The Marvelous Misadventures Of Sebastian

The Marvelous Misadventures Of Sebastian

by Lloyd Alexander


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From the Newbery Medal-winning author of The High King, comes the story of Sebastian, a boy never far from adventure—or trouble!

When fourth fiddler Sebastian loses his place in the Baron’s orchestra, he takes to the highway—and soon finds himself dealing with disaster after disaster. In trying to rescue a stray cat, he loses his violin; in trying to help a skinny boy who turns out to be a princess, he falls into the clutches of a bear; and when he tries to join a theater troupe as an actor, he finds himself cast as a clown.

But Sebastian’s a fleet-footed optimist, and he’ll always find a way to outrace trouble, outwit it, or enchant it—and he’ll keep everyone around him laughing.

Winner of the 1971 National Book Award

* “Infused with humor, high spirits, and compassion.”—School Library Journal, starred review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780141308166
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 07/28/2000
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 543,218
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile: 880L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Born on January 30, 1924, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, storyteller Lloyd Alexander spent his childhood filling his imagination with fantasies about other lands and eras. For ten years of his writing career, Alexander wrote for adults, then changed gears and wrote fiction for young people. Lloyd Alexander has received a Newbery Medal, a Newbery Honor Award, a National Book Award, and several IRA-CBC Children’s Choice Awards. He is also the author of many ALA Notable Children’s Books and School Library Journal Best Books of the Year.

Table of Contents

How Sebastian Lost His Place
How Sebastian Stopped at the Merry Host
How Sebastian Lost His Living
How Sebastian Found a Friend
How a Friend Found Sebastian
How Sebastian Heard of the Captain
How Sebastian Had a Bucket on His Head
How Sebastian Misjudged His Opponent
How the Travelers Began a Hasty Departure
How Nicholas Became a Royal Tailor
How Princess Isabel Scrubbed a Pot
How Sebastian Tried to Make the Princess Laugh
How Sebastian Danced with a Bear
How Presto Found a Prize
How Sebastian Heard a Strange Tale
How Isabel Was Offered a Strange Role
How Quicksilver Set the Stage
How Sebastian Played a Tune
How Sebastian Played Too Well
How Sebastian Reached for the Moon
How the Travelers Came to Earth
How the Princess Met a Washerwoman
How the Princess Mended Her Speech
How Sebastian Escaped from a Beggar
How Sebastian Rode in a Coach
How Sebastian and Isabel Awaited the Captain
How Nicholas Told His Trade
How Sebastian Was Betrayed
How Sebastian Ran a Race
How Sebastian Was Forgotten
How Sebastian Was Remembered
How Sebastian Found a Place
How One Song Ended and Others Began

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The Marvelous Misadventures of Sebastian 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
ncgraham on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lloyd Alexander was a favorite author of my childhood, and The Marvelous Adventures of Sebastian was the first novel of his I read. It was a joy to rediscover it after all these years. In hindsight I don't think it is one of his best books, but it is a gloriously fun romp. Sebastian is the Fourth Fiddle in Baron Purn-Hessel's orchestra, but when Count Lobelieze, Royal Treasurer and First Minister of Finance—or, as Sebastian prefers to call him, the Purse—comes to visit, a disaster ensues. Sebastian's bow slips, making a tearing sound, and the rotund Purse thinks his breeches have ripped. Humiliated, he takes vengeance by demanding the Baron dismiss Sebastian, threatening to tell the Regent if he does not. So the young fiddler sets off to find a new place in the world, with his fiddle on his back and a few coins in his pocket. But life outside the Baron's castle is not as easy as he expected it to be; no only is the kingdom that falling apart under the Regent's tyrannous rule, but Sebastian's own distinctive mix of innocence, mischievousness, and (sometimes) common sense seems to get him into one scrape after another. Alexander does not show himself to be a great world-builder in this book; Hamelin-Loring, despite its fancy double name, is very much your Stock Fantasy Kingdom, and the towns it contains follow suit. Interestingly, however, magic does not play a very big part in this world. The only example of it in the entire novel is the mysterious violin that Sebastian finds during his travels, which may end up being both his making and unmaking. But it is the characters that make The Remarkable Misadventures of Sebastian so memorable. They fairly leap off the page in their vitality. It is hard not to love Sebastian at once, for though the Duke admits him to be a scamp, he has the pluck and courage not to kneel to the the ridiculous Purse and beg pardon for an offense he never intended: "Excellency ... I'll stand like a man and ask your pardon for my clumsiness. I'd not be such a fool as to offend your Excellency on purpose. Though indeed I'd be more than a fool and less than a man if I admitted something I never meant." Joining the lovable, handsome fiddler on his journeys are the runaway Princess Isabel, possessor of a great vocabulary and even greater problems, the mysterious and multi-talented Nicholas, and—not unusually—a cat named Presto. My only objection to the characterization is that it is not always consistent. As soon as Nicholas enters the scene, for instance, Sebastian's IQ seems to go several notches down, presumably to highlight's his elder comrade's worldly wisdom. When I first read this all those years ago, my favorite scenes were those with the Traveling Circus, and indeed this is where Alexander does some of his best character development. Quicksilver and Madame Sophie provide moments of uproarious comedy but also have much to say that is relevant to themes of the novel; they fervently believe that there is some value to magic and moonshine, which is really the material of Alexander's plot. Now, however, I am also most impressed by the ending. The climax has a subtlety and intensity I wasn't able to understand as a child, and the denouement is both open-ended and upbeat. Recommended to all those who are truly young in heart.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is totally amazing. Lloyd Alexander makes you feel all the emotions Sebastian feels. The storyline is very interesting and keeps you hooked. Possibly my favorite book of all time.