What to Do About Alice? ) pair up again to offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse of another famous family. Wanting to present a portrait of h"/>

The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy)

Barbara Kerley, Author, Edwin Fotheringham, Illustrator , illus. by Edwin Fotheringham. Scholastic Press $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-545-12508-6

Kerley and Fotheringham (What to Do About Alice? ) pair up again to offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse of another famous family. Wanting to present a portrait of her papa beyond that of just humorist and author, Mark Twain’s 13-year-old daughter Susy spent a year chronicling her observations and reflections. While her entire work was published in 1985 (Papa: An Intimate Biography of Mark Twain ), Kerley contextualizes the teenager’s admiring musings with vivid familial backdrops. So when Kerley notes that Twain’s wife often would “clean up any questionable passages” in his writing, Susy’s biography states that this meant “some delightfully dreadful part must be scratched out.” Minibooklets titled “Journal” appear in the fold of many spreads, containing excerpts from Susy’s notebook (some may find the flowery typeface of the inserts hard to read). Adding dynamic flair to the limited palettes of each digitally created scene are curlicues representing words, which emanate wildly from pen tips, pages, and mouths. Author notes about Susy and her father, a time line of Twain’s life, and tips for writing an “extraordinary biography” complete this accessible and inventive vision of an American legend. Ages 7–11. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 12/14/2009
Release date: 01/01/2010
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