Discover the mischievous and affectionate side of a revered poet in this adventure about Emily Dickinson, four young friends, and a traveling circus.
When an invitation to join Miss Emily in the garden appears, Mattie, Ned, Sally, and Mac know they’re in for some fun because Miss Emily — Emily Dickinson to the rest of us — always has a surprise in store for her young friends. And today’s may be the biggest adventure yet. In Burleigh Mutén’s suspenseful story, beautifully illustrated by celebrated artist Matt Phelan, Mac, the youngest member of the group, tells what happens when a reclusive poet and her band of pretend Gypsies wait for the midnight circus train to arrive.
Mutén’s consciously mannered style lends the story a quaint tone. Dickinson seems oddly charming, her whimsy leavened by warmth and appealing humor. … The illustrations... are well suited to the spare text: Phelan... wisely choose line drawing and grisaille; both eschew color. This is as it should be, when feeling comes through words.
—The New York Times Book Review
"Miss Emily" is Emily Dickinson, and Mutén’s novel, appropriately penned in free verse, presents the poet as an engaging, warm, and somewhat whimsical personality. ... Phelan successfully uses softly muted black-and-white pencil sketches to capture this suspenseful tale of a midnight adventure. They gently imbue this charming story with a wonderful mix of humor and daredevilry.
—School Library Journal
Uplifting and clever, Mutén’s tale also includes a layer of biographical detail sure to tantalize Dickinson lovers everywhere.
[T]his slim verse novel celebrates the joys and troubles of a simpler time. Mutén’s free verse moves apace, capturing both the romance of the adventure and the plain beauty we associate with Dickinson’s poetry. For their part, Phelan’s graphite sketches, each identified by the line of text it depicts, convey an atmosphere of old-fashioned zeal. Based on actual relationships and events, this fantastical outing will foster curious readers’ imaginations
The tale has a measure of old-fashioned charm.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
This charming story, based on true events, is appropriately told in free verse. ... Lovely.
—The Plain Dealer