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About the Author

Scott Gustafson is an illustrator whose most recent book is Favorite Nursery Rhymes from Mother Goose. He has also illustrated Classic Fairy Tales, Alphabet Soup and Peter Pan. Eddie is his first novel. He lives in Chicago.


Gr 4-7-Accused of playing a prank on his neighbor, an angry judge, young Eddie must try to clear his name in this novel inspired by the life and work of Edgar Allan Poe. Aided by an impish demon and a talking raven, the boy eventually discovers the real culprit: a traveling magician who becomes a true friend. The mystery provides a solid framework to introduce the personality of young Poe, along with some facts about his boyhood. Suspense builds as Eddie investigates, and the truth behind the "demon" that the mysterious magician uses is a satisfying surprise. At the same time, the narrative follows Eddie's rampant and often macabre imagination, which seems appropriate for a future creative genius. Black-and-white pencil drawings appear on most of the pages with varied placement, creating a strong visual atmosphere that matches the humor and mild spookiness of the story. The prudent raven and the mischievous imp, both inspired from Poe's later work, are the only elements that cross over into fantasy, neatly representing the morbid and the logical strains of his writing. Gustafson's language and his illustrations are both playful and engaging, making it easy for readers to slip into Eddie's odd, but intriguing world. Kids who already know who Poe was may be the ideal audience for the book, but others will quickly get a sense of the famous author's persona and how the incidents of Eddie's childhood match up.-Steven Engelfried, Wilsonville Public Library, OR (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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