Quality literature and poetry from the
1000 Good Books List
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IN ASSOCIATION WITH
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Selected Poems
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Laurence Buell, editor
A nice anthology from Penguin Classics that includes Longfellows famous poems that tell a story: The Courtship of Miles Standish, Evangeline, The Song of Hiawatha, Tales of a Wayside Inn (one of which is Paul Reveres Ride); The Village Blacksmith, and The Wreck of the Hesperus. It also includes such other favorites as The Childrens Hour, The Day is Done, The Psalm of Life, and more. The introduction by Laurence Buell, furthermore, inlcudes a short biography of Longfellows life (he was the most famous American of his time) and a thoughtful discussion of Longfellows poetry.
American Tall Tales
Told by a poet with a poets ear for the impact of words, the tall tales of eight American mavericks--Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, Stormalong, Mike Fink, Davy Crockett, Johnny Appleseed, John Henry, and Joe Magarac--come together in the best treasury of American folklore available today. Three of the eight were famous actual historical figures, who, through the years, have had many tall tales spun about them: Davy Crockett, Mike Fink, and Johnny Appleseed. The other five are fictional folklore heroes associated with the major 19th century American occupations. Pecos Bill represented the cowboys, Paul Bunyan the lumberjacks, John Henry the railroad workers, Captain Alfred Bulltop Stormalong the seamen, and Joe Magarac the steel mill workers. A hardcover edition is also available.
The Book of Three
The Book of Three is the first in a series of five books chronicling the wonderful, wry, humorous, and bittersweet adventures of a certain Assistant Pig-Keeper, Taran of Caer Dallben of the Land of Prydain. Prydain is the old Welsh name for Britain, and Lloyd Alexander drew from Welsh mythology extensively for this series. This chronicle of the Land of Prydain is not a retelling or retranslation of Welsh mythology. Prydain is not Wales--not entirely, at least. The inspiration for it comes from that magnificent land and its legends; but, essentially, Prydain is a country existing only in the imagination. A few of its inhabitants are drawn from the ancient tales. Prince Gwydion, for example, is a real legendary figure. Arawn, the dread Lord of Annuvin, comes from the Mabinogion, the classic collection of Welsh legends, though in Prydain he is considerably more villanous. And there is an authentic mythological basis for Arawns cauldron, Hen Wen the oracular pig, the old enchanter Dallben, and others. However, Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper, like Eilonwy of the red-gold hair, was born in my own Prydain. It is a small land, yet it has room enough for gallantry and humor; and even an Assistant Pig-Keeper there may cherish certain dreams. The chronicle of Prydain is a fantasy. Such things never happen in real life. Or do they? Most of us are called on to perform tasks far beyond what we believe we can do. Our capabilities seldom match our aspirations, and we are often woefully unprepared. To this extent, we are all Assistant Pig-Keepers at heart. --the authors introduction. (Also in hardcover.) Is it possible to love a series more than Narnia or the Lord of the Rings? No? Well then, this little set ranks right up with those giants. The other four books, in order, include: The Black Cauldron (hardcover), The Castle of Llyr (hardcover), Taran Wanderer (hardcover), and The High King (winner of the Newbery Medal - also in hardcover). And heaven forbid the recent comparisons of this wonderful series to Harry Potter--dont believe a word of it!
The Annotated Alice
Lewis Carroll, illustrated by John Tenniel
This single-volume edition of Carrolls masterpieces, Alices Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, contains the complete text of both works, all of the original John Tenniel illustrations, and annotations that highlight the secret meanings, games, references, parodies, and logic in Carrolls childrens classic. Having said that, while Alice should be required reading because of its place in our culture and society, it was our least favorite of all the childrens classics that we have read. Read for yourself and decide for yourself.
The Last of the Mohicans
James Fenimore Cooper
Set during the French and Indian War, this is Coopers classic moving story of two sisters traveling through the wilderness near Lake Champlain trying to join their father, the British commander of Fort William Henry, and the disillusioned young man (who has severed all connections with a society whose values he can no longer accept) who acts as their guide. The climax comes in a tragic encounter between two rival Indians, Magwa and Uncas, the last of the Mohican chiefs. Incidentally, Cooper was the first American literature writer. Living during the colonial period of our countrys history, he had much first-hand knowledge of the events and characterizations that figure in his stories. Other enjoyable Cooper stories include: The Spy and The Deerslayer.
This inspiring and exciting story of a young silversmiths apprentice who ends up hip-deep in the American Revolution is full of edge-of-your-seat action, danger and tragedy. Johnny Tremain is caught up in a dramatic involvement with James Otis, John Hancock, and John and Samuel Adams in the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Lexington. Winner of the prestigious Newbery Award in 1944, this is Esther Forbes at her brilliant best. She has drawn the character of Johnny with such sympathy and insight that he may take his place with Jim Hawkins, Huck Finn and other young immortals. -- Book Week. Also in hardcover.
The Complete Tales of Uncle Remus
Joel Chandler Harris
It has been more than 75 years since the first Uncle Remus book was published, and now for the first time all of the delightful and inimitable tales of Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, Brer Bar, Brer Wolf, and the others which Uncle Remus told to the little boy--and then to the little boys little boy--are gathered together into one volume. All the animal tales from the original eight books are here, along with the illustrations which originally accompanied them. Enjoy favorites such as Tar Baby and Rabbit in the Briar Patch along with his lesser-known but equally delightful and entertaining tales, told with wit and wisdom.
The Complete Tales of Washington Irving
Washington Irving, edited by Charles Neider
This short-story collection by Washington Irving not only contains many of his well-known tales from The Sketch Book (which made him internationally famous and allowed him to pursue a career as an author) which include The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Rip van Winkle, and The Devil and Tom Walker, but also lovely selections from The Alhambra, including Legend of the Moors Legacy,, Legend of the Three Beautiful Princesses, and Governer Manco and the Soldier; and more selections from Tales of a Traveler, The Knickerbocker History of New York, The Conquest of Spain, and more -- all of his best tales and short stories from his collected works. Not only was Washington Irving a rare master of the short story, he also wrote critically acclaimed biographies of Christopher Columbus and George Washington.
Where the Red Fern Grows
Author Wilson Rawls spent his boyhood much like the character of this book, Billy Colman, roaming the Ozarks of northeastern Oklahoma with his bluetick hound. A straightforward, shoot-from-the-hip storyteller with a searingly honest voice, Rawls is well-loved for this powerful 1961 classic and the award-winning novel Summer of the Monkeys. In Where the Red Fern Grows, Billy and his precious coonhound pups romp relentlessly through the Ozarks, trying to tree the elusive raccoon. In time, the inseparable trio wins the coveted gold cup in the annual coon-hunt contest, captures the wily ghost coon, and bravely fights with a mountain lion. Then their victory turns to tragedy ... An unforgettable classic that belongs on every childs bookshelf. A hardcover edition is also available.
The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Elizabeth George Speare
Set during the puritan era in the Connecticut colony, an orphaned Kit comes to live with her aunt and uncle. Kits independent ways make it difficult for her to fit in, but she befriends Nathaniel and Widow Tupper, an old woman who lives alone at the edge of Blackbird Pond who is shunned by the rest of the community because she is believed to be a witch. As Kits friendship with the old woman grows, so does the townspeoples suspicions. Not only is Kit accused of being a witch, but the townspeople set out to bring in the Widow Tupper as well .... This book, as all of Elizabeth George Speares books, is a real page-turner that brings the puritan era to life for young readers. Winner of the Newbery Medal. A hardcover edition is also available. Other excellent Elizabeth George Speare novels include The Sign of the Beaver (set during colonial days), The Calico Captive (set during the French and Indian War), and The Bronze Bow, another Newbery Medal winner set in Palestine during the first century A.D.
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The life of a boy during 1830s America along the mighty Mississippi River is told with humor and insight in Mark Twains most beloved novel. Tom gets into all sorts of hilarious mischief, but underneath it all the nobility of his heart refuses to take the cowards way out in the end. This is also a strong story of the value of home and family. A hardcover edition is also available. Other Mark Twain stories that we have enjoyed include The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court, and The Prince and the Pauper.
Swiss Family Robinson
The Robinsons are a family who have been shipwrecked on a wild and beautiful but deserted tropical island. They must remain strong in their faith, trusting God to protect them as they encounter all kinds of adventures and struggles even just to survive. The Robinsons encounter an incredibly rich and varied landscape, full of marvelous animals and useful plants, all begging to be explored and put to use. After many challenges, they build a wonderful house in a tree, and manage so well away from the world that they never want to be rescued. This fascinating tale is one of the most exciting survival stories ever written.
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