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The Young Merlin Trilogy: Passager, Hobby, and Merlin Paperback – August 1, 2004

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The Young Merlin Trilogy: Passager, Hobby, and Merlin + Sword of the Rightful King: A Novel of King Arthur
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 6
  • Series: Young Merlin Trilogy
  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (August 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152052119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152052119
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #424,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Praise for Passager:
[star] "A stark, poignant, and absorbing tale . . . Promises to be an outstanding trilogy."
--School Library Journal (starred review)

"A worthy introduction to Arthurian legend . . . Moving."--The Horn Book

Praise for Hobby:
"Challenging and ambitious . . . Hobby has quiet beauty and strong imagery."--Booklist

Praise for Merlin:
"Leaves the reader hungry for more . . . Great reading."--American Bookseller
ABA's Pick of the Lists

About the Author

JANE YOLEN has written more than two hundred books for children and adults, including Sword of the Rightful King: A Novel of King Arthur. She lives in western Massachusetts and Scotland.

More About the Author

Born and raised in New York City, Jane Yolen now lives in Hatfield, Massachusetts. She attended Smith College and received her master's degree in education from the University of Massachusetts. The distinguished author of more than 170 books, Jane Yolen is a person of many talents. When she is not writing, Yolen composes songs, is a professional storyteller on the stage, and is the busy wife of a university professor, the mother of three grown children, and a grandmother. Active in several organizations, Yolen has been on the Board of Directors of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, was president of the Science Fiction Writers of America from 1986 to 1988, is on the editorial board of several magazines, and was a founding member of the Western New England Storytellers Guild, the Western Massachusetts Illustrators Guild, and the Bay State Writers Guild. For twenty years, she ran a monthly writer's workshop for new children's book authors. In 1980, when Yolen was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree by Our Lady of the Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts, the citation recognized that "throughout her writing career she has remained true to her primary source of inspiration--folk culture." Folklore is the "perfect second skin," writes Yolen. "From under its hide, we can see all the shimmering, shadowy uncertainties of the world." Folklore, she believes, is the universal human language, a language that children instinctively feel in their hearts. All of Yolen's stories and poems are somehow rooted in her sense of family and self. The Emperor and the Kite, which was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1983 for its intricate papercut illustrations by Ed Young, was based on Yolen's relationship with her late father, who was an international kite-flying champion. Owl Moon, winner of the 1988 Caldecott Medal for John Schoenherr's exquisite watercolors, was inspired by her husband's interest in birding. Yolen's graceful rhythms and outrageous rhymes have been gathered in numerous collections. She has earned many awards over the years: the Regina Medal, the Kerlan Award, the World Fantasy Award, the Society of Children's Book Writers Award, the Mythopoetic Society's Aslan Award, the Christopher Medal, the Boy's Club Jr. Book Award, the Garden State Children's Book Award, the Daedalus Award, a number of Parents' Choice Magazine Awards, and many more. Her books and stories have been translated into Japanese, French, Spanish, Chinese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Afrikaans, !Xhosa, Portuguese, and Braille. With a versatility that has led her to be called "America's Hans Christian Andersen," Yolen, the child of two writers, is a gifted and natural storyteller. Perhaps the best explanation for her outstanding accomplishments comes from Jane Yolen herself: "I don't care whether the story is real or fantastical. I tell the story that needs to be told."

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
Nobody writes Merlin like Jane Yolen, whether it's the old man or a starry-eyed little child. And here the fantasy master's "Merlin Trilogy" is brought together in one volume: the ethereal, beautifully-written fantasy stories "Passager," "Hobby," and "Merlin."

"Passager" introduces us to a nameless, homeless boy who has been abandoned for sketchy reasons. The boy lives wild in the woods, but gradually rediscovers his human nature when he encounters a woodsman, who takes him in and gives him a name and a home...

"Hobby" opens with Merlin losing his new adoptive family in a fire. With no one to take care of him, he wanders through the woods again, calling himself Hawk. But then he suddenly encounters a vicious man called Fowler, who kidnaps him -- and not even taking refuge in the circus can keep him safe.

"Merlin" takes us to a different part of the Arthurian legend. Hunted by Fowler, he runs back into the woods and takes refuge there. Unfortunately, he is captured by a village of the wodewose, the wild people who live apart from civilization, and they want to harness his magical dreams. When the village is invaded, Merlin must try to keep himself alive -- and the little boy who will change his life forever.

Few authors can mix fantasy and history as Yane Yolen can, and she doesn't drop the ball in this. On the fantasy side, we have a boy of mysterious origins who dreams of the future; on the other hand, we have medieval lords and underlings, not to mention her skilful use of the wodewose.

These three very, very short novellas are lushly, dreamily written.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Buddy on October 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
Very interesting re-working of the tale of Merlin's boyhood. The stories are interesting, exciting, and enjoyable - but they're so short and fast-paced, it really leaves me craving more. This is good and bad. Good, because the stories obviously have something attractive and engaging about them. Bad, because there's not enough there to leave me feeling satisfied. I want more! (I will probably end up researching the stories of Merlin for months to come, thanks to this series).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kelsey May Dangelo on December 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
The Young Merlin Trilogy by Jane Yolen

A book chronicling the young years of Merlin's life, from foundling, to magician's assistant, to wild child who befriends/adopts Arthur, all the time plagued by magical dreams. The book is nicely woven of many different legends of Merlin, also with the symbolism of birds (i.e. passager, hobby, and merlin) to stand for Merlin growing up and finding his destiny. Unfortunately, even though the book is very short, there isn't really a lot there. It's kind of empty and boring. The odd style doesn't really do it any favors. It's frankly disappointing, as Merlin is a funky dude. Grade: C
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SG on March 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My son really likes these stories. He does not know Merlin but now he does. The book arrived in good time; we didnt have to wait long for it. Very good condition and price.
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