Dickens: His Work And His World

What the Dickens is all the fuss? Take a lively look at an author whose indelible characters live on in our language and culture — and whose legacy shapes our literature to this day. Join award-winning author, critic, and anthologist Michael Rosen for a spirited tour of the life and work of one of our greatest novelists. With stunning illustrations by Robert Ingpen, this accessible, child-friendly book vividly re-creates the world of Charles Dickens, from the author’s childhood in London to his early career, his performances, and, of course, the great social and political upheavals of the time, which inspired so much of his work. Michael Rosen’s vibrant discussion covers some of the best-known novels by Dickens, describing OLIVER TWIST, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, and DAVID COPPERFIELD, and providing a fascinating detailed analysis of GREAT EXPECTATIONS.

Charles Dickens

The extraordinary life and genius of Charles Dickens is brought alive for primary-age children by the author-illustrator team behind the bestselling What Mr Darwin Saw.Published to celebrate the bi-centenary of Dickens’ birth, this picture book vividly dramatises his life, beginning with his birth in Portsmouth and early childhood near the docks in Chatham, and follows the young Charles through the hardship of working in a blacking factory at the age of 10 to his years at school and his early career as a reporter. Key incidents that inspired the later novels are described, and his marriage, family life, dramatic readings and tours of the USA are included. What emerges is touching portrait of a writer with amazing observational skills, a social conscience and a strong sense of drama.Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom specialise in fun, lively non-fiction picture books. They share the illustrations between them and mix up words and pictures in inventive and delightful ways. They have won many awards, including the Smarties Silver Award and the English Association Award. As well as What Mr Darwin Saw, their recent successes include Tail-End Charlie and Taff in the WAAF.

Jane Austen

Jane Austen’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. Catherine Reef changes that with this highly readable account. She takes an intimate peek at Austen’s life and innermost feelings, interweaving her narrative with well-crafted digests of each of Austen’s published novels. The end result is a book that is almost as much fun to read as Jane’s own work—and truly a life revealed. Includes bibliography and index.

A Boy Called Dickens

For years Dickens kept the story of his own childhood a secret. Yet it is a story worth telling. For it helps us remember how much we all might lose when a child’s dreams don’t come true. As a child, Dickens was forced to live on his own and work long hours in a rat-infested blacking factory. Readers will be drawn into the winding streets of London, where they will learn how Dickens got the inspiration for many of his characters. This tale of his little-known boyhood is the perfect way to introduce kids to the great author.

J. R. R. Tolkien

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s novels were strongly influenced by his childhood both in South Africa, where lions prowled and wild beasts roamed, and in the English countryside, where he imagined that elves and gnomes dwelled. J. R. R. Tolkien wrote many stories, studied languages–even inventing one of his own–and founght bravely in World War I. He wrote The Hobbit, a children’s book about a courageous creature with pointed ears and furry feet, which was an instant success. His next book, The Lord of the Rings, made Tolkien, an ordinary man with an extraordinary imagination, one of the world’s most beloved authors.

A Gift from Childhood: Memories of an African Boyhood

Baba Wagué is only four years old when he is sent to the tiny Malian village of Kassaro to be raised by his paternal grandparents, according to the family tradition. He is most unhappy about this at first, but under his grandmother’s patient and wise tutelage he comes to love his close-knit village community. He learns how to catch a catfish with his bare hands, flees from an army of bees, and mistakes a hungry albino cobra snake for a pink inner tube. Finally, Grandma Sabou decides that Baba is educated enough to go to school, and he moves back to the city, where his family struggles to provide him with a formal education. But he brings his village stories with him, and in the process of sharing them with his neighborhood uncovers his immense artistic and storytelling talents.

Cassandra’s Sister

Young Jane — or Jenny, as she is called — is a girl with a head full of questions. Surrounded by her busy parents and brothers, Jenny finds a place for her thoughts in the companionship of her older sister, Cassandra. Theirs is a country life full of balls and visits, at which conversation inevitably centers on one topic: marriage. But the arrival of their worldly-wise cousin Eliza disrupts Jenny’s world, bringing answers to some of her questions and providing a gem of an idea.

The Two Loves of Will Shakespeare

Young William Shakespeare should be taking his glove-making apprenticeship much more seriously. However, carousing with his friends, carrying on with women, and sneaking off to see plays are all higher priorities for him. All this changes when Will’s best friend, Richard, asks him to write and deliver sonnets to a young woman, pretending the love poems are from Richard. Once Will lays eyes on the exquisitely beautiful Anne Whateley, he is deeply in love. He wants more than anything to make himself into a man worthy of such a young woman. But entanglements with a certain Anne Hathaway, the discovery of an old prank, and his distracted nature all complicate matters for the future Bard of Avon. In this highly entertaining historical novel Laurie Lawlor imagines how there came to be two different marriage license applications taken out on consecutive dates in November of 1582 between eighteen-year-old William Shakespeare and two different women both named Anne.