Synopses & Reviews
Step right up! Meet the astounding . . . the amazing . . . P. T. Barnum!
The award-winning author of The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary, Amelia Lost, and Our Eleanor brings us the larger-than-life biography of showman P. T. Barnum. Known far and wide for his jumbo elephants, midgets, and three-ring circuses, here’ s a complete and captivating look at the man behind the Greatest Show on Earth. Readers can visit Barnum’s American Museum; meet Tom Thumb, the miniature man (only 39 inches tall) and his tinier bride (32 inches); experience the thrill Barnum must have felt when, at age 60, he joined the circus; and discover Barnum’s legacy to the 19th century and beyond. Drawing on old circus posters, photographs, etchings, ticket stubs—and with incredible decorative art by Ray Fenwick—this book presents history as it’s never been experienced before—a show-stopping event!
"The life of showman Phineas Taylor Barnum gets show-stopping treatment in Fleming's (The Lincolns) latest biographical work. Presented as clever, resilient and ever-consumed with making a buck, the Barnum of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is brought to life in anecdotes over 11 chapters. Nicknamed 'Tale' as a boy, he 'hated farmwork' ('I was always ready to concoct fun, or lay plans for money-making, but hand-work was decidedly not in my line'). His personal struggles with alcohol and a less-than-happy marriage are detailed alongside his many public successes (and hoaxes). A tour of his famed American Museum and an account of a day at the circus (complete with descriptions of the human curiosities Barnum employed) set readers in the middle of the singular late 19th-century entertainment scene. As in a real circus, the large-format pages include plenty to grab readers' attention: white-on-black sidebars that put the entrepreneur's feats in context ('African Americans were barred from entering Barnum's American Museum except on certain days'), b&w photos and advertising posters. Audiences will step right up to this illuminating and thorough portrait of an entertainment legend. Ages 8 12. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
a JLG selection "Along with extensive details of Austenand#8217;s family. . .Reef deftly sets the biographical facts onto a larger cultural and historical canvas that will give readers a much deeper understanding of Austenand#8217;s novels, and well-chosen images, from period paintings and photos to contemporary film stills, add even more context."and#8212;Booklist, starred review "Perhaps this work will lead readers to Jane Austen and imaginatively apply the facts of the author's life to the novelsand#8212;or vice-versa."and#8212;Kirkus Reviews
Jane Austen novels have experienced a resurgence of popularity in the past half century, particularly among young people. She has hoards of devoted fans, and it seems that every year there is a new adaptation of her work, life, and characters. In this highly readable book, Catherine Reef explores the mystery that is Jane Austen, beginning by tantalizing readers with passages from Austen's last, unfinished novel. She sets the stage for Jane's own story with rich details of early 19th-century society life in England, and reveals particulars about Jane's close-knit family, her experiences, and personality. She provides speculation on Austen's own romantic foibles and lost true loves. Throughout Reef includes commentary of Austen's six published novels. At last young readers have a biography on one of their most beloved writers!
Jane Austenand#8217;s popularity never seems to fade. She has hordes of devoted fans, and there have been numerous adaptations of her life and work. But who was Jane Austen? The writer herself has long remained a mystery. And despite the resonance her work continues to have for teens, there has never been a young adult trade biography on Austen.and#160;
Catherine Reef changes that with this highly readable account. She takes an intimate peek at Austenand#8217;s life and innermost feelings, interweaving her narrative with well-crafted digests of each of Austenand#8217;s published novels. The end result is a book that is almost as much fun to read as Janeand#8217;s own workand#8212;and truly a life revealed. Includes bibliography and index.
Catherine Reef takes an intimate peek at Austenand#8217;s life and innermost feelings, interweaving her narrative with well-crafted digests of each of Austenand#8217;s published novels. The end result is a book that is almost as much fun to read as Janeand#8217;s own workand#8212;and truly a life revealed. Includes bibliography and index.
About the Author
Ernest Hemingway: A Writer's Life
•A Golden Kite Honor Book
"[A] perceptive, captivating biography of one of the 20th centurys most influential writers. . . . Teens jaded by too much classroom analysis . . . will come away from Reefs thorough, skillfully constructed biography with fresh interest in and appreciation for this American legend."--Booklist, starred review
E.E. Cummings: A Poet's Life
• Best Book for Young Adults
• A JLG Premier Selection
"An engaging and informative chronicle of the life of this talented and unconventional artist. . . . A high-quality effort. --School Library Journal, starred review
"A clear, engaging portrait of a poet whose refusal to write and live according to convention will endear him to teens." Booklist, starred review
Sigmund Freud: Pioneer of the Mind
•Sydney Taylor Award
"[A] piercing biography. . . .Reef distills Freud's theories into comprehensible descriptions and combines a wealth of primary source material and idiosyncratic details to demonstrate his intellect, character and personality." --Publishers Weekly, starred review " With admirable clarity, [Catherine Reef] presents both [Freud's] seminal ideas and the objections, refinements, and alternatives to them that are still debated." --Horn Book, starred review
"An absorbing, honest, and highly informative portrait." --School Library Journal, starred review
"This thoughtful story, supplemented by more than 70 black-and-white photos, is as nonjudgmental and upbeat as Steinbeck himself strove to be, and an excellent introductory work." --Publishers Weekly, starred review
"[A] captivating portrait of the restless, versatile Steinbeck." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review