Summary: The willful, chatty ten-year-old Rebecca Rowena Randall has been sent away....+
The willful, chatty ten-year-old Rebecca Rowena Randall has been sent away from her home at Sunnybrook Farm to live with her two spinster aunts in the quiet town of Riverboro--where it is hoped she will be brought up as a proper young lady.
Precocious, curious, and full of creative energy, Rebecca isn’t quite ready to be tamed, leaving the prim and demanding Aunt Miranda with her hands full. But soon, Rebecca’s irrepressible spirit and bright intelligence win the hearts of all in Riverboro--including her rigid aunt. As we follow Rebecca’s coming-of-age over the course of seven years, we find that she manages to become a fine young lady in the process.
The unconventional and charismatic Rebecca, a new kind of female character when she was first introduced in 1903, has since become one of the most beloved characters in children’s literature.
Summary: Who could forget the pranks, the adventures, the sheer fun of Tom Sawyer? From....+
Who could forget the pranks, the adventures, the sheer fun of Tom Sawyer? From Tom’s sly trickery with the whitewashed fence to his and Becky Thatcher’s calamities in Bat Cave, the enjoyment never ends.
Just what did boys do in a small town during the mid-1800s, a time when there were no televisions, no arcades, and no videos? They whitewashed fences, floated down rivers, traded marbles, formed secret societies, smoked pipes, and, on occasion, managed to attend their own funerals. Yes, they may have been a bit mischievous, but as Aunt Polly said of Tom when she believed him to be dead, “He was the best-hearted boy that ever was.” Aunt Polly’s sentiments reveal one of Mark Twain’s cardinal philosophies: In this deceitful and infirm world, innocence can be found only in the heart of a boy.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a humorous and nostalgic book depicting the carefree days of boyhood in a small Midwestern town. The characters are based on Twain’s schoolmates and the town, Hannibal, Missouri, is where Twain grew up.
Summary: Huck Finn is an orphaned drifter who loves freedom more than respectability.....+
Huck Finn is an orphaned drifter who loves freedom more than respectability. He isn’t above lying and stealing, but he faces a battle with his conscience when he meets up with a runaway slave named Jim, who provides him with his first experiences of love, acceptance, and a sense of responsibility.
The title character of this famous novel tells his own story in a straightforward narrative laced with shrewd, sharp comments on human nature. The boy’s adventures along the Mississippi River provide a framework for a series of moral lessons, revelations of a corrupt society, and contrasts between innocence and hypocrisy. The colorful cast of characters--including the crafty grifters, the Duke and the King--help make this a memorable classic.
Summary: Olenin is an aimless young nobleman who is disenchanted with city life. Taking....+
Olenin is an aimless young nobleman who is disenchanted with city life. Taking a post as a Cadet in the army, he finds himself assigned to the remote Cossack outpost in the Caucasus. It is here, among the Tatars, the Chechens, and the Old Believers, that he will fall in love with a beautiful Cossack girl. The only problem is that she is promised to a Cossack warrior.
In the setting of what is present-day Kazakhstan, Tolstoy examines two psychological problems. The first is the dilemma of a young man who desires both fulfilling love and a place as a respected member of society. The other is the difficulty of a primitive society to accept domination by a higher culture that has no understanding of the traditions it asks its colonists to cast aside.
One of Tolstoy’s lesser-known novels, The Cossacks is one of the finest pictures of Cossack society in all of Russian literature.
Summary: When a Roman ship is wrecked on the coast of Britain, Beric, the infant son....+
When a Roman ship is wrecked on the coast of Britain, Beric, the infant son of a Roman soldier, is the only survivor. Beric grows up with a Briton tribe, but to his foster people he remained an alien, one of the Red Crests. So when bad times come, the tribe holds him responsible and casts him out.
Rejected by the only life he knew, the boy turns to his own people, but Rome too rejects him. Lost, bewildered, a captive in his father’s land, he escaped from slavery only to be captured again and condemned to labor on the rowing benches of a galley of the Rhenus Fleet. Will Beric ever find ultimate happiness?
Rosemary Sutcliff provides a fine and exciting story with a background of Roman Britain that rings true from the first page to the last.
Summary: This book is the inspiration for the Academy Award-nominated film, There Will....+
This book is the inspiration for the Academy Award-nominated film, There Will Be Blood, starring Daniel Day-Lewis.
As he did so masterfully in The Jungle, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Upton Sinclair interweaves social criticism with human tragedy to create an unforgettable portrait of Southern California’s early oil industry.
Enraged by the oil scandals of the Harding administration in the 1920s, Sinclair tells a gripping tale of avarice, corruption, and class warfare, featuring a cavalcade of characters, including senators, oil magnates, Hollywood film starlets, and a crusading evangelist. At the center of the novel are an oil developer and his son. As the story moves forward, the divide between father and son grows until the young man is fighting the very industry that brought his father great success.
Sinclair’s glorious 1927 epic endures as one of our most powerful American novels of social injustice.
Summary: Written nearly a century ago and translated into over 40 languages, this masterpiece....+
Written nearly a century ago and translated into over 40 languages, this masterpiece of historical fiction is one of the best-selling novels in history and the inspiration for the MGM motion picture of 1951. An epic of love and courage in Nero’s time, it illustrates the conflict of moral ideas within the Roman Empire at the dawn of Christianity.
Marcus, a Roman officer in Nero's army, risks his career, his family, and even his life when he falls in love with a Christian woman named Callina. In order to win Callina’s love, Marcus must come to understand the true meaning of her religion, even as Rome sinks under the excesses of Nero and Christians are thrown to the lions. Quo Vadis brims with the passion and life as it explores one of the turning points in history.
Summary: A poignant and inspirational love story set in Burma, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats....+
A poignant and inspirational love story set in Burma, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats spans the decades between the 1950s and the present.
When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be--until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father’s past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will reaffirm the listener’s belief in the power of love to move mountains.
Summary: Rob Roy MacGregor is the romantic outlaw who comes alive in Sir Walter Scott’s....+
Rob Roy MacGregor is the romantic outlaw who comes alive in Sir Walter Scott’s classic epic of the passions and struggles of the Scottish border lands.
In rich, vivid prose, Rob Roy follows the adventures of Frank Osbaldistone, who falls out of favor with his father after failing to measure up to his expectations in the world of business. Sent to stay in Scotland, Frank, an innocent, Protestant Englishman, is intrigued by the wild and noble land. He finds himself drawn to the powerful, enigmatic figure of Rob Roy who, with his passionate and fierce wife Helen, fights for justice and dignity for the Scottish people.
Twists of plot, Rob Roy’s cunning escapes, uprisings against English oppressors, and Frank’s forbidden love for a Catholic girl combine with superb period detail to make this an incomparable portrait of the highlands, a great hero, and a glorious Scottish past.
Summary: Lew Wallace gained world-wide fame as the author of the bestselling novel Ben-Hur.....+
Lew Wallace gained world-wide fame as the author of the bestselling novel Ben-Hur. But did you know that as a boy, he played hooky from school? Governor, foreign minister, Civil War general, inventor, artist, and author, Lew Wallace spent his boyhood in the fields and rivers of his native Midwest. Join Lew as he rescues his baby brother from death and entertains friends with portraits from his “magic pencil.”
Praised by parents, teachers, and historians, the Young Patriots Series is an ideal way to sweep today’s young readers into history. The everyday details of family life, the time period in which they lived, what they wore, and the challenges they faced in school create a window through which children can access history. The evidence of character, responsibility, ability, and courage showcase situations to which every child can relate.
Summary: Hector Monro, writing under the pseudonym of Saki, is justly renowned for his....+
Hector Monro, writing under the pseudonym of Saki, is justly renowned for his urbane and witty short stories. His eccentric characters, humorous dialogue, and engaging domestic situations all reveal a penetrating and sometimes disturbing insight into human nature. As a quixotic tour guide, Saki leads the reader from garden party to pig sty to political convention with the ease of one who is intimately familiar with the cares and foibles of the human condition, showing us this vista of life through the well-tempered lens of his gentle, British irony.
In this definitive collection of seventy short stories, we can browse and sightsee at our leisure, cross borders of fresh insight, admire and enjoy each whimsical tale as we journey through the imaginative landscape of a truly artful writer.
Summary: With swordfights and romance, adventure and treachery set against the backdrop....+
With swordfights and romance, adventure and treachery set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, this is the book that made Rafael Sabatini famous.
André-Louis Moreau has good prospects as a young lawyer, but an unfair duel with the ruthlessly cruel Count de La Tour d’Azyr leaves André-Louis’ best friend dead and André-Louis himself a fugitive from the king’s justice. While incognito, disguised as “Scaramouche,” he becomes both a wildly popular actor and a firebrand of the Revolution. His vow to avenge his friend’s murder leads him deeper into the political intrigues that surround the Revolution and to a position of power. But there are secrets to be revealed that will stun all of Paris.
One of the best historical romances of all time, Scaramouche was a bestseller upon its original publication in the United States in 1921. Today it remains a classic of swashbuckling adventure.
Summary: Plague and warfare have swept across the Orient, ravaging the ancient kingdom....+
Plague and warfare have swept across the Orient, ravaging the ancient kingdom of Wa, devastating the royal line, and leaving a new dynasty on the throne--a new emperor, Akantsu, filled with fear of all who might seek to wrest the empire from his grasp. Among those out of favor with the new liege is the Order of the Botahist Monks, whose mystical powers have enabled them to hold positions as spiritual advisors to the imperial court for nearly ten centuries. But Emperor Akantsu fears none so greatly as he does Lord Shonto, the brilliant leader of the most important of the old families, whose influence could rally the great houses against the throne and whose adopted daughter, the beautiful and talented Lady Nishima, is the last surviving member of the old royal family.
Sent to be military governor of a northern border province long threatened by barbarian invaders, Lord Shonto knows he is being lured to his death. But Akantsu has underestimated his foe, for not only is Lord Shonto the greatest military genius of the age but he has with him a spiritual advisor from the Botahist order--a young man gifted with extraordinary martial arts skills and magical abilities, Initiate Brother Shuyun. And even Lord Shonto does not realize the true potential of this young monk. Only time will reveal that Shuyun’s magical powers have not seen their equal in nearly a thousand years--not since the Perfect Master himself walked the paths of the empire.
Summary: It is the season of war.As the plum blossom winds herald spring in the Empire....+
It is the season of war.
As the plum blossom winds herald spring in the Empire of Wa, Initiate Brother Shuyun, spiritual advisor to Lord Shonto, the military governor of the northernmost province of Seh, receives a shocking message from the barbarian lands. The massive army of the Golden Khan is poised at their border. Forced to retreat south, Lord Shonto is caught between the pursuing barbarian hordes and his own hostile emperor’s Imperial Army.
Meanwhile, the beautiful young Lady Nishima again becomes involved in court intrigue as well as in a dangerous romantic liaison.
Even as this trap closes on Shonto and his allies, Brother Shuyun faces a crisis of his own. For in the same scroll that warned of the invasion was a sacred udumbara blossom, a sign his order has awaited for a thousand years, a sign that the Great Teacher has finally been reborn. And now it may fall to one young monk with extraordinary powers to save his empire.
Summary: “Man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains.” Thus begins Jean-Jacques....+
“Man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains.” Thus begins Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s influential 1762 work, On the Social Contract, a milestone of political science, and essential reading for students of history, philosophy, and social science. A progressive work, it inspired world-wide political reforms, most notably the American and French Revolutions, because it argued that monarchs were not divinely empowered to legislate. Rousseau asserts that only the people, in the form of the sovereign, have that all powerful right. On the Social Contract’s appeal and influence has been wide-ranging and continuous. It has been called an encomium to democracy and, at the same time, a blueprint for totalitarianism. Individualists, collectivists, anarchists, and socialists have all taken courage from Rousseau’s controversial masterpiece.
Summary: This delightful and interesting account of the Pilgrims is written especially....+
This delightful and interesting account of the Pilgrims is written especially for children. It explores the religious oppression of the Pilgrims in England, their escape to Holland and eventual crossing to America on the Mayflower, and their early days in New England. Based on historical fact, the stories are filled with details of everyday life and vivid characterizations of Pilgrim families as they struggle to maintain their faith in the New World. The Brewster children and other Pilgrim boys and girls are the center of interest. This is a wonderful book to listen to in the weeks before Thanksgiving.
Summary: Beatrix Potter’s charming stories have enchanted children for over a hundred....+
Beatrix Potter’s charming stories have enchanted children for over a hundred years. She brilliantly evokes the beauty of nature and country life, and each story brings to life characters listeners will remember and love for years to come. This collection includes eighteen favorite tales about Peter Rabbit, Tom Kitten, Squirrel Nutkin, Mrs. Tittlemouse, and the others. Let your children share in the tradition of Beatrix Potter and her animal family, a literary treasure for generations to cherish.
Summary: “Oh, Aunt Polly, I don’t know how to be glad enough that you let me come....+
“Oh, Aunt Polly, I don’t know how to be glad enough that you let me come to live with you!”
As soon as the orphaned Pollyanna arrives in Beldingsville to live with her strict and dutiful maiden aunt, she begins to brighten up everybody’s life. The sick, the lonely, and the just plain miserable all fall under her spell and are transformed--until one day something so terrible happens that even Pollyanna doesn’t know how to feel glad any more.
First published in 1913, the tale of Pollyanna and the “glad game,” the game of finding a silver lining in every cloud, is one of the most popular and enduring children's stories of all time.
Summary: Ovid’s sensuous and witty poem brings together a dazzling array of mythological....+
Ovid’s sensuous and witty poem brings together a dazzling array of mythological tales, ingeniously linked by the idea of transformation, often as a result of love or lust, in which men and women find themselves magically changed into new and sometimes extraordinary beings. Beginning with the creation of the world and ending with the deification of Augustus, Ovid interweaves many of the best known myths and legends of ancient Greece and Rome, including Daedalus and Icarus, Pyramus and Thisbe, Pygmalion, Perseus and Andromeda, and the fall of Troy. Mortals become gods, animals turn to stone, and humans change into flowers, trees, or stars.
First published in a.d. 8, Ovid’s Metamorphoses remains one of the most accessible and inspirational introductions to Greek mythology.
Summary: It’s the early days of the French Republic, and Robespierre’s revolutionaries....+
It’s the early days of the French Republic, and Robespierre’s revolutionaries find their wicked schemes repeatedly thwarted by the cunning and heroic Pimpernel--in reality, Sir Percival Blakeney. Now, Monsieur Chauvelin devises a dastardly plot to annihilate both Sir Percy and his beautiful wife Marguerite once and for all. Lured to France, where the entire town of Boulogne is being held hostage on their behalf, they seem to be hopelessly trapped.
Set during the Reign of Terror, the rousing Pimpernel stories are precursors to such classic tales as Zorro--yet another hero in disguise. Expect more swashbuckling adventures in this thrilling sequel to The Scarlet Pimpernel.