Hats off to John Stetson

Hats off to John Stetson

by Mary Blount Christian, Ib Ohlsson

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-- At age nine, John Stetson was an apprentice in his father's hat shop in New Jersey. After it failed, John--then 30--set out on his own. He went to Philadelphia, but as he had consumption, he was advised to go to a warmer climate; he went to St. Joseph, MO. For a while he prospered, but soon he lost all. So he trekked to California to find his fortune in gold--but that was not his luck. However, on his journey he had made a hat to protect himself from sun and rain. It was a funny-looking hat, but it was practical; and John sold it for a $5 gold piece. The rest is history, for Stetson, a failed gold seeker, returned to Philadelphia, modified the shape and style of the hat that would keep off the hot sunlight--and hold water, if need be, and made and sold beaucoup : they were especially popular with Westerners. This is a clear, fascinating, Horatio Alger success story. It reads well, moves well. The squiggly black-line drawings are less impressive. There's also a lot of dialogue, and no bibliography. --George Gleason, Department of English, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield
Carolyn Phelan
This entertaining life story concerns the nineteenth-century American hatmaker who invented the high-crowned, wide-brimmed model still known as the Stetson hat. From the lively ink drawings to the dramatizing tone of the text, "entertaining" is the operative word here. With no source notes or index, the book recalls the glory days of fictionalized biographies for children. Are the scenes, conversations, and thoughts related here accurate in detail, based on fact, or invented to flesh out the bare bones of Stetson's story? While the lack of documentation is disappointing, the book will still find an audience in communities where western gear never goes out of style.

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
7.48(w) x 9.45(h) x (d)
Age Range:
7 - 11 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >