The Letters of Elinore Stewart Pruitt,Woman Homesteader

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
In 1909, Elinore Stewart agreed to be a housekeeper for a cattle rancher in Wyoming. This slim but information packed book is a record of the letters Elinore wrote to a friend in Denver over the next few years. Beginning with an introduction, young readers meet the gritty and determined Elinore. They will learn about her background and about her hard life as a homesteader. Beautiful color illustrations are found throughout and enhance the text. Elinore's letters describe the beauty of the new land she had come to from Colorado. "It seemed as if we were driving through a golden haze. The violet shadows creeping up the hills, while the snow-capped peaks were catching the last rays." The filing of a claim for land, building a log house, the coming of a new baby and snowstorms that leave ten to fifteen feet of snow are described in Elinore's letters. The letters also reveal to the reader that in spite of great hardships, holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas are celebrated with great feasting and joy. A variety of pages throughout the text offer background information on a variety of subjects such as: frontier medicine, children in the West, Wyoming, and where the buffalo roam. The narrative is clear and written with details that will appeal to the readers senses. End notes include a glossary, resources to learn more about ranching and homesteading, websites about women in the west and an index. This is a good resource for the home, classroom or school library. 2003, Benchmark Books, Ages 9 to 12.
— Sue Reichard
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-The past comes strikingly to light in these first-person accounts. Stewart made a fresh start for herself and her baby daughter by homesteading in Wyoming in 1909. Through a series of letters to a friend in Denver, she describes the wide-open land, fierce snowstorms, lively neighbors, and her marriage to a rancher. By contrast, Taylor's story is told through excerpts from a self-published autobiography. As a black nurse during the Civil War, Taylor ministered to soldiers in the Union's all-black units. She traveled with them throughout most of the conflict and witnessed many battles. She also writes about the difficulties her people faced in the years after the war. These accessible books read like fiction. However, as primary documents, they relate details and events that lend an air of authenticity and provide a balanced portrayal of life. An editor's note explains that the texts have been abridged for clarity. Each woman emerges as strong and extraordinary as she becomes the hero of her own story. Both titles contain full-color illustrations and sidebars providing historical background. Fans of the "Dear America" series (Scholastic) and the "American Girls" collection (Pleasant Co.) will enjoy these real-life historical adventures.-Kristen Oravec, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Strongsville, OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761416456
  • Publisher: Cavendish, Marshall Corporation
  • Publication date: 1/28/2003
  • Series: In My Own Words 2
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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