Jeunesse

  • "Please, sir, I want some more," Oliver says, holding out his bowl for more gruel, a Dickens scene recognisable to most. A young orphan, Oliver Twist has only ever seen the tough side of life and having to suddenly live on the streets does not make surviving any easier. But being the sweet and innocent boy he is, Oliver eventually manages to attract the compassion of others, and time will reveal secrets about his past that could radically change his bleak future. Originally published in instalments, Oliver Twist (1839) is Charles Dickens' second - and hugely successful - novel. It introduced the concept of the child protagonist in the Victorian novel, and while doing so, plainly criticised the social injustices in England.

  • Who could have known that when Rudyard Kipling wrote these Jungle Book stories in 1893-94, they would eventually inspire the Oscar nominated song "The Bare Necessities" - one of the most recognizable tunes of all time? The adventures of the young boy, Mowgli, raised by wolves in an Indian jungle, have been praised since their publication and adapted numerous times. Most people know the 1967 animated movie with Phil Harris as the charismatic bear Baloo. 2016 saw Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, and Lupita Nyong'o in a live-action Disney movie. And even Marvel Comics has had their hands on this classic coming-of-age tale of the importance of family and belonging.

  • "There's nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as messing about in boats."

    Mole is a good-natured, home-loving mole, who has never gone anywhere. But one Spring he gets so sick of cleaning his home that he abandons everything and ventures out into the world. He soon meets a friendly rat, who shows him the Thames and introduces him to variety of whimsical characters.

    Like some of the best children's classics - `Alice in Wonderland', `Winnie the Pooh' and `Peter Pan' - `The Wind in the Willows' (1908) started as adult simply inventing stories to tell a child. In 1949 it inspired the Disney movie, `The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad'.

  • Sara Crewe is devastated when the news of her beloved father's death in India reaches her at her boarding school in London. Miss Minchin, the heartless and greedy headmistress, immediately moves Sara to the attic and forces her to become her servant. Despite being used to luxury, Sara quickly adjusts to her new life and never stops being kind and polite to everyone. Little does she now that someone out there is looking for her, and they might be much closer than they think.
    Author Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett - most famous for her novel The Secret Garden (1911) - originally wrote A Little Princess as a short story, and later a play, finally turning it into a novel on her publisher's recommendation in 1905. As smart and imaginative as Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables, Sara has been winning over readers for over a hundred years, and A Little Princess is considered one of the best children's stories of all time.

  • Anne of Green Gables is a children's classic by Canadian author L. M. Montgomery and recently adapted by Netflix in the hit series Anne with an E. 11-year-old Anne is mistakenly sent away from her orphanage to live on Prince Edward Island with brother and sister Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert who need help on their farm. Wild and imaginative Anne learns to find her place in the little town of Avonlea, makes friends, and strives to be the best in school. A children and adults' favourite Anne's tale of is one of love, individuality, and (mis)adventures.

  • "To-morrow I will begin, thought Katy." Twelve-year-old Katy Carr desperately wants to be good. But being a wild and hot-headed tomboy, it seems so much easier to start being good tomorrow than it does today. Even when her kind and patient invalid cousin comes to visit, Katy's resolution to change only lasts a few hours. But soon she will have much more in common with her cousin than she wished and it will confine her to her room perhaps forever. Will it make her finally able to uphold her promise? Author Susan Coolidge's `What Katy did' (1872) was published by the same publisher as `Little Women' by Louisa May Alcott, and speaks to the same audience of people who enjoy well-written girl characters. The most recent film adaptation saw Alison Pill, Michael Cera and Megan Follows (`Anne of Green Gables'), and the book has made its mark on popular culture too, lending its name to a The Libertines song and two episodes of the hit show `Lost'.

  • In this classic, the titular "Puck of Pook's Hill" magically plucks stories out of history, to the amusement of two children. Vikings, knights, roman soldiers and seafarers turn up in this series of fantasy short stories, set in many different periods in history.

  • The eight-year-old Princess Irene is lonely in her castle that sits on a mountain. She has only her nursemaid, Lootie, for company. She discovers a a secret, and soon she overhears a fiendish plot by some goblins. Can she foil their plans? George MacDonald's fairy tale "The Princess and the Goblin" is one of the first books in the modern fantasy genre.

  • When Harvey, the spoiled fifteen-year-old son of a railroad tycoon, falls overboards, he is saved by a fishing boat. The gruff and hearty crew teach him about fishing and life on the boat. A fun, thrilling adventure on the sea, "Captains Courageous" from 1897 is Kipling's only novel set entirely in America.

  • Phileas Fogg is English exactitude personified. He eats breakfast at 8:23, shaves at 9:37, and leaves for the Reform club at 11:30. He reads, eats, and doesn`t travel. But one day, after getting into an argument over an article in the Daily Telegraph, he is prompted to make the £20.000 wager with his club friends that he can travel all the way around the world in eighty days. And so he leaves, accompanied only by his new French valet Passepartout: it is 8:45 P.M. on Wednesday the 2nd of October 1872 and he fully intends to be back by the 21st of December. Around the World in 80 days is one of French author Jules Verne most famous works. Published in 1873, it was adapted into the 2005 movie featuring Jackie Chan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Owen Wilson.

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