Joan Aiken - The Serial Garden - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9780349005867
    • Publication date:06 Aug 2015
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The Serial Garden

The Complete Armitage Family Stories

By Joan Aiken
Illustrated by Peter Bailey

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

Joan Aiken, classic author of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, wrote the Armitage family stories all throughout her life - from when she was a teenager onwards. This is the first time the stories have been collected together in our market.

'I wish we'll have two children called Mark and Harriet. And I hope lots of interesting and unusual things will happen to them. It would be nice if they had a fairy godmother, for instance. And a phoenix or something out of the ordinary for a pet. We could have a special day for interesting and unusual things to happen - say, Mondays. But not always Mondays, and not only Mondays, or that would get a bit dull'

As a result of their mother's honeymoon wish, Mark and Harriet Armitage have a fairy godmother, a pet unicorn, and are prepared for anything life can throw at them (especially, but not always, on a Monday): hatching griffins in the airing cupboard, Latin lessons with a ghost, furious Furies on the doorstep, and an enchanted garden locked inside a cereal packet. Life with the Armitages can be magical, funny, terrifying - but never, ever dull.

Biographical Notes

Joan Aiken (Author)
Joan Aiken (1924-2004) was born in Rye, Sussex. She was the daughter of the American poet Conrad Aiken, and her step-father was English writer Martin Armstrong.
Joan Aiken wrote over 100 books for young readers and adults and is recognised as one of the classic children's authors of the twentieth century.
Her best-known books are The Wolves of Willoughby Chase chronicles and the Arabel's Raven series, but she is also famous for her brilliant short stories. Joan Aiken received the Edgar Allan Poe Award in the United States as well as the Guardian Award for Fiction. She was decorated with an MBE for her services to children's books.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780349005850
  • Publication date: 06 Aug 2015
  • Page count: 448
  • Imprint: Virago
What a thrill to discover this gem from the witty and endlessly inventive Joan Aiken — Chris Riddell
Joan Aiken's invention seemed inexhaustible, her high spirits a blessing, her sheer storytelling zest a phenomenon. She was a literary treasure, and her books will continue to delight for many years to come — Philip Pullman
She was a consummate story-teller, one that each generation discovers anew — Amanda Craig, The Times
A writer of wild humour and unrestrained imagination — Oxford Companion to Children's Literature
A delightful whimsical set of stories about young Mark and Harriet Armitage and the fantastical things that just happen to them, where if the lawn is full of unicorns you can count on their father to rush out and try to stop them eating the roses. These stories are funny and often unexpectedly poignant. They also don't have a wasted word or scrap of information. They're both charming and genuine in a way that few things manage — Jo Walton
Inexhaustibly imaginative, Aiken was one of the twentieth century's greatest children's authors. Witty, zany and entirely sane, this is a necklace of diamonds — Amanda Craig, New Statesman
Often bonkers stories, always written with cut-glass precision . . . Aiken is a superb storyteller — The Times
A writer of wild humour and unrestrained imagination — Oxford Companion to Children's Literature
A delightful summary of one side of Aiken's talent: whimsical, funny, a series of brilliantly imaginative ideas stitched together with dream logic... It is the mixture of irrepressible gaiety and invention with the tragic that makes Aiken one of the great children's authors...impossible to calculate the number of people who have enjoyed her books - who have had some magic injected into the mundane — Sunday telegraph
Joan Aiken is a superb storyteller who refusal to skimp on sophisticated language, and the Armitage parents' droll indifference, is guaranteed to give children and parents a Ready Brek glow — The Times, Children's Book of the Week
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Contributors:
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Noel Streatfeild

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Contributors:
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Little, Brown Young Readers US

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Authors:
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Contributors:
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Virago

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Frances Hodgson Burnett
Authors:
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E. Nesbit, H. R. Millar
Contributors:
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Virago

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Frances Hodgson Burnett
Authors:
Frances Hodgson Burnett

'She put her hand in her pocket, drew out the key, and found it fitted the keyhole . . . she held back the swinging curtain of ivy and pushed back the door which opened slowly. Then she slipped through it, looking about her and breathing quite fast with excitement and wonder and delight. She was standing inside the secret garden'Everybody at Misselthwaite Manor agrees that Mary Lennox is the most disagreeable child they have ever met. Pale, selfish and spoilt, the ten-year-old orphan has been sent from India to her uncle's estate and she is determined to hate everything about it. But the isolated house on the Yorkshire moors holds secrets that Mary cannot resist exploring: pitiful crying that echoes down the corridors at night and a hidden walled garden. When a robin leads Mary to the buried key, not only is the garden unlocked, but also her heart. And as the garden blooms, for the first time in her life, Mary discovers friendship. This is where the magic begins...'The mystery element kept me turning the pages but it was the superb characterisation that made the story stay with me. It taught me that it's never too late to remake yourself into someone better' Malorie Blackman'There is an old-fashioned tenderness and joy to it; the sense that magic happens if you are observant and quiet and know it will' Sophie DahlA collection that will be coveted by children and adults alike, this list is the best in children's literature, curated by Virago. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), L. M. Montgomery (The Anne of Green Gables series) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

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