Synopses & Reviews
"Mark Twain was born fully grown, with a cheap cigar clamped between his teeth." So begins Sid Fleischman's ramble-scramble biography of the great American author and wit, who started life in a Missouri village as a barefoot boy named Samuel Clemens.
Abandoning a career as a young steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River, Sam took a bumpy stagecoach to the Far West. In the gold and silver fields, he expected to get rich quick. Instead, he got poor fast, digging in the wrong places. His stint as a sagebrush newspaperman led to a duel with pistols. Had he not survived, the world would never have heard of Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn—or red-headed Mark Twain.
Samuel Clemens adopted his pen name in a hotel room in San Francisco and promptly made a jumping frog (and himself) famous. His celebrated novels followed at a leisurely pace; his quips at jet speed. "Don't let schooling interfere with your education," he wrote.
Here, in high style, is the story of a wisecracking adventurer who came of age in the untamed West; an ink-stained rebel who surprised himself by becoming the most famous American of his time. Bountifully illustrated.
“Highly enjoyable . . . No worthier Twain bio will cross a childs path than this feisty tale.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“The illustrations and photographs are rich and varied, and the back matter is a work of art in itself.” School Library Journal (starred review)
“With a Twainian lilt to the prose, the book mingles deftly shaped research with snippets from Twains writings.” Booklist (starred review)
“This biography of the writer who ‘changed literature forever sets a standard few can meet: it is top-notch entertainment.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“The troubleentertaining trouble indeedbegins on page one as Fleischman brings our national comedic treasure to life.” The Horn Book
“What truly sets this biography in a class by itself…is how enthusiastically Fleischman assumes Twains tone.” Bulletin of the Center for Children & #8217;s Books
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