Best Selling Books by Jane Langton

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The Diamond in the Window (The Hall Family Chronicles)

A very unusual house...

Eddy and Eleanor Hall have always known that their family was a bit out of the ordinary. After all, they live in one of the most remarkable houses in all of Concord. But they never guessed just how extraordinary their house really is, or what tremendous secrets about their family's past it holds. That is, until they discover the magical attic room with its beautiful stained-glass window, abandoned toys, and two perfectly made-up, empty beds that seem to be waitingperhaps for two children just like themselves....

release date: Jun 19, 2021
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The Time Bike
The Time Bike [Paperback] [Jan 01, 2000] Jane Langton
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release date: Jan 22, 2002
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The Fledgling (Hall Family Chronicles, Book 4)

If there's one thing Georgie Hall has always been, it's determined.

So when her stepcousins Eleanor and Eddy tell her that she can't fly, Georgie doesn't get discouraged -- she just tries harder She feels a peculiar lightness when she leaps from the top of the staircase, and is even more certain of her seemingly impossible ability when she jumps from the porch and soars to the rooftop before landing safely on the ground. And now that a mysterious Canada goose is visiting Georgie's window on a nightly basis, the Hall family begins to wonder just what Georgie is capable of....

release date: Oct 13, 2005
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Steeplechase: A Homer Kelly Mystery (Homer Kelly Mysteries)
 
"A lost church?" said Homer Kelly. "How could a church get itself lost? You mean it just pointed its steeple at the horizon and took off?"

His wife sucked her pencil. "I know it sounds strange."
 
Strange or not, Homer and Mary are soon engaged in a steeplechase, a pursuit of the mysterious lost church.
 
Luckily, the reader is in on the mystery. This sequel to The Deserter: Murder at Gettysburg is set in 1868 in the town of Nashoba, Massachusetts, where the daughter of the Reverend Josiah Gideon cares for her husband, James, brutally disfigured in the last battle of the Civil War. In the parsonage across the town green, the Reverend Horatio Biddle fumes at what he considers to be Josiah's brazen ways, while Mrs. Biddle spies on the outhouse in Josiah's backyard.
 
Central to the story is a gigantic tree, the Great Nashoba Chestnut. Crucially intermingled with its fate are a poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes, the story "The Three Billy Goats Gruff," and the nonsense rhymes of Mother Goose. Homer and Mary Kelly will once again delve deep into the past to unravel puzzles in the present.
 
This novel includes charming drawings by the author and a number of nineteenth-century photographs.
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release date: Dec 18, 2001
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The Astonishing Stereoscope (Hall Family Chronicles, Book 3)

When Eddy Hall receives five cards for his stereoscope, he and his sister, Eleanor, can't wait to see what exotic places they reveal maybe Stonehenge, or a centuries-old European cathedral. But instead, when they look through the stereoscope, Eddy and Eleanor see some very strange things. An odd-looking rope hangs from the sky down into every picture. A marmalade coloured cat that looks suspiciously like Herm, the family cat, also appears. And one picture looks like the front hall of their very own house! The images seem to be almost real, not just three-dimensional illusions. All it will take is one little tug on that rope to find out for sure ....

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release date: Jun 09, 2003
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The Deserter: Murder at Gettysburg
“I’d been wanting for a long time to use the Civil War as a background, but couldn’t imagine how to do it. One day while taking a walk it dawned on me that since my long-suffering characters Homer and Mary Kelly teach and work in Harvard’s Memorial Hall, they could become interested in the memorial tablets lining the walls of the corridor, tablets listing the names of Harvard men who fell in the war. It was a way in.”

Jane Langton has set part of this dramatic story in the present and part during the great battle of Gettysburg. In the here-and-now, Homer and Mary Kelly try to trace the mysterious shame attached to the name of Mary's ancestor, Seth Morgan, a young student who served his country during the Civil War. In other chapters the secrets of what happened to Seth all those many years ago are unraveled in Jane Langton’s inimitable style.

The Deserter: Murder at Gettysburg is illustrated with authentic nineteenth century photographs, some of actual soldiers who fought and died in the battle, others chosen from anonymous photographs to represent fictional characters. Among these are Seth Morgan's pregnant wife, Ida, who trudges across the battlefield in search of him; Ida’s younger brother, Eben, who sets out to bring Ida home but joins up instead; and Dr. Alexander Clock, who attends Ida's delivery in the Patent Office hospital in wartime Washington. Most importantly, readers will be introduced to that infamous skedaddler, Private Otis Pike, along with Pike’s lady friend, buxom dancer Lily LeBeau.

No three days in history are more dramatic in American memory than the battle of Gettysburg. Langton's characters take part (or refuse to take part) in the rush to battle on the first day, the fatal abandonment of Union trenches on the second day, the deadly charge to regain them on the morning of the third day, and the mighty artillery duel and final repulse of the Rebel assault that afternoon.

As Homer and Mary combine clues from both the past and present, they finally solve the
perplexing puzzle of what really happened to Seth Morgan. In a final chapter some of the famous men and women of the 1860's speak up, and Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural brings the story to an eloquent close.

In The Deserter, Jane Langton has once again outdone herself, which, as her legions of passionate devotees know, is saying quite a lot indeed.
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release date: Apr 01, 2007
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Saint Francis & the Wolf
Saint Francis was born in 1182, the son of a wealthy merchant. After a swashbuckling youth in Assisi, he had a change of faith and decided to live the life that he ascribed to Jesus, one of poverty and abstinence. He gave away everything he owned. His father disowned him. But over the years he drew to himself a substantial following of men and women and died revered and beloved in 1225. Three years later he was canonized as Saint Francis of Assisi by Pope Gregory IX.

This lovely retelling of one of the lesser known of the Saint Francis lessons centers on the legend of the great wolf of Gubbio, a ferocious canine who terrorized the town and was slowly reducing it to penury and starvation. In nearby Assisi, Brother Francis heard of their plight and came to their rescue. Unbelievingly, the villagers watched from the ramparts as Brother Francis called to the wolf, tamed it with his tenderness, and made it pledge that if the people of Gubbio would care for it, he would do them no harm. He took the pledge and lived in harmony with the citizens of the city until his death.

Jane Langton has retold the legend with her usual lucidity and grace, and Ilse Plume, an Italophile and the illustrator of three previous Godine books, has supplied the rectos with illustrations that glow with the intensity of Renaissance jewelry. A perfect gift for Easter or anyone who embraces the relationship between man and the natural world.
release date: May 01, 1995
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Acts of Light
A small-format gift anthology includes eighty poems by Dickinson, an accompanying essay by Jane Langton on the poet's life and work in Amherst, Massachusetts, and a collection of accompanying paintings and drawings.
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release date: Mar 01, 1991
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The Dante Game (Homer Kelly Mystery)
Set amidst the turmoil and corruption of modern-day Florence, detective Homer Kelly stalks a banker-heroin dealer who plans to assassinate the Pope, in a mystery laced with wit and clues from "The Inferno"
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release date: Dec 31, 2002
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The Escher Twist: A Homer Kelly Mystery
When the town of Cambridge, Massachusetts, hosts an Escher exhibit, Leonard, a friend of Homer and Mary Kelly, is ectastic, especially when he meets an enigmatic woman named Frieda who is equally enamored with the work of Escher, but when she vanishes without a trace, Leonard, with the help of Homer and Mary, sets out to find her, plunging them all into a maze of murder, dark secrets, fortunetellers, and ghosts. Reprint.
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