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Lucy Maud Montgomery

by Elizabeth MacLeod; John Mantha, illus.

This is a big year for Anne of Green Gables fans, marking the 100th anniversary of the famous book’s publication. Kids Can Press salutes this centennial in one of the latest additions to their Kids Can Read Inspiring Lives series with Lucy Maud Montgomery, a Level 3 reader designed for six- to eight-year-olds. Concentrating on Montgomery’s early life, before the publication of Anne, series veteran Elizabeth MacLeod crafts an introductory biography designed for kids who can read on their own, although hardcore Montgomery fans will want to turn to the wealth of other books about the author for a more thorough and engaging treatment.

The same can be said for MacLeod’s The Wright Brothers, from the same series. In both texts, MacLeod writes straightforward narratives that make the biographical subjects as appealing and accessible as possible, emphasizing their pluck in the face of adversity, whether it be multiple rejections of a manuscript or difficulties in designing an aircraft.

While these books lack the narrative pop achieved by other works targeting the same reading level – such as Cynthia Rylant’s charming Mr. Putter and Tabby readers, for instance, or Tedd Arnold’s Fly Guy series – they provide clear and accurate basic biographical information.

The illustrations are plentiful, though they give the series a more homespun look than other such books that use real photographs and slick graphic design. John Mantha’s portraits of Montgomery capture her likeness, and Andrej Krystoforski depicts the Wrights and their planes with skill, but the final illustrations in both are static and one-dimensional. However, both texts are certainly serviceable educational resources – they will find their happiest fit in libraries and classrooms.


Reviewer: Laurie McNeill

Publisher: Kids Can Press


Price: $5.95

Page Count: 32 pp

Format: Paper

ISBN: 978-1-55453-056-4

Released: Feb.

Issue Date: 2008-3


Age Range: 6-8

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