Thursday, March 08, 2012

Eddie: The Lost Youth of Edgar Allen Poe

Gustafson, Cott. Eddie: The Lost Youth of Edgar Allen Poe.
Young Edgar Poe is sent to live with a foster family after the desertion of his alcoholic father and the death of his actress mother. They are kind enough, but Edgar spends most of his time in an attic filled with antique relics, talking to McCobber, the imp that his father left him. When a neighbor's cat and rooster are put in a bad and tied to the top of a building, Edgar is blamed. He asks for a day to clear himself, and begins his investigation. This brings him in contact with The Amazing Mephisto, who has a failing magic act. He witnesses the show and Mephisto shares some of the secrets with him. The two figure out who the real culprit is, but in doing so, manage to improve the magic act and give Edgar someone in his life who is sympathetic to his artistic side.
Strengths: The pictures in this are gorgeous-- this is very nearly like Selznick's work. The story is not advanced through the pictures as much, but certainly this has far more illustrations than other books. Students are perennially intrigued by Poe, so this slim volume will be popular.
Weaknesses: Bit of a slow start-- there was so much historical information that I thought it was a preface rather than the first chapter.

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