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This hauntingly beautiful story is written in dialogue--a sort of play for the reader's mind's eye. As the curtain rises on the quiet drama, Courtney, 16, and Elva, 88, lie in adjacent beds in a nursing home where the TV hasn't worked for years. Courtney has a severed spinal cord and will never walk again. Her parents are dead, and she has been left here all alone, full of anger and bitterness. Elva, on the other hand, in spite of her advancing age and failing eyesight, is sustained by her memories of poetry, art, literature, and love. But her recitation of poems and references to great books and plays draw only sullen silence from Courtney. Eagerly, Elva entreats the young girl to pass the time by joining her on an imaginary trip to Italy, reading aloud from a 1910 Baedeker guide--a trip Elva had always promised her long-dead husband Emmett. At last, out of boredom, Courtney agrees, and the three of them begin by arriving on a steamship in the Bay of Naples. At first Courtney is resistant, and soon becomes actively destructive as she discovers the power she wields as imaginary tour guide. But gradually, in a bittersweet ending, Courtney succumbs to the liberating joys of letting the mind run free.

Paul Fleischman has earned accolades for several other equally innovative works: the Newbery Medal for Joyful Noise, a Newbery Honor for Graven Images, the Scott O'Dell Award for Bull Run, and places on several honor lists for Whirligig. (Ages 11 and older) --Patty CampbellEighty-eight-year old Elva and Courtney, an attractive sixteen-year-old with a severed spinal chord, lie in adjacent beds in a grim Bismarck, North Dakota convalescent home. Ignored by the world, the only resource they have left is their imagination.

As Elva and Courtney go on a fantasy trip to Italy (accompanied by Elva's long dead husband and guided by a 1910 travel book), Elva shows Courtney a new way to envision love. But to accept it, and the gift of the imagination, Courtney must make the trip her own--even if she destroys the art Elva holds most dear.

Written entirely in dialogue, Mind's Eye can be performed as reader's theater, but it is a fully satisfying novel. In this extraordinarily innovative, profound, and yet readable book Paul Fleischman makes us all feel what a powerful--and dangerous--tool the imagination can be.

 
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Used availability for Paul Fleischman's Mind's Eye


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Hardback Editions

June 2008 : USA Library Binding
Title: Mind's Eye (Laurel-Leaf Books)
Author(s): Paul Fleischman
ISBN: 1435295382 / 9781435295384 (USA edition)
Publisher:
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March 2001 : USA Library Binding
Title: Mind's Eye
Author(s): Paul Fleischman
ISBN: 0613340132 / 9780613340137 (USA edition)
Publisher: Turtleback Books: A Division of Sanval
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   Amazon UK   

March 2001 : USA Hardback
Title: Mind's Eye
Author(s): Paul Fleischman
ISBN: 0756905168 / 9780756905163 (USA edition)
Publisher: Perfection Learning
Availability: Amazon CA   Amazon UK   

September 1999 : USA Hardback
Title: The Mind's Eye
Author(s): Paul Fleischman
ISBN: 0805063145 / 9780805063141 (USA edition)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   Amazon UK   

Paperback Editions

March 2001 : USA Mass Market Paperback
Title: Mind's Eye
Author(s): Paul Fleischman
ISBN: 0440229014 / 9780440229018 (USA edition)
Publisher: Laurel Leaf
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   Amazon UK   

September 1999 : USA Paperback
Title: The Mind's Eye
Author(s): Paul Fleischman
ISBN: 0805096744 / 9780805096743 (USA edition)
Publisher: St. Martins Press-3pl
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

Kindle Editions

December 2013 : USA, UK Kindle edition
Title: The Mind's Eye
Author(s): Paul Fleischman

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

 


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