Joan Aiken

Joan Aiken

סופרת


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In Aiken's sequel to Jane Austen's complex and fascinating novel, after heroine Fanny Price marries Edmund Bertram, they depart for the Caribbean, and Fanny's younger sister Susan moves to Mansfield Park as Lady Bertram's new companion. Surrounded by the familiar cast of characters from Jane Austen's original, and joined by a few charming new characters introduced by the author, Susan finds herself entangled in romance, surprise, scandal, and redemption.

Aiken's diverting tale gives the reader interesting speculation on how the Crawfords, whose winning personalities were marred by an amoral upbringing, might have turned out, and Jane Austen's morality tale takes new directions with an unexpected and somewhat controversial ending.

"A lovely read-and you don't have to have read Mansfield Park to enjoy it."-Woman's Own

"Her sense of time and place is impeccable."-Publishers Weekly

"An excellent sequel...remarkably effective and very funny."
-Evening Standard (20080711)...

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In the small town of Pennygaff, where Owen has been sent to live after his mother’s death, a legendary golden harp has been found. Knowing of the prophesy of the Harp of Teirtu, Owen must prevent the magic harp from falling into the evil clutches of its reputed owner, the sinister and diabolical Lord Mayln. But it won’t be easy. Owen and his friend Arabis are plunged into a hair-raising adventure of intrigue, kidnapping, exotic underground worlds, savage beasts...even murder. For only too late will Owen learn that Lord Mayln will stop at nothing to have the golden harp....

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A Young Woman Longing for Adventure and an Artistic Life...

Because she's an illegitimate child, Eliza is raised in the rural backwater with very little supervision. An intelligent, creative, and free-spirited heroine, unfettered by the strictures of her time, she makes friends with poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge, finds her way to London, and eventually travels the world, all the while seeking to solve the mystery of her parentage. With fierce determination and irrepressible spirits, Eliza carves out a life full of adventure and artistic endeavor.

PRAISE FOR JOAN AIKEN

"Others may try, but nobody comes close to Aiken in writing sequels to Jane Austen."
PublishersWeekly

"Aiken's story is rich with humor, and her language is compelling. Readers captivated with Elinor and Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility will thoroughly enjoy Aiken's crystal gazing, but so will those unacquainted with Austen."
Booklist

"...innovative storyteller Aiken again pays tribute to Jane Austen in a cheerful spinoff of Sense and Sensibility."
Kirkus Reviews

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Young Arabel's life is changed forever when her father, a taxi driver, brings home an injured bird he finds in the street. This wacky raven eats everything in sight, answers the telephone by squawking 'Nevermore!' and causes chaos wherever he goes--but Arabel loves her new feathered friend, whom she names Mortimer. This is the first volume of Arabel and Mortimer's adventures....

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"In a singularly important publishing even, the first complete collection of Aiken’s 24 beloved Armitage cycle of stories appears here for the first time. The family who dwells in and out of magical worlds transcends fantasy and enters the world of classic, entrancing literature. Belongs on every child’s bookshelf. For all ages."
Smithsonian Magazine Notable Books for Children 2008

"For sheer charm it’s hard to beat these wonderful, dead-pan comic tales about one family’s adventures—nearly always on a Monday—with ghosts, witches, time travel, the Furies and every sort of magic."
—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World

"Buy it to read to your kids, and you’ll find yourself sneaking tastes on the sly; a little Aiken is a fine thing to have in your system at any age."
Salon.com

"Joan Aiken’s invention seemed inexhaustible, her high spirits a blessing, her sheer storytelling zest a phenomenon. She was a literary treasure, and her books will continue to delight for many years to come."
—Philip Pullman

“The best kind of writer, strange and spooky and surprising, never sentimental or whimsical.”
—Kelly Link

"Gathered under one cover from several Aiken collections, the magical, eccentric and very British Armitage family reappears in a collection of 24 stories, four never before published. The Armitages’ wacky magic (usually a Monday occurrence) and that of their fantastical town, a place filled with witches and magical beings, rises from the pages when matters go slightly awry, in the manner of Edward Eager and E. Nesbit."
Kirkus Reviews

"The Armitage family stories are stories of a seemingly ordinary British family to whom magical things seemed to happen regularly. Collected here for the first time are all of Joan Aiken's twenty-four Armitage family stories, four of which have never been published before. These are short stories for children which, with their mix of magic, myth, and humor, appeal broadly to adults as well."
—About.com, Holiday Gift Books 2008

"Readers of all ages have the opportunity to enjoy some of the best writing by one of the most superb and timeless fantasy writers."
Green Man Review

"The Armitage’s world grows richer as it is extended. This is a collection of stories which allow—in fact demand—the reader joins in with their own imagination and remakes the story inside their own head. Aiken’s pragmatism shows through in her stories. Instead of remaining in or reflecting upon the past like some of her contemporaries, they show an author making the best of the world and coming out ahead with humor and imagination.”
January Magazine

"Each of the tales brims with old-fashioned adventure and charm. An excellent way to show Harry Potter fans that magic can come in small doses too."
Author Magazine

This is the first complete collection of Joan Aiken’s beloved Armitage stories—and it includes four new, unpublished stories. After Mrs. Armitage makes a wish, the Armitage family has “interesting and unusual” experiences every Monday (and the occasional Tuesday). The Board of Incantation tries to take over their house to use as a school for young wizards; the Furies come to stay; and a cutout from a cereal box leads into a beautiful and tragic palace garden. Charming and magical, the uncommon lives of the Armitage family will thrill and delight readers young and old. Includes Joan Aiken’s “Prelude” from Armitage, Armitage, Fly Away Home, as well as introductions from Joan Aiken’s daughter, Lizza Aiken, and best-selling author Garth Nix. Illustrated by Andi Watson.

Praise for Joan Aiken:

"A writer of wild humor and unrestrained imagination."
Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature

"This year can boast one genuine small masterpiece. . . . The Wolves of Willoughby Chase . . . almost a copybook lesson in those virtues that a classic children’s book must possess."
Time Magazine

Best known for The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Joan Aiken (1924-2004) wrote over a hundred books and won the Guardian and Edgar Allan Poe awards. After her first husband’s death, she supported her family by copyediting at Argosy magazine and an advertising agency before turning to fiction. She went on to write for Vogue, Good Housekeeping, Vanity Fair, Argosy, Women’s Own, and many others.

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After visiting his family in England, Felix is on his way back to Spain when he's shipwrecked off the coast of France. He is taken in by monks to recover from his ordeal--but it soon becomes clear to him that he is actually being held prisoner. Felix encounters an injured boy, Juan, on the grounds of the monastery and saves him from death. The two boys escape and continue on to Spain together--but a gang is pursuing Juan, and the journey is more dangerous than they imagined.
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Felix Brooke, the orphaned son of an English soldier and an aristocratic Spanish mother, has been raised in the strict, loveless household of his grandfather in Villaverde, Spain. When Felix gains possession of a letter that contains a clue to the whereabouts of his father’s family, he gladly runs away form home to pursue the trail. His journey from Spain to far-off England begins the adventure of a lifetime.
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In this silly sequel to Arabel's Raven, Mortimer floats out to sea on a grand piano, tries to get even with three giraffes that have stolen his doughnuts at the zoo, and takes off with King Arthur's sword. Will Arabel ever be able to control her troublemaking pet raven?
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Bonnie and her cousin Sylvia are left in the care of a cruel governess when Bonnie's parents go on a sea voyage. Besieged by wolves without and the terrible Miss Slighcarp within, how are they to reclaim Willoughby Chase?....

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Simon, the foundling from The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, arrives in London to meet an old friend and pursue the study of painting. Instead he finds himself unwittingly in the middle of a wicked crew's fiendish caper to overthrow the good King James and the Duke and Duchess of Battersea. With the help of his friend Sophie and the resourceful waif Dido, Simon narrowly escapes a series of madcap close calls and dangerous run-ins. In a time and place where villains do nothing halfway, Simon is faced with wild wolves, poisoned pies, kidnapping, and a wrecked ship. This is a cleverly contrived tale of intrigue and misadventure.
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Young Arabel's life is changed forever when her father, a taxi driver, brings home an injured bird he finds in the street. This wacky raven eats everything in sight, answers the telephone by squawking "Nevermore!" and causes chaos wherever he goes--but Arabel loves her new feathered friend, whom she names Mortimer.
     This is the first volume of Arabel and Mortimer's adventures, brightened with hilarious illustrations by Quentin Blake. 
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Simon, the foundling from The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, arrives in London to meet an old friend and pursue the study of painting. Instead he finds himself unwittingly in the middle of a wicked crew's fiendish caper to overthrow the good King James and the Duke and Duchess of Battersea. With the help of his friend Sophie and the resourceful waif Dido, Simon narrowly escapes a series of madcap close calls and dangerous run-ins. In a time and place where villains do nothing halfway, Simon is faced with wild wolves, poisoned pies, kidnapping, and a wrecked ship. This is a cleverly contrived tale of intrigue and misadventure....

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Having had enough of life on board the ship that saved her from a watery grave, Dido Twite wants nothing more than to sail home to England. Instead, Captain Casket's ship lands in Nantucket, where Dido and the captain's daughter, Dutiful Penitence, are left in the care of Dutiful's sinister Aunt Tribulation. In Tribulation's farmhouse, life is unbearable. When mysterious men lurk about in the evening fog, the resourceful Dido rallies against their shenanigans with help from Dutiful, a cabinboy named Nate, and a pink whale....

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Here are eight gloriously imaginative stories for eight satisfying sessions of bedtime reading. There’s a flying apple pie, a cat that’s bigger than an elephant, a house that lays an egg, storybook animals that leap out of their books at night, and a wealth of other wonderful characters and ideas, all with the colorful, dreamlike quality of the very best fairy tales.

Joan Aiken’s delicious prose is a joy to read aloud to very young listeners yet simple enough for the independent reader to savor on his or her own. Kevin Hawkes’s illustrations — nearly 60 of them — capture with great flair and fun the magical adventures and the triumph of the good over the bad.
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