Delany Sisters Reach High

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More About This Book

Editorial Reviews

Asbury Park (N.J.) Press
Hearth is an evocative writer with an appealing, direct style.
Christian Science Monitor
With this book, Hearth has added a significant title to the spectrum of children's literature. — Christian Science Monitor
Dallas Morning News
A wonderful biography [which] will delight readers with educational but fun information.—The Dallas Morning News
Publisher's Weekly
Delivers a striking history lesson.
School Library Journal
A window into life for African-American families in the early 20th century.
The Washington Post
[Tim Ladwig's illustrations are] "sunlit, golden, paradisiacal.—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Offering a children's version of the 1993 adult bestseller Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years, which she co-wrote with the Delanys, Hearth recounts the formative years of Sadie and Bessie Delany, African-American sisters who grew up in Raleigh, N.C., in the 1890s, and in the process delivers a striking history lesson. The structure could be problematic-the story starts with the births of the sisters without offering a clear reason for children to be interested in them. Further, the folksy, journalistic style, which incorporates plentiful quotes from the sisters, creates two temporal settings that the author does not reconcile: the concrete world of the sisters' childhood and the unidentified, abstract plane from which the sisters look back. However, readers will find a vivid picture of the sisters' upbringing and the values instilled by their parents (their mother was a teacher and their father, a former slave, was a minister and vice-principal of Saint Augustine's College). The family stresses the importance of forgiving others, faith in God and hard work. What may be of greatest interest is the contemporaneous views of historical experiences. The girls help elderly former slaves who "never got used to being free" and encounter Jim Crow laws. Ladwig's (Especially Heroes, reviewed below) admiring illustrations of the mostly happy sisters prominently feature the father in his clerical garb, subtly drawing attention to the spiritual subthemes. An endnote describes the sisters' remarkable adult careers. Ages 6-12. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-A glimpse at the early lives of Sadie and Bessie Delany. The girls were 2 of 10 children who grew up in Raleigh, NC. Their father was a minister and their mother was a teacher, and the family lived on the campus of Saint Augustine's College. In an author's note, readers learn why these inspiring women are remembered. Sadie became the first black person to teach domestic science on the high school level in New York City, and Bessie was the second black woman to practice dentistry in New York. Hearth tells of incidents from their childhood, which give a window into life for African-American families in the early 20th century. One example is the description of the first time the girls saw water fountains with signs above them reading "White" and "Black." Anger caused Bessie to drink from the white dipper. A note explains that this title was based on the author's Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years (Kodansha, 1993), written with the Delany sisters, and the ample dialogue reads as though one were actually listening to the siblings reminisce. Ladwig's illustrations, layered in watercolor, oil, and colored pencil, capture the period and events in the characters' daily lives, but the design of the book is not always effective. On several pages, a small amount of text sits at the top, with large areas of blank space below, taking away from the attractiveness of the presentation.-Dorothy N. Bowen, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780687030743
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2003
  • Edition description: Hardback
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.34 (d)

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