Christopher Paolini Mark Twain

Gr 7 Up—The first book addresses the difficulties inherent in writing about the life of the young author by concentrating on the process of writing and selling the "Eragon" books, which has become a sort of legend in itself. Bankston tells the story of the Paolini family visiting hundreds of schools and bookstores to sell their self-published book. Long passages from and about other writers who influenced the 15-year-old author, numerous quotes from websites and newspapers, and a chapter on the teen's parents' involvement with a radical church extend what might otherwise be a short biography. "Eragon" fans will enjoy it, but it's an additional purchase. Mark Twain begins with the writer's memorable visit to his Missouri hometown in 1902, then tracks back to his early days and his well-known transformation from Sam Clemens to Mark Twain. Sonneborn deals with her material well, hitting all the highlights and keeping the narrative moving along. Good use of details adds interest, such as the origins of the famous white suit. A critical section in the last chapter puts the controversy around The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in context. A solid purchase for libraries needing new biographies of this report stalwart.—Rebecca Donnelly, Loma Colorado Public Library, Rio Rancho, NM

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