Cover image for Nate the Great and the monster mess
Title:
Nate the Great and the monster mess
Author:
Sharmat, Marjorie Weinman.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Delacorte Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
45 pages : color illustrations ; 22 cm
Summary:
Nate and his dog Sludge are determined to find the recipe for his mother's monster cookies.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
340 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.9 0.5 32169.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 2.9 3 Quiz: 23068 Guided reading level: L.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780385321143
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

In his first book devoted exclusively to naturalism, Donald Pizer brings together thirteen essays and four reviews written over a thirty-year period that in their entirety constitute a full-scale interpretation of the basic character and historical shape of naturalism in America.

The essays fall into three groups. Some deal with the full range of American naturalism, from the 1590s to the late twentieth century, and some are confined either to the 1890s or to the twentieth century. In addition to the essays, an introduction in which Pizer recounts the development of his interest in American naturalism, reviews of recent studies of naturalism, and a selected bibliography contribute to an understanding of Pizer's interpretation of the movement.

One of the recurrent themes in the essays is that the interpretation of American naturalism has been hindered by the common view that the movement is characterized by a commitment to Emile Zola's deterministic beliefs and that naturalistic novels are thus inevitably crude and simplistic both in theme and method. Rather than accept this notion, Pizer insists that naturalistic novels be read closely not for their success or failure in rendering obvious deterministic beliefs but rather for what actually does occur within the dynamic play of theme and form within the work.

Adopting this method, Pizer finds that naturalistic fiction often reveals a complex and suggestive mix of older humanistic faiths and more recent doubts about human volition, and that it renders this vital thematic ambivalence in increasingly sophisticated forms as the movement matures. In addition, Pizer demonstrates that American naturalism cannot be viewed monolithically as a school with a common body of belief and value. Rather, each generation of American naturalists, as well as major figures within each generation, has responded to threads within the naturalistic impulse in strikingly distinctive ways. And it is indeed this absence of a rigid doctrinal core and the openness of the movement to individual variation that are responsible for the remarkable vitality and longevity of the movement.

Because the essays have their origin in efforts to describe the general characteristics of American naturalism rather than in a desire to cover the field fully, some authors and works are discussed several times (though from different angles) and some referred to only briefly or not at all. But the essays as a collection are "complete" in the sense that they comprise an interpretation of American naturalism both in its various phases and as a whole. Those authors whose works receive substantial discussion include Stephen Crane, Frank Norris, Theodore Dreiser, Edith Wharton, James T. Farrell, Norman Mailer, Joyce Carol Oates, and William Kennedy. Of special interest is Pizer's essay on Ironweed, which appears here for the first time.


Author Notes

Sharmat was born in November 12, 1928 in Portland, Maine. After graduating from high school in 1946, she went on to Lasell Junior College in Auburndale, Massachusetts. In 1947, she transferred to Westbrook Junior College in Portland, Maine where she graduated from the following year with a degree in merchandising. When she graduated from college, Sharmat took a position with a department store, but left to take a position in the Circulation Department at the Yale University Library in New Haven, Connecticut in 1951, a position she held until 1954. At that time she transferred to join the circulation staff of the Yale Law Library, where she stayed until 1955.

Sharmat's first published "work" was a national advertising slogan for the W.T. Grant Company for their spring promotion. It was four words long. She published her first story while she was working at the library at Yale University. It was a short story for adults. Her second story was an article about Yale. It ended up becoming part of the Yale Memorabilia Collection.

Her first published childrens book was Rex, 1967, and winner of the Book of the Year Citation from the Library of Congress. While the book did well, it was her third book Nate the Great, published in 1972, that really made her a writing success. In the 1960's and 1970s she wrote exclusively for children. Many of these books won awards from the Child Study Association and numerous magazines. In 1982, Sharmat broke onto the young adult writing scene with her first book, a novelization published by Dell of the CBS-TV sitcom, Square Pegs. Her first young adult novel, I Saw Him First, was published in 1989.

Sharmat has written hundreds of books, mostly for children, including the "Nate the Great" series, the "Olivia Sharp, Agent for Secrets" series with her husband, Mitchell Sharmat, and "The Kids of the Bus" series with her son, Andrew. She has also written young adult novels under her own name and the name of Wendy Andrews, and the "Sorority Sisters" series.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-When Nate's mom cannot find her recipe for his favorite monster cookies, the boy detective immediately sets out to find it. With the help of his dog, Sludge, Nate combs his home and neighborhood for clues. On his search, the supersleuth questions a cast of characters with whom readers of the series will be familiar, such as Annie, Oliver, and Rosamond. Using his problem-solving skills, Nate is finally able to figure out where the elusive recipe for Strawberry Draculas, Chocolate Frankensteins, and Cinnamon Werewolves was hiding. The short chapters and quick resolution of the mystery will be appreciated by beginning readers. Weston's colorful illustrations, done in the style of the series' original illustrator, Marc Simont, provide visual clues and break up the text nicely. Nate's many fans will eagerly sink their teeth into this treat.-Maura Bresnahan, Shawsheen School, Andover, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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