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Summary

Narrator Gladys Cailiff is 11 years old in 1938 when a new schoolteacher turns Threestep, Georgia, upside down. Miss Grace Spivey is a well-traveled young woman who believes in field trips, Arabian costumes, and reading aloud from her 10-volume set of The Thousand Nights and a Night.

The real trouble begins when she decides to revive the annual town festival as an exotic Baghdad bazaar. Miss Spivey and her project transform the lives of everyone around her: Gladys’ older brother Force (with his movie-star looks), their pregnant sister May (a gifted storyteller herself), and especially the Cailiffs’ African American neighbor, young Theo Boykin, whose creative genius becomes the key to a colorful, hidden history of the South.

Populated by unforgettable characters—including three impressive camels—The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia rides a magic carpet from a segregated schoolroom in Georgia to the banks of the Tigris—and back again—in an entrancing feat of storytelling.

Mary Helen Stefaniak is the prize-winning author of The Turk and My Mother and Self Storage and Other Stories. She lives in Omaha and Iowa City.

©2010 Mary Helen Stefaniak (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic reviews

"A novel fairly brimming with inventive storytelling and comic brio." (Booklist)
"Stefaniak delivers a deeply engaging story.... In the tradition of Scheherazade, stories are told within stories, by many tellers, creating a nesting doll of events for the young Gladys to get to the bottom of." (Publishers Weekly)

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Larraine
  • stretford, lancashire, United Kingdom
  • 31-01-11

Perfect listen

Spellbinding,enchanting,and in places heartwrenching but full of unexpected twists with layer upon layer of interwoven stories. Not my usual read/listen but I am so glad I did - can't wait to listen again and again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lorna
  • 21-05-13

Could become a classic!

A really good story, that could become a classic. A well written and narrated book that was quircky, jaunty, sweet and full of bounce and love and heartache and joy and good good feelings! Worth your download!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful