Tuesday, February 07, 2012

A Dickens of a Day

I just spent about 20 minutes rifling through my bookshelves, book stacks, book bags, and other potential book-hiding spots/receptacles. I wanted to share an excerpt from the book at left — my 2005 title Tales of Charles Dickens — in honor of today, the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens's birth.

But, alas, I cannot find my copy.

I do remember knowing at some point that I had just one copy in my possession, but I don't recall ever knowing that number had dwindled to just none. I'm thinking I left it behind during a school visit at which I displayed a number of my titles. So, darn that all.

The tales in this book are my retellings of favorite Dickens stories: "The Signalman," "Births: To Mrs. Meek, a Son," "Please, Sir, I Want Some More," "Hunted Down," and "To Be Read at Dusk." I wrote them specifically for reluctant readers (RL 3.2 / IL 4–9), and I enjoyed every minute of making the stories more accessible for younger kids. What writer or editor wouldn't love to work with a master storyteller's original tales?

Do you love that cover illustration as much as I do? The talented Sue Cornelison created it.

While I can't share a snippet from my book honoring Mr. Dickens, I can now stop beating around the bush (or maybe I've been beating a dead horse, given the anticlimactic nature of the extended mention of my own book I do not own) and share this delightful Washington Post piece giving props to Dickens's expert command of the verbose.

Please enjoy.

And, thank you for the stories, CD!