Long Ago when I Was Young

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The only autobiography that the author of The Railway Children and Five Children and It, etc., left behind was this novella-length work, a generous and sympathetic look at the forces in her childhood that both shaped early fears or implanted a lifelong love for the outdoors. Nesbit's memories of boarding school and French lessons are set down as clearly as if they were recent experiences, so detailed are the stories, but she hastens to counsel readers not to worry for her, an adult who survived those terrors. Three elementsthe text, Ardizzone's line drawings and Buchanan's delicate watercolor paintingscombine in a beautifully designed volume, meant for young and old fans of Nesbit's stories or for those who simply want to know what it was like long ago. All ages. (April)
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up Imaginative young readers and Nesbit fans of all ages will find delight in the vivid recollections of this very specific 1860s childhood. Lovers of Nesbit's children's novels, held in thrall by her strong characters, zesty storytelling, and sudden bursts of humor, carry from her books an idealized memory of endless long-ago rambling summer afternoons and secure family life. Noel Streatfield's loving introduction emphasizes how very unsettled Nesbit's early life was and how she must have longed for the ideal which she created. In these 12 autobiographical anecdotes, readers meet a child unhappy in a series of dreary boarding schools, terrified by childhood fears (such as the dark, a stuffed bird, and the mummies in a museum), and disillusioned by reality. The happy summers are here, but it is the intensity of the bitter memories which offsets them so sharply. The gentle watercolors by Ardizzone and the moody black-and-white drawings by Buchanan recreate the moods of the stories. This is not a period piece, but a very clear, sensitive offering of childhood in recollection. Sally T. Margolis, The Newport Schools, Kensington, Md.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803704763
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/1988
  • Pages: 136
  • Product dimensions: 0.10 (w) x 0.10 (h) x 0.10 (d)

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