Who Was Harriet Beecher Stowe?

The  Who Was … ? series books are quite popular at my library for kids with biography assignments. One reason is because Grosset & Dunlap (Penguin) was smart enough to make them each about 100 pages long.  (Teachers, I do wish you would be less strict with page counts, particularly in nonfiction.  Kids miss out on a lot of great books because they’re trying to reach that magic number.)

In any case, the latest entry into the Who Was? series is writer Harriet Beecher Stowe, best known for her book Uncle Tom’s Cabin, or for being, as President Lincoln said,  “the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war.”

Who Was Harriet Beecher Stowe? by Dana Meachen Rau  (2015, Grosset & Dunlap)

The first chapter bears the title of the book, “Who Was Harriet Beecher Stowe?” and gives a very brief synopsis of her life and its impact on history.  Other chapters elaborate on her personal life and her book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  Today’s young readers should find it fascinating that in an age before telephones, radios, televisions and computers, the publication of this one book made Harriet Beecher Stowe a wealthy and well-known celebrity in the U.S. and Europe, and it helped bring about the end of slavery by changing public opinion.

The book is illustrated with black and white drawings, and also contains several double-spread illustrations featuring background information that is necessary to gain an understanding of the era. These inset illustrations explain The Famous Beecher Family, The Underground Railroad, The Congregational Church, and Frederick Douglass.

The story of Harriet Beecher Stowe is a perfect illustration of the power of the pen. Hopefully, it will inspire young readers to seek out a copy of Uncle Tom’s Cabin in the future.

Rounding out the book are time lines and a bibliography.

Who Was Harriet Beecher Stowe? will be on a shelf near you on 4/21/15. My copy was provided by the publisher.

Following on the heels of the Who Was… series’ popularity, there is a  What Was … series and now, a Where Is… series.  Details on all three series may be found on the publisher’s site.  Learn more about Harriet Beecher Stowe at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center.
See all of my news and reviews at Shelf-employed.

Twitter: @shelfemployed

Copyright © 2015 L. Taylor [Shelf-employed]. All Rights Reserved.

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Women’s History Month

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KidLit Celebrates Women’s History Month begins March 1st!

Active only during Women’s History Month,  the annual blog celebration features readers, commenters, and contributors working together to create a dynamic resource of thoughtful and thought-provoking essays, commentaries, and book reviews. Each post is related to children’s literature and women’s history. This year marks the blog’s fifth birthday! 😀

The blog is a great resource for finding new books (especially nonfiction!) and useful links. Previous contributors include Jen Bryant, Andrea Davis Pinkney, Donna Jo Napoli, and Betsy Bird.  Contributors for 2015 include Emily Arnold McCully (Queen of the Diamond), Misty Copeland (Firebird), Michaela McColl (The Revelation of Louisa May), and more.

The complete 2015 lineup may be found on the site’s sidebar.  You can sign up to follow the blog, or receive it via email. Visit the site at http://kidlitwhm.blogspot.com to see “following” options, an archive of past contributions, and links to educational resources.  It’s suitable for parents and teachers, too.

The official Women’s HistoryMonth theme for 2015, is “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives.”

Please join us, beginning March 1, at KidLit Celebrates Women’s History Month!

Kidlit Celebrates Women's History Month

Questions regarding KidLit Celebrates Women’s History Month can be directed to its co-organizers: Margo Tanenbaum, of The Fourth Musketeer and Lisa Taylor of Shelf-employed.

KidLit Celebrates Women’s History Month blog design by Rebekah Louise Designs.

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Pure Grit – a review for Memorial Day

Although Pure Grit has been featured on this blog before, today is a perfect day to revisit it, and offer some useful links.

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Farrell, Mary Cronk. 2014. Pure Grit: How American WWII Nurses Survived Battle and Prison Camp in the Pacific. New York: Abrams.

Mary Cronk Farrell’s latest book chronicles the actions of Army and Navy nurses serving in the Phillipines during WWII. Although amazingly, none of the nurses perished during their harrowing years on the forward battle lines and in prison camps, their service to their country and the fighting men was nothing short of heroic.

Pure Grit is a narrative nonfiction account, told with compelling human details. Photographs, quotes, correspondence, newspaper accounts, maps and military records were combined to create a gripping story that breathes new life into a little-known story that is fading from our collective memory. Farrell was very fortunate to have interviewed the last surviving nurse of the seventy-nine who were taken as POWs by the Japanese.

Containing a Foreward, Introduction, Glossary, List of Nurses, Select Timeline, Endnotes, Bibliography, Web Sites for More Information, Acknowledgments, Image Credits and an exhaustive Index, Pure Grit could easily be considered a scholarly treatise on the topic — but Farrell has chosen to present her topic in a manner that simply cannot be ignored: a compelling story with personal and human details that will appeal to anyone over age 12, with even a passing interest in history.

Links of interest:

 

As you enjoy today’s kick-off to the summer season, perhaps celebrating with friends or family or enjoying a well-deserved day off from work, consider participating in the National Moment of Remembrance.

From the U.S. Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs:

…in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579 …

The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.

See all of my reviews at Shelf-employed.

PURE GRIT by Mary Cronk Farrell

(I hope no one will mind… I posted this on my own blog last Monday, but I wasn’t able to post it here until this week. Enjoy!)

Normally I read every book before I post about it, but–just this once–I was going to cheat. As much as I’ve been dying to read PURE GRIT by Mary Cronk Farrell, my to-do list is huge right now: writing new books, promoting BE A CHANGEMAKER, volunteer projects, critiques, family, pets, home… and let’s not forget, TAXES! To top it off, I’ve been sick way too much this winter. So, I sat down planning to just skim the book for the time being, write the post, and come back later when I had time to settle in, read it in more detail, and take it all in.

PURE GRIT book cover

PURE GRIT book cover

Several hours later, I was surprised to notice the time! I hadn’t checked Twitter or Facebook or even email all day, despite the “helpful” little alerts coming from my phone. I hadn’t even eaten lunch. Instead, I’d spent the better part of the day reading PURE GRIT, in detail, from cover to cover. I simply could. not. put. it. down. An engrossing blend of fact and storytelling, PURE GRIT tells the harrowing tale of U.S. Army and Navy nurses who endured first battle, then internment in the Philippines during WWII. Despite increasingly deplorable conditions, these female POWs continued to help others during their years in the prison camps. Amazingly, every single one of them eventually made it home alive.

I urge you all to devote an afternoon to reading this beautifully done book ASAP, but first, I’m delighted to introduce you to the author, Mary Cronk Farrell, who graciously agreed to answer a few questions for me.

Author Mary Cronk Farrell

PURE GRIT author, Mary Cronk Farrell

LT: Welcome, Mary! Wow, what a powerful book. I learned some valuable lessons and insights from reading it. Other than the facts involved, what did you learn from the process of writing this book?

Sorry, but if you want to read Mary’s answer to this and many other questions about writing PURE GRIT, you’ll have to read the rest on my blog!

Girls Research! Women Scientists for Women’s History Month

It’s Women’s History Month, and what better way to celebrate than learning about groundbreaking women with Girls Research!: Amazing Tales of Female Scientists (Girls Rock!)  by Jennifer Phillips?

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Sometimes it may seem like there were only a few significant women scientists in the past because the same names keep popping up.  This book changes all that by giving brief overviews of the lives of 56 women scientists. That’s right, 56! Some are famous, some are lost in the annals of history, but all made important contributions to the field of science and medicine.

Girls Research! is the perfect jumping off place to start a research project into women’s history. When children come to you with instructions that their report that must be from a book that is at least 100 pages long, hand them this 64 page book and let them figure out which stories make them want to learn more.

See the full review at Wrapped in Foil.

Looking for more? Try our list of 21 Children’s Books about Women Scientists at Science Books for Kids.

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