Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Charles Dickens: England's Most Captivating Storyteller

Charles Dickens: England's Most Captivating Storyteller. Catherine Wells-Cole. 2011. Candlewick. 32 pages. 

About this 'notebook':

Charles Dickens's books are known and loved the world over. From Ebenezer Scrooge and Mr. Micawber to Oliver Twist and Little Nell, Dicken's characters spring from pages that are rich with detail of life in Victorian times.
With extracts from his novels and correspondence, Charles Dickens: England's Most Captivating Storyteller leads you from the streets of nineteenth century London to the shores of the United States, revealing the lives of the rich and the poor at a time of great social reform and industrial progress. Discover Dickens's extraordinary life, times, and work in this lavish volume.


For those wanting to know more about Charles Dickens and the life and times in which he lived, this short picture book (or notebook) is a treat. Especially if you are not curious enough or patient enough or brave enough to attempt reading a full-length biography.

Each two-page spread gives you the basics, the essentials. And the facts are anything but boring.

The topics are:
  • Childhood
  • Family Life
  • Fame
  • School
  • Prisons
  • Workhouses
  • Orphans
  • London
  • Industry
  • Theater
  • Christmas
  • Social Life
  • America
  • Legacy
There are many, many details included in this book. But one of the most useful features--perhaps--are the book summaries. For one little paragraph, they're surprisingly complete. The only reason that might not be such great news is if you don't want any of the books spoiled for you. Because these summaries have big, big spoilers! Of course, that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

This book was user-friendly. I think that is its greatest strength. The presentation of the facts, the details, makes this an engaging read.

Read Charles Dickens: England's Most Captivating Storyteller
  • If you are a fan of Charles Dickens
  • If you are a fan of Victorian literature
  • If you are a history lover wanting more details about life--for rich and poor--in Victorian England
© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

4 comments:

moshimoshinekobookreview 4:41 PM  

I am supposedly reading my way through the Dickensian length "Dickens" by Peter Ackroyd and, man, it's long! I wish I was more of a fan of Dickens, but this seems to be quite a light and quick overview of the life and times of Dickens. Might look it up...

Shirley 8:07 PM  

I should look this one up as I love to read about Victorian England.

TBM 1:27 PM  

Sounds like a fun read for the young and old.

Amanda 7:13 PM  

That looks like such a cool book!

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
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  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

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  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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