Little by Little: A Writer's Education

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This memoir by the prize-winning Canadian children's author invites comparison with Beverly Cleary's recent A Girl from Yamhill. But, even though both authors started writing at early ages and both loved to read, partly to shield themselves from pain, they led profoundly different lives. Born nearly blind in 1932 (among other visual impairments, her eyes were crossed), Little was ostracized by classmates and longed for a close friend. Fortunately, her parentsmedical doctorswere attentive and well-informed about her condition but careful not to be too protective. In high school, Little began ``sorting out when and whether belonging really mattered,'' a theme that has nearly universal appeal. This is one of the better children's books about becoming a writer, but it is also a poised account of growing up with a disability, and no line separates the two. Little makes a gift of herself to readersfunny, spirited and whole. Ages 10-14. (May)
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up Jean Little is an accomplished Canadian writer of fiction for young people. She is also severely visually handicapped, legally blind. In this autobiography that focuses on her life from childhood through college, Little shares with readers the accumulated humiliations and strengths compounded throughout these tender times as she struggled to live as a blind child in a sighted world. With a relentless memory for the cruel and sad anecdotes recalling every ridiculing playground and classroom putdown, she engages readers' sensibilities as well. Although Little attributes much of her strength and determination to her parents, readers may sometimes be left wondering if their ``tough it out on your own, Jean'' attitude didn't often make them right for the wrong reason. A book whose focus is on the durability and inspiration to be found in a solid family commitment and the individual's spirit of hard work and determination. Catherine vanSonnenberg, LaJolla Country Day School, Calif.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670816491
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/1/1988
  • Pages: 224
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.73 (w) x 8.71 (h) x 0.88 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2007

    An Awesome book

    This book tells a story about Jean Little's real life from when she was little until now.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2007

    A reviewer

    this book inspired me to write! its such an amazing story, you wont be able to put it down. Its basically about a girl Jean Little, who feels like an outcast. She has poor vision and has to go through so much intill she finds out that she wants to write. you will fall in love with this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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