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Children's LiteratureThe "Understanding Literature" series is a sort of upscale Cliff's Notes for middle and upper school students of literature. Sturdy library binding envelopes a smattering of photos, glossary, chronology, end notes and index. In between—as in Weisbrod's F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a combination of biography, synopses, and brief comments on critical reactions to most of Fitzgerald's works. The writing is geared to the introductory student and occasional sidebars discuss in simple terms pertinent topics such as Prohibition, or words like hedonism. It's a reasonable beginning point, but Weisbrod tends to oversimplify Fitzgerald's life—particularly his childhood—which she insists colored his life as a "poor boy." A look at his cosseted baby photos and the picture of his very proper upper middle-class St. Paul home sends an entirely different message. Fitzgerald was no "poor boy," rather a young man, and later adult, who chose to create his own myths—like Jay Gatsby—to suit his image. 2004, Enslow, Ages 11 up.