Nellie Bishop

Nellie Bishop

by Clara Gillow Clark, Andrea Shine
     
 

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Set in the late 1800s in a rough Pennsylvania canal town, this is the dramatic and moving story of a young girl's struggle for independence, freedom, and dignity in the face of overwhelming odds. This book eloquently captures the daily life of the working poor and the limited choices for a young person growing up there.  See more details below

Overview

Set in the late 1800s in a rough Pennsylvania canal town, this is the dramatic and moving story of a young girl's struggle for independence, freedom, and dignity in the face of overwhelming odds. This book eloquently captures the daily life of the working poor and the limited choices for a young person growing up there.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ann Van Deusen
Nellie is almost 14 and just graduated from common school in a canal town of the late 1880's. She is aware that her mother intends to marry her off to the highest bidder at the earliest opportunity, and escapes the house as often as she can with her younger brother, Willie. With a gambling, alcoholic father and an abusive mother, Nellie has learned the hard side of life early and has no interest in her mother's plans. She struggles to find a way to earn money and live away from home without having to get married, and finds a job in a tailor shop. Before she can start, her father auctions her off to a blacksmith from a farm outside of town. Full of tension from the first line, this short novel should be one that readers quickly find and pass around. Like the author's first novel Annie's Choice, this one is also based on a family member, a great-grandmother who actually happily married the blacksmith and raised a large family. Readers of historical fiction will not be sorry-to find this fine book.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 7-9-Book-loving Nellie is proud to have completed common school, but is disheartened by the grim future her mother has planned for her. In 1886 there is little else for a canal worker's daughter but marriage to the man of her family's choosing. Nellie's pipe-smoking mother crudely gloats that none of her daughters went for free. Dressed in the same "man catching" costume her sisters had worn, adorned with cheap rubber jewelry, and prodded toward the dance hall by her stick-wielding mother; 13-year-old Nellie vows she won't "be pleasing" to a man. For she knows her hard-drinking father will only gamble the marriage money away and that her little brother needs her help to become a respectable newspaper man. Seeking rare independence, she obtains the promise of a job with some tailors, but her parents become more sinister than ever. When Nellie's brother runs away, the intrusion of a strange gentleman frightens her even more, but he is eventually her salvation. Based on the life of the author's great-grandmother, this story is rich with historical detail. The sights, sounds, smells, and even the litter of the 19th-century Pennsylvania canal town seem especially authentic. Nellie's exploration of economic, social, and moral contrasts is neatly dovetailed with story elements. Although the plot has its near melodramatic moments, it is an exciting read with a satisfying ending and a feisty heroine.-Cindy Darling Codell, Clark Middle School, Winchester, KY

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781563976421
Publisher:
Boyds Mills Press
Publication date:
09/28/2003
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
5.46(w) x 8.27(h) x 0.44(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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