Fiction

The Chess Piece Magician

Doublas Bruton

Softbound

$11.95

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Corrie's fingers closed round the small bone figure.  It grew warmer in his grip.  He could feel a pulse, as though it were alive . . .

When Corrie’s family returns to Uig Bay on the Isle of Lewis for yet another miserable summer holiday, he has no idea of the incredible adventure that lies ahead. He finds a strange figurine on a windswept beach, which looks very like the ancient chess pieces found there centuries ago ... but this one has a magician’s staff.

Corrie makes friends with local girl, Kat, who tells him the island’s legends—of a terrible sea serpent who summoned up never-ending winter, and of a powerful magician who finally banished him. When Corrie hears a voice in the night and the strange little figure starts to glow, he finds himself drawn into an incredible battle between good and evil.

Douglas Bruton’s gripping first novel tells a fictional fantasy story behind the famed Lewis chessmen, which date from the twelfth century and were found in Uig Bay in the 1830s.

(Ages 8–12)

The Coming of the Unicorn

Scottish Folk Tales for Children

Duncan Williamson

Softbound

$15.95

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Duncan Williamson came from a family of Traveling People. They told stories around the campfire for entertainment and for teaching, and as a child Duncan learned the ways of the world through those stories. “My father's knowledge told us how to live in this world as natural human beings—not to be greedy, not to be foolish, not to be daft or selfish—by stories.”

In this collection, Duncan passes on some of those wonderful folk and fairy tales for children. For more than sixty years, Duncan traveled around Scotland—on foot, then in a horse and cart, and later in an old van—collecting tales that come not only from the Traveling People but also from the crofters, farmers, and shepherds he met along the way.

The Coming of the Unicorn includes tales of cunning foxes and storytelling cats, hunchbacked ogres and beautiful unicorns, helpful broonies and mysterious fairies, rich kings and fearsome warriors, as well as stories about ordinary folks trying to make their way in the world. These stories have been written down to reflect as faithfully as possible Duncan's unique storytelling voice, full of color, humor, and life.

Ages 8-12

*****

Duncan Williamson was born in 1928 on the shores of Loch Fyne, the seventh of sixteen children.  He left home at the age of fifteen and spent the next forty years traveling, continuing the traditional trades of his people, and collecting tales from travelers, crofters, farmers and shepherds he met along the way.  Duncan died in 2007, leaving behind a worldwide reputation.

The Country of the Pointed Firs

Sarah Orne Jewett

Softbound

Illustrated with gentle pencil drawings throughout by Douglas Alvord

$20.00

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This is one of the finest "young adult" books ever written! First published in 1896, The Country of the Pointed Firs was considered by Willa Cather to be one of the three novels most likely to achieve a permanent place in the canon of American literature: "I can think of no others that confront time and change so serenely… The young student of American literature in far distant years to come will take up this book and say 'a masterpiece!'" Long neglected and even ignored by criticism, this enduring classic by Sarah Orne Jewett now appears in a format worthy of its contents.

Set in the small coastal town of South Berwick, Maine, this is as much a series of small, intimate sketches as a sustained narrative. As F. O. Matthiessen pointed out, "in these loosely connected sketches, she has acquired a structure independent of plot. Her scaffolding is simply the unity of her vision." Her vision was of a gentle and generous people on a rugged and dangerous coast, of New England character and "characters" limned in colors of high summer and blue skies. Here, too, you will meet the people of Dunnet's landing; the women, who are probably the most unforgettable characters of her book; and Elijah Tilley (among the very few men in Jewett's cast) who, after the death of his wife, learns the skills of husband and wife, of farm and sea.

The black-and-white pencil drawings by Douglas Alvord are nothing short of spectacular. Closely observed and carefully rendered, they possess all of the haunting serenity of Jewett's landscapes. Faithfully reproduced and printed to the highest standards, this is destined to become a standard gift and reading book for everyone fascinated by New England, the rich history of its rockbound coast, and this magical author.

The Darkling Beasts

Reg Down

Softbound

A fantasy adventure for grades 6/7 and up.

$15.50

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Filled with drama and humor, The Darkling Beasts is a cautionary tale addressing some of the great issues that face us today, ones the upcoming generation will contend with tomorrow.  Reg Down's lively imagination has made this tale the best sort of reading for young teens (and those of us who are older): The Darkling Beasts is a captivating page-turner that will keep any young person reading, and reading and reading.  And as they read, they will not only be entertained, they will be recognized, challenged, and taught unawares.

Alf's parents lose their home in the great financial downturn of the early twenty-first century.  They take Alf and his friend, Siggy, to a visiting carnival to have a bit of fun.  Alf and Siggy get stuck in a dilapidated Hall of Mirrors and end up miles away with the beer bellied owner and his amply x-sized mum.  that's when Alf discovers a portal in the Hall of Mirrors.  It leads to a world turned completely inside out to ours.

In Instar, the sun lies at the center of a great sphere, waxing and waning during the day and vanishing at night.  They meet the slim and beautiful Mia, who takes them into her tilting -- the tall, slender buildings that sway with the wind and rise above the forest.  The tiltings, however, are surrounded by a high defense wall with vicious spikes on top.  Living in the day is fine, or so it seems to an outsider, but when night comes the gates are shut against the darkling beasts that rage outside.

Very highly recommend, ages 11-12 and up.

The Boy Who Knew What the Birds Said

Padraic Colum

$16.50

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This is a gem of a book by the renowned poet, dramatist, novelist, folklorist and storyteller, Padraic Colum.  No less than three of his books for children received retrospective citations for the Newbery Honor.  Filled with drama, action, tenderness and adventure, Padraic Colum spins a series of tales which draw us into a world of imagination and beauty.  The tales have a strong and clear storyteller's voice which is still as alive, fresh and direct as it was when first spoken.

This edition has been edited by the artist, teacher and author, Reg Down, with grade 4 to 8 students in mind.  In addition to editing for clarity and pronounceability (Celtic spellings are sometimes impossible!), he refreshed the original illustrations by Dugard Stewart Walker, inserted footnotes where a word was uncommon or seldom used, added a map to show where countries and mountains mentioned in the book are located, added a section with characterizations and drawings of all the birds which appear in the book, included the Celtic Ogham alphabet referenced in one tale (plus examples for the reader to deciher and encouragement for them to write their own Ogham), and finally, added a brief biography of Padraic Colum, with a description of his dramatic life and times in Ireland and his arrival in the land of hope, America.

Outstanding! Highly recommend for ages 9 and older.

At the Hot Gates

An Account of the Battle of Thermopylae

Donald Samson

Illustrated by Adam Agee

Softbound

$6.00

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We welcome this outstanding reader for the Waldorf Grade 5 curriculum!  Between the excitement of the story and the resounding history that lies behind it, any student (an their teacher!) will be hungry to get to read more.

It’s the year 480 BC and the greatest army ever gathered in the ancient world is on the march to conquer all of Greece. An irresistible force, they are destroying whatever dares to stand in their path. One man steps forward to stop them, followed by 300 companions. His chances are next to null; yet he goes. This man is Leonidas. And his companions are Spartans. They go to stop the Persian advance and meet their destiny at the narrows known as The Hot Gates.

Beyond the Forest

The Story of Parsifal and the Grail

Kelvin Hall

Softbound

$18.95

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This wonderful retelling is so multi-layered and engaging that it is appropriate for everyone ages 10 and up.  It reads and tells like a breath of fresh air - very highly recommended!!!

The Grail Quest is an archetypal story of the journey of humanity and of each person. Parsifal's search for wholeness - passed down by generations of storytellers - is re-told vividly by Kelvin Hall.

There is a Parsifal in every one of us as we move from the innocence and naivete of forgetting, through courage and surrender, to love and redemption. Impaired by fear, bewilderment, loss and misunderstanding, we learn to trust the intuition of the heart as well as accepting the wisdom and support of others on the way.

This ancient story, told by Wolfram von Eschenbach in the Middle Ages, asks us why we hold back from asking the compassionate question. It shows how this can result in suffering, and that by engaging with the suffering of others, we acknowledge our own. This brings forth the possibility for renewal.

"The story of Parsifal is close to my heart, and Kelvin Hall's gift is to bring it closer to all our hearts in a language that can truly speak to us now."

- Jay Ramsay

Kelvin Hall was first told the Parsifal story by his future wife, Barbara. Storyteller at Ruskin Mill, Gloucestershire, he is well-known on the festival circuit. He won the Hodja Cup for Lying and Tall Stories at the Crick Crack Club.

Tistou

The Boy with Green Thumbs

Maurice Druon

Hardbound

Beautiful, sensitive illustrations in soft pencil drawings

$24.95

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Here is a story that is not only heartfelt, healing and beautiful, but would make an excellent reader for Waldorf Grade 5!

When eight-year-old Tistou is sent home from school his parents decide he shall learn from real life instead, and where better to start than gardening? With Moustache the dreamy gardener, Tistou discovers a remarkable gift – that he has green thumbs! Everything he touches sprouts beautiful plants. Now Tistou has lots to do. With the power of flowers he can change everything: prisons, slums, hospitals – even war.

"Tistou's name deserves to be on the lips of anyone who cares about the future of our Earth."

- Ashley Ramsden, Storyteller

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Hardbound, large format

Illustrated by Sophia Montefiore

$29.95

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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is one of the great classics of English Literature, considered by many to be the greatest ballad ever written in English. Composed at the end of the eighteenth century by Coleridge, its unique qualities have continued to capture the imagination of readers and artists throughout the ages.

Readers, particularly high school students, respond with awe to the power of the super-reality in the poem, seeing through the mariner's eyes the vast expanses of ocean and the elements.  It's expression of human suffering and the difficult journey toward harmonizing our inner extremes speaks as well to the hearts of adolescents and young adults especially.

The creation of the 30 illustrations in this book by Sophia Montefiore was impelled by an abiding fascination with Coleridge’s perspectives into the world of the soul and the elemental powers of nature.

The Demon Slayer

Samuel Mills

Softbound

$15.00

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In this coming-of-age tale, journey five thousand years back to the danger-filled jungles of ancient India and a time when gods and demons walked on the Earth. Meet Abhay, the hunter’s son, who must earn his manhood by facing a selfish bully, a man-eating leopard, and a fierce demon before he can earn his manhood. Meet Dayita who must marry according to the rigid laws of her society rather than her heart’s choice. Meet Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana, royalty banished to the wilderness far away from friends and family.

Learn about Hindu mythology and village life in ancient India, as well as what it means to live a dharmic life, true to your word and respectful of your obligations and duties.

From the author of The Fire Bringer.

Age 12 & up

The Fire Bringer

Samuel Mills

Softbound

$15.00

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After 30,000 years of torment, Prometheus has been released from his punishment for bringing fire to humankind. He now runs a small school outside of Athens where he tells his students his eyewitness account of humanity’s creation. Meanwhile, up on Mt. Olympus, Zeus casts his gaze upon one of Prometheus’s disciples, Chastia, who is engaged to Demetrios, a fellow student. However, Hera, the jealous spouse of Zeus, watches his every move.

The Fire Bringer takes readers on a journey that gives life to the stories of the great Olympian gods and goddesses. Discover what it means to be entrusted with the gift of fire, and why Prometheus betrayed his own king to save a lowly race of mortals. Learn about our Western mythological roots and experience these all-too-human archetypes.

Fascinating for ages 12 and up

The Star Rider and Anna McLoon

Two Tales from Ireland

Retold by Jakob Streit

Translated by Nina Kuettel

$8.00

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These two tales, one believed to date from the 17th Century and the other from more recent times, were collected by Jakob Streit and a friend while in Ireland.

The first story, "The Star Rider," is a legend about a young man who comes to learn of a dreadful destiny said to be laid upon him by the position of the stars at the moment of his birth. It is a story of uprightness and acceptance, of injustice that is turned to right through the honesty of both accused and judge. It is a truly beautiful story with a warm, heart-opening ending.

The second tale, "Anna McLoon," tells the story of Ireland's last travelling storyteller, her life and the tales she told. It also speaks of a deeper connectedness to the rhythms of the world and life and death themselves.

I very much appreciate the rich and gentle translation that Nina Kuettel has provided us - her words echo the beauty of these stories in a lovely way.

As a reader, this would be good around 6th grade or later. The stories could be told a bit earlier, but there is a depth to them that will be better appreciated by older students and adults.

Meekelor

The Early Years

Shirley Latessa

Softbound

Prequel to the Auragole Quartet

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Meekelorr dreamed of his father for the first time since starting his school years. He had put those dreams and his father’s request behind a locked door years ago.

And now here was Edorr, ephemeral and mournful, once again asking Meekelorr to form an army when he was old enough. Meekelorr was staring up at his father as he had all those years ago. Watching Meekelorr also was the warrior figure that Meekelorr now knew was called the Defender God.

“I want you and your soldiers to go out into the Deep Earth and help those who cannot help themselves. I want you to set your army against the evil men in our world, those who prey on the weak.”

“No.” Meekelorr looked beyond his father to the figure, who was watching him with impassive eyes. “If you want an army to fight for you, ask him. That’s his task,” Meekelorr said, and gestured at the Defender God.

“I ask this of you.”

“No.”

“You are only angry. But the anger will disappear.”

“No.”

Edorr disappeared. The Defender God disappeared. And Meekelorr wept.

Auragole of the Mountains

Book One of the Auragole Quartet

Shirley Latessa

Softbound

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Shirley Latessa has created a terrific fantasy saga that is unlike any other I've ever read. We enter a world that has been shattered by 500 years of warfare, where most people live lives of fear in semi-tribal conditions, and only a very few have been sheltered enough to remember what it is to be fully human. Into this torn world comes a youth upon whose actions the destiny of humanity will turn.

Auragole has been raised in isolation, away from the soldiers and roaming gangs, away from regional superstitions and laws; but, also away from any knowledge of, much less belief in, the spiritual world and the gods. When he emerges from his remote valley and encounters the world of people outside it, he arrives as a free human being. It is what he makes of his freedom, how he chooses to shape himself, that will determine whether he will aid the cause of humanity, or become its doom.

Auragole of the Mountains follows Auragole as he leaves the valley of his birth for the first time and encounters both friends and enemies in the wider world. He and his friends come at last to the Valley of Agavia, where a small group of people have preserved the knowledge of the gods and where it is known that the Last Battle, the battle against the Nethergod will be fought, and fought soon. The the future of all humanity will be determined by the victor. As Auragole leaves Agavia, it is still very uncertain which course he will choose and what role he will play in the Last Battle.

The author tells me she created The Auragole Quartet with teenagers in mind. I agree that teens are likely to love these stories. I would like to add that I believe adults will, too -- I was barely able to put my copy down once I started reading. This is the first fantasy fiction I've read that has some real substance to it, that seriously considers some of the most pressing questions we humans face. Very, very highly recommended.

Auragole of the Way

Book Two of the Auragole Quartet

Shirley Latessa

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Where Auragole of the Mountains told a story woven around dire but straightforward issues of survival, and thus had a semblance of simplicity, in Auragole of the Way Auragole encounters not just other people, but diverse societies. As he does so, the fabric of the story takes on a rich pattern and a complexity that echo his multi-layered experience. This richness makes for compelling, satisfying reading -- I surprised myself by finishing Auragole of the Way in about half the time it took me to read Auragole of the Mountains.

Auragole of the Way picks up where Auragole of the Mountains left off -- Auragole has chosen to keep his commitment to see his friends to the city of Mattlemead, where they hope to find a cure for one of their party whose life is threatened by illness. In so choosing, he declines Agavia's offer of deep training toward a personal awareness of the gods.

Almost immediately, disaster and death strike Auragole's little band and his course is irrevocably changed. Hiding, fighting, and running for his life, Auragole eventually comes upon the mountain camps of the only soldiers who fight on behalf of human freedom and love, and who prepare for the Last Battle. It is here that he decides to go to the aid of a friend rather than follow orders he considers not his affair. But, what he thought he saw proves to be very different from reality , and he nearly pays for his error with his life.

Yet, even as chaotic war is waged all around him, he also discovers art and beauty in the form of True-Singing. A True-Singer is trained to sing so that the listener hears the voice within whatever of nature the singer embodies. Such song is achingly beautiful and deeply healing -- and it becomes Auragole's chosen calling. Out of the depths of his error, he discovers his teacher. Auragole of the Way closes as Auragole follows his teacher to Mattlemead where he will pursue the art of True-Singing.

Auragole of Mattelmead

Book Three of the Auragole Quartet

Shirley Latessa

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Auragole comes to Mattelmead City - opulent, cosmopolitan, richly artistic and deeply decadent. For a person of Auragole's innocence and interests, failing to experience all that Mattelmead holds would be unimaginable. The question, of course, is what these experiences will make of him - or will he make something of them?

Auragole's stay in Mattelmead City is told with fascinating detail; the currents along which Mattelmead carries Auragole travel at increasingly bracing speeds, the outcome never certain. Will Auragole be ready for the Last Battle?

The Last Battle

Book Four of the Auragole Quartet

Shirley Latessa

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The Last Battle has begun -- and it's outcome hinges on Auragole's choice; and upon Auragole's wisdom.

After the dizzying opulance of Mattlemead, followed by a dance of reversals and recoveries of astonishing order, Auragole comes again to Agavi. It is there his heart calls him, there he wants to be. But amid the battle preparations he soon discovers that even knowing what his heart wants is not enough -- not enough to know what to do, where to go, how to respond. Not enough to be sure. And the whole world waits upon his deed.

* * *

Shirley Latessa's final novel of The Auragole Quartet brings us to a seat-of-your-chair ending, one that will keep you turning pages right through to the remarkable ending. Having followed Auragole's entire journey, I have to take my hat off to Shirley -- she has told a great story that in many ways we all live, asked all the questions we ask and then some, and brought her characters to a truly heroic finish, the measure of which I don't think any reader will guess before the end. This is wonderful reading -- and a tale told from a vista seldom revealed in literature.

Empty Pages

Jon Turley

Softbound

$14.95

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I found Empty Pages to be both fascinating and poignant, a wonderful combination of ingredients for young adult readers (ages 12 and up).

Jasper is a teenager whose parents don't have much to say to him other than to criticize. In fact, they don't have much to say to each other, either. As if that weren't enough, Jasper's grandfather, the only family member who really loves Jasper and is supportive, has been moved to a nursing home in poor health.

The family visits to the grandfather tend to turn into arguments between Jasper's parents, but after they (finally!) leave, Jasper and his grandfather share some very special moments. Their relationship deepens as Jasper takes to visiting by himself after school. As part of these visits, Grandpa begins to read to Jasper from his friends war diary, and stories of war time valor and struggle come to life in ways that change Jasper's life and hopes.

The ending is a surprise that is both exhilarating and heart opening. Discover it for yourself (after your teen has finished it).

The Hill of the Red Fox

Allan Campbell McLean

Softbound

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It is the time of the Cold War. Soviet spies are feared and secrets traded. And people disappear. Thirteen-year-old Alasdair lives in London and knows nothing of that world. He can’t wait to begin his long summer holiday on the Isle of Skye, away from his mother and aunt.

But things don’t go quite as planned. On the journey, a stranger gives him a mysterious note before jumping from the train. Even worse, he immediately suspects the sinister Murdo Beaton, the man with whom he’s staying. Gradually adjusting to life on the small farm, Alasdair is unprepared for the web of danger and espionage that begins to unfold around him.

(Ages 10–13)

Geron and Virtus

A Fateful Encounter of Two Youths A German and a Roman

Jakob Streit

A Reader for 6th or 7th Grade

Softbound

$10.00

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Geron and Virtus written by master storyteller and Waldorf teacher Jakob Streit, is a remarkable book. It is a story about two boys during the Roman campaign to conquer the Germanic tribes. It was out of this Roman/German encounter that a new Europe and the transition to a new time was born. The story is about friendship, slavery, honor, and adventure. The text is rich with spiritual insights provided by Druid priests and their stories of Nordic mythology. The book has vivid illustrations and is aimed at sixth and seventh grade students.

Grades 6-7

A Bag of Lucky Rice

George Reichart

Pictures by Mark Mitchell

Softbound

$10.95

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Occasionally, from out of nowhere, comes a story from a totally unknown writer that really touches the heart. This story is such a tale: a charming, somewhat old-fashioned, and totally authentic story of the Old West. It features Rusty Dalton, a down-on-his-luck prospector, who, along with his faithful mule Zeke, discovers a king’s ransom of hidden gold, manages to haul it back to the Wells Fargo offce in Rhyolite, and then decides to do some real good with it. It contains an exemplary cast of characters, but this is not just a story of outlaws, heroes, sagebrush, and hidden treasure. At its core, it is a tale of prejudice and courage, of humor, humanity, and decency, all set in a small desert town that could be anywhere.

Kidnapped

Robert Louis Stevenson

Unabridged

Softbound

$4.50

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This is a classic adventure novel, perhaps even the classic adventure novel. Set in the year 1751, Kidnapped centers around David Balfour, a young Scotsman orphaned by the death of his father. Betrayed by his uncle, the young hero is shanghaied and headed for bondage in the New World, until a swashbuckling highlander comes to his rescue. Stirring, suspenseful; considered by Stevenson to be his best fiction.

Grade 6 and up.

Captains Courageous

Rudyard Kipling

Unabridged

Softbound

$3.50

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Rudyard Kipling was, in my opinion, one of the best writers to ever wield a pen in English. His prose is almost like poetry, yet so filled with life that never once does his writing become more interesting than the story it tells. All his books, stories and poems are truly the stuff of greatness, and Captains Courageous is no exception.

We open with a spoiled rich boy being swept off the deck of a luxury ocean liner and into the sea. Luckily, young Harvey Cheyne is rescued by a passing fishing vessel.

As it turns out, his apparent misfortune in tumbling from a life of pampered luxury into the humble company of a fishing schooner becomes a blessing. Compelled by the captain to earn his keep, Harvey loses his affectations as he learns the rewards of an honest day's labor amid the gruff and hearty companionship of the crewmen. They teach him to be worth his salt as they fish the waters off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland.

This is Kipling's only novel to unfold in an American setting, and, like his others, it is packed with his humor and sense of adventure.

A great book for Grade 5 and up.

Little Women

Louisa May Alcott

Unabridged

Softbound

$4.50

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Little Women is another of our family favorites - everyone loved this book, including our robust boy. There were several years in a row where at least once we would read it again - always with pleasure, as though meeting an old friend.

Largely based on the author's own childhood, it is a timeless tale of the four young March sisters - Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy - who grow to maturity in their mother's tender but strong and loving care (father was a physician serving in the Civil War).

Literary-minded tomboy Jo develops a fast friendship with the boy next door, and pretty Meg, the eldest, finds romance; frail and affectionate Beth fills the house with music, and little Amy, the youngest, seeks beauty with all the longing of an artist's soul. Although poor in material wealth, the family is rich in love, friendship and imagination. No wonder they have captured the hearts of readers for many generations.

Grade 5 and up.

Simon's Challenge

Theresa Breslin

Softbound

$10.00

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All that Simon really wants is a computer. However, with his father away looking for work and a new baby in the house, money is tight.

One evening on his way home, Simon passes Mr Peterson’s computer shop. Everything seems normal. But when the police start asking questions, Simon realizes that he may have witnessed a major burglary. The only problem is that he can't remember any details.

This is an exciting detective story, with realistic characters and a gripping plot.

Ages 10-14

Ideal for top primary or early secondary, the novel covers a number of contemporary themes: redundancy, and the related poverty it causes; a threatened marriage breakdown; sibling relationships and the parents' expectations of the elder sibling; crime and retribution/reward. Breslin's style is contemporary and streetwise without being easily dated, and her characters ring very true to life.

—Treasure Island: A guide to Scottish fiction for young readers aged 10–14, summer 2003

The Six Lives of Fankle the Cat

George Mackay Brown

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The theme of the book is the power of narrative. Living as she does for story making, Jenny projects her skill on to Fankle. The village schoolchildren are asked to write about Fankle, and their efforts make up the central chapter of the novel. There is stimulus here for readers' own writing. Mackay Brown modulates the mood delicately—amusing, roistering, and touching. Underlying there is a wistful reminder that all lives, not only Fankle's, are brief and that humans, unlike cats, have only one.”

—Treasure Island: A guide to Scottish fiction for young readers aged 10–14, Summer 2003

Tom Strynd says that he is going to drown Fankle the cat in the millpond—unless Jenny rescues him. So, even though her mother hates cats, Jenny takes him home. Fankle tells Jenny the stories of his various lives—with pirates, in ancient Egypt, and even with China’s Empress.

George Mackay Brown weaves the story of Orkney’s villagers in his own inimitable style, a rewarding read for adults and children alike.

Ages 10 - 14

Sula

Book 1 of the Sula Quartet

Lavinia Derwent

Softbound

$10.00

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Suited to readers in the later primary stages, this novel employs an unusual blending of whimsical fun and quite stark realism. There is strength and originality in the portrayal of changing relationships between Magnus and his inexperienced teacher.

—Treasure Islands: A guide to Scottish fiction for young readers aged 10–14, summer 2003

The island of Sula is the whole world to Magnus Macduff. He loves every inch of it and knows all the animals and birds. Magnus is not like the other children on the island. Often, instead of going to school, he makes his way up the shore to visit Old Whiskers the seal, or up Heathery Hill to sit with Mr Skinnymalink the hermit in his cave. Magnus is afraid that Mr Murray, the new teacher on the island, will spoil his fun. But Mr Murray is nervous too. He is an outsider. Life threatens to become difficult for both of them—until Mr Murray discovers that Magnus has a wonderful gift for drawing, “seals, birds, dogs—so fresh and life-like that the creatures seem to be crawling across the arithmetic book.”

Sula is the first of four books about life on this tiny west-coast island and the adventures of Magnus Macduff.

Ages 10-14

Return to Sula

Book 2 of the Sula Quartet

Lavinia Derwent

Softbound

$10.00

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Magnus Macduff is lured away from his beloved island of Sula when he wins a painting competition and goes to the mainland to collect his prize. But Magnus is fiercely independent and escapes back to the remote island at the first opportunity, followed by a new friend—a wild Duke whose ability with music matches Magnus’ own skill at drawing and painting.

Familiar characters, including Magnus's Gran and Old Whiskers, reappear in this second collection of Magnus's exciting adventures.

Ages 10-14

The Boy from Sula

Book 3 of the Sula Quartet

Lavinia Derwent

Softbound

$10.00

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Lavinia Derwent’s fabulous stories of Magnus Macduff and his life on Sula in the Hebrides make the Scottish islands come alive for both children and adults alike.

This is the third of four books about life on the tiny west coast island of Sula and the adventures of Magnus Macduff. When he is on the mainland, Magnus misses the island and the colorful characters there, such as Mr Skinnymalink the Hermit and Old Whiskers the seal. When he returns to the island, however, he discovers that his beloved Sula is in danger of becoming a tourist trap.

Ages 10-14

Song of Sula

Book 4 of the Sula Quartet

Lavinia Derwent

Softbound

$10.00

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Snow is not the only surprise in store for Magnus on his return to the island of Sula, after his friend the Duke's triumph in London with his Sula Symphony.

As well as a dangerous blizzard, Magnus has to contend with his terrible jealousy—for the Duke has a new friend, Lionel....

This is the fourth in the popular series of books featuring Magnus Macduff and the colorful inhabitants of Sula.

Ages 10-14

Wagons Westward

The Old Trail to Santa Fe

written and illustrated by Armstrong Sperry

Softbound

$14.95

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Amstrong Sperry, author of All Sail Set  created some of the very best historical novels written in English. That they were written for young people is almost icing on the cake -- what a terrific way to share the life of the past with young minds! Well researched, well written, and real page-turners -- good juvenile literature just doesn't get much better than this.

Wagons Westward is among the best such novels -- it will give you a whiff of what the journey along the Santa Fe Trail must have been like in 1846; and how a restless America managed to add much of the Southwest to its expanding territory. The young hero, Jonathan Starbuck, faces and overcomes many challenges along the untamed trail -- and through his eyes we find ourselves travelling right alongside these determined pioneers. The author's spirited drawings just make this good story even better.

Very highly recommended!

All Sail Set

Armstrong Sperry

The gripping and authentic yarn of a race 'round the Horn onboard the greatest clipper ever built - The Flying Cloud

$14.95

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This would also be a great accompanying novel for the Waldorf history block covering the industrial revolution, ages 12-13.

If ever there was a story of adventure on the high seas that we would want to share with the young people around us, this is it. The subtitle is as accurate as they come -- the adventure captures our imagination and holds it fast; the descriptions of sailing aboard a clipper ship are so accurate your young reader will be qualified to sign on as a deck hand before the story ends.

Sperry takes us back to the days when Clipper Ships transformed the world with their amazing speed (only 90 days to sail around the whole world!) and the race against time was a race toward a new modern world.

Here is the story of Enoch Thacher, a boy whose father lost his fortune at sea, goes to work for Donald McKay (who really existed and built an entire line of great clippers). McKay takes him on during the lofting, building, and rigging of the The Flying Cloud. Enoch finally ships out on her for her maiden, record-breaking trip around the Horn. Sperry's vigorous drawings are the perfect accompaniment to this realistic, riveting narrative of iron men and wooden ships. Even landlubbers will be pegged to their seats as they read.

The Story of King Arthur and His Knights

Told and illustrated

Softbound

$12.95

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Personally, I love all of Howard Pyle's retellings of classic tales. This one I especially love -- Pyle's sense for who Arthur is and his love of all the stories that go forth from that wondrous Round Table shines through every word and chapter. His line drawing illustrations add a feel for the period along with some often subtle indications of the quality of character of the one who is his subject.

In this volume, Pyle begins by showing how Arthur established his right to the throne by drawing the sword from the anvil and how he battled to secure his sword, Excalibur, "the most beautiful and the most famous sword in all the world." Then follow Arthur's confrontations with the Duke of North Umber and Sir Pellias, his wooing and wedding of the Lady Guinevere, and the creation of the Round Table. Arthur's knights have their share of tales, too, and we meet Merlin the Wise, Sir Gawaine, Sir Pellias and more.

These are the classic tales of the Arthurian legend, told and illustrated by a master. Whether read to younger children (9+) or given to an older student (12+) to read on his or her own, these are great stories told greatly.

The Story of the Grail and the Passing of Arthur

Howard Pyle

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$12.95

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Howard Pyle's wonderful retelling of the Arthurian legends have captivated children and adults for generations. This is one of the best of the series -- Pyles rich chronicle of the Quest for the Holy Grail and the last days of King Arthur.

The book begins with the exciting story of Sir Geraint -- his fight with the knight of Sparrow-Hawk, his setting right the wrongs of the earldom, how he destroyed three giants of the highway and more. The Pyle takes up the exploits of Sir Galahad ("the most perfect knight who ever lived"): his initiation into knighthood, how he came to the court of King Arthur, his attack on Sir Launcelot, his fatal battle with Sir Mordred and Arthur's final journey to Avalon.

With language that evokes the days of Camelot and 39 of Pyle's atmospheric illustrations, The Story of the Grail is wonderful to read or hear.

The Story of Sir Lancelot and His Companions

Written and Illustrated by Howard Pyle

Softbound

$13.95

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As part of Howard Pyle's recounting of Arthurian Britain, he also wrote about the most famous knight of the Table Round -- Sir Launcelot. Here he has captured in words and pictures the exploits and conquests of this Knight -- friend to Arthur and ultimate defender of good.

Here are thrilling accounts of this warrior's daring rescue of Queen Guinevere, his slaying of the dragon and romance with Elaine the Fair, the jousting tournament at Astolat, the story of Sir Ewain and the Lady of the Fountain, Launcelot's battle with madness, the birth of his son, Galahad, the "most perfect knight that ever lived", and much, much more.

Wonderful reading!

The Story of the Champions of the Round Table

Howard Pyle

Softbound

$11.95

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These are the stories of three worthy, noble, excellent knights-champions: Sir Launcelot, Sir Tristram, and Sir Percival.

The stories of these three knitghts are among the most colorful and enduring in the vast body of Arthurian legend. The love-story of Tristram and the beautiful Isoult, of King Mark and the magic potions; the woundrous legend of Launcelot's emergence for the castle of the Lady of the Lake and the deeds that made him teh chiefest glory of the Round Table; Percival's championship of the Lady Yvette and his adventures at the Castle of Beaurepaire - these are all retold in Pyle's inimitable style that perfectly captures the tone and spirit of ancient romance. Pyles illustrations are a treasure for all.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Retold in Modern Prose by Jessie L. Weston

Softbound

$3.95

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I think that Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is one of the deepest and finest stories in all of English literature -- the sort of story that you can return to again and again in your mind, and always come away with a new bit of insight about life, and groups and the nature of love and honor.

The story begins when a gigantic stranger clad in green bursts in on King Arthur's New Year's feast to issue a fearsome challenge to the knights of the Round Table: Any of the assembled knights may strike off the stranger's head - but that knight must be willing to receive a similar blow from teh Green Knight in one year's time. Only the gallant Gawain volunteers to uphold the dignity of Camelot. Sir Gawain the the Green Knight recounts Gawain's adventures as he seeks to fulfill his pledge to the Green Knight

The tale dates from the 14th Century or earlier and blends older pre-Christian symbols and understandings with Christian ethics and the Divine Feminine, celebrating the virtue of forgiveness. It also raises some fascinating questions about the role of human imperfection within a group, implying within the story that there can be no real acceptance by a group without such imperfection becoming visible. This is an amazing story!

This modern prose version of the Middle English poem makes it accessible, whether you are a teacher or parent wishing to learn the story to tell to 6th graders, or would like to have your high school or college students read it themselves. Of course, there's nothing wrong with buying a copy just to enjoy yourself, too.

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood

Written and Illustrated by Howard Pyle

Softbound

$10.95

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I grew up at a time when Robin Hood and his Merry Men were a vibrant part of popular culture -- all the children I played with knew the stories as well as I did, and all of us loved Robin Hood and wanted to be just like him. The amount of pretend sword fighting and arrow shooting that we did was enough to leave even our energetic rabble ready for dinner and bedtime.

Looking back on my Robin Hood days, I still feel happy and grateful to have had them -- they provided all of us with wonderful adventures requiring real courage and derring-do. And, they gave us a model of someone who stood outside an unjust law, yet upheld a truer law and with a generous heart. Really, how could anyone ask for anything more for a child's imagination?

Howard Pyle's classic retelling of the Robin Hood tales is, in my opinion, the best available. The language is wonderful, Pyle's illustrations capture each moment while leaving lots of room for more imaginings, and he has told the greatest number of Robin Hood legends between two covers. Here are stories to nourish our childrens' brave hearts. Wonderful stuff!

Otto of the Silver Hand

Written and Illustrated by Howard Pyle

Softbound

$8.95

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Pyle created a gem of story when he wrote Otto of the Silver Hand. With his wonderful command of language and consummate skill as an artist, he weaves the tale of Otto, the motherless son of a valiant robber baron in Medieval Germany. Young Otto is born into a warring household in an age when lawless chieftans are either fighting each other or despoiling merchant caravans. He is raised in a monastery only to return to his family's domain and become painfully involved in the blood-feud between his father and the rival house of Trutz-Drachen. Pyle captures the sound and feel of an ancient story in this book -- it's an adventure youngsters who hear or read it will not soon forget.

The Three Candles of Little Veronica

The story of a child's soul in this world and the other

Manfred Kyber

Illustrated by Iris Guarducci

Translation by Rosamond Reinhardt

Softbound

$19.95

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This beautiful story came into my life as a gift even before our children were born. Then, after our first arrived, a dear friend made a poster size pencil drawing of the beautiful angel with the three candles, one of the many luscious, sensitive and wonderful full-color illustrations in this very special book. Our children lived with this in their room well into their teen years - and always felt its lovingly watchful presence was just for them. (And, of course, it was!)

The story, written early in the 20th century, is of a little girl, growing up filled with life and with a delicate sensitivity for both things seen and things unseen. As with all children, her growing up is characterized by both small seed-like occurrences as well as momentous changes and challenges. As Veronica nears puberty, her uncle can see with his own sensitive gaze that she will not be able to surmount a catastrophic memory from another life. And he saw truly, for Veronica soon becomes ill and her angel comes to carry her back to her spiritual home.

Despite the grief all who loved her feel, it is nonetheless the aftermath of her passing which shines more brightly even than Veronica's own three candles. There is the brightest, yet softest and most gentle, hope and joy as it becomes ever so evident that Veronica lives on, though in a different realm.

This unique story is one of beauty, hope and love. There is the delight of childhood and seeming tragedy of an early death. This is a story that reminds all of us that life only changes, never dies. It is a story very near to my heart, as well. I hope it can become a part of your life as it became a part of mine.

Buzzy and the River Rats

Book 1 - Buzzy Moves In

John Clarke Hoffman

Softbound

$14.00

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One morning in the summer of 1954 in the Catskill Mountain town of Delhi, NY, the Fancher family moved into a vacant house on Elm Street. Buzzy Fancher's arrival heralded the beginning of many adventures for the group of boys who rallied around him and called themselves the River Rats. Their adventures sometimes brought them face to face with the tough uptown Trucker gang, but most of all they experienced the excitement, friendships, mishaps and young romance of growing up in 1950's small-town America.

The subject matter is quite appropriate for children from about grades 3 through 6 or 7, depending in large part on the particular interests of the child. This is a great "first novel" for children reading fluidly at about 5th grade level or beyond. These stories are wholesome, interesting, and well-written; told by a teacher who lived them (or wished he had!). Highly recommended.

Buzzy and the River Rats

Book 2: Exploring the Town

John Clarke Hoffman

Softbound

$14.00

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It is the autumn of 1954 in the Catskill Mountain town of Delhi, NY. John Hoffman, Buzzy Fancher, and the other members of the River Rat Gang are in eighth grade at Delaware Academy. The excitement of Halloween is in the air. Their adventures begin with an elaborate prank involving an antique fire engine. Winter brings tobogganing and romance, spring an encounter with the tough uptown Trucker gang in Stutz's junkyard, and summer a raid on a girl scout camp out at the Pine Hill Reserve. These great stories capture the both excitement and the security of growing up in 1950s small-town America.

The subject matter is quite appropriate for children from about grades 3 through 6 or 7, depending in large part on the particular interests of the child. This is a great "first novel" for children reading fluidly at about 5th grade level or beyond. These stories are wholesome, interesting, and well-written; told by a teacher who lived them (or wished he had!). Highly recommended.

Buzzy and the River Rats

Book 3 Romance and Adventure

John Clarke Hoffman

Softbound

$12.95

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It is late in the summer of 1954 in the Catskill Mountain town of Delhi, NY. John Hoffman, Buzzy Fancher and the other members of the River Rat Gang are about to enter ninth grade at Delaware Academy. As a last summer adventure they explore the old Delaware Academy school building nd get more than they bargain for. Autumn finds the River Rats plotting to disrupt the high school Halloween party. Winter brings tobogganing and exploring an abandoned barn; spring, an encounter with the tough uptown Trucker gang in the old powdered milk factory.

The Buzzy stories are for all ages and capture the excitement, friendships, mishaps and young romance of growing up in the 1950's in small-town America.

A lovely continuation of the series!

Buzzy and the River Rats - Books 1, 2 & 3 - Special

Regular price for all three: $38.85

$35.85

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The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings

J.R.R. Tolkien

4 Volume Deluxe Boxed Set

Paperbound - large trade paper format

$45.00

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I once knew a young father - a professional storyteller - who steadfastly maintained that he had children so that, when they were old enough, he could tell them The Lord of the Rings. I didn't really believe that was his primary motive for raising children, but on the other hand, The Lord of the Rings is without doubt one of the all-time greatest stories ever. Tolkien created a masterpiece of epic proportions, where the joy of goodness shines radiantly pure and the chill of evil creeps with unmistakable darkness. Through it all, the imperfect, comfort-loving Hobbits uphold the destiny of the world one uncertain step at a time. A great story to read to children 9 and up or for teens and adults to read to themselves.

Flatland

A Romance of Many Dimensions

Edwin A Abbott

Softbound

$2.00

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Flatland is not only one of the very first science fiction books ever written (1884), but it is such an enjoyable and excellent introduction to the concept of dimensions and their effect on our perceptions, that it remains high on the list of books recommended for curious students of mathematics. I would personally recommend it for precocious 7th or 8th graders as well as high school and college students. Every mathematician I've ever met has read it, remembered it fondly and recommended passing it along to the younger generation.

Here's the story line:

A. Square is a mathematician and resident of two-dimensional Flatland, where women -- thin, straight lines -- are the lowliest of shapes, and where men may have any number of sides, depending on their social status. [n.b.: the sexism alone can be guaranteed to spark hours of lively discussion!]

Through strange occurrences that bring him into contact with a host of geometric forms, Square has adventures in Spaceland (three dimensions), Lineland (one dimension) and Pointland (no dimensions) and ultimately entertains thoughts of visiting a land of four dimensions -- a revolutionary idea for which he is returned to his two-dimensional world.

There are charming illustrations by the author throughout. Who says mathematics can't be fun?

Shabanu - Daughter of the Wind

Suzanne Fisher Staples

Softbound

Regular Price
$8.99
Sale Price
$6.95

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Shabanu is the second daughter of a Pakistani family with no sons. As such, she's been allowed some freedoms usually forbidden to Muslim girls. Yet, her parents soon grow concerned that her independence and disinterest in "women's work" will lead to trouble. As tradition dictates, Shabanu's father has arranged for her to marry in the coming year. Though this will mean an end to her liberty, Shabanu accepts it as her duty to her family. A tragic encounter with a wealthy and powerful landowner ruins the marriage plans of her older sister, and Shabanu is called upon to sacrifice everything she's dreamed of. Should she do what her family's honor requires - or should she listen to her heart?