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Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters Paperback – January 8, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
This is a rare sort of work in a market saturated with fantasy genres and "Gossip Girls" values. I'd recommend it to any parent, teacher, library or school who wanted their children to develop a strong appreciation of friendship, language, music, history and world adventures.
Cornelia's parents are both world-famous pianists. Most people would envy that fame and that talent, but not Cornelia. She has no desire to play piano herself and wishes that her jet-setting mother were home more often. Her father is not in the picture; Cornelia has never known him. Though she has every (material) thing she could need, Cornelia is lonely.
That is, until new neighbors move in across the hall. Who would have thought that an elderly woman would become a little girl's best friend? The dazzling Virginia Somerset shares Cornelia's love for stories and big words. The self-proclaimed Scheherazade tells Cornelia amazing tales that star Virginia and her three sisters as they travel all over the world, meeting famous artists and leaders.
Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters by Lesley M.M. Blume is absolutely adorable. What a delightful book! I loved the story-within-a-story format and the descriptive writing. I could almost see Virginia's eyes sparkle as she related her adventures to Cornelia. If it had been released fifteen years ago and I had found it at my local library, it would have become one of the titles checked it out and read repeatedly. Highly recommended.
So, when a new and fascinating neighbor (Virginia) moves in, Cornelia is thrilled to discover that Virginia is not only a lover of words, too, but a writer. And best of all, Virginia seems interested in Cornelia, and Cornelia alone - not her mother. So, Cornelia visits Virginia often, each time learning about some new and amazing adventure in a different country that Virginia and her three sisters had experienced when they were in their early twenties. Cornelia is fascinated by the stories, and little by little we wonder what effect they will have on her own life and relationships.
I think the book is well written. The prose is good and flows well, and I think Blume does have a nice way with words. But, sadly, there were several things about the book that just didn't sit right.
For one, I'm not really sure who this book would appeal to. I like the idea of kids enjoying tales about older girls traveling the world - and think it is possible. But there seemed little in these travels that would appeal to young readers.Read more ›
I would love to see this book receive the Newbery, or at the very least, become a Newbery Honor Book. It deals with so many important issues - from family relationships, language, loneliness -- but manages to do so in such a wonderful way!! I know that a book about a lonely girl sounds like it might be a downer, but it absolutely was not. The escapades of the Somerset sisters all around the world were hilarious and uplifting -- and they connect young readers to different cultures at a time when international understanding and outreach is at an all-time low. Also, I love it when authors use real life characters in their fiction: like Pablo Picasso's appearance in the book, as well as the Queen of England.
I would recommend this book to everyone from parents looking for an intelligent beach-read for their kids, to educators who wish to teach their students about the importance of words, travel, and geography.
The only thing that I wished had been differently is that I wanted to know more about the relationship between Cornelia's parents, who are two world-famous concert pianists. But I guess that theirs, as they say, is another story.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book had a wonderful story, and the characters were absolutely fantastic. The author wrote with such emotion, I felt like I was there. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Lucinda A.
One of my favorite books from my middle school years... still a great book. Particularly good as a present.Published 28 days ago by Alex
Fun read about an unlikely relationship and a life well lived - fun use of "big" words to show emotion of the main character - highly recommend for young readersPublished 3 months ago by Angie Dawn
I loved this book!!!! It had a lot of fun challenging words that made it fun to read. At the end I almost cried!!!Published 6 months ago by Colin
My 11 year-old daughter adored this book and could not put it down. She took it to a party and finished it there. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Beth S
This book has colorful & witty characters, including Cornelia who has a unique view of life. This book abounds with life wisdom. a fun read.Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
My faughter loved this book so much that she finished it the same day she got it!Published 17 months ago by C. Capulong
One of the best books we've read this year. Fun and builds vocabularyPublished 19 months ago by Mary