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There are, as you learn, vital tools you can use to avoid these problems. Explore what really happens during face-to-face conversation by examining the conversational model developed by communication researchers. Discover that any two-person conversation really includes six people, and how different categories of "noise" dramatically affect the transmission of meaning.

How you understand the messages sent to you is shaped in large part by your culture and subcultures—the contexts in which you learned "normal" ways of seeing and hearing the world around you. Grasp the key dimensions along which cultures can be compared. Learn how a part of the brain unavailable to the conscious mind actually processes the vast majority of the information you take in, using a vast array of techniques to guide how you use that information, especially during face-to-face interactions.

Take a key step toward talking more effectively by analyzing how you see things—the brain's "reality management" process of selecting, organizing, and interpreting incoming data. Grasp the pitfalls inherent in the brain's reliance on existing schemas and even stereotypes to make the process more efficient.

How do you interpret the information you take in, especially during conversation, when cognition must operate much more quickly? This lecture delves into the many pitfalls inherent in conversation, including the judgment tools we all use and the dangers in them revealed by Peter Senge's iconic "inference ladder. As a society, we talk about feelings constantly. Yet at the individual level, our awareness of our feelings and ability to discuss them varies significantly. Learn how naming your feelings and describing them accurately to yourself and others is central to effective communication.

How does your sense of self emerge and shape your relationships to others? What are the factors that differentiate one personality from another? Examine one model—the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator—and gain invaluable tips on how different personality types can communicate successfully with each other. Using both attachment theory and a self-awareness model called a Johari window, consider how self-esteem develops and how it can be characterized to reveal the emotions it embodies.

Learn how we manage self-perceptions and self-presentations to preserve our self-esteem in daily interactions. Every conversation has the potential to either enhance your sense of self-worth or undermine it. Explore the techniques we all use to protect ourselves, with particular focus on the psychological defenses identified by Freud and the conversational model of Parent, Adult, and Child voices set forth by Eric Berne.

You don't have to allow effective communication to be sabotaged by those automatic and often self-defeating defenses your mind puts in motion to "protect" you. This lecture offers practical techniques for creating positive internal dialogues and for being heard, understood, and accepted by others in difficult situations. Professor Kehoe discusses several practical ways to turn what you have already learned into better communication. Learn the positive impact of concepts like mindfulness and appreciation, as well as how using meta-communication techniques can prevent a dangerous climb up the "inference ladder" during difficult situations.

Begin your introduction to the professor's own model of human communication. In this lecture, learn the basics of "connect talk" at each of its stages, grasping the significance of procedural and ritual recognition talk before moving on to small talk and deeper levels of conversation. Understand what happens when "control talk"—the mode we use to influence or persuade—powers the conversation. Learn the difference between the light control that may well be useful in certain situations and the heavy control, driven by intense negative emotions, that rarely contributes to a positive outcome.

Plunge into the zone of escalation, where light control talk becomes competitive, tactics harden, and the battle of heavy control talk begins. Learn some useful techniques for managing your emotions and bringing your voice back to a level from which progress is possible for both parties. Gain an understanding of the only mode of talk that is not automatic. Instead, it requires choosing to be a mindful and emotionally generous meta-communicator, even in difficult situations, producing results that can be far more positive than those "achieved" through the win-lose, right-wrong, control talk model.

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What kinds of questions get people to talk openly? Learn how to ask these questions, and also gain listening and response techniques to keep them talking by showing your understanding of what they are trying to communicate. We all have to deal with difficult behavior, and doing so successfully requires being assertive, which is far different from being aggressive or using control talk. Here, gain valuable tools for asking for what you want with courage, calmness, and clarity. Sometimes a negative behavior persists despite repeated requests for change.

When that happens, it may be time for "structured dialogue," a slowed-down and opened-up form of dialogue talk. Absorb the steps needed for a process that can be very effective, but demands time, focus, patience, energy, and self-management. Whether you are male or female affects how you communicate and use language. An exploration of what men and women actually mean when they speak—and why this is so—offers useful lessons on how best to hear and be heard by the opposite sex.

Researchers have gained a knowledgeable grasp of why relationships develop and endure. Whether a relationship is one of friendship or romance, there are things you can do to not only enrich them, but make necessary repairs if they begin to either stagnate or fragment. The relationship between managers and employees is the bedrock of survival and success for all organizations.

Learn how the quality of this relationship can be shaped by the quality of the communication between them—beginning with tools you can use as a manager. Complete your understanding of the critical two-way interaction that determines a successful workplace as you look at the employee's role in building successful workplace communications.

Grasp the techniques that make a practical difference in the success of both employee and employer. Listen to a summary of what you have learned, this time from the perspective of effective communication as a profoundly ethical process, and not merely one whose value lies in practicality. The goal is to speak in ways not only good for us, but for others, as well. Joel Sartore,. What makes a photograph iconic?


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What three things must every picture have to stand out from any old snapshot? These two questions form the core of Mr. To take a picture, you need to have good equipment. Here, get a no-nonsense guide to finding photography equipment—including cameras, tripods, and camera bags—that fits your needs. According to Mr. Sartore, lenses are the most critical tools of photography. In this lecture, he takes you into the field and shows you different camera lenses in action. Among them: 70— mm good for blurring out distracting backgrounds , rectilinear lenses great for photographing things with minimal distortion , and wide-angle lenses perfect for both landscapes and for shooting subjects in tight quarters.

Learn how to become a master at working with this critical tool of photography. Then examine some of Mr. Look at how you should adjust your camera to make the most of found light, and learn the best kind of ambient light to shoot in and why. Explore front lighting, hatchet lighting, and even zebra lighting. Then, focus on the differences between hard light and soft light, and how to adjust your camera accordingly to maximize the potential of these key photographic elements.

Sartore discusses a tricky type of light: man-made or introduced light. How do you truly capture the beauty of the three-dimensional world around you? In the first of three lectures on the subject, analyze a series of pictures to get a basic understanding of how framing works. Great composition also involves paying attention to background and perspective. Here, Mr. Sartore offers you numerous tips and strategies for finding the perfect background, examining the benefits and drawbacks of particular perspectives, and avoiding compositional mistakes that can ruin the power of even the most perfectly lit photograph.

Leading lines. The eyes of your subject. Learn how paying attention to—and using—these and other compositional tools can isolate the true subject of your photo and add a strong sense of dimension. Your first assignment: rural and urban landscapes. Learn how to set up a blind to conceal you from your subject, where to find the best places to photograph flora and fauna, common mistakes that wildlife photographers should avoid, and more.

Using touching photographs of family and friends, Mr. A key skill for any photographer is the ability to capture the special aspects of even the most mundane subjects. Focus on developing and strengthening this talent alongside Mr. Special occasions come loaded with moments that beg to be captured with a camera. Transform the way you think about and take photographs during vacations. How can you avoid taking the same dull pictures like other tourists? What are some good ways to capture the story behind a famous landmark? Who can you ask for help about the best places for photo opportunities in your destination?

Despite what you may think, researching is an important part of any well-planned photo shoot. In the first of several lectures on advanced topics in photography, learn from Mr. Examine how to capture the remarkable and often overlooked beauty in miniature subjects such as insects, flowers, eyes—even a pile of money. Learn the best equipment to use, lighting techniques to capture specific features of your miniature subjects, and common mistakes to avoid such as not getting enough depth of field.

Low light used to be the bane of Mr. Learn how to take advantage of low-light situations by picking the right gear including lenses that give you wide apertures and techniques such as using objects to block bright spots in your frame. In order to be a better photographer, you need to be a visual problem solver. Sartore, using his own career experiences, takes you through varying levels of difficult situations—such as shooting in Antarctica, on a snowy road, or throughout a massive city—to illustrate the importance of mastering this skill.

Here, get practical tips on everything from storing film negatives and naming your digital pictures to touching up your shots and archiving all of your work. Hone your editing skills by combing through groups of images to select the ones that stand out. It takes time and practice—but once you can narrow your photographs down to the best of the best, you can sharpen your critical eye and improve the way you shoot in the future. Close out the course with a fascinating look at telling stories with your photographs. Sartore leaves you with a greater appreciation of how photographers are not just observers but actual storytellers.

Chef Bill Briwa,. Begin the course with a fascinating look at the science of taste and how it acts as the gateway to better understanding—and enjoying—the food you eat. What do you need to have the perfect kitchen—one that makes cooking more relaxing and enjoyable? Find out in this lesson as Chef Briwa reveals which knives you should always have on hand, how to find the right cutting board, how to chop and dice vegetables and herbs, and how to use your newfound skills to make delicious meals.

Continue learning about how to create the perfect kitchen setup mise en place. First, learn how to make sense of a range of different pots and pans. Then, find out the importance of hand tools such as whips, tongs, spatulas, box graters, and meat thermometers. Finally, see some of these tools at work as you go step-by-step through a recipe for vegetable ratatouille. Roasting can seem to be a frustrating task. Here, demystify this dry-heat cooking technique and learn how to make the perfect roast chicken and potatoes. In this lesson, find out everything you need to know to fry food like a pro.

Which oils are best for pan frying and deep frying?

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What safety precautions should you take when frying in your kitchen? How can you tell when your food is done? Learn about this and more as Chef Briwa fries up a veal cutlet, fish and chips, and parsnips. Turn now to a popular method of moist heat cooking: poaching. Try your hand at combination cooking, which combines two different techniques: braising typically reserved for larger cuts of meat and stewing usually for smaller cuts of meat.

Marinating and seasoning meats. Making sure your indoor or outdoor grill is at the right temperature. Getting perfect grill marks. Finding out when your meat or fish is done. Master these and other tricks of grilling and broiling with recipes for grilled steak, lamb chops, fish, vegetables, and even fruit. In this lesson, follow along as Chef Briwa makes several stocks and broths using different ingredients and methods of preparation to give them outstanding flavors.

Here, get an authoritative look at stir-frying. First, get a solid introduction to this cooking technique by making a Vietnamese dish of noodles and stir-fried vegetables. Then, test your skills with a more complex Chinese stir-fry that will also make you more comfortable with handling and cooking tofu. Delve into the subtle complexities of herbs and spices. Think fancy sauces are difficult? Think again. This lesson will make you more comfortable with a range of sauces from around the world. Then, cook a more contemporary French butter sauce beurre blanc and a Spanish tomato-based sauce romesco.

Finally, take a closer look at a couple of sweet and spicy Asian sauces. How long should you cook different types of rice? What should you pay attention to when making a risotto? Learn the answers to these and other questions about cooking the culinary staples of beans and grains. Simplicity and freshness are two hallmarks of great cooking. Case in point, the subject of this lesson: salads. Chef Briwa shows you how to keep lettuce crisp; how to make a simple and quick salad dressing; how to build a salad with different ingredients such as nuts, cheese, herbs, and other vegetables; how to make a hand-held Asian salad roll; and much more.

Find out everything you ever wanted to know about cooking with eggs: hard-boiled eggs, deviled eggs, eggs Benedict complete with hollandaise sauce , scrambled eggs, omelets, and more. A good bowl of soup can warm you in cold weather, cool you in hot weather, fill up an empty stomach, and offer ready nutrition for a weak appetite. You could buy pasta. Or you could enjoy the rewards of making it yourself. Chef Briwa shows you just how easy this is. Improve your strategies for buying and cooking various kinds of meat. What are the merits of roasting a chicken flat? Why should you take time to brine your pork chops?

Why is prime rib the most expensive cut of beef? How much fat and lean beef should go into a really good hamburger? In this lesson, learn some key tips and tricks for making sure you purchase only the freshest, highest-quality seafood. Then, improve your confidence with handling seafood by following recipes for ceviche, a roasted whole fish with fennel, and Prince Edward Island mussels in a creamy broth.

Vegetables, which change with any season and come in a fascinating rainbow of colors, are what really keep cuisine and cooking interesting. Here, learn strategies for cooking and creating meals out of all sorts of vegetables, including eggplant, cauliflower, green beans, beets, and carrots. Then, focus on the myriad ways to build a delicious cheese plate. Chef Briwa demonstrates important points using a medley of wines and foods, reveals the six simple steps for wine and food pairing, and debunks several myths about this process.

Pure intellectual stimulation that can be popped into the audio or video player anytime. Thank You! This email already exists. According to a preface written by the fourth century C. In Avianus's words, "My pioneer in this subject, you must know, is Aesop, who on the advice of the Delphic Apollo started droll stories in order to establish moral maxims. His classic miscellany of satiric beast satires lampoons the standard human failings of pride, arrogance, greed, and folly. Chesterton accords the fabulist a left-handed acknowledgement in his declaration that, within human history, "whatever is authentic is universal: and whatever is universal is anonymous.

In such cases there is always some central man who had first the trouble of collecting [fables], and afterwards the fame of creating them. The facts of Aesop's biography are sketchy. Legend contends that Aesop was not a continental Greek but a Semitic enslaved in Thrace—or possibly an islander from Samos, a Phrygian from Cotiaeum, or a Lydian, although these suppositions are tenuous. Chesterton notes the peculiar coincidence that both Aesop and Uncle Remus, a pair of fabulists oppressed by masters, were fascinated by the comparatively free choice enjoyed by the animal kingdom.

Less than a century later, Aesop earned secondhand praise in Plato's Phaedo ca.

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According to legend, Aesop was no stranger to labor. He worked first for Xanthus and then for Iadmon or Jadmon. His second master freed him as reward for his brilliance. Five centuries after Herodotus's description, the biographer Plutarch named Aesop as the court counselor of King Croesus in Sardis, Lydia. Other nebulous traditions move Aesop about the eastern Mediterranean, placing him on the Black Sea , in modern Bulgaria or Romania, and as far south as Phrygia, a landmass south of the Black Sea in what is now eastern Turkey.

Unfortunately, no literary historian can reconstruct Aesop's life, although it appears certain that he was a contemporary of Sappho of Lesbos, who flourished late in the sixth century B. Details are hopelessly marred by surmise and outright fiction. The comic playwright Alexis of Thurii repeats some of the innuendo about Aesop the trickster in a play, Aesop ca. In the early third century, the poet Poseidippis eulogizes the fabulist in Aesopia , an elegy that allies Aesop with a fellow slave, Doricha, who became the famed courtesan Rhodopis.

In the fourteenth century, the translator Maximus Planudes, a monk and envoy from Constantinople, wrote a spurious introduction to Aesop's life and fables. A lengthy work in the Christian tradition, the biography is hopelessly anachronistic and steeped in the stylistic detail and virtues of the Middle Ages. Planudes perpetuates legends and isolated anecdotes claiming that Aesop was born hideously deformed with an oversized head, drooping jaw, and wry neck. Large, bumbling, and hunchbacked, he stammered when he spoke. As is common in victim lore, the boy Aesop compensated for unsightly physical appearance with a piercing intelligence.

Legend has it that he was sold into slavery and transported to Aristes of Athens, who placed him under the management of Zenas, a cruel and devious superintendent of field workers. Falsely accused of eating his master's figs, Aesop was unable to defend himself verbally. Instead, he vomited up the contents of his empty stomach and asked his accuser to force the real culprits to do the same. Because the results were obvious, Aesop was exonerated.

According to Planudes, the next day Aesop elevated himself through genuine piety. He helped Ysidis, a lost priest, by leading him out of the sun to a shady fig tree, offering him bread, olives, and a dessert of figs and dates, then setting him on the right road to Athens. For his kindness, Ysidis prayed that the gods would reward the wretched slave with divine beneficence. While Aesop slept at the noon hour, the goddess Isis blessed him with a clear, sweet voice and an understanding of all birds and beasts. At the goddess's command, he achieved an instantaneous mastery of fable. When the slave boy awoke, he was a different person.

Upon Zenas's return to the fields, he discovered that Aesop was able to relate plainly the overseer's former cruelties and could inform Aristes of the other slaves' sufferings. Zenas ran to meet his master in town and to accuse Aesop of blasphemy and of slander against Aristes. The master was outraged and gave Zenas full control of Aesop. By chance, a slave buyer came through the area seeking animal and slave stock for the fair at Ephesus. Zenas pointed out Aesop, whose ugliness repulsed the slave dealer. Aesop pursued the merchant, promising to serve him as manager of shy, inexperienced slave boys.

For three gold coins, Zenas gladly parted with him. Though small and weak, Aesop quickly proved himself useful and astute. On his master's journey to Ephesus, Aesop volunteered to shoulder the heaviest burden—the slaves' supply of bread for the journey. His fellow slaves admired his spirit until they realized that the loaves dwindled at each meal, leaving Aesop to carry an empty basket over the final leg of the journey. At the market, the merchant sold all his stock except the fabulist, a musician, and a grammarian.

To rid himself of the three, the merchant sailed with them to the island of Samos off modern Izmir, Turkey, and sold them to Xanthus, a philosopher and teacher, who paid only 60 coins for Aesop and 3, coins for the other two. In lengthy episodes in which Aesop deflates his masters by making them look foolish, he proved himself so wise and cautious that the villagers of Samun sought his advice. When Croesus sent formal demands for tribute, the villagers chose Aesop as their emissary. Moved by his fables about the locust, an insect that does no harm and makes sweet harmony, Croesus exempted the Samnians from taxation.

Aesop, now an honored savant, dedicated his life to teaching useful fables and spreading worthy counsel. He journeyed to the court of Lycurgus, king of Babylon, where Aesop's adopted son Enus plotted against his father and turned Lycurgus against him. While Aesop hid in a tomb, Enus usurped his possessions. After the king repented of his murderous urge, the servant charged with executing Aesop returned him to court to assist Lycurgus in answering a difficult riddle posed by Nectanabo, king of Egypt.

The frail old fabulist then renewed his parental custody of Enus, who was so shamed by his greed and treachery that he leaped to his death from a tower. As emissary to Egypt, Aesop quickly established a reputation for wisdom and cunning by answering King Nectanabo's riddles. On return from collecting an outstanding debt that Egypt owed Babylon, Aesop delighted Lycurgus, who commissioned a gold statue of Aesop, which the Roman imitator Phaedrus noted in the epilogue of Book II of his fables.

Lycurgus also dispatched the old storyteller on a tour of central Greece, which allowed him to see much of the area, including Sardis, Corinth, and Athens. He had arrived at the sacred center of Apollo worship in central Greece as a courier from Croesus of Sardis to distribute gold among the citizens. Instead, he insulted them by accusing them of milking truth-seekers who came to the oracle for advice.

Local plotters then hid Apollo's treasured wine bowl in Aesop's luggage, pretended to search for it, and found him guilty of sacrilege. In punishment, they hurled him to his death from the Delphian crags. Plutarch's Vita Aesopi [Life of Aesop] ca. In the episode, Aesop chooses unwisely by taking refuge at the Muses's shrine. Before his execution as a common thief, he predicted that Greece and Babylon would join forces to avenge his death. As he had foreseen, Delphians suffered reprisals as well as internal discontent, disease, and famine. Zeus's oracle advised them to propitiate the angry gods by raising a temple to Aesop.

No clear motivation exists for Delphi's savagery beyond envy of a former slave; however, Plutarch's version gains credence by including Iadmon's grandson, who purportedly demanded payoffs in recompense for the senseless killing of a harmless elder. Another telling claims that a Delphian carried bags of gold to Samos to offer Iadmon's household because their city had suffered a plague and their collective guilty conscience forced them to atone for the old man's murder. Whatever the cause of Aesop's cruel death, there rose from his life story the forbidding warning of "the blood of Aesop.

Traditionally, Aesop's comic prose tales are described in the same mode as the clever dialect adaptations of African lore written by Joel Chandler Harris —a blend of original beast fables and collected moral stories that Aesop may have derived from earlier sources. To free them of weighty human baggage, he tended to strip them of human characters and recast them with anthropomorphic animals, both domestic and wild. Often, the animals appear in pairs—bull with calf, dog with fox, hen with swallow, and wolf with lamb. In some tales, such as "The Old Woman and the Wine-Jar," "The Countryman and the Snake," "The Boy and the Scorpion," and "The Ass and His Purchaser," simple-minded folk interact with animals and often come up short in comparison by displaying poor judgment, venality, or questionable character.

A pragmatic ethicist, Aesop salted these brief stories with sensory detail—the plop of frogs into a pond, the shriek of the porker nabbed by the shepherd, and the hum of flies about the honeypot. He concluded each with a clearly stated universal moral, usually lauding caution, moderation, planning, and judgment. The oldest written compendium of Aesop's stories, which contains fables, is the Augustana codex, named for its location in Augsburg, Germany.

The manuscript, which was unknown to Phaedrus and only faintly influenced by Babrius, appears to derive from the second century C. Subsequent generations have embraced Aesop and recast him according to the styles and tastes of the times. About two and a half centuries after he flourished in the eastern Mediterranean, Demetrius of Phalerum or Phalereus systematized the oral canon of folklore, myths, aphorisms, trickster motifs, and animal yarns into a single written manuscript.

The text survived for years. Augmented and refined, Aesop's canon took on new meanings and settings in the four volumes produced by Roman freedman Gaius Julius Phaedrus ca. Further adaptation appears in the versions of Roman fabulists Valerius Babrius second century C. These romanized stories deviate from the eastern Mediterranean influence but maintain two key qualities: an admirable wit and a didactic intent suited to molding the character of young children, who studied both the ethics and rhetoric of fable as models for their own writing.

As did the mentor in the Indian Panchatantra and Zen disseminators of jataka tales, teachers of royal youth chose fables as sound expressions of statecraft and discretion, both essentials to princelings. Throughout the Mediterranean, the fables flourished into modern times. The clergy read them from the pulpit, calligraphers added them to illuminations, tapestry makers copied their graphic images, and other artists and artisans depicted them in fresco, wood, ivory, and stone.

Educated people retained and profited from Aesop's images—the cat's paw, the goose that laid the golden egg, sour grapes, and dog in the manger—and his simple, aphoristic homilies:. Aristophanes claims that the verses were favorite dinner recitations as well as sources of the Greek comedic allusions—the fox and the grapes, the ostentatious peacock, the foolish pup, the one-eyed doe, the proud lion—that permeate Greek comedy.

Throughout history, the Western canon has paid homage to Aesop. Lee Lewes. In the twentieth century, literary historians and scholars—notably Ben Edwin Perry, compiler and editor of Aesopica —scramble to preserve the earliest reliable sources of oral lore. Still faithful to Aesop's tradition of oral delivery, performers and updaters of Aesop's fables thrive in library, concert hall, children's literature, and family circle. A modern proponent of Aesopic lore, Jim Weiss, founder of Greathall Productions, Benicia, California, aims to make fables more widely accessible and enjoyable.

Philadelphia's storytelling maven Mary Carter Smith maintains a career in platform performance, audiocassette, and print publication of updated Aesop's fables. A traditional griot in African robes and headdress, she arms herself with a cowtail switch and takes the stance of the mighty mythopoet to enhance her authority.

Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, The Greek historian Herodotus, writing in the fifth century BCE, considered Aesop to be a historical figure who lived on the island of Samos in the Aegean Sea , near the coast of modern Turkey. According to Herodotus, Aesop originally came from Thrace modern Balkans , while other ancient sources maintained that he came from Phrygia modern Turkey or Armenia. The Life of Aesop , an ancient Greek novel of uncertain provenance perhaps dating to the first century CE, but almost certainly relying on earlier prototypes , provides us with an elaborate and extremely humorous account of Aesop's adventures both as a slave and later as a freedman.

In its opening lines, we learn about the many disadvantages that Aesop had to overcome:. Aesop, our great benefactor, the storyteller, chanced to be a slave, and by birth he was a Phrygian from Phrygia. He was extremely ugly to look at, filthy, with a big fat belly and a big fat head, snub-nosed, misshapen, dark-skinned, dwarfish, flat-footed, bandy-legged, short-armed, squint-eyed, and fat-lipped, in short, a freak of nature.

What's more, there was something even worse than this physical deformity: Aesop was mute and unable to speak. The story then tells how the mute Aesop treated a priestess of the goddess Isis with such great kindness that he was rewarded with the gift of speech. As soon as he could talk, Aesop proceeded to denounce the overseer of the slaves for his inordinate cruelty.

As a result, Aesop was put up for sale and was eventually purchased by a philosopher from the island of Samos named Xanthus. The bulk of the Life of Aesop describes the many occasions on which Aesop was able to outwit his master and humiliate his master's wife. Aesop eventually won his freedom and became an advisor to the king of Babylon.

He then helped the king of Babylon to win a battle of wits with the king of Egypt, for which he was handsomely rewarded. By that point, Aesop had become famous throughout all the world, but when he went to the Greek city of Delphi, he insulted and provoked the citizens of Delphi to such a degree that they decided to kill him. Without Aesop's knowledge, the Delphians planted a golden cup from the temple of Apollo in his baggage and then arrested him for theft. Although he pleaded for his life by telling a series of stories, the Delphians finally executed Aesop by hurling him from a cliff.

Aesop's unhappy fate might suggest that the fables were not an especially effective genre of persuasive speech, but the history of the fables themselves proves otherwise.


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Even if the fables in the Life of Aesop were not able to rescue Aesop from the Delphians, 'Aesop's fables' are one of the longest-lived and most widely diffused genres of ancient Greek and Roman culture. The tradition flourished for more than a thousand years in Greece and Rome, and then sprang back to life in the later Middle Ages, enjoying another millennium of popularity lasting from the tenth century until the present day.

As shown by the testimony in Herodotus, the legend of Aesop and his fables was already widespread and well-attested in classical Greece. That is why the comic playwright Aristophanes late fifth century BCE could safely assume that everyone in his audience was well acquainted with Aesop and his fables, as we can see in this exchange from The Birds , which concludes with the fable of the lark and her crest Fable :. You are older than Cronus and the Titans; you were born even before Gaia, the Earth herself.

As a result, when the lark's father became sick and died, there was no earth to bury him in. On the fifth day that his body had been lying there, the frustrated lark, not knowing what else to do, buried her father in her own head. What exactly does Aristophanes mean by someone 'going over' their Aesop? The Greek verb he uses is pepatekas , which literally means to 'have walked through' or 'gone over' Aesop.

Citing precisely this passage in Aristophanes, the Liddell-Scott dictionary of Greek suggests that the verb should also mean 'to thumb through', or 'to be always thumbing Aesop'. Such a translation, however, misses the mark. To 'thumb through' Aesop implies that there was a text of Aesop to read, like the book you are holding in your hands right now and which you can certainly 'thumb through' at your leisure. In fifth-century Athens, however, there were no books of Aesop to be thumbed through, since the first written collections of Aesop did not yet exist. It is very hard for us as modern readers to appreciate the fact that Aesop could still be an authority whom you had to consult, even if he were not an author of books to be kept on the shelf.

To 'go over' or 'run through' Aesop meant to bring to mind all the many occasions on which you had heard the stories of Aesop told at public assemblies, at dinner parties, and in private conversation. Aesop's fables and the anecdotes about Aesop's famous exploits were clearly a familiar way of speaking in classical Greece, a body of popular knowledge that was meant to be regularly 'gone over' and brought to mind as needed.

Over time, as writing penetrated more and more deeply into the ancient Greek and then the Roman world, the fables of Aesop became known as both a written and as an oral tradition. The oldest extant collection of written fables is the work of Phaedrus, a freedman poet of ancient Rome who composed his fables in verse sometime in the early first century CE. Not long afterwards, an otherwise unknown poet named Babrius set about composing fables in Greek verse. By writing their fables in verse, both Phaedrus and Babrius openly declared their literary aspirations and paved the way for later experiments in versifying the fables, such as the medieval fables of the poetess Marie de France or her later compatriot Jean de La Fontaine , whose verse fables are one of the masterpieces of French literature.

In addition to attracting the interest of the poets, Aesopic fables were also put into collections that were used for teaching purposes by the grammarians and rhetoricians the fables of Aphthonius, dating to the fourth century CE, belong in this category. Yet while some of the fables were recorded in the handbooks of the grammarians and rhetoricians, Aesop's fables were not considered 'children's literature' in the ancient world. In fact, this notion of a children's Aesop begins only with early modern collections of fables such as Roger L'Estrange's English translation of , which aimed to ' initiate the Children into some sort of Sense and Understanding of their Duty '.

The Aesop's fables of ancient Greece and Rome were told by and for adults, not children. This does not mean, however, that the ancient fables did not serve a didactic purpose. Quite the opposite, in fact: the didactic morals of the fables are one of the most characteristic elements of the genre. While there is no hard and fast definition of an Aesopic fable, it is the moral of the story that most clearly distinguishes the fables from other kinds of humorous anecdotes or jokes: jokes have punch-lines but fables have morals.

Typically, the moral of the story is expressed by one of the characters in the story's very last words, the same position occupied by the punch-line of a joke. Unlike a punch-line, however, a moral conveys a message or lesson. The character who pronounces the moral verbally corrects a mistaken judgement, which might be his own mistaken judgement or that of another character in the story. Consider, for example, the story of the wild ass, or onager, and the domesticated donkey Fable 4 :. An onager saw a donkey standing in the sunshine.

The onager approached the donkey and congratulated him on his good physical condition and excellent diet. Later on, the onager saw that same donkey bearing a load on his back and being harried by a driver who was beating the donkey from behind with a club.

The onager then declared, 'Well, I am certainly not going to admire your good fortune any longer, seeing as you pay such a high price for your prosperity! In this case, the story is based on a single character: the onager.


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The story opens as the onager makes a mistaken judgement: he thinks that the fat donkey standing in the sunshine is leading an enviable life. Later on, when the onager sees the hard labour and abuse that afflict the donkey, he realizes that he was mistaken and he voices his new understanding in the fable's final words. Although the onager nominally directs his words at the donkey 'I am certainly not going to admire your good fortune any longer' , the fable is oriented around a single character whose conscious thoughts are revealed in the fable and expressed in speech: the wise onager says aloud the lesson he has learned.

Other fables are based on a dramatic interaction between two characters, as in the famous story of the fox and the lion in the cave Fable 18 :. A lion had grown old and weak. He pretended to be sick, which was just a ruse to make the other animals come and pay their respects so that he could eat them all up, one by one. The fox also came to see the lion, but she greeted him from outside the cave. The lion asked the fox why she didn't come in. The fox replied, 'Because I see the tracks of those going in, but none coming out.

In this story, the lion is trying to lead the fox into making a potentially fatal mistake, walking into his cave as all the other foolish animals did before her. The fox, however, is not fooled, and she explains her wise reasoning in the fable's final words.

The dramatic tension between the fox and the lion is resolved in the fox's favour, and the lion has to go hungry. Both of these fables are positive exempla in which the onager and the fox provide examples worthy of imitation: 'be like the onager: don't envy the fat donkeys! In many cases, however, the Aesopic fable provides a negative exemplum , an example of some foolish behaviour or mistaken judgement which we would do well to avoid.

Greedy creatures, for example, regularly come to a bad end in Aesop, as in the story of the deer and the vine Fable 80 :. A deer who was being pursued by hunters hid under a grapevine. When the hunters had passed by, she turned her head and began to eat the leaves of the vine. One of the hunters came back, and when he saw the deer he hurled his javelin and struck her. As she was dying, the deer groaned to herself, 'It serves me right, since I injured the vine that saved me! A similar fate is in store for creatures who aspire to be something more than they are, or who pretend to be something they are not, as in the story of the wolf and his shadow Fable :.

There was once a wolf who went wandering in the desert as the sun was sinking and about to set. Seeing his long shadow, the wolf exclaimed, 'Should someone as great as myself be afraid of a lion? I'm a hundred feet tall! Clearly I should be the king of all the animals in the world! Realizing his mistake after the fact, the wolf exclaimed, 'My self-conceit has been my undoing!

In these two fables, the moral is expressed in the dying words of the principal characters, as the deer and the wolf confess the error of their ways with their last breath. Other fables end with castigation rather than confession, as in the famous story of the ant and the cricket Fable :. During the wintertime, an ant was living off the grain that he had stored up for himself during the summer. The cricket came to the ant and asked him to share some of his grain.

The ant said to the cricket, 'And what were you doing all summer long, since you weren't gathering grain to eat? This fable depicts lazy, careless people who indulge in foolish pastimes, and therefore lose out. In this case, the ant both refuses to take pity on the cricket and makes fun of him as well, using the last words of the fable to viciously correct the cricket's mistake. The reader will of course notice that in addition to the last words of the fable spoken by the ant, there is an additional sentence, represented here in italics.

In technical terms, this italicized sentence is an epimythium , something that comes after the story Greek epi-mythos , 'after-story'. The epimythium is added by the teller of the fable to make sure that the point is absolutely clear: lazy people will turn out to be losers, just like the cricket. In other fables, there may be instead a promythium , a moral that actually comes before the fable Greek pro-mythos , 'before-story'.

Unlike the moral which is fully immersed inside the fable i. This link between the fable world and our own world is a key element in the fable's didactic function, and a promythium or epimythium explicitly promotes this process of identification. When fables are performed for an actual audience, the epimythium is sometimes needed to decode the meaning of the story so that the audience can understand how to apply it to their lives.

Consider, for example, the account of Aesop defending a hated politician on the island of Samos Fable 29 :. Aesop was defending a demagogue at Samos who was on trial for his life, when he told this story: 'A fox was crossing a river but she got swept by the current into a gully. A long time passed and she couldn't get out. Meanwhile, there were ticks swarming all over the fox's body, making her quite miserable.

A hedgehog wandered by and happened to see the fox. He took pity on her and asked if he should remove the ticks, but the fox refused. The hedgehog asked the reason why, and the fox replied, "These ticks have taken their fill of me and are barely sucking my blood at this point, but if you take these ticks away, others will come and those hungry new ticks will drink up all the blood I have left!

In this account, Aesop tells a fable about a fox and a hedgehog, and the fox pronounces the moral of the story, correcting the hedgehog's mistaken judgement: the hedgehog thinks it would be a good idea to get rid of those ticks, but the fox knows better. In the epimythium added by Aesop, who is shown here as a fable performer, there is an explicit link between the timeless, fictional world of the fox and the actual trial which is taking placing right now at Samos: the man on trial is a tick swollen fat with blood wealthy man , but if the people of Samos remove execute him, then other ticks will come and drink their blood rob them blind.

Creighton University :: Aesop's Fables: to

This depiction of a fable in performance shows what might be called the fullest form of the Aesopic fable, in which the fox's moral inside the fable and Aesop's moral outside the fable combine to promote the fable's entertaining and educational functions. When Aesop's fables were later recorded in writing, however, the role of the fable's author began to hold greater and greater sway, so that the moral inside the story pronounced by one of the story's characters began to give way to an increasing emphasis on the moral appended by the fable's author in the form of a promythium or epimythium. In fact, what might be called the endomythium , the moral inside the story Greek endo-mythos , 'inside-story' , was sometimes omitted entirely, as can already be seen in the first extant collection of fables, the poems of the Roman freedman Phaedrus.

Consider, for example, Phaedrus' version of the story of the fox and the goat at the well Fable :. As soon as someone clever gets into trouble, he tries to find a way out at someone else's expense. A fox had unwittingly fallen in a well and found herself trapped inside its high walls. Meanwhile, a thirsty goat had made his way to that same place and asked the fox whether the water was fresh and plentiful. The fox set about laying her trap. In his version of the story, Phaedrus provides a promythium in which he introduces in advance what will be the moral action of the fable.

Having promised a story about a clever character and a foolish victim, he then tells how the clever fox tricked the foolish goat. But what about the endomythium, in which the goat would admit his foolish mistake or the fox would make fun of him? Phaedrus does not feel a need to supply us with this type of moral inside the story.

Aesop's Fables

Throughout his fables, Phaedrus con-sistently includes either a promythium as here or an epimythium, while he often omits the endomythium, the moral pronounced inside the story. There are, however, other versions of this fable about the fox and the goat which do include an endomythium, in addition to the promythium or epimythium. Caxton's fifteenth-century English version of the fables follows this tradition, reporting the vicious and witty words with which the fox mocks the goat, adding insult to injury:.

And thenne the foxe beganne to lawhe and to scorne hym and sayd to hym O mayster goote yf thow haddest be wel wyse with thy fayre berde or euer thow haddest entryd in to the welle thow sholdest fyrst haue taken hede how thow sholdest haue comen oute of hit ageyne. Phaedrus and Caxton, separated from one another by more than a millennium of time and an even greater cultural gap, are both telling the 'same' fable, but they do so according to different styles of storytelling. Sometimes there is more at stake than style, and the contents of the moral become a matter of disputed interpretation.

The moral inside the story may provide one lesson, with the moral outside the story reaching an entirely different conclusion. The story of the fox and the eagle provides an example of this kind of discrepancy Fable 83 :. An eagle was once caught by a man who immediately clipped his wings and turned him loose in the house with the chickens. The eagle was utterly dejected and grief-stricken.

Another man bought the eagle and restored the eagle's feathers. The eagle then soared on his outspread wings and seized a hare, which he promptly brought back as a gift for the man who had rescued him. A fox saw what the eagle was doing and shouted, 'He's not the one who needs your attention! You should give the hare to the first man, so that if he ever catches you again, he won't deprive you of your wing feathers like the first time. The fable shows that we should give appropriate thanks to our benefactors, while avoiding evildoers.

The endomythium pronounced by the fox is perfectly suited to the fable in which one character corrects the mistake made by another: the naive eagle thinks that he should reward the man who already regards him as a friend, but the clever fox knows better. The fox offers the eagle a quite practical piece of advice, but the point of the fox's speech seems to have been lost on at least some of the later authors who collected and transmitted this fable.

The epimythium takes a completely different approach, as if the eagle would do better to avoid the man who clipped his wings and devote himself to his benefactor. Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate Ages 10—14 Jackson 10 , his parents, and his younger sister are about to be evicted again. Then Crenshaw, a seven-foot talking cat reappears for the first time in three years.

Jackson was sure he had outgrown Crenshaw, and is both pleased and concerned that Crenshaw has returned to offer playful antics to amuse him as well as thought-provoking answers to his questions and worries. While the other animals perform, Ivan makes art and watches TV. When Ruby, a baby elephant, arrives, Stella dies of neglect, asking Ivan to promise to help Ruby escape. Wishtree by Katherine Applegate Ages 8—12 Red is an enormous red oak tree near an elementary school. Samar and her Muslim family move into the neighborhood and are not welcomed by everyone. One day his veterinarian mother brings home an infant skunk to foster for a month, and Bat is determined to prove that he is responsible enough to care for the kit.

In fact, he hopes to convince his mother by the end of the month that the skunk he names Thor would make the perfect pet. Far from Fair by Elana K. And the four family members all have to share one cell phone. Odette is miserable and her list grows longer every day through the endless hours on the road. The Question of Miracles by Elana K. Nothing seems right since her best friend Sarah died, and Iris hates the wet climate of Oregon. At school Iris meets fellow 6th grader Boris, a kind outsider who barely survived infancy.

Sarah includes Boris in her efforts to contact Sarah, giving him the first real friend of his life. This evocative novel explores the long reaches of grief and the longing to know if a loved one is still out there somewhere. Creep and Flutter: The Secret World of Insects and Spiders by Jim Arnosky Ages 6—10 Larger-than-life foldout spreads display insects like beetles, spiders, mayflies, dragonflies, butterflies, and moths.

Beautiful sea stars and coral reefs share space with eerie sharks and barracudas. Fascinating details about creatures like jellyfish will entrance young readers. This riveting book tells the story of those 69 days in 12 short chapters. Photos and diagrams illustrate both above- and below-ground scenes, showing the struggles of the trapped men to stay alive deep inside the mine as their rescuers work frantically from above.

This well-researched and positive book highlights the amazing technology and the helping hands from around the world that transformed what could have been a horrendous tragedy into an amazing story of survival. So Pete decides to discover the truth about his father and find the informant who turned him in. This accessible look at McCarthyism has powerful connections to contemporary questions of democracy and individual freedoms. But the Geless family finds room in their humble home for Willa, a homeless girl who saves Maks from a street gang.

The stark contrast between the struggles of the Geless family to survive and the easy splendor of the Waldorf make this historical fiction come alive. He falls in with Bear, a huge traveling juggler, and their relationship is the heart of the book. The Most Important Thing: Stories about Sons, Fathers, and Grandfathers by Avi Ages 10—up Relationships between fathers, sons, and grandfathers are the common theme between the seven stories in this book. One boy sees the ghost of his father, one goes camping with the erratic grandfather he has just met, one interviews a candidate for the job of stepfather.

Some boys have fathers at home and some do not. Some have close relationships with their fathers and grandfathers, some would prefer never to see the men in their lives again. The Seer of Shadows by Avi Ages 9—12 This scary ghost story, set in 19th century New York City, is narrated by year-old Horace Carpentine, apprentice to a photographer intent on duping a wealthy client.

When her brother William, a Patriot soldier, goes missing at the Battle of Brooklyn, Sophia searches for him in the prisons where rebels are held. When she witnesses the execution of Nathan Hale three years later, she is horrified and resolves to do all she can to help the American cause. The mayor offers gold coins for ridding the town of rats, and a stranger with a small pipe charms them outside the town gates. The mayor refused to pay the reward, and the stranger pipes the children away as well. Vibrant illustrations accompany this retelling of the classic legend. Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett Ages 9—12 Petra and Calder, two bright sixth-graders, join together to find a missing Vermeer painting.

This mystery sends them on a quest full of patterns, puzzles, as they investigate the meaning of art. The Calder Game by Blue Balliett Ages 9—12 Now in 7th grade, series heroes Petra, Tommy, and Calder participate in the Calder Game, trying to join five ideas or things that move in relationship to each other. This provocative mix of mystery, art concepts, and philosophy will appeal to motivated readers. Tuesday is looking forward to the day her mother finishes her latest book so they can spend more time together.

But then her mother mysteriously disappears, leaving behind only the words "The End" floating above her computer. Tuesday begins typing her own story, which magically transports her along with her dog Baxterr into a story tale world. Audrey refuses to accept that she is destined for the abattoir and then the meat section of the supermarket. After failing to starve herself, Audrey begins to practice fence jumping, determined to escape her fate.

With the help of her barnyard friends, Audrey flees to the forest, pursued by a reporter and a wild-life enforcement officer. Written in the form of transcripts of interviews from the animals and human characters, this light-hearted tale takes a philosophical stance against the meat industry. Triangle by Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen Ages 6—9 Triangle decides to play a sneaky trick on his friend Square, frightening him by pretending to be a snake. Square chases Triangle back home and blocks his triangular door, leaving Triangle in the dark and frightening him in return.

This funny book is the first in a trilogy featuring geometric shapes. Used to feeling invisible and playing with imaginary friends, Jack is amazed to suddenly be the center of attention. This suspenseful mystery explores themes of the struggle between good and evil, and the power of love and sacrifice. The villagers are convinced that the wrong boy died, and the stuttering Ned becomes ostracized by the rest of the village. On the plane, Wyatt and Matt spot some suspicious passengers who have aerial photos of the White House and a backpack they are strangely protective of.

Matt scoops up an electronic device that falls from the bag, and gets into trouble with both their teacher and the FSA. For the remainder of the trip the two boy, with the help of some of their classmates, track the bad guys, determined to save the president who just may be in danger. This suspenseful and hilarious book is a winner. After emancipation, Lynch took odd jobs to pay for his education and became a Justice of the Peace and then one of the first African-American Congressmen.

This engaging biography portrays the difficulties of the Reconstruction Era while celebrating a talented man determined to succeed. On Christmas Eve the three brothers staged a full-length version of the ballet at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, starting a holiday tradition that continues around the country today. Readers are encouraged to crack codes and find hidden pictures to solve the mystery, told in rhyming quatrains. A set of bonus challenges will keep kids, and their relatives, glued to the pages for weeks.

Basye, Bob Dob Ages 9—12 Milton, an innocent year-old bookworm, and his year-old rebellious sister Margo, meet their end in a ludicrous accident at the mall. Bartholomew and Hettie try hard not to be noticed, until the day Bartholomew sees a friend abducted by magic in broad daylight. Arthur Jelliby, a young man who also keeps a low profile, joins with Bartholomew to save England from a terrible secret. Part steampunk adventure story, part murder mystery, and part fantasy, this unforgettable book was written by Bachmann as a teenager. This surreal and sometimes violent adventure is best appreciated if read after The Peculiar.

Every year the fearful people of Protectorate leave the youngest baby in the woods on the Day of Sacrifice, hoping to appease the witch they believe is vengeful. Xan has no idea why the babies are left in the woods, but carefully feeds them starlight and delivers them to grateful adoptive parents in the Outside Cities. One year Xan accidentally feeds the baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling her with glowing magic. She falls in love with the baby, naming her Luna for the crescent moon birthmark on her forehead, and raises her as her own daughter with the help of Glerk and Fyrian.

When Luna is 13 her magic has grown strong, and she is ready to fight the true evil that threatens Protectorate. By the end of the war, more than four thousand British and American ships were painted in dazzling designs to protect them from German torpedo attacks. Come Fall by A. Salman, a perpetual foster-child new to school, Lu-Ellen, the buddy assigned to help Salman adjust to 7th grade, and Blos, a socially-challenged boy who befriends them both, are just beginning to bond when Salman becomes the target of the school bully. Through no fault of their own, the three have become pawns in a power struggle between Oberon and Titania, King and Queen of Faery, when they have more than enough problems in their own reality.

This magically realistic story celebrates the power of friendship while portraying the dark hazards of middle school. When Tess dies suddenly from an untreated heart defect, her mother starts a petition to the Pope to declare Tess a saint. Grandpa Ephraim tells Micah that the Circus Mirandus is real, and that the Lightbender owes him a miracle. In two from the Montgomery family arrive at the same time causing a disaster: half of their descendants will have wonderful fates like a powerful connection to animals and half will have terrible fates like early deaths.

Blue Montgomery draws an unlucky fate: no matter what he will always lose. Tumble Wilson 11 has just moved to Murky Branch. When Jenna Jenkins, a Cambridge student, ballerina, and aspiring journalist, goes missing, Sesame is delighted that her opportunity has finally arrived. With the help of her friends Gemma and Toby, Sesame skates off to solve the mystery. This hilarious novel is the first in a series. El Deafo by Cece Bell Ages 8—12 Cece lost her hearing at a young age, and received a Phonic Ear, a very large and very awkward hearing aid.

Appendix:List of Latin phrases

Cece longs to fit in and find a true friends, eventually creating a superhero alter ego — El Deafo, Listener for All. This graphic novel autobiography is both poignant and funny. The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin Ages 8—12 Suzy and Franny were best friends for years, until Franny began to drift away from Suzy and her obsession with scientific facts in middle school. When Franny drowns, Suzy is unable to accept her death. Suzy stops speaking to anyone, throwing herself instead into scientific research.

Since Franny was a strong swimmer, Suzy begins looking for a reason for her death, finally settling on a sting from a deadly Irukandji jellyfish. This sensitive exploration of the grieving process is both age authentic and poignant. The stone is stolen and sold to a prince and Lucinda sets out to get it back. A clever twist on the Cinderella story, this funny and suspenseful fantasy is also a fast-paced adventure.

What Floats in a Moat? His friend Skinny the Hen suggests the obvious solution of using the drawbridge to cross the moat the the castle, but Archie is determined to use science to figure out what will float across the moat. This enjoyable read-aloud will be relished by all young lovers of the excitement of discovery. Her parents blog is called 50 Homes in 50 States. But Griswold was recently attacked by thieves and is now in a coma, leaving the game in limbo. Then Nanny Hannah teaches her how to string the letters together to make words, gives her a dictionary, and teaks her to play Scrabble.

Funny Girl: Funniest. The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall Ages 8—12 The four appealing soccer-playing Penderwick sisters Rosalind, 12; Sky, 11; Jane, 10; Batty, 4 hatch the Save Daddy plan and orchestrate a series of disastrous dates to convince him that widowed life is far preferable to remarriage. This cozy book is the sequel to The Penderwicks. The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall Ages 8—12 In this third Penderwick adventure, the three youngest sisters head off to Maine with Aunt Claire and friend Jeffrey while their father is honeymooning in England and oldest sister Rosalind is visiting a friend in New Jersey.

When a flood carries her far from home, she must use all her skills to survive. Bright illustrations featuring period details capture the energy and excitement of this amazing baseball season. Fifth grader Batty is delighted when the dull music teacher is replaced by the enticing Mrs. To earn money for lessons, Batty takes a job walking neighborhood dogs while mourning the recent death of the family dog.

It takes the efforts of all her family and neighbors to figure out why Batty is so sad and clear up the misunderstanding. This fourth in the series celebrates the warmth and compassion of the blended Penderwick family. Doll Bones by Holly Black, Eliza Wheeler Ages 10—14 Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been friends forever, playing imaginative games of pirates, thieves, mermaids, and warriors. Ruling over every game of make-believe is the Great Queen, a bone-china doll who attacks all who displease her.

But now that Zach is 12 his father insists that he give up playing games and takes all his action figures to the dump. Alice and Poppy convince him to take part in one last game, a bus trip to bury the Great Queen doll, which Poppy insists is made from the bones of a murdered girl. His mother was killed by mages, and his father warns him that Magesterium, the training school for young mages, is a death trap. Callum tries to fail the required entrance exam — the Iron Trial — but is selected to apprentice under Master Rufus along with fellow students Aaron and Tamara. As he begins the first of five years of schooling, Callum realizes how little he knows of his own family and heritage.

Set in a magical version of present day America, this thrilling coming-of-age fantasy is the first in a planned series. Trolls, werewolves, and dangerous witches and wizards live deep in the forest. Years later, when he is 12, Jinx sets off with two friends to find the wizard named Bonemaster, hoping they can master enough magic to keep themselves safe. This adventure is full of funny dialog and eccentric characters. People by Blexbolex All Ages People of all ages and from all walks of life are linked together in this creative book. A homeless person sleeping in a box is juxtaposed with a camper, a contortionist with a plumber striving to complete a job.

Stunning s style silk screen illustrations contrast different people in intriguing ways. During the year, Catherine undergoes school discipline, encounters runaway slaves, loses a friend, and faces new relationships when her father remarries a woman with children of her own. Pathfinders: The Journeys of 16 Extraordinary Black Souls by Tonya Bolden Ages 10—14 The 16 short biographical stories are presented in chronological order, beginning with Venture Smith, the son of a West Aftican prince who was sold into slavery, freed himself and his family, and fought in the Revolutionary War.

Set during the Harlem Renaissance and featuring a mysterious magician from the Caribbean, this spell-binding tale is illustrated with beautifully detailed oil paintings. Her classmates teased her unmercifully, and the Parvi Pennati a Small Person with Wings who hates to be called a fairy moved out. Now 13, Mellie and her family move into an inn inherited from her grandfather. Before long Mellie finds that she has not left her problems behind.

The inn is infested with Parvi, and Mellie learns that her family must honor a thousand-year old agreement to provide a home for the Parvi. Themes of bullying and alcoholism are explored in this clever and humorous fairy story. When he discovered that the image was being used as Holocaust-denying propaganda, he decided to share his memories.

Assisted by his daughter Debbie, he learned that of the 3, Jews living in Zarki, Poland before the Holocaust, fewer than 30 survived. This moving memoir gives a very human face to the horrors of the Holocaust. When she returns for the start of the next school year, she is worried that everyone will find out. Marianna, the new girl in town, wants Amber for her best friend, and Wren is compromised by the secret she is hiding.

Then Wren learns that Marianna had to ask the same questions that Wren is worrying about now. While growing up as a slave in Tennesee, Doc was sent to plantations around to state to care for sick animals. When Doc was freed after the Civil War, he dreamed of breeding a winning race horse, but his colt was born weak. Instead of euthanzing the colt, Doc nursed the sickly colt back to health and named him Jim.

Doc taught Jim to recognize letters and to count. The two traveled around the country, telling the story of how kindness saved Jim and brought them both happiness. Once part of the amazing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the engine wants to rebuild its original bodywork and takes the Tootings around the world searching for parts. Unfortunately, a sinister villain is on their trail, determined to possess the incredible car himself.

Then Liam passes himself off as his own father and wins a trip to a new theme park in China that includes new ride: The Rocket. The Rocket turns out to be just that and Liam finds himself the adult chaperone on a trip to outer space. Who knew all those hours honing his spaceship piloting skills while playing World of Warcraft would come in handy after all? This moving story of illegal immigration is told with humor. His parents try confining him inside the house and weighting him down, but when he is eight his mother lets him float away.

In his journey around the world Barnaby meets people of all ages who have accepted their own uniqueness and found happiness. While their parents are away, their grandmother holds a family meeting, and they learn their many great-grandfather made a contract with a demon named Alastor who has reawakened after many many years determined to get revenge. Prosper is unwittingly host to the demon, and has only days to break the curse and banish Alastor back to the demon realm.

His uncle Barnabas and cousin Nell, a witch-in-training, are his only hope of defeating the demon. Young Jack is rescued by a powerful Samurai who adopts him and trains him to join the warrior class. Since he is a foreigner, Jack is treated as an outcast at Samurai school and must use all his wit and skill to survive and succeed. First in a projected trilogy, this fast-paced adventure set in medieval Japan is full of spellbinding bits of history, culture, and martial arts.

Armed with his catapult and supplied with Oreos and Mountain Dew from abandoned stores, Jack plays video games and builds a moat. Determined to slay the monster Blarg, Jack gathers a support team consisting of his best friend Quint, reformed middle school bully Dirk, the girl he adores, and his loyal pet monster Rover.

Then she discovers that an entire day has accidentally been left unscheduled. She falls into the hole in her schedule into the Realm of Possibility where she searches for the Great Moodler, who may be able to solve her problem. Along the way she battles an army of Clockworkers and takes a daring Flight of Fancy. This whimsical fantasy celebrates the power of the imagination, creative problem-solving, and the importance of making time for your dreams and your friends. Detailed engravings of 80 mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects are accompanied with facts about the creatures and descriptions of their habitats.

Because Ada was born with a clubfoot, her mother is ashamed of her and never lets her leave the apartment, abusing her both physically and emotionally. When the Germans begin bombing London and children are evacuated to the country, Ada sneaks onto the train with Jamie. None of the villagers are willing to take the neglected siblings, so they are sent home with Susan Smith, a reclusive woman with no experience with children. Miss Smith provides the children with food, new clothing, and the security they have never know.

She also has a pony, which Ada is determined to learn to ride and earn the freedom to roam the countryside at will. They decide to share a scarf, but worry that their rituals are lame in comparison. This start of a new series follows the three girls in the summer before they begin high school as each faces unexpected challenges. Tempted by the pen and ink set James receives for his birthday, Martin draws an intricate picture for James and then reveals himself as the artist. Before James can hide the drawing, his parents have discovered it and proclaim him a talented artist.

The fast moving story and wonderfully detailed drawings will captivate young readers. But when their cat goes missing, the three brothers chase after her and discover three human skulls. Joining up with their neighbor Delilah, the children research local history and folklore, preparing for a secret return to Superstition Mountain to solve the mystery of the skulls.

This exciting novel is the first in a new series. A sinister librarian, anonymous warnings, threatening rattlesnakes, and a terrifying rock slide make this sequel as exciting as the first book in the series: Missing on Superstition Mountain. Lizzie enjoys the time she gets to spend with the animals, but her unique living situation prevents her from making close friends. Then she meets Tyler, a runaway from a foster home who has been hiding out at the zoo.

Tyler tells Lizzie what happens at night, including a strange visitor to the new Wolf Woods exhibit he suspects is making the animals sick. In return, she receives friendly reply and a warm red coat on Christmas morning. In later letters Lucy asks after Mrs. Claus and life at the North Pole along with her Christmas wishes. When she is eight, Lucy writes to her mother instead, asking if she is really Santa.

The reply from her mother, published in the New York Times in , explains that she alone is not Santa, instead he is created by the power of our imaginations and our kindness to one another. Animalium by Jenny Broom Ages 8—12 This beautifully illustrated book feels like a visit to a natural history museum.

Detailed pen-and-ink illustrations resemble vintage taxonomical etchings. This first in a planned series is stunning. All Stations! April 15, The Day the Titanic Sank by Don Brown Ages 6—10 This gripping account captures the grandeur of the Titanic, the terror of the disaster, and the rescue the survivors. The watercolor and pencil illustrations capture telling details of of actions and facial expressions. The causes of the disaster are clearly explained and gripping first-hand accounts are included. He Has Shot the President!

Let It Begin Here! The taxes imposed on the American colonies eventually lead to the Revolutionary War. Told in a clear and interesting style, young readers will enjoy reading about this time in history. At first the island inhabitants are frightened of the shiny monster, but after Roz adopts an abandoned gosling she is gradually accepted as a part of the island community.

This heartwarming novel examines what happens when nature and technology collide. In , Mary and her family left Illinois to settle in California. Mary cares for her younger siblings, helps move rocks and trees blocking the wagons, and endures thirst in the desert. The worst is the final ordeal when they become trapped in the ice and snow at Donnor Pass, resorting to cannibalism in order to survive. Each puppet is beautifully photographed and accompanied with its name, motto, and poem.

Illustrations and memories show a boy finding art materials during the Depression, storing art supplies in his gas mask during WWII, losing an art scholarship because of his race, and an award-winning art career. A book for parents and children to enjoy together, this book will inspire artists of all ages.

After his father died, the family moved frequently, a trial for the shy young boy. To satisfy his need for order, Peter began making lists of words. As he arranged the words into long neat rows, he felt comforted. When he began to organize his ideas into written form, Peter found that his lists helped him find just the right word to express himself. This accessible biography celebrates the man who invented the thesaurus and the joy of learning. At the age of three Felix was accidentally fused with Zyx, a hyper-intelligent being from the fourth dimension.

A risky procedure to separate them is scheduled in 29 days. Luckily Felix is supported by his loving parents, his piano prodigy older sister, and his gender-fluid grandparent who alternates between Vera and Vern. Inspired by the Los Angeles riots, this book delivers a message about racism with a light touch supported by dazzling mixed-media collage illustrations. Now 12, and living with his loving adoptive American family, Matt is still haunted by memories of the family he left behind.

A Thousand Never Evers by Shana Burg Ages 9—12 Set in rural Mississippi during the civil rights movement, this emotionally compelling novel shows the racism and violence endured by the African-American community through Addie Ann Pickett, a junior high school girl. Cartoon-like pen and ink illustrations and a variety of typefaces add to the exaggerated tall tale style of this delightful book. This stunning picture book biography presents an artist fascinated by light and shadow, a loner whose works reflect his own isolation. George Bellows: Painter with a Punch! Lowriders in Space by Cathy Camper, Raul the Third Ages 8—12 Lupe Impala, a beautiful girl mechanic, El Chavo Flapjack, an octopus who uses his eight arms to detail cars, and Elirio Malaria, a mosquito who does the pin striping, love working together on cars and want to open a garage together.

To earn the startup money, they enter a competition to transform a lowrider into a thing of beauty. Translations are provided for the frequent use of Spanish in this energetic graphic novel. The vibrant illustrations, created with three colors of ball point pens, draw upon Mexican folk art, tattoo designs, and cartoons. Heap House by Edward Carey Ages 10—up The Iremonger family of Filching has made a fortune from junk, and the extensive family lives in a mansion constructed from salvaged materials.

Each Iremonger possesses a birth object like a sink plug or mustache cup that they must always keep close or face death or transformation. Clod is considered strange because he can hear the birth objects speak. Orphaned Lucy Pennant comes to Heap House as a servant, and Clod finds himself falling in love as he and Lucy uncover dark Iremonger family secrets.

The 92 color photographs are neither staged nor retouched, and are spectacular examples of the wonders of nature waiting for the careful observer. Not intended for those just learning the alphabet, this beautiful book may inspire older children to search out letters in their own natural surroundings. Happenstance Found by P. Catanese Ages 8—12 Happenstance, a boy with weird green eyes, wakes up in a cave with no memories of his past life or his present surroundings. He meets Lord Umber, who seems to know as much about our world as his own. They discover that Hap has strange powers—he can see in the dark, speak many languages, and leap high in the air.

First in a new series Books of Umber , this strange tale is action-packed and surprising. Look Up! This informal and enthusiastic book encourages children to enjoy the great outdoors while being aware of the birds that live in their own backyards. He sets off with Carl Sagan to the Southwest High-Altitude Rocket Festival in New Mexico, where he meets other space fanatics and persuades two new adult friends to take him to Las Vegas in search of his perhaps-dead father, where he learns the truth about his family. With the help of classmate Clancy Crew, Ruby ventures out to prevent the theft of a priceless jade Buddha.

This clever novel packed with puzzles is the first in a new adventure series. Ruby Redfort is the fictional heroine of Clarice Bean. Plain Alice is the bookish daughter of a sage who longs to continue in his footsteps but is kidnapped by a dragon in a case of mistaken identity. Princess Alice, heir to the kingdom of West Stahope is pursued by the treacherous Duke Geoffrey who hopes to take over the kingdom by marrying her.

Together the three fight against their dangerous foes, learning that a combination of logic and bravery is the best defense. This alternative fairy tale is great fun. Other evolutionary changes are also clearly and simply explained. Al Capone Does My Homework by Gennifer Choldenko Ages 10—up Moose Flanagan 13 is happy when his father is promoted to associate warden at Alcatraz, but the good fortune makes the family a target.

A fire breaks out while Moose and his autistic sister Natalie are alone in their apartment. Moose is afraid it is his fault since he fell asleep, and a neighbor blames Natalie for the fire. Moose and the other Alcatraz kids band together to figure out the cause of the fire. Inmate No. A shy child, Elvis enjoyed singing in church and learned to play the guitar. In high school he was teased by his classmates because of his interest in music. The studio loved the record and sent it to local radio stations, this launching the career of the King of Rock and Roll.

Dear Mr. Henshaw, an author, when he is in 2nd grade as a school assignment. Leigh is lonely and unhappy. Henshaw writes back and encourages Leigh to keep a journal to express his feelings. This outlet allows Leigh to slowly develop confidence in himself. When Demon is 10, his father steals him away from his human mother and sets him to work caring for the mythical creatures that reside in the stables of Olympus. Many of the creatures have suffered mistreatment by gods and heroes, so Demon has his work cut out for him.

Energetic cartoons add to the fun of this first book in the Beasts of Olympus series. Tormented by rats and chased by a cat, she is rescued by Joseph, the young assistant to John James Audubon. Joseph carries Celeste in his pocket as he helps Audubon find plants and birds to serve as models for their illustrations. A compelling mix of fantasy and fact, this book full of art captures the nature of art and artists. This blend of horror, humor, and science fiction is the first in the W. Crouching Tiger by Ying Chang Compestine, Yan Nascimbene Ages 6—10 Vinson considers himself completely American, and is uncomfortable when his grandfather comes to visit from China, speaking to him in Chinese and calling him Ming Da, his Chinese name.

Reluctantly donning a Chinese jacket for the Chinese New Year parade, Ming Da notices the respect given to his grandfather and the lion dancers he trained. Cedar 12 , her mother, and her brother Miles move to Iron Creek, Utah for the summer. When Leo, wearing a costume, rides by on his bike, Cedar follows him to the Summerlost Shakespeare festival. She gets a job working concessions with Leo and learning about the ghost of the Hollywood actress who haunts the halls of Summerlost. I, Galileo by Bonnie Christensen Ages 8—12 The aging Galileo, sentenced to house arrest, looks back at his life, describing his education, scientific discoveries, and interrogation by the Inquisition.

The first person narration and explanatory style make the science and the man accessible to young readers. Dramatic illustrations highlight his fascination with the night sky. He then uses his superpower to help a star return to the sky before using the power of friendship to cheer up Jelly. This funny graphic novel is perfect for beginning readers.

Though not avoiding the cruel realities of slavery, this accessible biography celebrates determination and hope. Based on questions submitted by real children, Close talks candidly about his work. Close explains how he coped with a global learning deficit since childhood and then a collapsed spinal artery that left him nearly paralyzed at the age of