Books by Lloyd Alexander

Released: Aug. 1, 2007

"Though not his strongest, and adding little to his body of work, this may nevertheless please fans looking forward to one last adventure from the late author. (Fiction. 9-13)"
Fourteen-year-old orphan Carlo's daydreaming wreaks havoc in his uncle's warehouse in the port of Magenta. Read full book review >
DREAM-OF-JADE by Lloyd Alexander
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

"Absolutely first-class storytelling with a remarkable little heroine. (Fiction. 7-10)"
A savvy, sassy little cat causes quite a stir when she defies Chinese custom and law to teach the Emperor how to be a wise and happy ruler in this gentle, satiric tale of friendship. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2005

"Just plain fun. (Fiction. 10-14)"
Intrepid is the word for Vespar Holly. Read full book review >
THE ROPE TRICK by Lloyd Alexander
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"It is no illusion that this is a magical read. (Fiction. 8-12)"
It's wonderful to be in the thrall of a master storyteller once more, as Alexander (The Gawgon and the Boy, 2001, etc.) spins this full-hearted tale of magic, illusion, and love. Read full book review >
THE GAWGON AND THE BOY by Lloyd Alexander
Released: May 1, 2001

"I had some reluctance about being educated')—a quietly zany tribute to the power of stories. (Fiction. 10-14)"
A sweet tale of imagination and intergenerational friendship on the cusp of the Depression. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 2000

An original pour quoi tale explaining why cats have the ability to purr, pleasing both themselves and their owners. Read full book review >
GYPSY RIZKA by Lloyd Alexander
Released: April 1, 1999

"Alexander has a flair for finding the comedic in his pageant of characters, while his chain of absurdities reveals a truth or two about the human condition along the way. (Fiction. 10-14)"
This tome from Alexander (The Iron Ring, 1997, etc.) showcases all the elements of a farce as mayors and councilmen, gypsies and ragamuffins supplant kings and princes, warriors and magic cats. Read full book review >
THE IRON RING by Lloyd Alexander
Released: May 1, 1997

"Laugh-out-loud humor leavens the story to perfection. (Fiction. 4-8)"
A complex tale of honor and adventure, love and compassion, that shines with the dusky richness of an oriental tapestry. Read full book review >
THE ARKADIANS by Lloyd Alexander
Released: June 1, 1995

When Lucian, a young bean counter in the palace of King Bromios of Arkadia, discovers that the royal soothsayers are fleecing the treasury, he is forced to run for his life. Read full book review >
THE FORTUNE-TELLERS by Lloyd Alexander
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

"A winning tale, superlatively presented. (Picture book. 4-10)"
When the poor, hard-working young carpenter seeks comfort from a fortuneteller, the old man hoodwinks him with double talk: "Rich you will surely be...[if] you earn large sums of money." Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

Recounting the adventures of the son of an imaginary Chinese emperor, a master storyteller once again weaves a compelling tale. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1990

"Vastly entertaining."
Still narrated in hilariously flowery style by Brinnie—her dim, sentimental old guardian—the adventures of marmalade-haired superperson Vesper Holly continue in this fifth, but apparently not last, in the series. Read full book review >
THE KING'S FOUNTAIN by Ezra Jack Keats
Released: Oct. 31, 1989

"The result is both overwhelming and uninviting."
The clever have no courage, the strong no sense, and the scholar is of no practical use — so the poor man goes himself to the king and, without learning or brawn or a silver tongue, convinces him not to build the palace fountain that would divert water from the city below. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 1989

"Fine, comic high adventure; beguiling jacket by Trina Schart Hyman."
Returning an overdue library book is sometimes an unpleasant experience, but seldom a life-or-death escapade—as of course it proves to be for superheroine Vesper Holly. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1988

"A happy addition to the Alexander oeuvre."
In her third adventure, Vesper Holly engages her adversaries, with her usual flamboyant Amazonian style, in a small Balkan country. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1987

"Lightweight, compared to Alexander's Westmark series, but should entertain adventure fans."
The heroine of last year's Illyrian Adventure returns for another series of hairbreadth escapes. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1986

"A truly exciting story, it carries the reader along to a triumphant conclusion and the hope that Vesper may have another adventure before she settles down—perhaps in Illyria, where she seems to have left her heart."
Award-winning Alexander's stories have often taken inspiration from Welsh mythology. Read full book review >
THE KESTREL by Lloyd Alexander
Released: April 1, 1982

"This is old-fashioned story-telling through-and-through, its handling of themes more fossilized than timeless—which is probably fine with Alexander's audience."
Alexander's Westmark ended with printer's devil Theo helping oust the villains at court and his beggar girlfriend Mickle revealed as Princess Augusta. Read full book review >
WESTMARK by Lloyd Alexander
Released: May 12, 1981

"A cavalier treatment of the political questions raised earlier, but a colorful and nimbly executed adventure."
Alexander's latest once-upon-a-time adventure, unfolded this time with no recourse to magic, brings Theo, an orphaned printer's devil and a true innocent, up against a repressive government that has policemen break into the printing shop, kill his master, and destroy the press—all because they've accepted an order from a traveling quack, the self-styled Dr. Absalom. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 18, 1978

"Felicitously spun, ingeniously framed adventure."
Emerging from a river to find himself king of an exotic and dangerous world, former ne'er-do-well Lukas rises grandly to the occasion, placing more demands upon himself than are imposed by the situation, while occasionally berating the shabby traveling conjurer who seems to have transported him there—though Lukas doesn't know if the man has power to snatch him back or even if he can hear Lukas calling him. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 28, 1977

"In the last story a cat who has failed at a number of apprenticeships proves himself a 'master at being a cat'; those who appreciate that talent—and consider it sufficiently various—will find Alexander too a light-footed master of graceful entertainment."
Eight fanciful, sparkling fairy tales, all demonstrating, in Alexander's words, that cats are "more sensible than the rest of us." Read full book review >
THE WIZARD IN THE TREE by Lloyd Alexander
Released: April 28, 1975

"The period is the beginning of the industrial revolution, but the tempo is reminiscent of the Marvelous Misadventures of Sebastian—quick-witted melodrama and nimble-tongued romanticism."
Long years spent stuck inside an old oak tree haven't petrified the wizard Arbican's tongue. Read full book review >
THE FOUNDLING by Lloyd Alexander
Released: Nov. 12, 1973

"All worth another hearing as Alexander tells them, but hardly an important contribution to a mythological landscape."
Alexander's six short fairy tales, set in Prydain before the time covered in his Newbery-winning quintet, demonstrates both the author's special talent for spinning this kind of story and the extent of his need to borrow plots and motifs on which to build. Read full book review >
Released: June 22, 1973

"Vita brevis funibus."
Alexander's twist on the old bumpkin-on-the-town motif is to make his handsome and guileless hero a country cat, whose wizard master has consented to send him to Brightford in the form of a man. Read full book review >
THE FOUR DONKEYS by Lloyd Alexander
Released: Aug. 17, 1972

"Alexander spins the tale with his usual felicity, but it is Abrams' exquisitely accomplished pictures that make the outing memorable."
Although this is Lester Abrams' first picture book, his assimilation of the genre's 19th century masterworks is beautifully evident here, as much in the muted peculiarity of his vision as in his intricate borders, his Subtle, smoothly graded watercolors, and the fine outlandishness of his three contentious craftsmen (a lanky, leather-clad country shoemaker; a tiny, hatted tailor who seems to have strayed from a quietly mad teaparty; and a spherical baker in shirred finery who is at once a resonating echo and a substantial presence). Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 25, 1970

"Especially since make-believe and moonshine are the making of The Misadventures."
When the 'marvelous misadventures' in the 18th century mode take on the aspect of a soulful Dance of Death, the fabric is rent; but stay—the telling tells all. Read full book review >
THE HIGH KING by Lloyd Alexander
Released: March 1, 1968

"He takes earth, fulfilling by his deeds the prophecy in the Book of Three; Eilonwy gives up her magic to be his bride."
The last may be the best—movement toward an ultimate confrontation between the forces of life and the forces of death give this final Prydain adventure a stronger frame and tighter weave than the preceding four. Read full book review >
TARAN WANDERER by Lloyd Alexander
Released: April 3, 1967

"If you've done well with the others, you'll want this; if not, try Tolkien."
A young man searches for his identity and finds that he is not what he was born but what he is becoming, that he is, in short, himself: "strength — and frailty. Read full book review >
THE CASTLE OF LLYR by Lloyd Alexander
Released: April 11, 1966

"And, as before, the compelling mystery of Taran's destiny and Prydain's fate."
The Princess Eilonwy is one of the many attractive characters growing up through the previous titles in the continuing chronicle of Prydain: The Book of Three. Read full book review >
THE BLACK CAULDRON by Lloyd Alexander
Released: April 12, 1965

"The sweep of the battles, the pressures of fear relieved by interludes of comedy, the blends of good and evil combine to the kind of once-in-a-lifetime reading that will assure Prydain a permanent place in geographies of fictional territories."
The Book of Three (1964, p. 818, J-262) has just received the invaluable boost that comes with selection as one of ALA's Notable Children's Books. Read full book review >
THE BOOK OF THREE by Lloyd Alexander
Released: Aug. 27, 1964

"Hopefully, Prydain's history will be continued."
Prydain is an imagined territory, somewhat like Wales and peopled with characters whose genealogy stretches back to Welsh legend. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 15, 1963

"For New York City dwellers there may be a particular appeal."
The story of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, as told in able manner by Lloyd Alexander, is full of humor and heart, as befits the subject. Read full book review >
Released: July 9, 1962

"The stories are amusing in spite of their treatment."
Dr. Camuti writes of his 40 years as a veterinary practitioner, recounting little stories, correcting popular misconceptions, and defending his favorite of all beasts- the cat- fang and claw. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1960

"It adds another panel — and for most readers a wholly new one-to the story of the young nation in the making."
An excellent addition to the Covenant series, which stands completely on its own as a biographical novel of a man who helped establish the American colonial merchant fleet — and made his contribution from the start of the unrest leading to Revolution. Read full book review >
Released: May 18, 1960

"A loose collection of reminiscences, which, though they alternate pleasingly between sadness and gaiety, lack the substance one hopes to find in a full length book."
Lloyd Alexander's love affair with music consists of a long, arduous, and largely unsuccessful courtship. Read full book review >
JANINE IS FRENCH by Lloyd Alexander
Released: March 9, 1959

"Bright and poignant, this may appeal to the men as well as the ladies, for after all, Janine is French!"
A truly charming excursion into the wonderland of an encounter between an unsophisticated, unself-conscious and utterly feminine French woman and life in the United States. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 1957

"To serve the purposes of later books in the series, we hope there will be clearer depiction of the sources of the hero's values."
Anshl Bondi left Vienna with his family after participating in the rebellion against Metternich. Read full book review >
MY FIVE TIGERS by Lloyd Alexander
Released: Feb. 3, 1955

"Rabbit, the tiger alley cat, with his penchant for club and outdoors life; Heath-cliff, the Persian humbug, who brought up David the semi-Siamese; the many-toed Solomon and Moira, who upset the order of Rabbit's kingdom, are the central figures here."
An affectionate addict of the cat species devotedly follows their every step in a well written book on five cats of the wild domestic breed of diminutive tiger. Read full book review >
AND LET THE CREDIT GO by Lloyd Alexander
Released: Feb. 18, 1954

This probably is meant to be fiscal funnery, but the little taste and less humor will not appeal to a discriminating audience — or to bankers. Read full book review >
NAUSEA by Lloyd Alexander
Released: April 15, 1949

"There is certainly none of the external drama of Sartre's later works here; there is also the same preoccupation with the physically distasteful; but the book holds an interest- for his followers- in its formulation of the theory for which he has become famous."
Sartre's first novel, published originally in France in 1938, this is primarily of interest in its enunciation of the concept of existentialism which his later novels are to enact-rather than articulate. Read full book review >