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Bookfinder.com just released its 2008 top 10 requested out of print books.  Robb Whites The Lions Paw is ranked #1 as the most requested out of print children's book.  You can get it now. Click here to buy The Lions Paw.

Book Reviews

ROBB WHITE:  Seeking Adventure and Long-Lost Books

 

Williamsport (Pa.) Sun-Gazette, 14 June 2009

 

Joseph W. Smith III

changsmith2@msn.com

 

When it comes to Robb White, it's tough to say which was more exciting - his life or his books.

For most folks, though, the tougher question is, "Who's Robb White?"

The late author - who would have turned 100 next Saturday - penned adventure novels, TV scripts and horror-movie screenplays. Though most of his books are out of print, his devoted fans have a fondness for his work that borders on obsession.

Most of White's 27 books are aimed at younger readers, many of whom first encountered him through the Scholastic reading program in public schools 40 or 50 years ago; like me, they were captivated by the powerful authenticity and breathless action in such stories as "Secret Sea," "Flight Deck," "Up Periscope," "The Survivor" and "Torpedo Run."

But White's legendary 1946 novel "The Lion's Paw" has proven the most enduring - and perhaps the most elusive.

Of the 79 reader-reviews at Amazon.com, 77 give the book five stars, calling the story of three kids on a sailboat "engrossing," "wonderful," "timeless," "enchanting," "excellent," "fantastic," "mesmerizing," "beautifully written" and "absolutely incredible."

But the word that seems to come up most often is "favorite."

One reviewer wrote:

"This book changed my life ... This was the book that opened the door for me, that showed me just how wonderful reading can be. I have read and reread my original beat-up paperback version many, many times."

Yet the book was out of print for years, and those aging paperbacks proved hard to come by. Last year, Bookfinder.com listed "Lion's Paw" as America's most sought-after out-of-print children's book.

Originally priced under $1, it regularly sold for $50 on eBay, with pristine hardbacks netting 10 times that amount.

But now, a splendid new reprint, complete with drawings and jacket design from the original Doubleday hardback, can be purchased through Amazon, eBay, thelionspaw.org, selected retailers (including Otto's) or the Ingram Book Group.

White's third wife and life-long friend, Annie, explains: "My daughter Leslie and I receive mail daily from many readers who proclaim 'The Lion's Paw' their favorite book ever!"

So they formed A.W. INK to reissue White's work - starting with 20,000 copies of "Lion's Paw," currently stored in their Utah garage and sold individually by phone or Internet.

Having moved about 10,000 so far, they hope to reprint other White titles soon.

Yet when it comes to Robb White, finding long-lost books is only half the excitement. He lived a life most folks only dream about.

Born to missionaries in the Philippines, White grew up among Igorot natives, whom he called "absolutely superb people" - even though they ate several of the family's dogs.

White later moved to the U.S., where he graduated from Annapolis with the rank of ensign in 1931.

Working on a "floating school" in the 1930s, White one night swam ashore from two miles out when the schooner was crippled in a December storm.

He married Rodie Mason in 1937 and the couple settled in the Caribbean, eventually purchasing an uninhabited eight-acre island, Marina Cay, for $60.

The Whites spent three years on this barren atoll, digging a cistern out of rocky ground and building themselves a small, sturdy house.

They weathered a typhoon, a flirtatious Nazi skipper, a boatload of Jewish refugees and a surprise visit from White's mother-in-law.

After Pearl Harbor, White was recalled to military duty, earning nine medals, serving on battleships, submarines and aircraft carriers, and fighting in the Battle of Leyte Gulf near his birthplace. White drew heavily on these experiences for his later novels.

In the 1950s and 1960s, White wrote episodes of TV's "Perry Mason" and teamed with horror director William Castle for a series of cheap but successful thrillers, including "Macabre," "Thirteen Ghosts," "The Tingler" and "The House on Haunted Hill."

White was a member of Harvard's 1950 anthropological expedition to the Middle East. He lived in California, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, England, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, the West Indies and the French Riviera.

He died on Thanksgiving in 1990.

White's daughter Bailey is an NPR commentator who reminisces about her father in several of her books.

White's son, Robb IV (1941-2006), was a boat-builder whose collected writings were released June 1 under the title "Flotsam and Jetsam."

My own White obsession began when I fell in love with "Flight Deck" in middle school; it was reignited in the 1990s when I found an ancient but sturdy copy at Cady's News Stand downtown.

After years of Internet searches and more cash outlays than I care to admit, my collection of White's books was finally completed this spring when I nailed an affordable British edition of the very rare "Sailor in the Sun" (cheapest copy now available: $700).

I recommend "Sail Away," "No Man's Land," "Silent Ship, Silent Sea" and White's memoir of his amazing Caribbean adventure, "Our Virgin Island."

Here's hoping A.W. INK brings these back too.

 

 

 

Essential Reading: BookFinder.com Unveils the

 

Top 10 Out-of-Print Books in America

 

BERKELEY, Calif., Dec 17, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- U.S. publishers are responding to heavy demand for out-of-print books by bringing them back into print. Three of the ten books in BookFinder.com's 2008 list of the most sought after out-of-print books in America will go back into print in 2009 ("Once a Runner: A Novel," "A Lion Called Christian," and "Comanche Heart"). Two more titles, "The Lion's Paw" and "Football Scouting Methods," would have been included in the top 10 if they had not been pushed into print this fall.

 

The sixth annual BookFinder.com top 10 out-of-print "bestseller" list also features books on "do it yourself" themes, ranging from distance running to woodworking to hand knitting. "From 98 to 99% of all books ever published are now out-of-print, so they don't show up in traditional bestseller lists," says Anirvan Chatterjee, BookFinder.com founder. "Without big marketing budgets behind them, these books have been getting buzz the old-fashioned way: reader word of mouth."

 

The top 10 most sought-after out of print books in America, based on BookFinder.com's analysis of national demand trends:

 

1)  "Once a Runner: A Novel" (1978) by John L. Parker, Jr.; cult classic
        distance running novel, coming back into print April 2009
        (BookFinder.com Report 2008 #1 Fiction and Literature title)
    2)  "Sex" (1992) by Madonna; the pop icon's book of erotic photos, a
        perennial favorite (BookFinder.com Report 2008 #1 Arts and Music
        title)
    3)  "Promise Me Tomorrow" (1984) by Nora Roberts; early novel that the
        bestselling romance novelist refuses to reprint (BookFinder.com Report
        2008 #2 Fiction and Literature title)
    4)  "Murmurs of Earth: The Voyager Interstellar Record" (1978) by Carl
        Sagan; the first great era of space exploration (BookFinder.com Report
        2008 #1 Popular Science and Technology title)
    5)  "Carpentry for Beginners: How to use tools, basic joints, workshop
        practice, designs for things to make" (1900) by Charles H. Hayward;
        prolific carpentry author and former mayor of Victoria, British
        Columbia
    6)  "A Lion Called Christian" (1972) by Anthony "Ace" Bourke and John
        Rendall; a memoir about a pet lion, coming back into print April 2009,
        the video featuring a reunion between Christian and the authors become
        a YouTube sensation earlier this year:
         http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjWtRYaxmWM
    7)  "Comanche Heart" (1991) by Catherine Anderson; coming back into print
        June of 2009, "Comanche Heart" is the second book in the Comanche
        series; in 2008, the first book, "Comanche Moon" was reissued and
        placed on the "New York Times" bestseller list
    8)  "Legally Sane" (1972) by Jon K. Hahn with Harold C. McKenney;
        investigation of an international killing spree and the chilling
        accounts of a psychopathic murderer (BookFinder.com Report 2008 #1
        Mysteries and Thrillers title)
    9)  "Woodworker's Essential Shop Aids and Jigs; Original Devices You Can
        Make" (1992) by Robert Wearing; indispensable resource for "do it
        yourself" craftsmen
    10) "The Principles of Knitting: Methods and Techniques of Hand Knitting"
        (1989) by June Hemmons Hiatt; ultimate comprehensive handbook for the
        knitters (BookFinder.com Report 2008 #3 Crafts, Hobbies and How-To
        title)

 

The aforementioned BookFinder.com Report is a more in-depth analysis of out-of-print book demand. The 2008 Report tracks demand trends between July 2007 and June 2008: http://report.bookfinder.com/

 

Since 1997, BookFinder.com has been one of the best ways to find and locate the best prices on new, used, rare, and out-of-print books online. The comparison shopping engine has an inventory of over 150 million books available for sale from a network of 150,000 booksellers from over 50 countries, making it the world's largest searchable book inventory available anywhere, online or off.

 

SOURCE BookFinder.com

http://www.bookfinder.com

 

Copyright (C) 2008 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

Family of Children’s Author Robb White Republish The Beloved,

Long Out-of-Print “The Lion’s Paw”

 

[New York, NY November 12, 2008].  -- The beloved children’s classic The Lion’s Paw, written by award-winning children’s novelist Robb White (Deathwatch), is back in print for the first time in decades.

Children’s classic adventure novel “The Lion’s Paw”, one of the most sought after out-of-print books of all time is back in print through the self-publishing efforts of the author’s family. “The Lion’s Paw” is the first of a series of books written by popular children’s novelist Robb White to be published by the family’s own publishing imprint, A.W. INK, Inc. 

The Lion's Paw is an uplifting story of brother and sister orphans who team up with a boy whose U.S. Navy Lt. boat builder father is MIA during World War II.  The three children are chased on a thrilling adventure steering a sailboat hundreds of miles through the inland waterways of Florida - from Stuart on the Atlantic Coast all the way to the Island of Captiva in the Gulf of Mexico - keeping one step ahead of the Coast Guard, bounty hunters, alligators and tropical storms that threaten to deprive them of their quest for freedom and the boy’s mission to fulfill a promise he made to his father. The Lion's Paw is a timeless story of children learning to blend their skills and strengths to overcome all obstacles, to work as a team and to trust each other.

The Lion's Paw, originally published in hardcover by Doubleday in 1946 and in paperback by Scholastic in 1954, has been out of print for many years.  Copies of the Doubleday and Scholastic editions go for hundreds of dollars on eBay, Alibris and other rare book selling websites, and The Lion's Paw has been listed as one of the Top 10 Most Sought After Out-of-Print Books year after year by Bookfinder.com.

While Robb White was well-known for his collaboration with innovative horror film producer William Castle, writing the screenplays for such landmark films as HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, THIRT13EN GHOSTS and THE TINGLER, he is best known for the nearly two-dozen adventure novels written for younger readers over a distinguished forty-year career as a leading children’s author, from his earliest work, The Nub (1935) to his last work Fire Storm (1979).

Murray Weiss, President of Literal Media, which manages the literary works of Robb White, said, “As many children/young adult publishers are more focused on the “next Harry Potter”, the family of Robb White has decided to take matters into their own hands by republishing The Lion's Paw in hardcover through their own self-publishing imprint this fall. The book has been cherished by several generations of kids who by now have children and grandchildren of their own, and who will now have the opportunity to read The Lion's Paw for themselves”.

Leslie Saunders, Publisher at A.W. INK, Inc., which has just released The Lion’s Paw, said, “For years, my family has received emotional fan mail from hundreds who read, or were read The Lion’s Paw out load by a grade school teacher, and fell in love with the moving story of Ben, Penny and Nick as they courageously overcome huge obstacles to reach freedom.”  Robb White’s widow, Annie White said, “reintroducing The Lion’s Paw to generations of old and new readers is a celebration of love for our family and we hope to see the book back in school libraries and public libraries across the country.”   Annie White said, “my daughter, Leslie and I receive mail daily from many readers who proclaim “The Lion’s Paw” to be their favorite book ever!   Many fans claim the book encouraged their desire to read, and thus had a huge impact on the rest of their lives.  We believe The Lion’s Paw will become a terrific family-friendly movie.”

The new hardcover edition of The Lion’s Paw with a handsome dust jacket featuring the original illustrations of Ralph Ray, is currently available at www.thelionspaw.com , The Lion’s Paw Store on Amazon.com, and also via Ingram, and at your local bookstore.  For autographed copies and credit card wholesale orders contact A.W. INK, Inc. by phone 801-694-0533 or via email at les@thelionspaw.org.  For wholesale P.O. orders, contact Brigham Distributing, at www.brighamdistributing.com,  by phone 435-723-6611, or via email brigdist@sisna.com.

Watch www.thelionspaw.org where A.W. INK plans to announce the next Robb White title to be published.

 

The Lion’s Paw: The Return of a Great Children’s Book - US News and Report

October 01, 2008 11:14 AM ET | John Aloysius Farrell | Permanent Link

 

A great children's book has sturdy elements. A dangerous quest, of course, for a magical sword or ring. A missing parent, or two. A deadly confrontation with evil.

Colorful and fantastic figures—pirates or witches or the odd school of wizardry—are generally employed to move the plot along.

So what is the appeal of a quest that takes place in the very real backwoods of Florida in the 1940s and involves three American kids named Nick and Ben and Penny for a knobby seashell called a lion's paw?

Well, I guess it is a mixed appeal. Robb White's children's book masterpiece, The Lion's Paw, has a rather unique status. According to the used and rare book website BookFinder.com, White's book is the most sought-after out-of-print kids' book in the land.

Now there's a backhanded compliment for an author.

I read and reread The Lion's Paw as a boy and dug up a copy for my kids (and me) a few years back. And so I cheered when I saw the ad in the New York Times Review of Books announcing that The Lion's Paw is in print again, in a custom version from Amazon or by direct mail order.

The teenage Ben is the keeper of his dad's sailboat, and memory—as his father has been declared missing, likely killed in action, in battle in the South Pacific. Ben lives in a marina on the Atlantic Coast of Florida, dreading the day, fast approaching, when his uncle will make him sell the boat and accept the grim fact that his father is never coming back.

Nick and Penny are younger runaways from an orphanage who hide out on Ben's boat. He tells them of his crazy notion that somehow his dad will return if he can only meet the challenge once given him by his father: to find a rare shell, the lion's paw. The young orphans persuade Ben to take on the quest and join him on his journey.

And so they set off through the rivers and canals and the swamps of central Florida, with Ben's uncle and the Coast Guard and bounty hunters giving chase, for the Gulf of Mexico and the then-wild beaches of Captiva Island, where the lion's paw might be found. The book reaches its climax in a mighty storm at sea, and a desperate flight for freedom, with the forces of evil closing in.

Great stuff.

White, an accomplished novelist and screenwriter who died some years back, was no Twain or Shakespeare. But it takes real talent to set the hero's quest in a contemporary setting and realistic style. Joseph Campbell would approve.

 

 

 
 
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