The Nobbie Stories for Children and Adults


The Nobbie Stories for Children and Adults

C. L. R. James
Edited and introduced by Constance Webb
Foreword by Anna Grimshaw

120 pages


October 2012


$14.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

After more than a decade in the United States, the Caribbean writer C. L. R. James ran afoul of McCarthyism in 1953 and was deported. In exile in London, he began to write stories in the form of letters to his four-year-old son “Nobbie,” who remained in the States. Through a distinctive, imaginary, and sometimes absurd cast of characters—Good Boongko, Bad boo-boo-loo, Moby Dick, and Nicholas the worker, among others—these stories explore questions of friendship, conflict, community, ethics, and power in humorous and often ingenious ways; they also stand as a moving testament to a father’s struggle to be a vivid presence in the life of his son despite separation and distance.

Attesting to James’s remarkable gifts as a writer and his unusual talent for engaging wide and diverse audiences, these witty and poignant stories, published here for the first time, are not just for James aficionados. Each story is a delight in its own way, making the book irresistible for children and adults alike.

Author Bio


"As an eccentric and engaging collection of homespun stories suitable for children and adults alike, The Nobbie Stories for Children and Adults is to be given high praise and is very strongly recommended for both academic and community library collections.”—Wisconsin Bookwatch/Midwest Book Review

“This collection offers a powerful glimpse into an interesting man and a historical time period and also a timeless lesson about the importance of doing what is right.”—P. J. Kurtz, Choice

“James’s prose is vigorous and clear, and it’s fascinating to see him—who excelled at so many literary forms—trying his hand in an unexpected medium.”—The Caribbean Review of Books

Table of Contents

Foreword  ix
Acknowledgements  xvii
Introduction  xix
Editor's Note  xxiii
1. Serial not Cereal  1
2. The Bomb Threat - Part 1  6
3. The Bomb Threat - Part 2  9
4. Michelangelo and the Statue of David  12
5. The Dirty Snowball and the White Raincoat  15
6. Mighty Mouse and the Conceited Cowboy  17
7. Emperor Jones and the African Drums  20
8. Nobbie's Birthday  23
9. The Teacher Who Feared Rats  24
10. Androcles and the Lion  27
11. The Club Starts a Newspaper  31
12. Bruno and Leo Have a Fight  33
13. Bad Boo-boo-loo Messes Up the Time  37
14. The Ghost at the Window  39
15. Police Proclamation  42
16. The Remarkable Greeks - Part 1  46
17. The Remarkable Greeks - Part 2  49
18. Delphi and Herodotus Discussion  51
19. Roundheads and Cavaliers  55
20. Bad boo-boo-loo Rides in a Horse Race  57
21. The Liverpool Cathedral  62
22. Children in the Resistance  64
23. Ghana Independence  68
24. Sir Lancelot and the Tack  73
25. Apollo  77
26. The Fossil Fight  81
27. Bad Boo-boo-loo and the Shark Fight  86
28. The Shark Fight - Second Installment  87
29. Ulysses - A Great Hero  93
30. Mighty Mouse and the Sinking Ship  97
31. Moby Dick Fights a Strange Eagle  100
32. The Monster in the Park  103
33. The Babysitter  105
34. Bruno the Bulldog Has Heart Pain  108
35. Bruno the Bulldog Has Heart Pain - Continued  110
36. David and Goliath  113
37. Mighty Mouse to the Rescue - Again  116