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Jane Eyre: Essential Classics    retold by Pauline Francis Shee order for
Jane Eyre
by Pauline Francis Shee
Order:  USA  Can
Evans, 2014 (2014)
*   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Simplfied for young readers, the Essential Classics series is intended for readers about ten years of age and up. These books feature limited color illustrations and short chapters. As with the other novels in the series, this retelling of Jane Eyre is pretty much cut down to a bare bones presentation.

The reader will get an idea of the basic plot and central characters but that's about all. Obviously there will be no sense of Charlotte Bronte's narrative style nor of the rich descriptions of the novel's setting.

Frankly, about all this short edition will accomplish is to offer an overview of the famous novel. There is a bit about the author at the outset, plus a glossary and content self-test at the end, but this is no substitute for reading the original.

Since I spent forty years teaching literature, I would not use a book like this with a youngster. The reader will get no sense of the actual work itself and I would hate to have the child read this and then judge the author/novel based on this watered-down version. Wait until the youngster is ready and then read the original!

Other titles in this series include A Christmas Carol, Dracula, Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde, Frankenstein, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Secret Garden, Robinson Crusoe, The Lost World, Kidnapped, Little Women, Huckleberry Finn and The Iliad. Unfortunately, I'm sure there are more on the way too!

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