Dave Darrin and the German Submarines

by H. Irving Hancock

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Harrie Irving Hancock was born on January 16, 1868 in Massachusetts, passing away on March 12, 1922. Although he was a chemist, he is recognized more for his writing. He was a journalist for several years, working for the Boston Globe, and served as a war correspondent during the Spanish-American War. He specialized in juvenile writing, although he also wrote a bit about sports, and even a series of books about physical fitness. Typically, his stories featured adventures with male hero figures, sometimes set in the past, or often in military combat. He typically wrote under his name, though occasionally used a pseudonym. He is credited with writing dozens of books, along with numerous articles for newspapers and magazines.

Hancock was enamored with Japanese fighting styles, such as Jiu-Jitsu, and not only wrote about it, he practiced the sport. Unfortunately, he was also guilty of using racial stereotypes in his works, particularly against Germans and Chinese characters, as the subtitle of his work illustrates.


The Ranger Boys Outwit the Timber Thieves

by Claude A. Labelle

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In 1922, the A. L. Burt Company developed The Ranger Boy Series, which was aimed at boys between 12 and 16 years old. The Ranger Boys are three friends. Garfield Boone is consider the leader. He comes from wealth, as his father is involved in the lumber industry. Dick Wallace, another member of the trio, was raised by Boone’s father after his father left and his mother died. The trio is rounded out by Phil Durant, who is of French descent and fluent in French. The trio is part of the Maine Ranger service, and the book series details some of the issues that Rangers face, such as smuggling and rescue operations.


The Magic Casement: An Anthology of Fairy Poetry

by Alfred Noyes

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This cleverly illustrated volume by Alfred Noyes offers a literary selection of poetry that reference fairies in all their shapes and forms. Along with works by Noyes, The Magic Casement also features selections by William Shakespeare, Rudyard Kipling and G. K. Chesterton. Noyes allows the reader to traverse new, fantastic worlds filled with water lilies, humor, love and magic.

Alfred Noyes (1880-1958) was a prolific writer who was able to move successfully across several genres. Though he began in poetry, he also wrote screenplays, science fiction novels, ballads and short stories. He did a great deal of traveling and lecturing, spending time in his birth country of England as well as the United States, Canada, various points in South America, and eventually returning to the Isle of Wight where he spent his final years. He wrote numerous works, including The Loom of Y ears (1902), a biography, William Morris (1908), Some Aspects of Modern Poetry (1924), The Last Man (1940) and his autobiography, Two Worlds for Memory (1953).

This edition has large margins to allow for reader notations.


The Jester’s Sword: How Aldebaran, the King’s Son, Wore the Sheathed Sword of Conquest

by Annie Fellows Johnston

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Annie Fellows Johnston, born in 1863, grew up in McCutchanville, Indiana as Annie Julia Fellows. Her father, a Methodist minister, died when she was two. Her mother was a strong advocate of Annie’s education, and encouraged her to pursue her writing. Fellows attended the University of Iowa, returned home to teach for a few years, and then traveled domestically and across Europe. When she came back, she married her widowed cousin, William L. Johnston. He was also very supportive of her writing, and she used her career to support the three young children he left behind after he died in 1892. She traveled in the southwestern US, after his death, before settling down in Kentucky.

Much of Johnston’s travels are reflected in her writings. She was a popular author of children’s books, perhaps most notably, The Little Colonel series. In 1935, a Shirley Temple film, The Little Colonel, was derived from Johnston’s work.


Aunt Jane’s Nieces in The Red Cross

by Edith Van Dyne

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This work, although credited to Edith Van Dyne, was actually written by L. Frank Baum. Although his Wizard of Oz series is most well known, his ten book series of Aunt Jane’s Nieces was his second most popular series. In this book, two American girls go abroad to assist with medical efforts during World War I. Baum wanted to highlight the perils, and horrors, of war, in hopes for everlasting world peace.

Two versions of this book were released. The first was released in 1915 with a more neutral tone, but the second in 1918, during the midst of US involvement in WWI, was influenced by Baum having two of his sons fighting in the war. The second version was strongly for the Allies, and positioned the conflict as a moral one. The trajectory of the characters changes as well, and the story has a more positive ending.

This is a reprint of the original, with a few very minor imperfections in the text.


The Girls of Central High at Basketball, or, The Great Gymnasium Mystery

by Gertrude W. Morrison

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The Girls of Central High was a seven book series published between 1914-19, of which this is considered a highlight. Gertrude W. Morrison did not exist. Rather, it was one of many pseudonyms used by The Stratemeyer Syndicate, the first book packager for children. Edward L. Stratemeyer was the publisher and author of over 1,300 of the children’s works. Many freelancers wrote for Edward L. Stratemeyer, including Mildred Benson, who wrote the popular Nancy Drew series.

The author of the Girls of Central High series was W. Bert Foster, whose full name was Walter Bertram Foster (1869-1929). He wrote several books for the Stratemeyer Syndicate including for the Clint Webb, Ralph of the Railroad, Campfire Girls and Radio Girls series. He also wrote for several magazines including: The Argosy, Western Story Magazine, Tiptop Semi-Monthly, The All-Story Magazine, The Popular Magazine and others. His other works include: The Lost Galleon of Dubloon Island (1901), With Washington at Valley Forge (1902), With Ethan Allen at Ticonderoga (1903), In Alaskan Waters (1903), The Eve of War (1904), The Lost Expedition (1905), The Quest of the Silver Swan (1907), The Ocean Express; or, Clint Webb and the Sea Tramp (1913), The Frozen Ship; or, Clint Webb Among the Sealers (1913), Swept Out to Sea; or, Clint Webb Among the Whalers (1913), From Sea to Sea; or, Clint Webb’s Cruise on the Windjammer (1914), The Last Door (1921), Galloping Thunder (1927), Harwick of Hambone (1927), From Six to Six (1927) and Cactus Trails (1927).