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The child that books built : a life in reading

by Spufford, Francis, 1964-

Format: Print Book 2002
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 3 of 4 copies
Available (3)
Location Collection Call #
Andrew Bayne Memorial Library Nonfiction 028.5 Spuf
Location  Andrew Bayne Memorial Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  028.5 Spuf
Northland Public Library Nonfiction 028.55 SP9
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  028.55 SP9
Pleasant Hills Public Library Nonfiction 028.5 S77
Location  Pleasant Hills Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  028.5 S77
Unavailable (1)
Location Collection Status
Moon Township Public Library Non-Fiction CHECKED OUT
Location  Moon Township Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
A wise and tender tribute to childhood reading and the power of fiction

In this extended love letter to children's books and the wonders they perform, Francis Spufford makes a confession: books were his mother, his father, his school. Reading made him who he is.

To understand the thrall of fiction, Spufford goes back to his earliest encounters with books, exploring such beloved classics as The Wind in the Willows, The Little House on the Prairie , and the Narnia chronicles. He re-creates the excitement of discovery, writing joyfully of the moment when fuzzy marks on a page become words, which then reveal . . . a dragon. Weaving together child development, personal reflection, and social observation, Spufford shows the force of fiction in shaping a child: how stories allow for escape from pain and for mastery of the world, how they shift our boundaries of the sayable, how they stretch the chambers of our imagination.

Fired by humanity, curiosity, and humor, The Child That Books Built confirms Spufford as a profound and original thinker, evoking in the process the marvel of reading as if for the first time.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Anxious to uncover the roots of his addiction to reading, British journalist and critic Spufford revisits the books he so avidly consumed as a boy, titles by authors ranging from Tolkien to Ian Fleming and from Laura Ingalls Wilder to C. S. Lewis, whose Narnia he evokes with an aching and poignant yearning. By resurrecting the personal circumstances of his early reading, Spufford mixes richly evoked childhood emotions with the necessary distance of his adult sensibility. The result is a fascinating amalgam of memoir, literary criticism, child psychology, epistemology, and quest. His journeys are both figurative--into his subconscious past--and literal, for one of the most interesting sections of the book is his account of a writing assignment that takes him to DeSmet, South Dakota, to investigate the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder. By the end of his quest, Spufford has learned what he needs to know about his personal history, but in the process he--and his readers--have learned even more about how books become part of "the history of our self-understanding." This brilliantly insightful and elegantly written life is essential reading for anyone who loves books and their power to help us "see beyond the horizon of our own circumstances." --Michael Cart"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In this often incisive childhood memoir, a British journalist and award-winning author (I May Be Some Time) recreates his early reading itinerary and pinpoints the universal experiences of the constant young reader. Most important, he understands the escape that books offer a child "More than I wanted books to do anything else, I wanted them to take me away," he writes. He follows with musings on the particular effects created by the books he encountered: the ecstasy and longing of C.S. Lewis's Narnia chronicles, the community created in the Little House on the Prairie series (here Spufford offers interesting asides on how daughter Rose Wilder Lane's arch-conservative politics shaped her mother's books, which she helped write), and the "godsend," at a certain age, of science fiction, particularly that of Ursula Le Guin. Discussions of the ideas of Bettelheim, C.S. Lewis and others are serviceable but pale in effect beside rich evocations of communions with books, such as the pleasing power of libraries, the comfort of reliable Puffin Books, the experience of reading "faster than my understanding had grown" and the inevitable moment when a young reader reaches the "saturation point" and must move beyond children's books. Moments of literary discovery (even for "one-handed" reading of porn) are offered concisely. Readers will luxuriate in the memories of being consumed by books and the ways in which Spufford shows his developing talent as a reader. (Oct. 8) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Spufford, Francis, -- 1964- -- Books and reading.
Children -- Books and reading -- England -- History -- 20th century.
Teenagers -- Books and reading -- England -- History -- 20th century.
Books and reading -- Psychological aspects.
Children's literature -- Psychological aspects.
Young adult literature -- Psychological aspects.
Fiction -- Psychological aspects.
Publisher New York :Metropolitan Books,2002
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Notes Originally published: London : Faber and Faber, 2002.
Description 213 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 0805072152
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