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The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy)

by Barbara Kerley
Illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham

Published by Scholastic Press, 2010
40 pages
ISBN: 978-0-545-12508-6

Ages 7 - 10

“According to Susy, people were . . . well, just plain wrong about her papa.” Susy’s papa is Mark Twain, and the world thinks of him first and foremost as a very funny man. But thirteen-year-old Susy knows there is much more to her papa and begins writing her own account his life. Barabara Kerley’s engaging look at Susy Twain’s biography of her father is interspersed with Susy’s observations, and excerpts of what she actually wrote (including fold-out journal entries on some pages). When Twain’s wife discovered Susy’s work in progress she showed it to her husband, who made an effort help his young biographer out. Details of their warm and lively relationship, and Susy’s appreciative yet amusingly honest look at her father (“The animals on the farm could not care less that Papa was a world-famous author . . .”) make for a spirited picture book biography. There’s abundant humor in Edwin Fotheringham’s illustrations, while Kerley’s author’s note and additional end matter provide more welcome details, including how much Twain treasured his daughter’s accounting of his life.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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