This is a book report I did for my sister!
- Author: E. B. White
- Reading level: Ages 8 and up
- Paperback: 252 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins; Special edition (October 2, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0064410943
- ISBN-13: 978-0064410946
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
Think of your most vital sense (sight, hearing, talking, taste and touch), imagine it gone, what would you do? The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White is a book that you’d definitely read. This is a story with lots of good moral values, inspiring and the noblest of adventure and desire that would surely uplift one’s spirit.
The Trumpet of the Swan is a story about Louis, a Trumpeter Swan and his adventure to find his own voice and pursue his dreams. He was born without a voice, unable to make the honking cry that marks his species. He ventured on to overcome his defect by learning to play a trumpet, and try to impress a beautiful swan named Serena.
In Canada, on the first day of spring, the cob (adult male swan) and the pen (adult female swan), members of sub-species Trumpeter Swanbuilt their nest on a small island in a pond. Sam Beaver, an 11-year-old boy on a camping trip, observed and saved the female from being attacked by a fox. When the eggs hatched, all of the cygnets(baby swans), chirped at Sam in greeting, except for the youngest, who can make no sound and pulled his shoelace instead, the youngest who was named, Louis.
At the end of summer, the swan family migrated to Red Rock Lakes in Montana. Louis decided he should learn to read and write in order to communicate, so Sam took Louis to school and bought him a slate and chalk to write. This was a help, but when he greet his family using it, they didn’t understand because they didn’t know how to read. Most of all, it did not aid Louis in winning the heart of the beautiful swan he had fallen in love. He had written the words “I love you” in the slate, and Serena just stared at it and swam away. He was the best swimmer and the handsomest among the swans, but without a voice to profess his love, Serena didn’t notice him at all.
In a dramatic scene of broken glass and a fainting salesgirl, Louis's father did a difficult thing - he put honor aside and stole a trumpet so his son would be able to woo his love. Louis feels guilty about his father's theft, but accepts the instrument. Serena has migrated north, so Louis returns to Sam's ranch. Sam suggests that Louis get a job so he can pay the store for the trumpet and the damaged window. Louis's determination to become a trumpeter to get the attention of his one true love and pay off his father's debt takes him far from the wilderness he loves. And a series of adventure and music wound its way into Louis’ life.
Although I can’t tell you how the story ends, I’ll give you the descriptions of the characters. Louis’ father was the running gag in the story, with his tremendous and flowery speeches; he captured the reader’s attention. The speeches were poetic and often carried a sense of humor and behind the words, lay a deep meaning of life’s reality. He was full of himself, and forever will be proud of his family, especially Louis. He loves to hear praises from his wife and children, and is a loving father. And of course his wife, who is the sensible of the two, that keeps reminding his husband of the mistakes of his words. She was a depiction of a good-natured mother, always protecting for her children and caring for her husband. Meanwhile, Serena was the beautiful, sophisticated swan Louis had fallen in love.
Sam, the only human to whom the story revolves, is always at bay, always helping Louis in his obstacles. He had desires and fondness towards animals and carried with him a diary that he likes to write at night. As the story progresses, we were also aware of Sam’s growth from an eleven-year-old boy into a full-grown man.
My favorite character is Louis. He had always been the gentleman with wild dreams and the courage to prove himself worthy of respect from the other trumpeter swans, inspite of his disability. He had continued to be kind and hopeful and still believe in his dreams, that there’s nothing so big, a swan cannot do. He is smart, loving, family-centered and cared for dignity and guilt and he is thankful for whatever that happens to him.
It is unusual to have a trumpet-playing swan in a story. But the way E. B. White writes about how the swans think is excellent. Louis’s thoughts and his emotions are both like that of a true person. There are many vivid descriptions in the book that make you reluctant to put the book down. Also, how E. B. White made the swans think and talk is amazing.
The largest swans on Earth, with a wingspan reaching eight feet, all white but its beak and feet, so graceful, so strong, so scorning of human attention, the trumpeters occupy a universe that brushes only briefly against our own. E.B. White's wonderful story of Louis's struggle to express the music in his heart is a tribute to courage, to freedom, to love - and to swans everywhere.
Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love and his dreams? Could it be the one to bring his father’s honor back and win the acceptance of his fellow trumpeters? If you love animals, especially birds and wants something to inspire you on your journey, struggle or pursuit, then you should read The Trumpet of the Swan and find out for yourself.