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The Phoenix and the Carpet

E. Nesbit (Author)

‘Rain, rain, go away,’ said Anthea; ‘but it never DOES go’

I expect you know how boring it can be to stay indoors on rainy days. it was on one of those dull days that the five children accidentally set their nursery on fire (with fireworks). No one thought that that disastrous day would bring the start of new adventures.

But the new nursery carpet, when it arrives, comes with something odd wrapped inside it: an enormous glowing egg. And inside is the most beautiful bird you’ve ever seen – in fact, not a bird: a noble and fabulous phoenix. New adventures just might have begun…

Includes exclusive content: In the Backstory you can ponder what you would wish for and find out which character you most resemble!

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The Enchanted Castle

E. Nesbit (Author)

'If we were in a book it would be an enchanted castle - certain to be'

When Jerry, Jimmy and Kathleen are forced to spend their entire summer at school they don't imagine they will have a particularly interesting time. But that's before they stumble upon a mysterious castle set in beautiful, abandoned gardens. Could this really be an enchanted castle? Don’t be a duffer, there’s no such thing. But with the air thick with magic, the sun blazing down, and a maze hiding a sleeping girl at its centre, the holidays might just be looking up...

Includes exclusive content: In the Backstory you can find out more about the author and take the Enchanted Castle quiz!

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The Susan Effect

Peter Høeg (Author) , Martin Aitken (Translator)

SUSAN SVENDSEN HAS AN UNUSUAL TALENT. She is an expert in finding out secrets. People feel oddly compelled to confide in her and unwittingly confess their innermost thoughts. Her whole life, she has exploited this talent, but now her family is in jeopardy and there is a prison sentence hanging over her head.

Then Susan gets a timely offer from a former government official: use her power one more time and have all charges dropped. To get her life back in order, she must track down the last surviving members of a secret think tank, the Future Committee, and find out the details in this committee’s mysterious final report. But there are some powerful people determined that the report is never revealed.

The Tsar of Love and Techno

Anthony Marra (Author)

A Granta Best Young American Novelist

1930s Leningrad: a failed portrait artist employed by Soviet censors must erase political dissenters from official images and artworks. One day, he receives an antique painting. The mystery behind this painting threads together each of the stories that follow, where we meet a Siberian beauty queen, a young soldier in the battlefields of Chechnya, the Head of the Grozny Tourist Bureau, a ballerina performing for the camp director of a gulag and many others.

Little Lord Fauntleroy

Frances Hodgson Burnett (Author)

‘And so this is little Lord Fauntleroy’

Ceddie is a regular little boy living in New York with his mother, until the day a tall, old gentleman arrives to give him some startling news. Ceddie, it turns out, is the child of a great English family. He must go to England to live with the Earl his grandfather and become a person he never knew he was: Little Lord Fauntleroy.

What the old gentleman neglects to mention is that Ceddie’s grandfather is one of the most grumpy, grouchy, gouty and feared old men in all England. Wish the new Little Lord Fauntleroy good luck…

Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can find out more about the inspirations for the story and take the Little Lord Fauntleroy quiz!

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Brave New World

Aldous Huxley (Author)

Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress...

The Idiot

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Author)

This study of natural goodness is Dostoevsky’s most touching novel. Prince Myshkin, the last, poverty-stricken member of a once great family and regarded by many as an idiot, returns to Russia from a sanatorium in Switzerland in order to collect an inheritance. Before he has even arrived home he becomes involved with Rogozhin, a rich merchant’s son whose obsession with the fascinating Nastasya Filippovna eventually draws all three of them into a tragic denouement. But this is only the main thread of a rich and complex book in which a dazzling host of characters, from generals to street urchins, present the picture of an entire society on the verge of dissolution. A tragicomic masterpiece.

The Lover, Wartime Notebooks, Practicalities

Marguerite Duras (Author), Rachel Kushner (Introducer)

Marguerite Duras was one of the leading intellectuals and novelist of post-war France, but her wartime writings were not published in full until after her death. The Wartime Notebooks trace Duras's formative experiences - including her difficult childhood in Indochina and her harrowing wait for her husband's return from Nazi internment - revealing the personal history behind her bestselling novels. The Lover is the best known of these; set in pre-war Indochina, its haunting tale of a tumultuous affair between an adolescent French girl and her wealthy Chinese lover is based on her own life. In spare and luminous prose, Duras evokes life on the margins in the waning days of France's colonial empire, and the passionate relationship between two unforgettable outcasts. Practicalities is a collection of small and intensely personal pieces Duras dictated near the end of her life. These deceptively simple meditations on motherhood, domesticity, sex, love, alcohol, writing, and more are witty, earthy, outspoken and surprisingly fresh and relevant to the same issues today.

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