Reviews for Treasure Island


Booklist Reviews 2004 September #2
Gr. 9-12. This illustrated collection, the ninth volume in the Graphic Classics series, uses visuals by many artists to highlight and retell some of the nineteenth-century writer's novels, poetry, and short fiction. The adaptation of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, though abridged, follows the basic story line. It's the art that surprises. Although the realistic style used in the first part of the story, with its heavy line work and ornate backgrounds, contrasts starkly with the softened, more modern style employed in the second, both convey the underlying darkness of the tale. In stories such as "The Distinguished Stranger" and "The Yellow Paint," the pictures allow Stevenson's humor and wit to shine through. Added bonuses include an illustrated tribute to Stevenson by the infamous Crumb brothers, Maxon and Robert, which recalls their childhood fascination with Treasure Island, and a short, comical biography of Stevenson. A good choice to help introduce Stevenson, with enough humor and irony to grab teens addicted to the likes of Mad magazine. ((Reviewed September 15, 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.

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Booklist Reviews 2003 August #1
Gr. 5-9. This is one of the best in the picture-book-size Scribner Storybook Classic series. True to the spirit of Stevenson's timeless novel, Timothy Meis' abridged retelling captures the bloody action of mutiny on the high seas and the cutthroat quest for hidden treasure. The story is told through the eyes of brave cabin boy Jim, who fights off the murderous pirates and bonds with their one-legged leader, Long John Silver. Wyeth's thrilling, handsomely reproduced paintings, originally done in 1911, will attract a variety of readers, including some older high-schoolers. In dark shades of brown and red, the pictures focus on the grim, exciting struggle on board the ship and on the island. At the same time, there's a burning golden glow in the background of almost every scene, keeping readers in mind of the treasure that drives the wild action. The most unforgettable painting--and one of Wyeth's most famous--is the melancholy scene of Jim leaving home as his mother weeps in the background. It's the elemental adventure. ((Reviewed August 2003)) Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews

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Booklist Reviews 2007 March #2
One forgets how much modern tales of swashbuckling owe to Robert Louis Stevenson's classic. MacDonald's retelling, an entry in Barron's Graphic Classics series, has all the important elements: the daring young apprentice, the tricky old seadog, the ruthless band of pirates, and, of course, buried treasure. Unfortunately, the pages are a bit too tightly packed, and each panel is overcaptioned with dry prose, which dilutes the tale's excitement and spectacle. The full-color art is highly detailed and realistically gritty, and the power of the narrative is impossible to suppress. A way into a classic for reluctant readers, this book, suggested for larger collections, is also a good reminder of what a rousing pirate yarn is all about. Footnotes on seagoing terms, background on the story and on Stevenson himself, and notes on pirates in the movies round out the book. Other adaptations in the series include Oliver Twist and Moby Dick. ((Reviewed March 15, 2007)) Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.

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Booklist Monthly Selections - #2 March 2000
Gr. 3^-5, younger for reading aloud. As in the other volumes of the Poetry for Young People series, this illustrated collection of verse begins with a well-written, four-page introduction to the poet. These poems, chosen mainly from A Child's Garden of Verses, are colorfully illustrated and notable for their detailed brushstrokes of gentle colors. They interpret the verse in a style that is fanciful without looking too juvenile for a middle-grade audience. Younger children will find the poems and illustrations to their liking as well. A taste of Stevenson for young readers. ((Reviewed March 15, 2000)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Spring
These classic tales are set up in a faux comic format unlikely to fool graphic novel enthusiasts. The bulk of each story is told through text set in the white space below small, colorful panels with dialogue bubbles, making for poor integration between text and pictures. The illustrations are static and the design cramped. Extensive backmatter is included. Reading list, timeline. Ind. [Review covers these Graphic Classics titles: [cf2]Oliver Twist[cf1] and [cf2]Treasure Island[cf1].] Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2000 Fall
A rushed and perfunctory four-page biographical introduction heads this volume of poems. Although the text doesn't mention it, most of the poems can be found in [cf2]A Child's Garden of Verses[cf1]. Nearby definitions help with unfamiliar words, and light-toned, gently cartoonish illustrations reinforce the child-centered themes. Ind. Copyright 2000 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2004 Spring
Stevenson's grand, full-length novel has been severely abridged: the text spans a few dozen pages. However, Wyeth's burnished oil-color depictions of the peg-legged pirate Long John Silver and his cohorts are shown to good effect on the oversize pages, which will probably appeal more to adult collectors than to kids seeking a good read. Copyright 2004 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2002 Fall
StevensonÆs prose, stripped of much of its descriptive power but honed down to a readable, fast-moving action story, is illustrated in this oversize volume with reproductions of N. C. WyethÆs 1911-edition oil paintings. The reproductions are often blurry or hazy and tend to monochrome umber, but WyethÆs pirates are old-school villainous, and the atmospheric paintings have an almost unmatched dynamism. Copyright 2002 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2010 June #1

"Woohoo. Treasure Island, here we come!" So crows young Jim Hawkins in this notably lame and jumbled graphic adaptation of Stevenson's classic. Crowding variously sized panels and sometimes-misplaced dialogue balloons atop one another, Kohlrus illustrates the tale with jumbles of generally static figures in ragged (but apparently freshly laundered) clothing and scenes of hard-to-follow action. The sound-bite dialogue is largely incidental to Jim's severely truncated narrative, which is broken up into multiple captions on every page, includes unnecessary footnotes ("The Dry Tortugas are a small group of islands in the Gulf of Mexico") and gives the whole outing a feeling of being told rather than shown. No competition for the robust adaptations of Tim Hamilton (2005) or Roy Thomas (2008), nor does it measure up to the standards set by the same publisher's adaptation of Moby Dick, adapted by Lance Stahlberg and illustrated by Lalit Kumar Singh (ISBN: 978-93-80028-22-4). (Graphic fiction. 11-13)

Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Kirkus Reviews 2005 July #2
Classic Comics return in this uninspired adaptation of Stevenson's rollicking pirate tale. The storyline is faithful--perhaps too faithful--to the original text; presented mostly in dull boxes of first-person narration, it plods glacially for a full third of the work, until young Jim Hawkins finally boards the Hispaniola. His subsequent terrifying adventure certainly speeds up the pace, but the black-and-white artwork, while realistic and finely detailed, remains frustratingly static; moody and atmospheric, it seems better suited to Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. The shipboard details and contemporary accoutrements appear accurate and painstakingly researched, but the characters are sketchy and hard to distinguish behind the inky noir shadows and strained perspectives. Occasional images of startling beauty and subtle power testify to Hamilton's talent; it's a pity he didn't trust them to carry the story. (Graphic novel. 8+) Copyright Kirkus 2005 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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Library Journal Reviews 1991 September #1
Editor Stoneley provides a brief introduction, complete with publication histories, for fiction by Stevenson that is under 50,000 words. The chronological arrangement allows readers to see Stevenson's development as a writer adept at interpreting the human condition. Stevenson knew how to tell spellbinding stories with an intelligence and wit that can still be enjoyed today. Moreover, his concern about the nature of good and evil is universal, and his treatments of race, class, and gender give us a 19th-century perspective that is helpful in our own struggles with these issues. Libraries without a similar collection will want this one, although they should know that the absence of notes is sometimes a problem for topical references and dialects.-- Judy Mimken, Saginaw, Mich. Copyright 1991 Cahners Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2009 August #5

Tim Gregory captures the essence of this classic coming-of-age tale featuring villainous buccaneers, buried treasure, murder, treachery and adventure on the high seas. We follow the exploits of young Jim Hawkins along his voyage for treasure aboard the Hispaniola to his showdown with the villain Long John Silver on Treasure Island. Gregory introduces a host of uniquely rendered characters, with Silver and his pirates matching wits and weapons with Hawkins and his comrades as they battle for control of Treasure Island and a share of Captain Flint's long lost treasure. Gregory's rendering of the iconic characters--particularly the duplicitous Silver and the marooned and raving Ben Gunn--are nuanced, true to the text and utterly enjoyable. He avoids the easy clichs of the pirate genre and instead portrays complex characters in a performance that will delight listeners of all ages. (June)

[Page 52]. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2007 August #2
Sure, this summer's flick Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End may have visual splash, but a new recording of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, read by Alfred Molina, serves up a swashbuckling listening experience for the whole family. Molina's British accent, smooth delivery and inviting tone of wide-eyed adventure whisk readers on deck with teenage narrator/protagonist Jim Hawkins. His depictions of gruff seamen and the program's occasional snippets of sea chantey music further color the proceedings. A bonus essay by maritime scholar David Cordingly is included. (Listening Library, unabridged, six CDs, seven hours $29.95 ISBN 9780-7393-5046-1 ages 9-up; July) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2003 June #4
The Scribner Storybook Classic line adds Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, abridged by Timothy Meis, with vintage illustrations by N.C. Wyeth. Young Jim Hawkins finds a treasure map and follows it to South America, only to wind up in the hands of the notorious pirate Long John Silver. Climactic scenes of aggressive mutineers or the hero's valiant attempt to keep the evil Mr. Hands at bay come alive in Wyeth's atmospheric oil paintings. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1993 November #4
Stevenson's short stories and novellas are collected, including his classic study of late-Victorian dualism, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde . (Dec.) Copyright 1993 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 October

Gr 3-5--While this abridgement of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic captures most of the key details and action of the story, it feels choppy at times and listeners don't feel as emotionally attached to the vibrant characters. The female reader speaks clearly, but her high, pleasant voice doesn't always correspond to the rough and tumble action of the story and the predominantly male cast of characters. While she varies her pitch and pacing, individual characters are not given uniquely identifiable voices, making it difficult for listeners to become wholly invested in the telling. The paperback book has a nice font size for following along as well as plenty of white space and scattered black-and-white illustrations. Although the audio presentation is not stellar, those who need an accessible version of the story for younger children can make use of this audiobook.--Deanna Romriell, Salt Lake City Public Library, UT

[Page 60]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2007 March

Gr 2-6-- In this retelling of Stevenson's classic story, each spread is structured as a chapter and provides a short story arc within the larger tale. The elements of suspense or triumph that close each chapter compel readers to turn the page for the next piece of the story. However, the graphic storytelling leaves much to be desired, especially in the essential layout and presentation. The pages are comprised of a series of mostly wordless panels, depicting tight close-ups of the characters as their situations are described in captions paraphrasing Stevenson's prose with none of its luster. When dialogue does appear, it is placed artificially at the top of each panel despite the fact that it is almost universally meant to follow the caption it precedes, creating a dissonant reading experience. Vocabulary is defined in footnotes, and a handful of concluding pages provide some context for Stevenson's life and background on the novel. The volume may well provide young readers with a desired dose of pirates, but this attempt has not bent the format to fit the vintage tale. Try the version adapted and illustrated by Tim Hamilton, instead (Puffin, 2005).--Benjamin Russell, Belmont High School, NH

[Page 239]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2008 May

Gr 4 Up-- Among the litany of popular pirate fare, Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale remains one of the best. This version, beautifully narrated by Alfred Molina, was a 2008 Odyssey Award Honor selection for excellence in audio production. Young Jim's introduction to a "gentleman of fortune's" world is captivating, energetic, and suspenseful. Long John Silver, the ruthless pirate who charms the crew, launches a mutiny in pursuit of hidden treasure, with Jim caught between the mutineers and the ship's sponsors. Molina's balanced intonation and subtle characterizations enhance Stevenson's text. Dramatic pacing keeps listeners on the edge of their gunwales. Pirates who stereotypically growl through their grog, here are rendered to induce a realistic fear of being drawn and quartered on the poop deck. Perhaps the finest sea adventure ever written, this audiobook is sure to be a hit with young buccaneers. And don't miss the afterword on the final CD, a well-written biography of Stevenson and his literary contributions.--Robin Levin, Fort Washakie School/Community Library, WY

[Page 79]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2005 November

Gr 5-9 -Jim Hawkins, Billy Bones, Ben Gunn, and Long John Silver come alive again in this faithful adaptation of the classic novel, which retains much of the original language. Billy Bones is still "struck dead by apoplexy" and the parrot still cries "pieces of eight," for example. The stark visuals are often gripping, most notably in the scene in which Billy Bones first appears and later when Jim Hawkins fights for his life against Israel Hands aboard the Hispaniola . The section entitled "The Making of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island " includes concept sketches, photos of Hamilton's friends that he used as models for his characters, and information on his artistic techniques. Readers will also learn that the author approaches storytelling "in a cinematic way," which may explain why there are so many images of characters' faces hidden dramatically in shadows. Older children and teens will find this to be a compelling read, and it can help to bridge the gap in your library between graphic novels and the classics.-Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library

[Page 177]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2007 January

Gr 4-6 The format of these retellings provides a gateway to otherwise daunting works of literature. By no means are these graphic novels meant to replace the originals; the vocabulary is limited, and the narrative, dialogue, and descriptive elements are rudimentary. Yet in combination with the bold, fresh, action-packed graphic elements, the stories will attract reluctant readers. What is verbal in the original novels, such as characterization or imagery, is dependent on the art. Line qualities in the color drawings are varied and show evidence of an accomplished illustrator. The books include discussion questions that teachers might find useful. These titles are visually attractive and will see a lot of circulation. Once in the hands of developing readers, they may open the doors to the masterful works on which they are based. Joel Bangilan, Houston Public Library, TX

[Page 159]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2007 May

Gr 3-5 -All three adaptations of these classic novels fall prey to the usual pitfalls involved in such a process. The bare outlines of the plots are provided, but character development, a true sense of place and time with regard to setting, and masterful description of the action all go by the wayside. Jungle Book is mistitled as it references only the Mowgli stories and moves from incident to incident so quickly that the "law of the jungle" morals in Kipling's anthropomorphic fables are lost. Treasure Island is written in a similar breakneck, choppy style, and Long John Silver, one of the most memorable characters ever created, is eminently forgettable in this telling. In 80 Days , the historic events that made such a journey even thinkable, like the opening of the Suez Canal and the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, are never mentioned, nor is the International Date Line, which enabled Fogg to win his wager, mentioned, let alone explained. The cartoon illustrations in all three volumes border on offensive as no matter which country or culture is depicted, the dot-eyed faces are virtually identical except for minor variations in skin tone. Some illustrations make no sense, as when the action in 80 Days describes the servant Passepartout at the bottom of a circus pyramid, but the picture is of a Japanese tearoom.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ

[Page 100]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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SL Reviews 2002 January
Gr 2-5-This fast-paced, pared down "storyteller's version" of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic will captivate listeners thanks to Jim Weiss's ability to bring a story to life. Weiss begins by briefly discussing Stevenson's life and explaining how the celebrated author came to create the novel. After this fine introduction, he treats listeners to an entertaining adaptation of the adventure that is easy to follow. Young Jim Hawkins discovers a treasure map and takes to the high seas to claim the treasure. Battling Hawkins is a vindictive group of pirates led by the duplicitous peg-legged Long John Silver. Weiss has fun with the characters, especially the boisterous Silver, the shrill Ben Gunn, and a parrot that loves squawking "Pieces of Eight! Pieces of Eight!" He uses his voice effectively when describing both the terror Hawkins feels hiding from bad guys and the sudden noise of a gun battle. Jim Weiss ends by telling kids to find the book at their local library. An hour long program cannot do complete justice to Stevenson's classic, but this skillful presentation will encourage young listeners to read Treasure Island.-Brian E. Wilson, Evanston Public Library, IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2003 January
Gr 3-5-Stripped down from the original, this version reads smoothly enough for younger readers to get the plot and essential characters straight and the oversized format gives the story and pictures import. But 14 Wyeth illustrations, murkily reproduced and in a garishly yellowed tint, hardly convey the artist's full-color, masterful, and classic depictions of the action. To see the real pictures, suggest that children look at the version published by Atheneum (1981). They might even read the whole story.-Susan Hepler, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2000 July
Gr 1-4-A collection of 32 poems, taken mostly from A Child's Garden of Verses. A short introductory biography with quotes taken from the writer's letters gives an insightful glimpse into his life and how it influenced his poems. The illustrations convey the poetic notion of a romantic childhood memory, with pink-cheeked children, many depicted from behind or fast asleep. Fanciful, dreamlike scenes of being king for a day, peering down on "the land of counterpane," and a king riding a unicorn in a circus parade are full of intriguing details. Muted colors, rich with warm golden accents among the dominant green tone, are a peaceful accompaniment to the poems.-Ronald Jobe, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2002 October
Gr 7 Up-Robert Louis Stevenson's brilliant sea-faring classic, the archetypal pirate story, is given a neat and smoothly executed turn in this rendition. The tale of the preternaturally able young Jim Hawkins and his encounter with the arcane old seaman, Bill Bones, that subsequently launches the treasure-seeking saga is wonderfully narrated by Ralph Cosham. His strong narrative voice as Hawkins is beautifully complemented by his subtle vocal modulations for the other characters. Cosham's treatment of the rowdy Long John Silver is particularly fine. The cornucopia of available Treasure Island audio versions affords both libraries and listeners a degree of selectivity not often enjoyed in audiobooks. This version is highly recommended for its CD format and clean, straightforward narrative approach and production values.-Barry X. Miller, Austin Public Library, TX Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2001 September
Gr 7 Up-The archetypal sea-faring adventure story is given another rousing and dramatic rendition in this quickly paced abridged entry in Hodder's top-flight Classic Collection series. The critical plot and subplot threads have been beautifully retained, and all the classic lines like "shiver me timbers" have been included. Stalwart English actor Richard Griffiths handles the bulk of the narrative chores flawlessly and is particularly effective in his pacing. He is capably assisted by Gareth Armstrong who, inexplicably, is uncredited on the cassette case. The subtle use of occasional sound effects such as gulls, lapping waves, and cannon and gunshot enhances this superb version of Stevenson's masterpiece. All collections should make room for this fine work.-Barry X. Miller, Austin Public Library, TX Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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VOYA Reviews 2005 February
This ninth series entry tackles works by nineteenth-century author Stevenson. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is cleverly abridged in two parts. In the first, illustrator Simon Gane's squared-off Frank Miller-esque illustrations evoke the Victorian era of the story. In the second, artist Michael Slack uses only one drawing per page to illustrate the poor doctor's final journal entries. His many washes of gray over strong caricatures make Jekyll's descent into madness somehow lovely. The book also presents adaptations of various shorter Stevenson works. Some of these are only a page or two long, and the style for each varies. There is a wonderfully "cartoony" The Sinking Ship by British comic legend Hunt Emerson. Peter Gullerud contributes a dark yet somehow silly interpretation of The Two Matches. There is even a short biography of Stevenson illustrated in a Mad magazine style by Chad Carpenter. The collection wraps up with a terrific version of The Bottle Imp. Artist Lance Tooks does away with conventional comics panels and wildly strews Stevenson's words and his own highly stylized illustrations across each page. Far from being hard to follow, the layout makes it a clear and fast-paced read As with the other volumes of this series, this book is a good one to have on hand. Fans of Stevenson's work will appreciate the varied interpretations of it, and comics fans may get caught up in Stevenson's clever tales and seek out more.-Geri Diorio 4Q 3P M J S G Copyright 2005 Voya Reviews.

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VOYA Reviews 2007 February
These two graphic format adaptations make an adequate introduction for young middle school readers to classic literature. The simple, illustrated, abridged format makes these well-known stories a start for reluctant readers. The story lines are faithful to the original texts but presented mostly in a very static first-person narration and are significantly condensed. All prominent characters from each novel and the settings are replicated, but the condensation often makes the story somewhat choppy. Treasure Island is an exciting adventure story of a young boy who finds a treasure map in the chest of a guest at this mother's inn. He joins a sailing crew to search for the treasure and must learn to survive among the brutal pirates and the terrifying hard life on the sea. Oliver Twist is the story of a nineteenth-century orphan who is forced to work in a brutal workhouse and then escapes to London where he joins a group of young thieves until he is adopted by a generous benefactor.The titles incorporate mediocre colored comic-style illustrations, with dialogue balloons or split frames, and are illustrated in a conventional comic style that uses sequential panels containing both art and text. Each title also features a brief biography and time line of its author and a list of his important works. These books are suitable for classroom use or for readers at a junior high school level who have an interest or need to read classic titles, but there are other abridged illustrated classic publications that would be a better choice for a library or school.-Eileen Kuhl Copyright 2007 Voya Reviews.

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