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Jane on Her Own (Catwings Series #4)

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Overview


Jane, the youngest of the catwings, goes looking for adventure in the big city and captured!

Longing for adventure, Jane, the youngest of the catwings, flies to the city on her own. When she flies through the window of a man who feeds here, she is suddenly captured, and finds herself making appearances as Miss Mystery, the fabulous winged cat! Realizing that being independent is much more dangerous than she thought, Jane plots her escape and ...

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Overview


Jane, the youngest of the catwings, goes looking for adventure in the big city and captured!

Longing for adventure, Jane, the youngest of the catwings, flies to the city on her own. When she flies through the window of a man who feeds here, she is suddenly captured, and finds herself making appearances as Miss Mystery, the fabulous winged cat! Realizing that being independent is much more dangerous than she thought, Jane plots her escape and hopes to reunite with her mother.

When Jane, a cat with wings, leaves the safety of her farm to explore the world, she falls into the hands of a man who keeps her prisoner and exploits her for money.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Donna T. Brumby
Le Guin's latest entry in her "Catwings" titles makes a agreeable introduction to fantasy as a literary genre, but its assumptions from previous stories mean that it does not make the best starting point for the "Catwings" saga. In this small format chapter book, with picturesque illustrations by Schindler, we follow the explorations and escapades of restless Jane II, a handsome black cat with wings. In this short tale, of a good length to be shared aloud, Jane is tired of hiding on Alexander's farm with her siblings, and, despite dire warnings of capture and cages, ventures to the city in search of adventures. Here circumstances transform plain Jane into Miss Mystery, the Flying Black Shadow of the City Night. Although a bit predictable for older readers, Le Guin's story line will be enjoyed by young readers, especially those already in love with cats. The author's ability to create empathy and understanding rewards fans with another good example of her work.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Jane, the youngest of the Catwings felines, hungers for adventure. Life on the farm is just too boring, so she takes flight, ignoring her siblings' warnings that the world is dangerous. Jane enjoys her journey though she finds life away from home less than hospitable. One day she flies through a window into the apartment of a man who feeds her. But, as kind as he is to her, he also sees an opportunity to profit from her unique anatomy. He names her Miss Mystery and soon Jane is a television star-trapped indoors, surrounded by cameras and strangers. Unhappy, she eventually escapes and searches for her mother, who lives in the city. Once found, she and her mother live with a kind old woman who understands Jane's need for a home as well as her freedom. Le Guin's simple text creates a gentle picture of the animal and her world. Schindler's charming, pen-and-ink drawings, filled with colored washes, complement the story, making the marvelous winged cats perfectly believable. Beginning readers and young fantasy lovers will enjoy this satisfying, imaginative tale.-Anne Connor, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Feeling the need to stretch her wings, young Jane leaves her feline Overlook Farm family to fly back to the city where she was born. There she discovers the truth of her sister Thelma's warning that "being different is difficult and sometimes very dangerous," when a man named Poppa treats her like royalty, but traps her by closing the window. As in the three previous Catwings books (Wonderful Alexander and the Catwings, 1994, etc.), Le Guin's winged creatures are more cat than bird in behavior and outlook: Jane's sinuous grace comes through clearly in Schindler's small, precise paintings. Patiently awaiting her chance, Jane at last slips out an open door, to settle down comfortably with her doting mother, in the apartment of gray-haired Sarah, a different sort of human who, instead of closing the window, opens it wider. Wanderlust, leaving home, the meaning of freedom-these are big themes for such a small book, but the author handles them with the ease of long practice, and the illustrations are just the right mix of the exotic and the familiar. (Fiction. 7-10) .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439551922
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/2/2003
  • Series: Catwings , #4
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 119,441
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.82 (w) x 7.30 (h) x 0.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Ursula K.  Le Guin

Ursula Le Guin writes both poetry and prose, and in various modes including children's books, YA books, fantasy, science fiction and fiction. She is the author of the bestselling and award winning CATWINGS series. Three of Le Guin's titles have been finalists for The American Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and among the many honors her writing has received are a National Book Award, five Hugo Awards, five Nebula Awards, and The Margaret A. Edwards Award. She lives in Oregon.

Biography

Speculative fiction, magic realism, "slipstream" fiction -- all these terms could apply to the works of Ursula K. Le Guin. Unfortunately, none was in common use when she started writing in the early 1960s. As a young writer, Le Guin weathered seven years of rejections from editors who praised her novels' elegant prose but were puzzled by their content. At a time when the only literary fiction was realistic fiction, as Le Guin later told an interviewer for The Register-Guard in Portland, Oregon, "There just wasn't a pigeonhole for what I write."

At long last, two of her stories were accepted for publication, one at a literary journal and one at a science-fiction magazine. The literary journal paid her in copies of the journal; the science-fiction magazine paid $30. She told The Register-Guard, "I thought: 'Oooohhh! They'll call what I write science fiction, will they? And they'll pay me for it? Well, here we go!' "

Le Guin continued to write and publish stories, but her breakthrough success came with the publication of The Left Hand of Darkness in 1969. The novel, which tells of a human ambassador's encounters with the gender-changing inhabitants of a distant planet, was unusual for science fiction in that it owed more to anthropology and sociology than to the hard sciences of physics or biology. The book was lauded for its intellectual and psychological depth, as well as for its fascinating premise. "What got to me was the quality of the story-telling," wrote Frank Herbert, the author of Dune. "She's taken the mythology, psychology -- the entire creative surround -- and woven it into a jewel of a story."

Since then, Le Guin has published many novels, several volumes of short stories, and numerous poems, essays, translations, and children's books. She's won an arm's-length list of awards, including both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed, and a National Book Award for The Farthest Shore. Over the years, she has created and sustained two fictional universes, populating each with dozens of characters and stories. The first universe, Ekumen, more or less fits into the science-fiction mode, with its aliens and interplanetary travel; the second, Earthsea, is a fantasy world, complete with wizards and dragons. As Margaret Atwood wrote in The New York Review of Books, "Either one would have been sufficient to establish Le Guin's reputation as a mistress of its genre; both together make one suspect that the writer has the benefit of arcane drugs or creative double-jointedness or ambidexterity."

More impressive still is the way Le Guin's books have garnered such tremendous crossover appeal. Unlike many writers of science fiction, she is regularly reviewed in mainstream publications, where her work has been praised by the likes of John Updike and Harold Bloom. But then, Le Guin has never fit comfortably into a single genre. As she said in a Science Fiction Weekly interview, "I know that I'm always called 'the sci-fi writer.' Everybody wants to stick me into that one box, while I really live in several boxes. It's probably hurt the sales of my realistic books like Searoad, because it tended to get stuck into science fiction, where browsing readers that didn't read science fiction would never see it."

Le Guin has also published a translation of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching, a book that has influenced her life and writing since she was a teenager; she has translated fiction by Angelica Gorodischer and a volume of poems by Gabriela Mistral; and, perhaps most gratifyingly for her fans, she has returned to the imaginary realm of Earthsea. Tehanu, which appeared in 1990, was subtitled "The Last Book of Earthsea," but Le Guin found she had more to tell, and she continued with Tales from Earthsea and The Other Wind. "I thought after 'Tehanu' the story was finished, but I was wrong," she told Salon interviewer Faith L. Justice. "I've learned never to say 'never.' "

Good To Know

The "K" in Ursula K. Le Guin stands for Le Guin's maiden name, Kroeber. Her father was the anthropologist Alfred Kroeber; her mother, the writer Theodora Kroeber, is best known for the biography Ishi in Two Worlds.

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    1. Hometown:
      Portland, Oregon
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 21, 1929
    2. Place of Birth:
      Berkeley, California
    1. Education:
      B.A., Radcliffe College; M.A., Columbia University, 1952
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2008

    My 7 year old daughter loved this series!

    My 7 year old daughter started with the first two books, and read them in a day, and couldn't wait for the next two to arrive! Jane on Her Own was her favorite!

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    Posted February 3, 2010

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