The Bravest of Us All

Overview

Daring ten-year-old Velma Jean, one of seven brothers and sisters, walks barefoot over sandburs, swims in the new horse tank, even stands up to Alfred the Bull. Every day Velma Jean does something that amazes her siblings. To her sister Ruby Jane, she is the bravest of them all. But when a tornado touches down near the edge of their farm, it is Ruby Jane who must draw upon her inner strength to stand up to the weather and save Velma Jean's ...
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Overview

Daring ten-year-old Velma Jean, one of seven brothers and sisters, walks barefoot over sandburs, swims in the new horse tank, even stands up to Alfred the Bull. Every day Velma Jean does something that amazes her siblings. To her sister Ruby Jane, she is the bravest of them all. But when a tornado touches down near the edge of their farm, it is Ruby Jane who must draw upon her inner strength to stand up to the weather and save Velma Jean's life.

Marsha Diane Arnold, winner of the Marion Vannett Ridgeway Award, tells an exciting story about family love and the bravery it inspires. With vibrant art by Brad Sneed soaring across each page, this suspenseful picture book unfolds quickly, spinning its way into a child's imagination.

Ruby Jane thinks that her sister Velma Jean is the bravest person in her family, but when a tornado comes, Ruby Jane shows that she is very brave herself.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Velma Jean wasn't afraid of anything, well, hardly anything. Of the seven children in this prairie farm family, all of whom have middle names beginning with "J," Velma Jean is the one who is brave enough to walk barefoot across the sandbars, swim in the water tank, face the bull in the field, and wheedle treats from the peddler. Although the farm is set in the bend of a creek, where folk wisdom says no tornado should ever set down, one day a tornado comes, and Ruby Jane finds out what her big sister is afraid of. Brad Sneed's watercolors capture the drama and the peaceful qualities of life on an old-fashioned small farm during the lazy days of summer. His barefoot girls have strong legs below their short cotton dresses, and the barefoot boys are shirtless beneath their faded blue overalls, recalling an earlier time. The front and back jacket art extends the story, with the black funnel cloud bearing down upon the two little girls on the front, and the ruined windmill in aftermath of the storm on the back. This book will lend itself well to reading aloud and discussing courage, friendship, sibling relationships, farm life, and tornadoes, and could be nicely paired with numerous other books about any of these topics. 2000, Dial, Ages 5 to 10, $15.99. Reviewer: Linnea Hendrickson
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-A simple story told with the authenticity of oft-told family history is set in flat, Midwestern farm country (ostensibly Kansas) in an indeterminate time that appears to be the 1920s. Velma Jean is the boldest of all her brothers and sisters, unafraid of breaking colts, of meeting strangers, even of the fierce bull, Alfred. By comparison, her admiring sister Ruby Jane feels quite ordinary. "Somehow, bein' the best kitchen helper wasn't near as exciting as bein' the bravest." But Velma Jean harbors a secret, which is revealed when a tornado brews, and the family must seek shelter in the root cellar. Velma Jean is afraid to be cooped up underground, and it is Ruby Jane who has the courage to go after her sister and urge her to safety. The watercolor illustrations set the scene in a slack and windy style. The children are depicted as skinny and loose-limbed as rag dolls, playing around the horse tank in view of the windmill and sorting through Mama's buttons in the pickle crock. Told in a folksy vernacular that relies a bit too heavily on dropped affixes (`cause, nothin', starvin'), the plot seems as predictable as the iconic sunflowers and the wind. That said, however, the story is not without flavor and may be of particular interest for family-history units.-Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Greenwich, CT Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803724099
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 680L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.82 (w) x 10.78 (h) x 0.43 (d)

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