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School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up
This compact biography makes excellent connections between the themes of social and economic justice found in Steinbeck's work and the changes that were occurring in America around the time of the Depression. Meltzer explains that though this complicated and somewhat withdrawn man endured many problems in his personal life, he became an advocate for the poor and mistreated. He also details how Steinbeck's strong relationships with displaced farmers and other migrant workers forced to live in gruesome conditions eventually inspired him to write The Grapes of Wrath . Teens may be surprised to learn that this work led to accusations of Steinbeck being a communist and to death threats. Meltzer's language is concise and easy to understand, and powerful excerpts from Steinbeck's work are integrated throughout. A dozen or so small, black-and-white photographs of Steinbeck at different stages of his life are included. This short, appealing, and authoritative work is a great pick for biography collections.
—Emily Anne ValenteCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.