|Eddie : the lost youth of Edgar Allan Poe|
Author: Gustafson, Scott
Edgar must prove his innocence of mischief committed at a judge's home who lives beside his future foster father.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.40
Points: 4.0 Quiz: 145501
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 54811
Common Core Standards
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Kirkus Reviews (07/01/11)
School Library Journal (12/01/11)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (10/11)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/01/2011 This fictionalized narrative presents a different childhood for Poe than the one readers might otherwise imagine. After an especially vivid dream, young Eddie Poe wakes to find that he is being blamed for the destruction of a neighbor’s chicken coop. His stern father promises a whipping but gives his adopted son 24 hours to clear his name. With the help of pets Raven and Cairo the cat, as well as a supernatural imp named McCobber, who shouts things like “CRIMONETTELY!” from his perch upon Eddie’s shoulder, the lad sets about his investigation—and learns something about loyalty and friendship along the way, too. The initial plunge into Eddie’s magical word is a bit disorienting but soon resolves itself into a unique, darkly shaded journey. Though the final illustrations were unavailable for review, it’s clear that they are omnipresent, dramatic, shadowy, and squirming with hidden monsters. (Gustafson has also nicely visualized a younger version of the big-foreheaded Poe.) An unexpected treat with an unlikely hero. - Copyright 2011 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 10/01/2011 After a brief introduction to the adult Poe, this adventure whisks readers through Poe’s early life with his actor parents, claiming that his drunken father literally passed one of his demons—an imp named McCobber that no one else can see—onto young Eddie. Upon his mother’s death, Eddie is adopted by the Allans, but it is McCobber who proves the greatest influence on the boy’s life and imagination, inflecting every experience with a macabre and paranoid twist that is only slightly tempered by the perspective of Eddie’s other companion, a raven. When Eddie is blamed for a prank that’s clearly not his doing, he seeks to prove his innocence; his investigations lead him to a magician who helped his mother when she was sick, and Eddie is able to return a favor while clearing his name. There are a lot of gaps in the backstory here, including the single, unexplained mention of a sister, that will be difficult for younger readers to sort through, and no help is given via an author’s note or any other source material to explain to the uninitiated demon and raven are such evocative metaphors. The main story is compelling, though, and the language and illustrations are a treat. The magician’s dialogue in particular makes use of the storytelling diction of a vaudevillian showman, begging a readaloud, while the illustrations bring the adult Poe-worthy horrors to life with just the right touch of wide-eyed appeal. McCobber’s depiction is pitch perfect for an imp—enough like a decimated and bedraggled bat to be nasty but still bug-eyed enough to be adorable. Nascent fans of Poe, as well as readers who like their mysteries with a slight edge, may therefore still enjoy this. KC - Copyright 2011 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 12/01/2011 Gr 4–7—Accused of playing a prank on his neighbor, an angry judge, young Eddie must try to clear his name in this novel inspired by the life and work of Edgar Allan Poe. Aided by an impish demon and a talking raven, the boy eventually discovers the real culprit: a traveling magician who becomes a true friend. The mystery provides a solid framework to introduce the personality of young Poe, along with some facts about his boyhood. Suspense builds as Eddie investigates, and the truth behind the "demon" that the mysterious magician uses is a satisfying surprise. At the same time, the narrative follows Eddie's rampant and often macabre imagination, which seems appropriate for a future creative genius. Black-and-white pencil drawings appear on most of the pages with varied placement, creating a strong visual atmosphere that matches the humor and mild spookiness of the story. The prudent raven and the mischievous imp, both inspired from Poe's later work, are the only elements that cross over into fantasy, neatly representing the morbid and the logical strains of his writing. Gustafson's language and his illustrations are both playful and engaging, making it easy for readers to slip into Eddie's odd, but intriguing world. Kids who already know who Poe was may be the ideal audience for the book, but others will quickly get a sense of the famous author's persona and how the incidents of Eddie's childhood match up.—Steven Engelfried, Wilsonville Public Library, OR - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.