Gr 6-9-An easy-to-read biography of Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and Branwell Bront. Guzzetti shows how these children started writing at an early age and only turned back to it when they failed at other careers. She presents the difficulties women faced in getting published and the limited career opportunities for them at the time. Selected poems by Charlotte, Emily, and Anne are included. This well-researched account is interesting as well as informative. The chronological narrative interweaves important events in the subjects' lives and stresses the family members' differing reactions to them. The introductory style won't deter older reluctant readers, but the book isn't sophisticated enough for students who can handle Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Black-and-white photographs and drawings by the Bronts themselves bring their environment to light and provide visual clarity. A detailed index, chronology, and bibliography add to the usefulness of this selection.-Sandra L. Doggett, Linganore High School, Frederick, MD
Reams have been written about the remarkable Bronte family for the adult audience, but there's not much for teenagers. Some may well wonder if a need exists for that age group. After all, if kids are skilled enough to read "Jane Eyre" or "Wuthering Heights" wouldn't they prefer reading an adult biography? Not necessarily; Guzzetti's account may contain just the right amount of information for some readers. Another point in this book's favor is its careful attention to design. The mix of photos and historical art in a clean, crisp format is sure to be more inviting to teens than the usual adult treatment. But this biography succeeds far beyond its visual appeal and ability to supply convenient report material. Guzzetti does an excellent job of bringing the Brontes to life, so much so that even young people who have not read their books will find their lives fascinating--full of tragedy, success, and heartbreak. This very successful effort by a first-time author should readily find a place in public and school libraries.