by Paul Strohm
In 1386, Geoffrey Chaucer endured his worst year, but began his best poem. The father of English literature…more
In 1386, Geoffrey Chaucer endured his worst year, but began his best poem. The father of English literature did not enjoy in his lifetime the literary celebrity that he has today—far from it. The middle-aged Chaucer was living in London, working as a midlevel bureaucrat and sometime poet, until a personal and professional crisis set him down the road leading to The Canterbury Tales.
In the politically and economically fraught London of the late fourteenth century, Chaucer was swept up against his will in a series of disastrous events that would ultimately leave him jobless, homeless, separated from his wife, exiled from his city, and isolated in the countryside of Kent—with no more audience to hear the poetry he labored over.
At the loneliest time of his life, Chaucer made the revolutionary decision to keep writing, and to write for a national audience, for posterity, and for fame.
Brought expertly to life by Paul Strohm, this is the eye-opening story of the birth one of the most celebrated literary creations of the English language. [close]
by Heather R. Lorenz (Goodreads Author)
Does the literary world really need another fantasy that reads like a Narnia dream and involves a lonely teen's discovery of anoth…more
Does the literary world really need another fantasy that reads like a Narnia dream and involves a lonely teen's discovery of another world where she meets a prince and discovers magic? The answer is 'yes' - if the elements are finely done, refreshingly contemporary, and come from the pen of a teenager with an unusual flare for capturing the unpredictable.
A Path Toward Home takes the classic story of a girl trapped in another world and expands it with many elements that lend toward a invigorating read. It's the first book in a series by teen writer Heather R. Lorenz and creates a mesmerizing character in the form of Constance , a typical bored teen who inadvertently opens the door to a strange world and discovers her mother visited this world before her.
The family link is one unusual device used successfully, here. It's fairly common to find teen protagonists stumbling into other universes or worlds: it's more unusual to discover that a parental figure has made the journey before them, creating somewhat of a legendary legacy in the process.
Constance 's close relationship with her mother is introduced in the prologue: "She loved singing songs at Sunday school and playing at the park playground, pushed on a swing by her mother. The time that made her feel the warmest inside, though, was just before she went to sleep. She splashed in her bath, wiggled into her pajamas, said her prayers while kneeling by her bed, and listened to the latest episode of the never-ending story about the prince and the nurse." And carries the story line as she rediscovers a world her mother has long loved.
It's extraordinary to find a young adult fantasy that will appeal equally to ten-year-olds and adults, but A Path Toward Home achieves this goal with a winning, older teen protagonist, a setting that embraces adult concerns (such as financial pressures), and a fantasy yarn that spins adventure and problem-solving scenarios.
The introductory 'Cast of Characters' at the story's beginning at first seems unnecessary, but ultimately proves handy as a host of characters with odd names and relationships are quickly introduced. It's not too much to ask that the reader refer to this Cast a few times in the progress of reading.
As Constance develops new relationships in this strange world (some adversarial, as when she starts off on the wrong foot with Reagan), she also comes to view injustices and decides for herself how to react to them and what sides she should take in the evolving struggle between royalty: "Constance could not believe what she was hearing. How could a father do that to his own daughter! Something must be done about it!"
A big plus to A Path Toward Home is its focus on protagonist choices in events that unfold. At many junctions Constance makes a conscious choice to become involved, back off, or pursue her own agenda. It's this attention to choices, consequences and transition points that makes the story line pop, creating a realistic, vivid protagonist whose goals change with influences and events. And, ultimately, she'll question her real focus as she seemingly achieves her heart's desire, only to lose something more precious.
The literary world - especially its young adult mirror - does really need another Narnia-like fantasy; especially if it's as compelling as A Path Toward Home, which blends fantasy with supportive emotional twists and insights.
D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review [close]
by L. Frank Baum, Tom Dixon
These beloved ch…more
These beloved children's classics will make the perfect gift; timeless and loved by all. This collection includes the following books:
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Marvellous Land of Oz
Ozma of Oz
Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
The Road to Oz
The Emerald City of Oz
The Patchwork Girl of Oz
Tik Tok of Oz
The Scarecrow of Oz
Rinkitink in Oz
The Lost Princess of Oz
The Tin Woodman of Oz
The Magic of Oz Glinda of Oz
The Royal Book of Oz
The complete collection weights in at nearly 5 Kg and will make a great gift too.
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