The Serial Garden: The Complete Armitage Family Stories (Virago Modern Classics)

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9780349005850: The Serial Garden: The Complete Armitage Family Stories (Virago Modern Classics)

"In a singularly important publishing even, the first complete collection of Aiken’s 24 beloved Armitage cycle of stories appears here for the first time. The family who dwells in and out of magical worlds transcends fantasy and enters the world of classic, entrancing literature. Belongs on every child’s bookshelf. For all ages."
Smithsonian Magazine Notable Books for Children 2008

"For sheer charm it’s hard to beat these wonderful, dead-pan comic tales about one family’s adventures—nearly always on a Monday—with ghosts, witches, time travel, the Furies and every sort of magic."
—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World

"Buy it to read to your kids, and you’ll find yourself sneaking tastes on the sly; a little Aiken is a fine thing to have in your system at any age."
Salon.com

"Joan Aiken’s invention seemed inexhaustible, her high spirits a blessing, her sheer storytelling zest a phenomenon. She was a literary treasure, and her books will continue to delight for many years to come."
—Philip Pullman

“The best kind of writer, strange and spooky and surprising, never sentimental or whimsical.”
—Kelly Link

"Gathered under one cover from several Aiken collections, the magical, eccentric and very British Armitage family reappears in a collection of 24 stories, four never before published. The Armitages’ wacky magic (usually a Monday occurrence) and that of their fantastical town, a place filled with witches and magical beings, rises from the pages when matters go slightly awry, in the manner of Edward Eager and E. Nesbit."
Kirkus Reviews

"The Armitage family stories are stories of a seemingly ordinary British family to whom magical things seemed to happen regularly. Collected here for the first time are all of Joan Aiken's twenty-four Armitage family stories, four of which have never been published before. These are short stories for children which, with their mix of magic, myth, and humor, appeal broadly to adults as well."
—About.com, Holiday Gift Books 2008

"Readers of all ages have the opportunity to enjoy some of the best writing by one of the most superb and timeless fantasy writers."
Green Man Review

"The Armitage’s world grows richer as it is extended. This is a collection of stories which allow—in fact demand—the reader joins in with their own imagination and remakes the story inside their own head. Aiken’s pragmatism shows through in her stories. Instead of remaining in or reflecting upon the past like some of her contemporaries, they show an author making the best of the world and coming out ahead with humor and imagination.”
January Magazine

"Each of the tales brims with old-fashioned adventure and charm. An excellent way to show Harry Potter fans that magic can come in small doses too."
Author Magazine

This is the first complete collection of Joan Aiken’s beloved Armitage stories—and it includes four new, unpublished stories. After Mrs. Armitage makes a wish, the Armitage family has “interesting and unusual” experiences every Monday (and the occasional Tuesday). The Board of Incantation tries to take over their house to use as a school for young wizards; the Furies come to stay; and a cutout from a cereal box leads into a beautiful and tragic palace garden. Charming and magical, the uncommon lives of the Armitage family will thrill and delight readers young and old. Includes Joan Aiken’s “Prelude” from Armitage, Armitage, Fly Away Home, as well as introductions from Joan Aiken’s daughter, Lizza Aiken, and best-selling author Garth Nix. Illustrated by Andi Watson.

Praise for Joan Aiken:

"A writer of wild humor and unrestrained imagination."
Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature

"This year can boast one genuine small masterpiece. . . . The Wolves of Willoughby Chase . . . almost a copybook lesson in those virtues that a classic children’s book must possess."
Time Magazine

Best known for The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Joan Aiken (1924-2004) wrote over a hundred books and won the Guardian and Edgar Allan Poe awards. After her first husband’s death, she supported her family by copyediting at Argosy magazine and an advertising agency before turning to fiction. She went on to write for Vogue, Good Housekeeping, Vanity Fair, Argosy, Women’s Own, and many others.

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About the Author:

Best known for The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Joan Aiken (1924-2004) wrote over a hundred books. After her first husband's death, she supported her family by copyediting at Argosy magazine and an advertising agency, then began publishing fiction. She went on to write for Vogue, Good Housekeeping, Vanity Fair, Argosy, Women's Own, and many others.

Review:

Joan Aiken is a superb storyteller who refusal to skimp on sophisticated language, and the Armitage parents' droll indifference, is guaranteed to give children and parents a Ready Brek glow * The Times, Children's Book of the Week * A delightful summary of one side of Aiken's talent: whimsical, funny, a series of brilliantly imaginative ideas stitched together with dream logic... It is the mixture of irrepressible gaiety and invention with the tragic that makes Aiken one of the great children's authors...impossible to calculate the number of people who have enjoyed her books - who have had some magic injected into the mundane * Sunday telegraph * A writer of wild humour and unrestrained imagination * Oxford Companion to Children's Literature * Often bonkers stories, always written with cut-glass precision . . . Aiken is a superb storyteller * The Times * Inexhaustibly imaginative, Aiken was one of the twentieth century's greatest children's authors. Witty, zany and entirely sane, this is a necklace of diamonds -- Amanda Craig * New Statesman * A delightful whimsical set of stories about young Mark and Harriet Armitage and the fantastical things that just happen to them, where if the lawn is full of unicorns you can count on their father to rush out and try to stop them eating the roses. These stories are funny and often unexpectedly poignant. They also don't have a wasted word or scrap of information. They're both charming and genuine in a way that few things manage -- Jo Walton A writer of wild humour and unrestrained imagination * Oxford Companion to Children's Literature * She was a consummate story-teller, one that each generation discovers anew -- Amanda Craig * The Times * Joan Aiken's invention seemed inexhaustible, her high spirits a blessing, her sheer storytelling zest a phenomenon. She was a literary treasure, and her books will continue to delight for many years to come -- Philip Pullman What a thrill to discover this gem from the witty and endlessly inventive Joan Aiken -- Chris Riddell

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Joan Aiken
Published by Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom (2015)
ISBN 10: 0349005850 ISBN 13: 9780349005850
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Book Description Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Peter Bailey (illustrator). Language: English . Brand New Book. I wish we ll have two children called Mark and Harriet. And I hope lots of interesting and unusual things will happen to them. It would be nice if they had a fairy godmother, for instance. And a phoenix or something out of the ordinary for a pet. We could have a special day for interesting and unusual things to happen - say, Mondays. But not always Mondays, and not only Mondays, or that would get a bit dull As a result of their mother s honeymoon wish, Mark and Harriet Armitage have a fairy godmother, a pet unicorn, and are prepared for anything life can throw at them (especially, but not always, on a Monday): hatching griffins in the airing cupboard, Latin lessons with a ghost, furious Furies on the doorstep, and an enchanted garden locked inside a cereal packet. Life with the Armitages can be magical, funny, terrifying - but never, ever dull. Bookseller Inventory # AA29780349005850

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Joan Aiken
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Book Description Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Peter Bailey (illustrator). Language: English . Brand New Book. I wish we ll have two children called Mark and Harriet. And I hope lots of interesting and unusual things will happen to them. It would be nice if they had a fairy godmother, for instance. And a phoenix or something out of the ordinary for a pet. We could have a special day for interesting and unusual things to happen - say, Mondays. But not always Mondays, and not only Mondays, or that would get a bit dull As a result of their mother s honeymoon wish, Mark and Harriet Armitage have a fairy godmother, a pet unicorn, and are prepared for anything life can throw at them (especially, but not always, on a Monday): hatching griffins in the airing cupboard, Latin lessons with a ghost, furious Furies on the doorstep, and an enchanted garden locked inside a cereal packet. Life with the Armitages can be magical, funny, terrifying - but never, ever dull. Bookseller Inventory # AA29780349005850

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Book Description Virago Press Ltd. Book Condition: New. Joan Aiken, classic author of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, wrote the Armitage family stories all throughout her life - from when she was a teenager onwards. This is the first time the stories have been collected together in our market. Illustrator(s): Bailey, Peter. Series: VMC. Num Pages: 448 pages. BIC Classification: YFU. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 129 x 199 x 33. Weight in Grams: 342. . 2015. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780349005850

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Book Description Virago Press Ltd, 2015. Book Condition: New. Joan Aiken, classic author of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, wrote the Armitage family stories all throughout her life - from when she was a teenager onwards. This is the first time the stories have been collected together in our market. Illustrator(s): Bailey, Peter. Series: VMC. Num Pages: 448 pages. BIC Classification: YFU. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 129 x 199 x 33. Weight in Grams: 342. . 2015. Paperback. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780349005850

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