All Things Austenesque

In celebration of a beloved author’s birthday this December we are rejoicing in all things Jane Austen to commemorate her legendary oeuvre and birthday. Austen was born on December 16, 1775, and her books remain a staple in classic literature and have become a foundation for retellings galore. From Clueless to Bridget Jones’s Diary, this month we want to give a spotlight to all adaptations and retellings of Jane Austen’s work. This post will feature picture books on the life of Jane Austen, manga, middle grade novels, and young adult fiction.

Carbone, Courtney.
Darcy Swipes Left. 2016. Young Adult.
Have you ever wondered how Mr. Darcy would text? Look no further at this clever modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice where Lizzy Bennet and Mr. Darcy have social media and smartphones and a love story arises between them. Find yourself giggling at the text messages of Mr. Bennet and prepare yourself for a novel where all the characters text each other with emojis, take selfies, and update their relationship statuses.
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Eulberg, Elizabeth.
Prom & Prejudice. 2011. Young Adult.
Eulberg’s spin on Pride and Prejudice is based on Lizzie Bennet who attended the prestigious high school of Longbourn Academy on a scholarship. When all the girls at the academy are becoming enthralled about the prospect of prom, Lizzie does not seem interested in the designer dresses or shoes. However, Lizzie’s best friend Jane is excited due to Charles Bingley being back from a semester in London. Lizzie is happy about Jane’s prospective romance with Bingley although Lizzie cannot find it in herself to like Will Darcy, a boy she finds to be a pretentious, snobby jerk. Even though she finds Darcy to be a pompous jerk, why does she seem so drawn to him?
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Frederick, Heather Vogel.
Pies & Prejudice. 2010. Young Adult.
Right before the start of her freshman year Emma unexpectedly moves to England. Emma’s life becomes a whirlwind when the mother-daughter book club is faced with a challenge. However, the resourcefulness of all the friends in the book club finds a way to continue meeting and discussing Jane Austen’s, Pride and Prejudice, a fitting parallel to Emma’s life. The novel centers around four childhood best friends Emma, Jess, Megan, and Cassidy. Told through each of the fifteen-year-old girls’ perspectives, Frederick takes you on a journey of teen romance, growing pains, responsibility, and issues that come with growing up. Each reader will come away with a character they relate to the most and through Frederick’s clever writing she blends the life of Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice beautifully and ties it all together in the mother-daughter book club.
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Going, K.L.
The Next Great Jane. 2020. Middle Grade.
Meet Jane Brennan, a girl that wants nothing more than to become a famous author like Jane Austen. All she needs to do? Figure out how to be a literary success, of course! Her chances of figuring out how increase when J.E. Fairfax visits her hometown of Whickett Harbor, Maine. However, when a hurricane rolls in Jane ends up stuck with the author’s snobby son named Devon and, worst of all, her mother Susan and her mother’s fiancé Erik have flown from Hollywood to Maine to file custody and ship Jane off to California. All she needs to do now is find her marine biologist dad a romantic partner and figure out what is the most important thing to her about Whickett Harbor to convince her mother she is meant to stay in Maine.
S. G561ne

Harrison, Cora
Illustrator: Hellard, Susan
I was Jane Austen’s Best Friend. 2010. Young Adult.
Timid Jenny Cooper is sent to stay with her cousin Jane Austen. Jenny does not know the world of dresses, dances, gossip, and romance that Jane seems all too familiar with. Amid her visit Jenny falls madly in love with the dashing Captain Thomas Williams and who better to help her with the heart of the man than Jane? But will that all be possible when Jenny has been keeping a desperate secret? If this secret were to leak it would bring a huge scandal to the doorstep of not only hers but the entire Austen family and what is an orphan girl meant to do in this predicament? Cora Harrison explores the fictional life of a young Jane Austen in this novel and balances between fictional and true elements on the author’s life as a teen based on biographies, critical studies, and family letters.
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King, Stacy
Artist: Po, Tse
Manga Classics: Pride & Prejudice. 2014. Graphic Novel.
In Pride & Prejudice we get a peek into the lives of the Bennet household with five daughters and no male heirs. Excitement ensues when an eligible bachelor visits the nearby estate. In this charming adaptation by Stacy King and illustrator Tse Po, the wonderful tale of Pride & Prejudice is told through manga. The illustrations are beautiful and retain all the narrative elements of the original classic with a twist. This graphic novel is a wonderful way to introduce readers to a beloved tale through sumptuous illustrations and storytelling.
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King, Stacy
Artist: Po, Tse
Manga Classics: Sense & Sensibility. 2016. Graphic Novel.
In Jane Austen’s first novel two sisters, Marianne and Elinor Dashwood, are true opposites where Marianne is impulsive and Elinor is cautious. When Marianne and Elinor’s father passes away both sisters are overcome with the grief and financial strain of their father’s passing. Both sisters move to a cottage in Devonshire where they battle love affairs with Edward Ferrars and John Willoughby. Follow the two sisters in a story filled with romance, social critique, and redemption in this modern manga adaptation.
S.741.5973 K5801s

MacColl, Michaela
Secrets in the Snow: a Novel of Intrigue and Romance. 2016. Young Adult
Michaela MacColl brings us a historical fiction story centered around Jane Austen. Jane Austen’s family is eager to marry her off to secure her future. However, Jane has other plans including drafting her novels and finds no interest in any of the male suitors that come her way, that is until Mr. Lefroy enters the picture, and she struggles between choosing her family or true love.
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Sánchez Vegara, Ma Isabel (María Isabel)
Illustrator: Wilson, Katie
Jane Austen. 2018. Picture Book.
This picture book tells the biographical tale of Jane Austen, exploring her childhood in the English countryside, being born into a large family with seven siblings, and the heartbreak that she experienced that led to the creation and inspiration for Pride & Prejudice. Told through quirky illustrations it also features extra facts at the end, and includes a biographical timeline accompanied with historical images and an author profile. Little People, Big Dreams picture book series is perfect for babies and toddlers due to its narration being told through simple sentences that will inspire even the youngest of readers.
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Shulman, Polly
Enthusiasm. 2006. Young Adult.
Julie and Ashleigh, best friends, high school sophomores, and Jane Austen fans, both seem to have fallen for the same Mr. Darcy type boy and struggle to hide their true feelings from one another. Enthusiasm brings out themes of self-discovery, familial relationships, teenage feelings in boys, and creativity. Any Jane Austen fan will adore this sweet tale on friendship and trying to find your own Mr. Darcy.
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Smith, Rebecca
Where’s Jane? 2018. Picture Book.
In this beautiful, illustrated book readers are introduced to Jane Austen’s regency and Georgian-era world. Children can spot the main characters of the famous novels such as Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Sense & Sensibility, etc. The reader can first read the snappy synopsis of the story, explore key stages of the narrative as you meet the main characters, and next, as you peruse through the gorgeous illustrations, try searching for the main characters and elusive author through the expansive and buzzing artwork.

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Taslim, Priyanka
The Love Match. 2023. Young Adult.
The Love Match, a Jane Austen meet Bengali cinema mashup, follows teenager Zahra Kahn who’s amma (mother) believes she needs to find a good match, Jane Austen style. Which leads to her mother setting her up with handsome and wealthy eighteen-year-old Harun. However, Zahra feels a much deeper connection with her coworker Nayim. When Zahra and Harun decide to fake-date to appease their parents, trouble ensues when Zahra’s feelings begin to get mixed up.
S. T184lo

Watson, Kate (Katherine)
Off Script. 2020. Young Adult
Off Script is a Jane Austen retelling of Emma centered around nineteen-year-old actress Emma Crawford whose favorite job is to play matchmaker to her friends. Although, after reuniting with Liam Price and discovering the darker sides of Hollywood, she begins to question the glamorous world she has always known.
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Love Stories

Flowers are blooming on campus, birds are chirping, and the piles of snow from last week are finally dwindling. It’s definitely spring, and love is in the air in the S-Collection. This month, we’re taking a look at some of the romances to be found on our shelves. Below you’ll find stories for all ages, genders, and temperaments, whether the reader is a die-hard romantic or thinks the opposite gender is infested with cooties.

Looking for even more love stories? You might try looking at classic fairy tales, found in the non-fiction section at 398.2. You can also search the catalog for “juvenile fiction” and an additional keyword such as “interpersonal relations,” “love,” or “dating.”

Young Adult Fiction

Moskowitz, Hannah.
Gone, gone, gone. 2012.
Struggling with the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and sniper shootings throughout the Washington, D.C. area, Craig and Lio consider a romantic relationship that is complicated by Craig’s ex-boyfriend, Lio’s broken family, and the death of Lio’s brother.
[S-Coll S. M8532go]

Omololu, Cynthia Jaynes.
Transcendence. 2012.
After handsome Griffon Hall tells sixteen-year-old Cole Ryan that her strange visions are of past lives, he introduces her to the Akhet, a group of people with the same ability, one of whom seeks to love and protect her and another, vengeance.
[S-Coll S. Om6t]

Perkins, Stephanie.
Anna and the French kiss. 2010.
When Anna’s romance-novelist father sends her to an elite American boarding school in Paris for her senior year of high school, she reluctantly goes, and meets an amazing boy who becomes her best friend, in spite of the fact that they both want something more.
[S-Coll S. P4198a]

Sedia, Ekaterina (editor).
Willful impropriety: 13 tales of society, scandal, and romance. 2012.
Deliciously alluring, these thirteen historical romances from a talented array of YA authors will make even the most cynical heart swoon. True love has no boundaries, and heiresses and street thieves alike must use their savvy and strength to create new beginnings and happily-ever-afters. Sometimes luck is enough, but every once in awhile, a touch of magic may be needed.
[S-Coll S.823.08 W6698]

Smith, Jennifer E.
The statistical probability of love at first sight. 2012.
Hadley and Oliver fall in love on the flight from New York to London, but after a cinematic kiss they lose track of each other at the airport until fate brings them back together on a very momentous day.
[S-Coll S. Sm613sta]

Tomlinson, Heather.
Toads and diamonds. 2010.
A retelling of the Perrault fairy tale set in pre-colonial India, in which two stepsisters receive gifts from a goddess and each walks her own path to find her gift’s purpose, discovering romance along the way.
[S-Coll S. T597to]

Intermediate Fiction

Carter, Ally.
I’d tell you I love you, but then I’d have to kill you. 2006.
As a sophomore at a secret spy school and the daughter of a former CIA operative, Cammie is sheltered from “normal teenage life” until she meets a local boy while on a class surveillance mission.
[S-Coll Storage S. C245i]

Night, P. J.
Together forever. 2012.
Sharing a common nightmare about a sinister boy in an abandoned cabin, the girls in Camp Minnehaha’s Bunk 9 are astonished when annoyingly well-behaved Samantha meets the boy in the woods and pursues a romance with him, inciting the jealousy of her twin, Ali. A summer camp dream romance turns into a nightmare in this frighteningly fun addition to Spotlight’s popular horror series.
[S-Coll S. N563t]

Paulsen, Gary.
Crush: the theory, practice, and destructive properties of love. 2012.
Afraid to actually ask Tina Zabinski for a date, eighth-grader Kevin spends most of his time theorizing about love and romance and observing and analyzing male/female interaction.
[S-Coll S. P285cr]

Webb, Sarah.
Ask Amy Green: love and other drama-ramas! 2012.
Thirteen-year-old Amy Green finds herself surrounded by the drama of romance as her mother prepares for her wedding while working with a handsome celebrity on his biography, Aunt Clover dates a singer, and Mills falls for new student Bailey.
[S-Coll S. W384as]

Wise, Rachel.
Read all about it! 2012.
Thrilled to be chosen to write the school newspaper’s anonymous advice column, budding journalist Samantha Martone struggles to keep her identity a secret when she realizes that one of the letters she receives is from her best friend, who confesses a secret crush on Sam’s own love interest.
[S-Coll S. W7541r]

Picture Books

Bedford, David.
Mole’s in love. 2009.
Morris the mole is looking for someone to love. After a series of false encounters due to his eyesight, Morris finally finds his love.
[S-Coll Q. SE. B3906mo]

Braunstein, Les.
I’m in love with a big blue frog. 2013.
A picture book version of a song made popular by the singing group Peter, Paul, and Mary in which a girl proclaims her love for a 6’4″ frog, whose mother is from Philadelphia and whose father an enchanted prince.
[S-Coll Q. S.782.42 B73i]

Chaconas, Dori.
Mousie love. 2009.
After falling in love at first sight, Tully the mouse strives to prove his devotion to Frill every day–while avoiding the cat–but never gives her a chance to respond to his marriage proposal.
[S-Coll SE. C344m]

Joosse, Barbara M.
Love is a good thing to feel. 2008.
Harriet talks about love, how one can love someone but still be angry, and some of the ways to show love.
[S-Coll Storage SE. J741lo]

Parr, Todd.
The I love you book. 2009.
Celebrates the love one person has for another, whether they are dancing or strolling, on snowy days and sunny ones, no matter what.
[S-Coll SE. P246il]

Sutton, Benn.
Hedgehug: a sharp lesson in love. 2011.
Love is patient and love is kind, but for Hedgehug love is prickly, too. Join this lonely hedgehog as he searches for someone to accept his heart.
[S-Coll SE. Su871h]

Van Lieshout, Maria
Bloom!: a little book about finding love. 2008.
Bloom, a pig who prefers flowers to mud puddles, falls in love with a “flying flower,” but when the butterfly leaves she is brokenhearted until a friend gives her a reason to smile again.
[S-Coll Storage SE. V326b]