Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Beecher Preachers

Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Beecher Preachers

4.0 1
by Jean Fritz
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Harriet Beecher Stowe grew up in a family in which her seven brothers were expected to be successful preachers and the four girls were never to speak in public. But slavery made Harriet so angry she couldn't keep quiet. Although she used a pen rather than her voice to convince people of the evils of slavery, she became more famous than any of her brothers. She

…  See more details below

Overview

Harriet Beecher Stowe grew up in a family in which her seven brothers were expected to be successful preachers and the four girls were never to speak in public. But slavery made Harriet so angry she couldn't keep quiet. Although she used a pen rather than her voice to convince people of the evils of slavery, she became more famous than any of her brothers. She firmly believed that words could make change, and by writing Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe hastened the Civil War and changed the course of America history. "Readable and engrossing." — The Horn Bookn"Fritz writes with verve and wit....Many kids will be stimulated to go on from here to find out more." — Booklist (boxed review)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Fritz (Around the World in a Hundred Years) is justly celebrated for her ability to combine wry humor with the salient stories about the subjects of her many biographies. She scores another success with this lively book about the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Fritz's picture of Stowe, however, isn't so much that of an influential writer as it is of a woman struggling to make her voice heard in a family where boys were seen as assets and girls as, simply, not boys. The Beechers, headed by the prominent, iron-willed preacher Lyman Beecher, were both an influential and a tragic family, and they shaped many areas of American thinking and politics. Fritz captures their public and private careers magnificently, in the process unfolding the major events of the Civil War. At the same time, Stowe remains firmly at the center of this well-researched book, and her transformation-from a restless young woman too shy to use her own name in print to a confident speaker whom Lincoln once called ``the little lady who started the great big war''-shines through. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 10-14. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Jean Fritz's fascinating biography establishes Ms Stowe's place in history and her remarkable family's place in the pantheon of preachers. It is not surprising that Harriet wrote about the evils of slavery since her family was opposed to it. What is surprising is her independence and determination to speak out at a time when the only role for women was that of being dutiful wives and mothers. Uncle Tom's Cabin, 1852, sold over 150,000 copies in the first 6 months. Harriet became an international celebrity. Although she continued writing and traveling throughout her life, nothing else was as successful as this first book which is included in the listing of "10 books that have changed the world."
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-With her usual respect for young readers, Fritz explores not only a life, but also a family, an era, and vitally important social movements. With careful scholarship and without fictionalizing, she vividly evokes the people and times and shows the Beechers' strengths and weaknesses in an engaging, immediate style. It's hard not to feel annoyed with the eldest Beecher sister, Catharine, whose intention was to run everyone's life, and with the ineffectual, hypochondriachal Calvin Stowe, whose demands and crotchets would have derailed a lesser woman than Harriet. Readers will admire her from the start-she is described as a bright young girl who would not be ignored, and later as an overworked wife and mother who somehow managed to write in her non-existent spare time. Fritz covers the same information as two other well-done biographies for this age level, but her approach is different. Robert Jakoubek's Harriet Beecher Stowe (Chelsea, 1989) devotes more space to slavery and the Fugitive Slave Act, and Suzanne Coil's Harriet Beecher Stowe (Watts, 1993) is packed with material about the family. In fewer pages, Fritz conveys the same facts while bringing the subject to life. Librarians should not pass on this book just because they own the other two. It has great appeal, and will be read for pleasure as well as for reports.-Sally Margolis, Deerfield Public Library, IL

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780698116603
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
11/28/1998
Series:
Unforgettable Americans Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
409,009
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Jean Fritz, the Newbery Honor-winning author of Homesick, is best known for her engaging and enlightening nonfiction for young readers, including What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin?, And Then What Happened, Paul Revere?, and Shh! We're Writing the Constitution. She was honored with the Knickerbocker Award for Juvenile Literature by the New York State Library Association, and won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for her career contribution to American children's literature.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Beecher Preachers 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
Jean Fritz is a wonderful author of both fiction (e.g., Early Thunder, The Cabin Faced West, and Brady) and biography (e.g., The Double Life of Pocahontas). Harriet Beecher Stowe was one of America's most famous authors, and her Uncle Tom's Cabin is still in almost every list of the ten top books that have changed the world. Mrs. Stowe's father, Lyman Beecher, and her brother, Henry Ward Beecher, were among America's most popular preachers in each of their times. Her husband Calvin Stowe was, unfortunately, instrumental in helping Horace Mann bring the Prussian model of public education to America. Fritz tells the story of Harriet, from her youth, through her marriage, work in the anti-slavery movement, and the Civil War era, to her later life of fame and fortune, weaving information about the lives of her father, mother (who died early in her life), two step-mothers, brothers, sisters, and children into the story. One interesting lesson that can be seen from the book is how one extreme may often lead to another. The strict predestinarian Calvinism of Lyman Beecher played a very formative role in the liberal social gospel of Henry Ward and in even stranger theological phenomena among some of the other Beecher preachers. We did this as a family read aloud and everyone found it very interesting.