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Cyrano Hardcover – October 1, 2006

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 - 12
  • Lexile Measure: 830L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 114 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books; X-Library - 1st edition (October 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152058052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152058050
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,405,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–McCaughrean retells the classic tale in accessible language that is both entertaining and tender. Cyrano de Bergerac has panache, a fact that is evidenced both by the ever-present white plume in his hat and by his swagger. He is a man of action, a soldier, a man of letters, and a hopeless romantic. The one flaw is his enormous nose. Cyrano is hopelessly in love with his cousin Roxane; however, her heart belongs to another. Through intrigue and subterfuge, he is able to express his feelings toward her by words and letters. The story has something for everyone–action, adventure, and romance. The dynamically drawn characters jump off the page. Staying true to Edmond Rostand's original tale, McCaughrean introduces a new generation to the swashbuckling hero. This is an easy read and should be considered as a first purchase.–Sharon Morrison, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, OK
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* With a beautiful mix of swashbuckling action, witty insult, passionate love, and heartbreaking melancholy, British Carnegie Medalist McCaughrean retells the story of the classic French play about Cyrano de Bergerac. A champion swordsman and brilliant sardonic wit, he is a celebrity in Paris society and on the battlefield, the epitome of panache with his swagger and irreverence. But all his life he has loved his beautiful young cousin, Roxanne, and she cannot see beyond his ugly face with its huge nose. So Cyrano writes eloquent love letters to her, which he gives to Christian, a young, handsome soldier, and, of course, Roxanne falls in love with what she thinks is Christian's soul. Although Cyrano's brash invective is hilarious--not only about the society fops and his powerful, pompous enemies but also about his "sundial" face ("When you have a cold, monsieur, Belgium floods!")--his passionate letters are heartbreaking. The timeless love story, tenderly told in plain poetry, will thrill teens, especially those who want an irreverent hero with panache and integrity. Great for readers' theater and for reading aloud. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Man with a long nose longs fall a girl way, way out of his league, and eventually hates himself for helping his rival win her affections by using his hidden superpower of being able to write well. No wonder writers have always enjoyed this fairy tale, even more than the average Joe. Now here comes prolific British warhorse Geraldine McCaughrean, who's written more books than I can count, to re-tell the old story like Charles and Mary Lamb re-telling Shakespeare.

It's a bit unfair to accuse McCaughrean of being unable to write clearly and effectively. And she is doing more here than merely supplying character tags to Rostand's dialogue.

When Cyrano hears Rozane make her confession that she would love an ugly man if he was as fine as Christian, McCaughrean doesn't just let Cyrano react. She spells out every one of his interior feelings in a way that no dramatist could. "There was a crack," she writes (at first I thought his nose was going to crack, like his heart, and fall off), "there was a crack, as if some planet on the far outskirts of the universe had broken open and spilled its golden yolk down the alleyways of space." Rather an elaborate science fiction metaphor there, but this emphasizes how people in the Middle Ages believed in the Sun revolving around the earth and being more or less like an egg, filled with white and yolk.

"Cyrano did not know," continues McCaughrean, "whether he had heard it inside or outside his head." She's got a real thing for inside and outside and the boundaries between the two states, more porous than in many other writers for children, but that's how children see things, slipping between one state and another.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Janeifer Drew on January 31, 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you look at "Cyrano" merely as a piece of fiction, it is an interesting, humorous book.

Cyrano is a swashbuckling poet with an enormous nose. He has a wonderful sense of humor, which comes in handy when he is so often teased about his nose. Cyrano falls in love with his cousin, the beautiful Roxanne. Somehow or other, Cyrano ends up wooing Roxanne for another man.

The prose is rather abrupt, although funny. My real problem with the book is that it is only a simplification of Edmond Rostand's play. Nothing more, no twists or alternate views. There is no creativity, no originality--just a paraphrase of Rostand's play. Why waste your time reading this when you could read the real thing? Rostand's play is not a literary challenge.

If you don't like reading plays for whatever reason, I would recommend this book. Otherwise, it's sad that someone can get published by copying somebody elses work.

Be sure to read about the real Cyrano de Bergerac. He's an intriguing historical figure!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jdmiles on April 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought this for my son because he thoroughly enjoyed the original. For whatever the reason I was not at all expecting this to be a narrative retelling of the play, I thought that this was the play.
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More About the Author

It's 30 years now since I first got published, and 50 since I found out how writing let me step outside my little, everyday world and go wherever I chose - way back in Time, to far distant shores, towards my own, home-made happy ending. Not that all my books are an easy ride. I write adventure, first and foremost, because that's what I enjoyed reading as a child. But since I have published over 150 books now, there are all manner of books in among that number - gorgeously illustated picture books, easy readers, prize winners, teenage books and five adult novels.
The White Darkness won the Printz Award in the USA, which, for as Englishwoman, was the most amazing, startling thrill.
Then there was Peter Pan in Scarlet - official sequel to J M Barrie's Peter Pan, written on behalf of Great Ormond Street Hopsital for Sick Children. I won the chance to write that in a worldwide competition, and because Peter Pan is loved everywhere, my book sold worldwide too. I can't say I expected that when, as a child, I dreamed of being like my older brother and getting a book published one day.
These days I have a husband (who's good at continuity and spelling) and a daughter who is an excellent editor. But she's at the Royal Academy of Dramtic Art now, studying to become an actor. So, naturally, I have turned my hand to writing plays. (So many actors, so few plays!)
My Mum told me, "Never boil your cabbages twice, dear," which was her way of saying, "Don't repeat yourself." So I have tried never to write the same book twice. You'll find all my novels quite different from one another. I have also done lots of retellings of myth, legend, folk and fairy tales, and adapted indigestible classics such as El Cid, the Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, Moby Dick, Shakespeare and the Pilgrim's Progress.
Something for everyone, you see, my dear young, not-so-young, eccentric, middle-of-the-road, poetical, sad, cheerful, timid or reckless reader.
All they have in common is that they all contain words. If you are allergic to words, you'd best not open the covers.

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