Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 1 decade ago

Were does Afternoon with Elves by Janet Taylor Lisle take place?

please help ...book review due tommorow.Im looking for like were does it takes place like in the book like What country .What state.IF YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE SETTING PLEASE ANSWER THIS.Please.Preaty Please :)

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    "Facts can be understood differently, they can add up to different answers depending on how they are viewed." This powerful realization for the character Hillary in Janet Taylor Lisle's Newbery Honor-winning novel Afternoon of the Elves (1989) encapsulates the theme of every one of Lisle's children's novels—thirteen to date. In Hillary's case, the subject of interpretation is her friend, Sara-Kate. Depending on how you look at her, Sara-Kate is either a severely neglected child living in poverty with her mentally ill mother, or, as Hillary prefers to believe, a magical, resourceful elf. Or could both possibilities be correct? As Hillary comes to understand, "perhaps being hungry and cold and angry and alone didn't mean you couldn't still be an elf. In fact, maybe those were exactly "

    Having grown up in Connecticut, the oldest of five children and the only girl, Lisle vividly recalls an incident from her own childhood in which reinterpreting the "facts" changed her self-perception. In sixth grade, she had a difficult time adjusting to a new school and her grades plummeted. She became mired in fear and frustration, taunted by math problems with solutions that grew farther out of reach the harder she tried to grasp them, until a compliment from a teacher rescued her. The teacher praised her abilities on the soccer field and with that single, calculated comment, as Lisle explains in an essay for the Something about the Author Autobiography Series, gave her "an identity": "I was 'good in sports,' so I didn't mind asking the teacher to explain the mixture problem on the board again." She remained a dedicated athlete, branching out from soccer to field hockey, lacrosse, and basketball during her high school years at a Connecticut boarding school.

    A year spent in Atlanta working for VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), following her graduation from Smith College in 1969, motivated Lisle to pursue a career in journalism. Being a newspaper reporter, she figured, was the best way to let people know about the devastating poverty she had witnessed. Over time, she found that she enjoyed writing the more "loose-limbed" human interest stories rather than straight news. She explains in Something about the Author that she "looked out for stories covering the 'nonevent.' For instance, if the church fair was cancelled because of rain, I interviewed the workers packing up to go home, and wrote about the rivalries and the unexpected friendships that spring up behind the scenes of such events." This strategy may have frustrated her editors but undoubtedly paved the way for the attentively observed, multifaceted characters in her novels to come.

    With her husband and young daughter, Lisle moved to New Jersey in 1981 and took a writing workshop that sparked a fortuitous connection. Her instructor offered to introduce her to a children's book editor, who turned out to be the now-preeminent Richard Jackson. Jackson accepted Lisle's first book, The Dancing Cats of Applesap, in 1983, and has worked with her ever since. Jackson says, "Janet Taylor Lisle is drawn to the mystery of things, to the ambiguity of life that books for children often gloss over or pussy-foot around. She's a keen observer of surfaces, a 'social writer' in that sense; but her interest is in what's hidden. As well as why."

    The story of a shy girl and a down-and-out, cat-infested drugstore with a secret attraction that might just save it from going under, The Dancing Cats (1984) inaugurated Lisle's preoccupation with magic lurking in unlikely places—although the definition of unlikely depends on one's perspective. The grown-ups in Afternoon of the Elves, for instance, and even Hillary herself at first, look at Sara-Kate's backyard and see a repellent mess:

    Where there weren't thistles and weeds, there was mud, and in the mud, broken glass and wire and pieces of rope. There were old black tires and rusty parts of car engines and a washing machine turned over on its side. Carpets of poison ivy grew under the trees and among the bushes.

    Is this really a suitable place for the exquisite miniature houses, made from leaves and twigs, that Sara-Kate insists were built by elves? Yes, Hillary eventually decides, because magic needs a little wildness and disarray to help it along. Sara-Kate's backyard opens itself up to a kind of enchantment that could never find space to grow in Hillary's family's carefully maintained lawn and flower beds....

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  • hilel
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Afternoon Of The Elves

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