The Owl Service

Written by Alan Garner

Fantasy / Magical Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers Recommended Children's eBooks

LoveReading View on The Owl Service

Chosen as a favourite by Philip Pullman: "[this book] showed how children's literature could sound dark and troubling chords." 

Carnegie Medal winner, 1967. An all-time classic, combining mystery, adventure, history and a complex set of human relationships. The author is wonderfully adept at interweaving mythical legend with the present day world and the haunting descriptions of time and place coupled with characters that hang long in your mind will have you glued to the pages until the end.

The Owl Service Synopsis

Winner of both the Guardian Award and the Carnegie Medal.  It all begins with the scratching in the ceiling. From the moment Alison discovers the dinner service in the attic, with its curious pattern of floral owls, a chain of events is set in progress that is to effect everybody's lives. Relentlessly, Alison, her step-brother Roger and Welsh boy Gwyn are drawn into the replay of a tragic Welsh legend - a modern drama played out against a background of ancient jealousies. As the tension mounts, it becomes apparent that only by accepting and facing the situation can it be resolved.

The Owl Service Press Reviews

...A rare imaginative feat and the taste that it leaves is haunting. The Observer

One of the first and best [novels] for and about teenagers it remains one of the most original and gripping ghost stories... timeless. Amanda Craig, The Times

Alan Garner's The Owl Service is not meant only for children or anyone else it's a novel and not many better novels will be published this year...The power grows, throbs nearer, builds to unbearable tension, and comes to wild release in the last few pages. The Guardian

A fascinating book... The Owl Service is a fabulous, multi-layered book of mystery and suspense. The Book Bag

This book is a superb piece of architecture in which every detail plays its proper part. Growing Point

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780008238025
Publication date: 04/05/2017
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9780007127894
Publication date: 02/04/2007
Publisher: Harpercollins Publishers
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780008238025
Publication date: 4th May 2017
Author: Alan Garner
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 224 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Fantasy / Magical
Recommendations: eBooks

About Alan Garner

Alan Garner, the son of Colin and Marjorie Garner, was born ("with the cord wrapped twice round my throat") in his grandmother's front room in Congleton, Cheshire on 17th October 1934, and grew up in Alderley Edge, where his father's family have lived for more than three hundred years, being craftsmen in the area. He completed two years' national service in the Royal Artillery as a Second Lieutenant. He began writing his first novel, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, at the age of twenty-two.

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