Thursday, March 15, 2012

Classics for Teens: The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orzy

Sir Percy and Lady Blakeney are highly lauded in British society. He is the most foppish dandy about Town and she admired for her rapier sharp wit. Though in public he plays the fop, Sir Percy is actually a master of disguise who rescues French nobles from the forces of the French Revolution. When his identity is compromised, Lady Blakeney must find a way to warn him without compromising his mission.

Some of the best novels out there were written long
ago.  These novels have harnessed generations of readers imaginations and are an integral foundation for many modern fiction novels.  Such a classic is The Scarlet Pimpernel.  Since the first publication in 1905 readers have been fascinated by the novel's characters, plot and daring exploits.  This is one of the first novels written about a masked hero, a standard feature of pop culture today, and the hero does not disappoint.  Although this is a classic it is highly entertaining and very readable.

Recommended for Readers of:
Anthony Horowitz, Charlie Higson, Jane Yolen, Sally Gardner

Rating: 5 Stars
Teen Gauge: 14+

Program Idea: Have a "book to movie" day featuring the 1934 'Scarlet Pimpernel' movie starring Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon.  Following the movie facilitate a discussion about the differences between the film and the novel.  What would they do differently?  What modern actors would they choose to remake the film?  Which did they enjoy more?  You could also talk the finer points of disguise and movie makeup since Percy spends so much of his time pretending to be someone else.