cover image Brave Jane Austen: Reader, Writer, Author, Rebel

Brave Jane Austen: Reader, Writer, Author, Rebel

Lisa Pliscou, illus. by Jen Corace. Holt/Ottaviano, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-62779-643-9

The life of Jane Austen, from her childhood to her death at age 41, unfolds in this cozy, pastoral story. Pliscou describes Austen’s upbringing as loving, though affected by poverty and illness. Austen, who sought refuge in reading, subverted gender expectations even in her early writing efforts: “Were the girls in her stories sweet and obedient? Not at all!” Austen’s refusal to marry a man who would have offered her comfort and stability—but not love—pivots into her publication of Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice. In Corace’s mixed-media artwork, Jane and other figures resemble rosy-cheeked ragdolls; botanical details, creeping vines, and feather motifs are repeated in outdoor and indoor scenes. A tender portrayal of an author whose ordinary circumstances led to an extraordinary legacy. Ages 7–10. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Jan.)