Harriet Beecher Stowe: Author and Advocate

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA
History sparkles in this new series. The entries in these volumes focus on the movers and shakers on both sides of the slavery issue. Filled with photographs, paintings, and maps, these action-packed biographies read like fiction. Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, originally wrote it as a newspaper serial. Caught off guard by the story's instant success, Stowe, too, never stopped her tireless efforts to end slavery, despite the hate mail that the book generated. This shy woman found herself thrust into the spotlight. Wildly popular in Europe, she spent years speaking against slavery. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln dubbed her "the little lady who wrote the book that started this great war." Haugen fills out the rest of Stowe's influential life with rich detail and illuminating sidebars. This entire beautifully wrought series, which also includes books on Frederick Douglass, Robert E. Lee, and William Lee Garrison among others, is highly recommended for school and public libraries. (Signature Lives: Civil War Era). VOYA CODES: 5Q 4P M J (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2005, Compass Point Books, 112p.; Glossary. Index. Illus. Photos. Maps. Charts. Biblio. Source Notes. Further Reading. Chronology., PLB . Ages 11 to 15.
—Beth E. Andersen
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-These biographies of individuals connected to the Civil War are visually attractive, with appealing covers, maps, and numerous illustrations (both black and white and color). Unfortunately, the contents stand in poor contrast to the pretty pictures. Garrison and Stowe contain misspellings, internal inconsistencies, major errors, and numerous omissions. Garrison is also sloppily researched, with 10 of 12 footnotes incorrectly quoted from their sources. Douglass, meanwhile, is woefully unbalanced, devoting two-thirds of the book to his time as a slave (through age 20) and the rest to his remaining-impressive and influential-57 years of life. Crucial omissions and explanations pile up endlessly. Of the available titles on Douglass, Sharman Russell's Frederick Douglass (Chelsea House, 1989) is the most thorough and complete. Jean Fritz's Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Beecher Preachers (Putnam, 1994) is excellent, although it ends at the conclusion of the Civil War.-Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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