This is probably not the place to admit, I have never read a novel by Jane Austen. (Though I did read Austenland by Shannon Hale and The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, so I have been introduced to how Ms. Austen has influenced the world of literature). Classics have never been my cup of tea; therefore, I have read very few. However, I do enjoy reading biography of authors. Even if they are in a picture book format.
While I am giving Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen: The Story of Six Novels, Three Notebooks, a Writing Box, and One Clever Girl by Deborah Hopkinson a 5, it is probably more of a 4.7 rating. There is some information in the text missing that I would have liked to have read about. Some of it, however, you do learn of in the afterwards. The listing of her novels at the end with information about each is a delightful touch.
Basically, I like this book. I would highly recommend this book to fans of Austen. Or for people who like “girl power” stories. Or if you like history within your story. The illustrations of Qin Leng are lush and colorful. However, the colors are pastel and not overpowering. It has, frankly, a romantic tone to them. It probably matches what Austen has written of. They are fancy, but they are ordinary extraordinary. Austen’s life is told basically and straight forward. It is slightly on the longer side and due to the lack of action, probably not for the more active child. It would make for a better addition to a classroom setting then necessarily a personal library.