Charles Dickens by Diane Stanley
The Man Who Had Great Expectations

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Charles Dickens is one of the world's greatest and best loved writers. To read Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol, or Nicholas Nickleby is to be drawn into a society that still seems fresh and real today: nineteenth-century London with its extraordinary extremes of wealth, progress, poverty, and despair. Dickens captures it all in plots that are by turns wildly comical, wonderfully melodramatic, and tragic to the point of tears. In his writing and later, in his dramatic readings, Charles Dickens was a master showman, mesmerizing the whole world.

His novels are stuffed to bursting with unforgettable characters like Mr. Micawber, Ebineezer Scrooge, and Little Nell. Most affecting are his portraits of children abused and abandoned by the Industrial Age. David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, and Tiny Tim are mirrors that reflect the twisted values of their time.

The twists of Dickens's own life encompassed childhood suffering as well as international acclaim. When he was twelve, his father was consigned to debtors' prison and Charles to working in a blacking factory. Not twelve years later The Pickwick Papers would propel him toward literary stardom.

In their lovingly researched, incisively written biography, illustrated with a lushness and attention to period detail of which Dickens would have approved, Diane Stanley and Peter Vennema illuminate his inspirations, his impact on nations of readers, and his gleaming genius that has only brightened with time.

A handsome book on the beloved novelist. Dickens's troubled, well-documented life has plenty to interest children....Lucid, accessible....A lively, entertaining story for children who enjoy A Christmas Carol in its various guises....A must.

About Diane Stanley

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Diane Stanley is the author and illustrator of beloved books for young readers, including The Silver Bowl, which received three starred reviews; Saving Sky, winner of the Arab American Museum's Arab American Award and a Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year; Bella at Midnight, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and an ALA Booklist Editors' Choice; The Mysterious Case of the Allbright Academy; The Mysterious Matter of I. M. Fine; and A Time Apart. Well known as the author and illustrator of award-winning picture-book biographies, she is the recipient of the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children and the Washington Post-Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award for the body of her work. Ms. Stanley has also written and illustrated numerous picture books, including three creatively reimagined fairy tales: The Giant and the Beanstalk, Goldie and the Three Bears, and Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Published January 1, 1993 by William Morrow & Co. 48 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Travel. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Dickens's troubled, well-documented life has plenty to interest children--the early vicissitudes depicted in David Copperfield, his championship of needy children, the reception of his books and dramatic readings in the US (where he was ``horrified by the hideous institution of slavery'').

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Publishers Weekly

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As in their previous collaborations ( Good Queen Bess ; Bard of Avon ), Stanley and Vennema bring to life another vital historical figure in their newest, spirited volume. Stanley's typically meticulo

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Publishers Weekly

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With the exception of a jarring opening sentence (``All his life Charles Dickens would remember a particular day when he was nine years old, and something his father said''), the authors' informal yet authoritative narrative unfolds smoothly.

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