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Children's LiteratureMilton Meltzer's latest in his series of biographies for middle-grade readers delves into the life and times of the poet Emily Dickinson with intelligence and respect. His picture of the shy young woman—for she seems, like Peter Pan, never to have completely grown up and old—is developed from portraits of her conservative family and Amherst environment, her letters, and most especially her poems. Although Dickinson attended Mt. Holyoke for a year, that was nearly the last of her public appearances or travels. Hermit-like, she spent the rest of her days cloistered in the bosom of her family: caring for her ill, aging mother; piecing together tiny books of poems that she refused to have published. One is left with the image painted by a rare visitor, "A little plain woman . . . in white pique . . . thoroughly ingenuous and simple." But in her mind, Emily Dickinson soared. The volume is handsomely designed and produced, with a reinforced binding. Its thick stock shows off the well-selected photos and period illustrations. This would be a wise addition to any middle- or upper-school library. 2006, Twenty-First Century Books, Ages 10 up.