Joan Aiken - The Gift Giving: Favourite Stories - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9780349005904
    • Publication date:03 Nov 2016
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The Gift Giving: Favourite Stories

By Joan Aiken
Illustrated by Peter Bailey

  • Paperback
  • £6.99

A volume of Joan Aiken's own favourite stories, collected here for the first time.

Joan Aiken is justly famous for her Wolves of Willoughby Chase series of novels, but her greatest love was for short stories, which she wrote prolifically throughout her long career: 'Favourite stories, like unexpected presents, are things that you can keep and cherish all your life, carry with you, in memory, in your mind's ear, and bring out, at any time, when you are feeling lonely, or need cheering up, or, like friends, just because you are fond of them.'

From a princess who turned into a pirate parrot, to a procession of Father Christmases being chased down Fifth Avenue by a rackety horse and cart; from the ghost of a crusader's dog, to a captured mermaid in a flying machine, there is something for everybody in this enthralling collection. These stories showcase Aiken's unique talents - the way she mixed magic and myth with humour to create a kind of modern fairytale. Her stories will appeal to readers of all ages for many years to come.

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: 9780349005898
  • Publication date: 03 Nov 2016
  • Page count: 384
  • Imprint: Virago
Witty and endlessly inventive — 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
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
She was a consummate story-teller, one that each generation discovers anew — Amanda Craig
The voice that tells these stories is braver than us, unflappable; someone who knows the ways of the world and loves it anyway. She is one of the writers I admire most in the world — Katherine Rundell
Some books are like coming home: warm and comfortable. Aiken manages to balance this assurance with the unexpected and wildly imaginative - like coming home to an ocean in your hallway, a small boat waiting to carry you out through the kitchen into a wide and sparkling sea. The Gift Giving is the perfect selection of stories to introduce readers to this precious and incredible author — Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Virago

Carrie's War

Nina Bawden, Alan Marks
Contributors:
Nina Bawden, Alan Marks

Virago

The Peppermint Pig

Nina Bawden, Alan Marks
Contributors:
Nina Bawden, Alan Marks

There was a real pig poking its snout out of the milkman's coat pocket. It was the tiniest pig she had ever seen.' 'What's a peppermint pig?' Poll asks her mother. Johnnie was only the runt of the litter. He'd cost Mother a shilling, but somehow his naughtiness and cleverness kept Poll and her little brother Theo cheerful, even though it was one of the most difficult years of their lives.This collection of the best children's literature, curated by Virago, will be coveted by children and adults alike. 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), Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Little Princess,The Secret Garden) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

Virago

What Katy Did Next

Susan Coolidge
Authors:
Susan Coolidge
Sphere

A Dog Called Jack

Ivy Pembroke
Authors:
Ivy Pembroke

If Jack had to tell you this story, he'd tell you: This is a story about the things you think you'll never lose in life, the things you do lose, the things that get left behind, either accidentally or on purpose. Because it's also a story about the things you think you'll never find in life, the things you do find, the things that get left behind by others that you pick up and make into yours.Jack had a family, until the day when he didn't, and then what Jack had was a street. Jack lost one family but gained many more. That's how Christmas works. Jack's a very special dog.

Center Street

The Paper Bag Christmas

Kevin Alan Milne
Authors:
Kevin Alan Milne

A heart-tugging tale of a boy and a troubled little girl who discover that the true spirit of Christmas is alive and well in the hearts of those who earnestly seek it. Dr. Christopher Ringle is the last person you'd expect to find moonlighting as Santa Claus at the mall on the day after Thanksgiving. But it is there that he meets a young man named Molar Alan, who desperately needs a new perspective on the underlying value of Christmas. Dr. Ringle recruits Mo and his older brother as volunteers at a nearby children's hospital for the holiday season. At the hospital, Mo is tasked to help bring holiday cheer to the young cancer patients on the fifth floor. His biggest challenge is befriending a decidedly angry girl who is so embarrassed by her scarred appearance that she hides her face behind the safety of a paper bag. Almost in spite of himself, Mo finds that Christmas joy emanates from a source far greater than the North Pole, while the young girl learns that she is more beautiful than she had ever imagined.

Piatkus

Seven Days of Us

Francesca Hornak
Authors:
Francesca Hornak

'LOVED it! Warm and humane, funny and sad, with a great, twisty plot, Seven Days of Us is absolute pleasure reading from beginning to end. Francesca Hornak is a true talent. Just gorgeous!' Marian Keyes Seven Days of Us, is a funny, tender, sometimes shocking but ultimately heart-warming family drama about a family forced into spending a week together at Christmas. For fans of David Nicholls and blockbuster movies such as Love Actually and Four Weddings and a Funeral. A week is a long time to spend with your family... It's Christmas, and the Birch family are coming together at their second home in Norfolk. Emma and Andrew's daughter, Olivia, is back for the first time in years, and while Emma is elated at them all being under one roof, her younger, more frivolous daughter Phoebe is braced for inevitable clashes. But aid worker Olivia is only home because she has nowhere else to go. Having recently returned from Africa, where she's been treating a life-threatening virus, she has been told that she must stay in quarantine for a week, and so, too should her family. For the next seven days, no one can leave the house, and no one can enter. It doesn't sound too hard. But a week with your nearest and dearest can feel like an eternity, especially when they're all harbouring secrets. One of whom is about to come knocking on their door...

Virago

The Railway Children

E. Nesbit, C. E. Brock
Contributors:
E. Nesbit, C. E. Brock

The Railway Children tells the story of Bobbie, Peter and Phyllis, three children whose lives change dramatically when their father is mysteriously taken away. They move from London to a cottage in rural Yorkshire with their mother, where they befriend the local railway porter, Perks, and embark on a journey of discovery, friendship and adventure. But the mystery remains - where is Father, and is he ever coming back?This collection of the best in children's literature, curated by Virago, will be coveted by children and adults alike. 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 (An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Little Princess,The Secret Garden) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

Virago

A Little Princess

Frances Hodgson Burnett
Authors:
Frances Hodgson Burnett

'It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.'When Sara Crewe is sent to Miss Minchin's school for young ladies, her indulgent father provides for her as if she were a little princess. But although her toys and clothes are the envy of the other girls, Sara's kindness and gift for storytelling soon win her lots of friends. Then, the tragic news arrives that her father has died penniless and, without wealth or a guardian, Sara is at the mercy of Miss Minchin. Forced to work from dawn until dusk as the school's unpaid servant, she looks over the rooftops from her damp attic room and dreams of a better life. All is not lost: she has friends, courage and imagination - maybe that's all she really needs.'Sara Crewe is a Cinderella figure... She is intelligent and good humoured with an infectious warmth that embraces the lowliest of her new acquaintances. The sunshine continues when impoverishment and drudgery befall her and she relies on her private fantasies to preserve her natural zest for life' GuardianA 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.

Virago

What Katy Did at School

Susan Coolidge
Authors:
Susan Coolidge
Little, Brown Young Readers US

The Adventurer's Guide to Successful Escapes

Wade Albert White
Authors:
Wade Albert White
Virago

What Katy Did

Susan Coolidge
Authors:
Susan Coolidge

'One of my all-time favourite books. It's a very lively, funny story' Jacqueline WilsonKaty has grand plans to be beautiful, graceful and ladylike ... one day! But for now she has hair that is always tangled, bootlaces undone, a torn dress and she doesn't care about being 'good'. With a wild imagination and high spirits, she is always up to mischief, but there never has been a heroine as lovable as Katy. Then a terrible accident happens and it takes all her courage - and hard-learned patience - to keep her dreams alive.'Katy speaks with a charm and directness that remains as fresh as when it was written' Amanda Craig'This was one of my favourite books as a child. The children felt real enough to touch, and I fell head over heels in love with Katy. It's a book with an unstoppable heart' Katherine RundellThis collection of the best in children's literature, curated by Virago, will be coveted by children and adults alike. 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), Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Little Princess,The Secret Garden) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

Little, Brown Young Readers US

The Unlucky Lottery Winners of Classroom 13

Honest Lee, Matthew J. Gilbert
Authors:
Honest Lee, Matthew J. Gilbert
Little, Brown Young Readers US

Zombie Apocalypse

B. A. Frade, Stacia Deutsch
Authors:
B. A. Frade, Stacia Deutsch

Ryan and Tyler are obsessed with zombies--each year, they tie for first place at their school's annual costume contest dance with their grosser than gross zombie costumes. When some seriously spooky looking zombies show up at the dance this year, the boys think someone has called in a Hollywood makeup artist to finally snag the trophy. Little do they know, this isn't a case of special effects... it's a Zombie Apocalypse, courtesy of the Scaremaster! Can they outwit the Scaremaster and save their classmates, or will their brains be on the menu?Perfect for fans of Goosebumps and graduates of the Eerie Elementary and Haunted Library series, the Tales from the Scaremaster books are frightfully fun.

Little, Brown Young Readers US

Peter Powers and the League of Lying Lizards!

Kent Clark
Authors:
Kent Clark

Everyone in Peter Power's family has super awesome superpowers-except Peter. All he can do is make ice cubes and freeze stuff. But when Peter fibs to his teacher, the lies begin to snowball. Before he has time to tell the truth, Boulder City encounters earthquakes and a friendly group of lizard people! But soon, the lizard people reveal their lying colors and take over the town. Now, it's up to Peter and his super-powered family to save their hometown. Will they be able to defeat the League of Lizards' giant Gila monster, or will they be stomped flat? Peter Power and the League of Lying Lizards is the fourth chapter book in a new series of exciting stories about a young boy who has some rather crummy superpowers. Each story is full of humor, action, and fun, but the charm can be found in the heartfelt message about the power of family, friends, and having confidence. © 2017 by Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Little, Brown Young Readers US

The Star Thief

Lindsey Becker
Authors:
Lindsey Becker

Honorine's life as as maid at the Vidalia mansion is rather dull, dusting treasures from faraway places and daydreaming in front of maps of the world. But everything changes when she catches two brutish sailors ransacking Lord Vidalia's study, and then follows a mysterious girl with wings out into the night....Suddenly, Honorine is whisked into the middle of a battle between the crew of a spectacular steamship and a band of mythical constellations. The stars in the sky have come to life to defend themselves against those who want to harness their powers. Much to her surprise, Honorine is the crux of it all, the center of an epic clash between magic and science, the old ways and the new. But can this spirited young girl bring both sides of a larger-than-life fight together before they unleash an evil power even older than the stars?

Virago

Anne of Windy Willows

L. M. Montgomery
Authors:
L. M. Montgomery

The fourth book in the Anne Shirley series.'Gilbert, I'm afraid I'm scandalously in love with you'Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe are at last engaged, but still they are apart: for three years Gilbert will be away at medical school, while Anne has a new job as principal of Summerside High School. Absence couldn't make their hearts any fonder, though, and they share all their love and news in letters.At Summerside, Anne settles in happily, lodging at Windy Willows, home of two widows - Aunt Kate and Aunt Chatty - and their irrepressible housekeeper, Rebecca Dew. With firm friends like these beside her, she can face anyone - even the Pringles, the 'Royal Family' of Summerside, who waste no time in snubbing Anne and letting her know that she wasn't their choice for principal. Can Anne ever hope to win them over?This collection of the best in children's literature, curated by Virago, will be coveted by children and adults alike. 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), Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Little Princess,The Secret Garden) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

Virago

Anne's House of Dreams

L. M. Montgomery
Authors:
L. M. Montgomery
Virago

Anne of Ingleside

L. M. Montgomery
Authors:
L. M. Montgomery

The sixth book in the Anne Shirley series.'It's been lovely to be Anne of Green Gables again for a week, but it's a hundred times lovelier to come back and be Anne of Ingleside'There's never a dull moment at Ingleside, Anne's lively home: Anne is now the mother of five children - with a sixth baby on the way. But even with endless demands on her time, she couldn't be happier and there's nowhere in the world she'd rather be. No matter what life brings - whether it's the numerous scrapes her children get up to or Gilbert's insufferable aunt outstaying her welcome by months - Anne faces every challenge with her usual verve for life. But then she begins to suspect that Gilbert doesn't love her any more. She's a little older, it's true, but Anne is the same spirited redhead she's always been. She hasn't changed. But has he?A 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), Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Little Princess,The Secret Garden) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

Virago

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L. M. Montgomery
Authors:
L. M. Montgomery

The seventh book in the Anne Shirley series.'There was a little unfailing spring, always icy cold and crystal pure, in a certain birch-screened hollow of Rainbow Valley in the lower corner near the marsh. Not a great many people knew of its existence. The manse and Ingleside children knew, of course . . .'When the new minister, Reverend John Meredith, arrives at the manse, the village is scandalised by his children's behaviour. He is the best preacher they've ever had, but since his wife died the youngsters have run wild. Anne recognises their kindness, though, and before long the four young Merediths are firm friends with her own six children at Ingleside - and up to all sorts of schemes. They meet at a private hideout - a hollow they call Rainbow Valley - and their adventures range from boisterous escapades to saving the life of a young orphan.A 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), Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Little Princess,The Secret Garden) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

Little, Brown Young Readers US

Peter Powers and His Not-So-Super Powers

Kent Clark
Authors:
Kent Clark