dark forces from Emily’s past that threaten to awaken once more?

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Spring, 2012.

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