Polly Vaughn: A Traditional British Ballad

Polly Vaughn: A Traditional British Ballad

by Barry Moser

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up-- Montagues and Capulets, Hatfields and McCoys, Randalls and Vaughns: echoing literary history, Jimmy Randall proposes to childhood sweetheart Polly Vaughn, despite a longstanding family feud. A week before their wedding day, mistaking his bride for a deer, Jimmy accidentally kills her and is brought to trial for murder. Polly's ghost is the only one to defend Jimmy and the lovers are reunited only in death. Moser fleshes out an Appalachian ballad with full characters and a vivid setting. After a few cloying kidbits and countryisms, such as ``kinleygarten,'' ``chile,'' ``Jimmer,'' he lets the story, as good stories will, tell itself. Dark watercolor character studies are typical of Moser's impeccable style. Artistic in every way, the illustrations, layout, print, even the paper are an experience in fine bookmaking. The redheaded lovers are not pretty, just real, almost breathing. The traditional ballad came from England and Ireland where it was known as ``Molly Bawn.'' Moser quotes two lines from one version in his afterword. Complete words and music would have been a plus, but all those who enjoy a romantic ghost story will never forget Polly Vaughn. --Helen Gregory, Grosse Pointe Public Library, MI

Product Details

Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
8.66(w) x 11.02(h) x (d)
Age Range:
7 Years

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