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Dido and Pa Paperback – 2002


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Paperback, 2002
CDN$ 15.14 CDN$ 5.48

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Sandpiper (2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618196234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618196234
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 304 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Format: Hardcover
This was a somewhat disappointing episode in a wonderful series, though I have never read the previous two stories, 'The Cuckoo Tree' or 'The Stolen Lake', the first two parts, 'Black Hearts in Battersea' and 'Nightbirds on Nantucket', were wonderful. Of course it's really just for children...
The redoubtable Dido Twite returns from her adventures in the Atlantic to reunite with Simon (now a Duke) in London, where she finds that once again her nefarious musician father is up to his eyebrows in 'Hanoverian' plots against the Stuart throne. The tale is crammed with incident as Dido and Simon fight the machinations of Abednego Twite and his patron, the evil Margrave Eisengrim. The appearant foundling Is, who (in the next novel) proves to be the daughter of Dido's unhappy sister Penelope, is also introduced.
All Aiken's adventures contain dark edges and disturbing images but in previous novels they were counterbalanced by a more inventive goodness and optimism - although it has to be admitted that 'The Wolves of Willoughby Chase' was a pretty tough cookie for a juvenile adventure. With 'Dido and Pa' the series has become somewhat stale and the characters more routine - though still superior to most of Aiken's competition. Perhaps as a result the Dickensian environment of cruelty and misery becomes more oppressive, which together with the 'just desserts' experienced by the villians makes the novel grim reading for the grade school set.
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By A Customer on June 13 2001
Format: Paperback
Firstly, a previous reader was incorrect in stating that Is was Penelope's daughter; she is, in fact, Penny and Dido's half-sister, their father's child by another woman.
I also disagree with that reviewer's assertion that Dido and Pa was formulaic and stale; it is, in fact, my favorite novel in the series of nine, and, tragically, the only one out of print. Dido *finally* reunites with Simon, older, wiser, and worldly. The two are very happy to be together again at last, although their joyous reunion, in typical Aiken fashion, does not last long.
Aiken's plots are water-tight and well-developed, interesting, lively, and full of skilled foreshadowing. If this is a formula, oh that it were one all writers followed!
I'm hoping beyond hope that Ms. Aiken will resolve Simon and Dido's fate in a new novel-she focuses on every character except my two favorites!
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By "bookeddy" on Jan. 19 2000
Format: Hardcover
Joan Aiken is my favorite historical adventure novelists for young adults. Her characters are wonderful, her sense of humor is perfect, the plots are page-turners. She creates a Dickensian world for a younger audience with a bit of Roald Dahl thrown in. I highly recommend all of the books in this series to anyone who likes a good ripping story. A note to teachers, they might be a little difficult to read out loud because of the british dialect.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Dido strikes again July 28 2003
By "stardust86490" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a lovely adventurous book that will suck you right into the story. I must say however that after the Auther finished writing the other books in the series I think she sort of ran out of ideas. This book brings back Dido Twite the heroine from three of the previous books. She is back in England and meets up with her infamous father once with him she stumbles on a hanoravian plot(again!) that is trying to dispose of the King. Held prisoner by her father and the other hanoravians Dido must find a way to escape and save the day. Helped along by some old friends and a host of new charecters you can be sure Dido will, through wit and daring once again becomes Englands youngest hero. I gave this book four stars because it is a very exciting and enjoyable read. Even more so if you have not read the others in the series that star Dido. For those of you that have well all I can say is read this book fully expecting a similiar plot to several of the others and enjoy it for its interesting new charecters and to be able to reconnect with some of the interesting old ones.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Dido Twite: Role model Aug. 18 2004
By Rebecca Crawford - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I read these books when I was much younger, and re-read them every time I come back to my parents' house. They are incredibly well written; characters, plot, and dialogue are all wonderfully done.

Dido is possibly one of the best female children's characters ever written, and I'd even argue that she's one of the best female characters ever, forget children's books. She is resourceful, irreverent, intelligent, moral, funny, and completely unsanitized. I love all of the books in this series, but this one is my favorite.

The only reason that these could be called "children's" books is that there's no sex. They absolutely do not underestimate the intelligence of the reader. Joan Aiken writes young adult novels in the style of Susan Cooper and Lloyd Alexander -- these books are terrifying, beautiful, chilling, funny and intelligent in a way that children's books no longer are and *should* be. Joan Aiken will be sorely missed.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Joan Aiken is a genius June 13 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Firstly, a previous reader was incorrect in stating that Is was Penelope's daughter; she is, in fact, Penny and Dido's half-sister, their father's child by another woman.
I also disagree with that reviewer's assertion that Dido and Pa was formulaic and stale; it is, in fact, my favorite novel in the series of nine, and, tragically, the only one out of print. Dido *finally* reunites with Simon, older, wiser, and worldly. The two are very happy to be together again at last, although their joyous reunion, in typical Aiken fashion, does not last long.
Aiken's plots are water-tight and well-developed, interesting, lively, and full of skilled foreshadowing. If this is a formula, oh that it were one all writers followed!
I'm hoping beyond hope that Ms. Aiken will resolve Simon and Dido's fate in a new novel-she focuses on every character except my two favorites!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Dido in her element Oct. 13 2004
By Chrijeff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
At long last Dido Twite is back in London, though perhaps not as she anticipated she'd be. Unexpectedly reunited (much to her delight) with her old friend Simon, now the Sixth Duke of Battersea, she has been spirited away from him by her rascally father Abednego, who with most of his family killed in the destruction of Battersea Castle has become Music Master to the Hanoverian Ambassador. The position is not unearned--for all his bad qualities, Mr. Twite is a brilliant composer and a performer of note on the hoboy, whose music often brightened Dido's younger days even though he always favored her much older sister Penny. But, quite naturally, the Ambassador is also a pivotal player in the ongoing Hanoverian plots against the Stuart throne, so Mr. Twite's politics mesh nicely with his employer's. Unfortunately for them both, "Bonnie Prince Georgie" (the King George IV of our universe) has recently died without issue, so what's a Hanoverian plotter to do? The answer's plain: find a way to become the power behind the throne. And this the Ambassador has done, with a Dutch double for King Richard IV. With the help of a network of street urchins and a young artist who is in love with Simon's sister Sophie, Dido contrives once again to foil the plot, though not without a few near escapes, and in the process is reunited with Penny and with what seems to be a younger half-sister, the oddly-named Is. She is also overlooked by a blind apple seller who has a gift of foreseeing and declares that he "can see crossed sparkling lines over her head, and a whole shower of lucky stars...a gold crown in her hand...and a velvet carpet under her foot." Take good care of her, he warns Mr. Twite, or the luck will turn for you...

The high point of this installment in the Wolves Chronicles is the quirky relationship between Dido and her father, which is portrayed in a rich series of vignettes between them, cunningly spotted along the course of the tale to provide breaks in the otherwise headlong action. Aiken also shows her usual Dickensian gift in her portrayal of London street life and her creation of villains you love to hate--though Mr. Twite has his sympathetic moments. As the book closes, he has met the fate the apple-seller warned him of, Sophie and her gallant have come to an understanding, and Simon shyly suggests that perhaps Dido will "think about being Duchess of Battersea one day." A satisfying conclusion to Dido's extended globe-trotting.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Classic Aug. 24 2013
By Douglas J. Bassett - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read only a bit of Joan Aiken's work, but I think she was a genius. Her series of children's books beginning with THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE - at least the ones I've read - range from "pretty good" to "absolute classic".

This is the best of what I've read in the series, although I haven't read them all. Early books relied a bit overmuch, I think, on parodying classic literature (although they're all quite decent, don't get me wrong, and a couple, THE CUCKOO TREE and THE STOLEN LAKE, are excellent) but DIDO seems to be pretty much its own thing. For those who know the series, this feels like the culmination of the Dido Thwaite story, as she returns to England, stops yet another plot on the King's life, and brings her difficult relationship with her father to a kind of conclusion. (Indeed, I wonder if this was not a personal story for Aiken, as despite all the fantastic goings-on the central concern of the book does seem to be Dido's relationship with her father. Aiken explores the notion of how a great artist can be a terrible human being - Aiken's own father was a fairly famous poet, I have no idea if he was a terrible human being but the similarity in situation seems pretty stark.)

All that makes it sound more dreary than it really is. Actually DIDO AND PA is a wonderfully lively book, complete with plots and counterplots, conspiracies both evil and good, a genuinely charming love affair (actually sort of a couple), some action, and some genuinely weird moments here and there - even a touch of the supernatural that grows as the story reaches its conclusion. Aiken, as I said, was a genius, she had a gift for a very quiet absurdist kind of humor and almost complete tonal control that was really masterful - this is one of the few books I know of where transitions from humor to horror to pathos are completely plausible.

These are marvelous books, highly recommended.

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