Saturday, October 22, 2011

Review: Eddie (The Lost Youth of Edgar Allan Poe) ~ by Scott Gustafson


Review by Shellie for:  Eddie - The Lost Youth of Edgar Allan Poe ~ written and illustrated by Scott Gustafson

An adorable mystery for middle grade readers – especially boys! It has incredible black and white line drawn illustrations. It can be seen as a book for literary minded and reluctant readers and as an introduction to this fine American author.

About:  Eddie is the nick name for Edgar Allen Poe and the story is based upon the author’s humble beginnings, as we find out more about how he was born, raised, and lived.

Young Eddie attempts to get himself out of trouble when a powerful next door neighbor’s prized rooster and the local tom cat are hung on a weather vein in a bag during the middle of the night. Eddie is blamed for creating the ruckus by the entire neighborhood and especially by his father.

Thoughts:  I just loved this cute short story, the drawings are lovely black lined and delicately done and will break up the reading for younger or reluctant readers. The story is cute and has a deeper appropriate age level message – which states “if you know who you are and are honest and truthful that is what matters most - even if others do not believe you”. 

The story has a touch of the speculative. Our young hero has his own personal imp - which is based upon one of Poe’s stories “The Imp of the Perverse” (actual story is linked via the text). Eddie experiences the human conundrum where one often chooses to follow an internal voice (called by Poe the “imp”) rather than a better and more reasonable form of logic, therefore creating many human problems. Poe believed that it is human nature to follow this “imp” which persuades us to wait until the last minute to accomplish important responsibilities.

This book can be seen as a roll model for children, as well as for youngsters whose interest are literary rather than athletic or social. An important story about one of my favorite classic authors. 3.5 stars for this perfect Halloween “treat” rather than a bag full of candy – or in addition too!


Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)  was an American author, poet, editor and literary critic. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts; he was orphaned young when his mother died shortly after his father abandoned the family. Poe was taken in by John and Frances Allan. His publishing career began humbly, with an anonymous collection of poems, Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827).

In January 1845 Poe published his poem, "The Raven", to instant success. On October 7, 1849, at age 40, Poe died in Baltimore; the cause of his death is unknown and has been variously attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, cholera, drugs, heart disease, rabies, suicide, tuberculosis, and other agents. Poe and his works influenced literature in the United States and around the world, and his work appears throughout popular culture in literature, music, films, and television. A number of his homes are dedicated museums today.

There is a new movie coming out in 2012 with John Cusack as Poe – article and trailer here via Criminal Element dot com.

Are we all getting that wonderful chilling feeling that is so perfect for the season? Have a great day!

10 days of halloween banner

EAP picture source and bio info – Wikipedia


Alyssa Nelson said...

This looks so cute! It sounds like the perfect book for middle grade readers to introduce them to Edgar Allen Poe. I like how it integrates ideas from Poe's stories and also includes a sort of mystery. Thanks for the review, I need to pick this one up now!

Unknown said...

Yep - exactly! Thanks for your support Alyssa. Your going to love this book and the drawings are just the best... really!

Aarti said...

Oh, this sounds like a great intro to Edgar Allan Poe for young readers. How creative. I also love your Halloween banner!

Unknown said...

Aarti -
I think you would love this book. The drawings are perfect.

Thank you. Please feel free to use my banner - I would be thrilled!

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