A mother reads to her children, depicted by Jessie Willcox Smith in a cover illustration of a volume of fairy tales written in the mid to late 19th century.
Children's literature or juvenile literature includes stories, books, magazines, and poems that are enjoyed by children. Modern children's literature is classified in two different ways: genre or the intended age of the reader.
Children's literature can be traced to stories and songs, part of a wider oral tradition, that adults shared with children before publishing existed. The development of early children's literature, before printing was invented, is difficult to trace. Even after printing became widespread, many classic "children's" tales were originally created for adults and later adapted for a younger audience. Since the 15th century, a large quantity of literature, often with a moral or religious message, has been aimed specifically at children. The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries became known as the "Golden Age of Children's Literature" as this period included the publication of many books acknowledged today as classics.
Eragon is the first book in the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, who began writing the book at the age of 15. After writing the first draft for a year, he spent a second year rewriting it and fleshing out the story and characters. Paolini's parents saw the final manuscript and decided to self-publishEragon. Paolini spent a year traveling around the United States promoting the novel. By chance, the book was discovered by Carl Hiaasen, who got it re-published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2003. The book tells the story of a young farm boy named Eragon, who finds a dragon he names Saphira. When the evil King Galbatorix discovers Eragon and his dragon, he sends his servants after them in an effort to capture them. Eragon and Saphira are forced to flee from their home, and decide to search for the Varden, a group of rebels who want to see the downfall of Galbatorix. Critiques of Eragon often pointed out the similarities to other works such as The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. Reviews also called the book a notable achievement for such a young author as Paolini. Eragon was the third-best-selling children's hardback book of 2003, and the second-best-selling paperback of 2005. It placed on the New York Times Best Seller list for 121 weeks. Eragon was adapted into a feature film of the same name.
The master of the week being short-sighted, and the parepostors of the week small, and not well up to their work, the lower school boys employ the ten minutes which elapse before their names are called, in pelting one another vigorously with acorns, which fly about in all directions. The small praepostors dash in every now and then, and generally chastise some quiet, timid boy, who is equally afraid of acorns and canes, while the principal performers get dexterously out of the way; and so calling-over rolls on somehow, much like the big world, punishments lighting on wrong shoulders, and matters going generally in a queer, cross-grained way, but the end coming somehow, which is after all the great point.