Preparing for a road trip or long plane journey and need some entertainment for you and your family? If so, you may be interested in Notable Novelists, a strategy based card game that anyone can play (but it’s billed for ages 12 and up, not really for young kids). The game features important literary figures of the 20th century and offers inspiring insight into how and why they became great authors. The 54 card deck includes Author, Bio and Library cards that players exchange to make a Literary Set. It’s good for tweens and teenagers as it teaches some pretty interesting facts about author s they are studying in school like James Baldwin, Flannery O’Connor, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Vladimir Nabokov, Zora Neale Hurston, Kurt Vonnegut, Willa Cather; Edith Wharton; D. H. Lawrence, Richard Wright, Roberto Bolaño, John Cheever, Saul Bellow, William Faulkner, E. M. Forster and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Notable Novelists also includes authors who have made valuable contributions to literature, defined the modern novel and influenced generations of writers. Many of their novels, essays and short story collections appear on “top 100 books of the 20th century” lists. Many are Pulitzer, Nobel and National Book Critics Circle Award Winners. Included in the deck is Zora Neale Hurston. Her much loved novel, “Their Eyes Were Watching God” was made into a movie and produced by Oprah Winfrey and starred Halle Berry.
The object of the game is to collect the most Literary Sets (Author Card which includes the author’s photo and birth information, Library Card which includes the author’s books, Bio Card which includes trivia about the author). It’s not a trivia game, so your older child will benefit from the tid bits written about each author on the cards. They have to complete sets. Some examples of the Bio Cards include:
Flannery O’Connor: While attending the Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa, I’Connor was so shy at times that her teacher would read her stories aloud anonymously.
F. Scott Fitzgerald: Fitzgerald, known for his keen sense of psychological observation, kept a “Thoughtbook” as a teenager where he wrote his perceptions of his classmates.
Zora Neale Hurston: In order to attend public school for free, Hurston presented herself as 16, when she was really 26 years old. Later, she studied anthropology and became the first African American graduate of Barnard College.
The game retails for $10.95 and is available atwww.notablenovelists.com and other select specialty stores nationwide.
Disclosure: I was provided with a sample of Notable Novelists to facilitate this review but the opinions expressed are my own.