Miss Emily

Miss Emily
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
10+
Release Date
March 25, 2014
ISBN
978-0763657345
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When an invitation to join Miss Emily in the garden appears, Mattie, Ned, Sally, and Mac know they’re in for some fun because Miss Emily — Emily Dickinson to the rest of us — always has a surprise in store for her young friends. And today’s may be the biggest adventure yet. In Burleigh Mutén’s suspenseful story, beautifully illustrated by celebrated artist Matt Phelan, Mac, the youngest member of the group, tells what happens when a reclusive poet and her band of pretend Gypsies wait for the midnight circus train to arrive.

Editor review

1 review
Poetic Adventures
Overall rating
 
3.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
3.0
Neighbors Mac, Ned and Mattie see Miss Emily out in her garden, and she has wonderful news-- the circus is coming to town on the train, and she wants to sneak out at night to see all of the animals and performers arrive. Will they come with her? What small child wouldn't, especially if you are the minister's son, as Mac is? Ned and Mattie trust their aunt, so why not? The four meet up and night and travel to the station with Carlo, Miss Emily's dog, and are enthralled with the spectacle. In order to try to escape detection (what a scandal it would be if they were caught out at night!), they run home, and Mac trips and injures his ankle. Miss Emily takes him home and confesses to being the culprit behind the outing, and Mac is allowed to go to the circus even though he must remain inactive for two weeks while his sprain heals. The group also gets together a "circus" of their own to perform for their dear, if eccentric, neighbor.

Emily Dickinson is probably the most appealing United States poet, and the myths and legends about her make her a tremendously sympathetic character. This would be a good introduction both to the poet's life and to her work. I know that when I was in middle school, I purchased a volume of her poems. They are short, and accessible to younger readers, which might be why they continue to be so popular. Even without the connection to the poet, this is a gentle adventure that reads a lot like the moral tales that were written at the time Dickinson lived. Perhaps readers of this can be encouraged to pick up Alcott afterwards!
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