|Ordinary, extraordinary Jane Austen : the story of six novels, three notebooks, a writing box, and one clever girl|
Author: Hopkinson, Deborah
A picture book biography of Jane Austen, one of the most beloved writers of all time.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.90
Points: .5 Quiz: 196583
Kirkus Reviews (11/01/17)
School Library Journal (02/01/18)
The Hornbook (00/01/18)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 01/01/2018 Jane Austen is introduced here as someone who “lived a simple life,” neither rich nor famous in her time. But as the book goes on to detail, she became one of “our greatest writers.” This is an up-close introduction to Austen, following her through her childhood as part of a lively household. She liked games and putting on plays, and above all, loved to bury herself in books. The notes Austen kept, both in her head and in journals, of nineteenth-century life prepared her to start writing when she was just a teenager. Along with the personal and professional history, Hopkinson does a fine job of explaining how Austen’s books were different—the fresh realism she brought to writing was something new. This is also a story of a girl’s empowerment. Austen had a dream and followed it, and with initial help from her father, was able to achieve it. It’s not until the back matter time line that readers will place the events, though the airy, inviting watercolor-and-ink illustrations will make clear this is history. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2018 K-Gr 2—Born at the turn of the 19th century, Jane Austen is now considered one of the world's greatest writers, but she grew up simply. In a house filled with boys and books, she was encouraged in her writing by her father who ran a boarding school. Hopkinson begins her appealing introduction to this beloved writer using a familiar Austen phrase "It is a truth universally acknowledged…" Most of Hopkinson's short, straightforward text focuses on the writer's childhood: her shy habit of observation; family life with her sister and many brothers; her enjoyment of family theatrical productions, reading, and writing; and her father's support. The final pages introduce her adult work, her new way of storytelling: "to hold up a mirror to the ordinary world so readers could recognize (and laugh at) themselves." Hopkinson makes clear the different expectations for men and women at the time, and points out that the four novels published in Austen's lifetime were credited to an unnamed "lady." Gentle ink and watercolor illustrations perfectly reflect the tone and understated humor of Austen's writing. Ranging from vignettes to spreads, Leng's art will help readers picture the time and place while focusing on domestic interiors, happy family occasions, and Austen at work. The back matter includes a time line and description of six novels. VERDICT Gentle, charming, and informative, this welcome addition to any library should plant a seed for later enjoyment of Austen's work.—Kathleen Isaacs, Children's Literature Specialist, Pasadena, MD - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.