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Here are my top 10 rewritings of medieval tales and traditions, each making strategic use of the middle ages to think about how people are living their lives now. Ivanhoe tells of the fortunes of an old Anglo-Saxon family who have lost their fortune under the Norman dynasty. Based on the medieval Saga of the Sworn Brothers, The Happy Warriors reveals with terrific comic aplomb the ridiculousness of heroic masculinity and its honour codes.

One character is a poet, the other a psychopath, and the women that they meet have more sense than either of them. The author makes thoughtful use of the Old English epic to explore exactly what it is that distinguishes humans from monsters. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco This dazzling first novel has brilliant plotting and witty in-jokes its hero — played by Sean Connery in the film version — is William of Baskerville in a nod to the great detective , combined with a profound understanding of medieval intellectual history.

Martin has thought long and hard about such topics as the medieval banking system, the success of Mongol horse-lords, the nature of chivalry, the limitations of queenship, and the organisation of military forces, in his exploration of medieval power politics in a world where magic finds a role. Drawing on medieval pilgrim accounts, folkloric beliefs about mermaids, and meditating deeply on the human condition when stripped down to its barest form, this is beautifully written and vividly imagined.

In ironic dialogue with the legend of the English resistance hero Hereward the Wake , it is written in a reimagined language which, almost without exception, uses only words that occurred in Old English. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. But one day the unimaginable happens: Peter's dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild. At his grandfather's house miles away from home, Peter knows he isn't where he should be - with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, to be reunited with his fox.

Fairy tale - Wikipedia

Meanwhile Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures and discoveries of his own The year-old Doll family, beautifully crafted china dolls passed down through four generations of girls in one American family, meet their new neighbors, the Funcrafts, a doll family made completely of plastic and delivered straight from the factory shelves.

Brings to life one of the best loved and recognised children's books of all time in a full dramatisation with specially composed music. Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to stay out of trouble. But can he really be expected to stand by and watch while a bully picks on his scrawny best friend?

Or not defend himself against his pre-algebra teacher when she turns into a monster and tries to kill him? Of course, no one believes Percy about the monster incident; he's not even sure he believes himself. Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire.

But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all.

Imagine it were possible to bring the characters from a book to life. Not like when you listen to an audiobook with such enchantment that the characters seem to jump off the pages and into your bedroom Imagine they could actually climb out of the pages and into our world. Then imagine if those characters brought their world into ours. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team - a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together.

They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves. The classic tells the story of Mr. Popper, the small-town housepainter who dreamed of exploring Antarctic regions, and Captain Cook, the redoubtable penguin who turned Mr. Popper's world upside down. Alice Mayfair, 12 years old, slips through the world unseen and unnoticed.

Ignored by her family and shipped off to her eighth boarding school, Alice would like a friend. And when she rescues Millie Maximus from drowning in a lake one day, she finds one. But Millie is a Bigfoot, part of a clan who dwells deep in the woods. Most Bigfoots believe that people - NoFurs, as they call them - are dangerous, yet Millie is fascinated with the NoFur world. She is convinced that humans will appreciate all the things about her that her Bigfoot tribe does not. Murderers, mob bosses, and convicts. Unless you live on Alcatraz.

It's and year-old Moose Flanagan and his family have just moved to the infamous island that's home to criminals like notorious escapee Roy Gardner, Machine Gun Kelly, and of course, Al Capone. Now Moose has to try to fit in at his new school, avoid getting caught up in one of the warden's daughter's countless plots, and keep an eye on his sister Natalie, who's not like other kids. Mary Lennox, a sickly and contrary little girl, is orphaned to dim prospects in a gloomy English manor - her only friend is a bed-ridden boy named Colin whose prospects may be dimmer than hers.

But when Mary finds the key to a Secret Garden, the magical powers of transformation fall within her reach. A beloved classic of children's literature The Secret Garden tells an inspirational tale of transformation and empowerment. When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. Why is she there? Where did she come from? And, most important, how will she survive in her harsh surroundings? Roz's only hope is to learn from the island's hostile animal inhabitants. When she tries to care for an orphaned gosling, the other animals finally decide to help, and the island starts to feel like home.

Until one day, the robot's mysterious past comes back to haunt her First published in , Pippi Longstocking has given generations of kids a vision of days free from chores, bedtime hours, and homework. It's Maddy's turn to have a bayou summer. At first she misses life back home in the city, but soon she grows to love everything about her new surroundings - the glimmering fireflies, the glorious landscape, and something else, deep within the water, that only Maddy sees.

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August Auggie Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school - until now. Palacio has crafted an uplifting novel full of wonderfully realistic family interactions, lively school scenes, and spare emotional power. One of the best-known stories in American culture, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over years. By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it's safe to go, like the local grocery store, and they know whom to avoid, like the crazy guy on the corner.

But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a new kid for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda's mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then Miranda finds a mysterious note. It's been five years since Livy and her family have visited Livy's grandmother in Australia. Now that she's back, Livy has the feeling she's forgotten something really, really important about Gran's house. It turns out she's right. Bob, a short, greenish creature dressed in a chicken suit, didn't forget Livy, or her promise.

He's been waiting five years for her to come back, hiding in a closet like she told him to. He can't remember who-or what-he is, where he came from, or if he even has a family. But five years ago Livy promised she would help him find his way back home.

by Jane Sherron de Hart

Willy Wonka's famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy-pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!

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Midnight Gulch used to be a magical place, a town where people could sing up thunderstorms and dance up sunflowers. But that was long ago, before a curse drove the magic away.


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Twelve-year-old Felicity knows all about things like that; her nomadic mother is cursed with a wandering heart. But when she arrives in Midnight Gulch, Felicity thinks her luck's about to change. A "word collector", Felicity sees words everywhere - shining above strangers, tucked into church eaves, and tangled up her dog's floppy ears - but Midnight Gulch is the first place she's ever seen the word "home".

Stanley Yelnats isn't so surprised when a miscarriage of justice sends him to a juvenile detention center. After all, his family has been ridden with bad luck ever since a one-legged gypsy put a curse on his great-great grandfather.

Top 10 modern medieval tales

He is told that the hard labor he must perform, digging five-foot holes in the dried up soil where Green Lake once sat, is meant to build character. But it soon becomes clear to Stanley that the warden is really using the boys to search for something very valuable. A bizarre chain of events begins when 16 unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W.

Westing's will. And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger - and a possible murderer - to inherit his vast fortune, one thing's for sure: Sam Westing may be dead Kyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, if not the teachers , and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games.

His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative game maker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library. Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games.

But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. She washed ashore in a hurricane eleven years ago, and she's been making waves ever since. She will protect those she loves with every bit of her strong will and tough attitude. It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it. Guts, glory, danger, and sacrifice are all in a day's work for Hank the Cowdog, Head of Ranch Security. While investigating a murder on the ranch, Hank finds himself the number-one suspect.

Dozens of children respond to this peculiar ad in the newspaper and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests. And you, dear listener, can test your wits right alongside them. Only four children - Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance - succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive children could complete. Max Einstein is not your typical genius. She hacks the computer system at NYU to attend classes, builds inventions to help the homeless, and talks to Albert Einstein!

Okay, that's just in her imagination. But everything changes when Max is recruited by a mysterious organization! Their mission: solve some of the world's toughest problems using science. She's helped by a diverse group of young geniuses from around the globe as they invent new ways to power the farthest reaches of the planet. But that's only if the sinister outfit known only as The Corporation doesn't get to her first.

It was kind of like how he used to talk about quantum physics or how he used to say ghosts haunted their overgrown golf course. But then one day, after Stuey and his best friend, Elly Rose, spend countless afternoons in the deadfall in the middle of the woods, something totally unbelievable happens. Tully is a former search-and rescue dog who is trying to enjoy his retirement after years of performing daring missions saving lives.

So he's not terribly impressed when two chicks named Dirt and Sugar who look like popcorn on legs and their chicken mom show up demanding his help to track down their missing siblings. But driven by the promise of a cheeseburger, J. Ben Ripley may only be in middle school, but he's already pegged his dream job: CIA or bust. Unfortunately for him, his personality doesn't exactly scream "secret agent".

In fact Ben is so awkward, he can barely get to school and back without a mishap. Because of his innate nerdiness, Ben is not surprised when he is recruited for a magnet school with a focus on science - but he's entirely shocked to discover that the school is actually a front for a junior CIA academy. What would happen if you discovered that your family was one of the most powerful in human history? What if you were told that the source of the family's power was hidden around the world, in the form of 39 Clues? What if you were given a choice - take a million dollars and walk away If you're Amy and Dan Cahill, you take the Clue - and begin a very dangerous race.

Years ago, a man vanished from the yellow house on Surprise Island. The Aldens have found a clue to the mystery! After a dying criminal confesses that his loot has been stashed "in the tower," the Hardy boys make an astonishing discovery. Bowser is a dog detective on the loose, paired with an year-old girl, Birdie. Bowser and Birdie live on the Louisiana coast with Birdie's Grammy.

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When a prize stuffed marlin is stolen from Grammy's bait and tackle shop, Birdie and Bowser decide to take on the case. But what looks like a straightforward break-in soon becomes as tangled as a tourist's fishing line. When a book of unexplainable occurrences brings Petra Andalee and Calder Pillay together, strange things start to happen: seemingly unrelated events connect, an eccentric old woman seeks their company, and an invaluable Vermeer painting disappears.