Alice Ramsey's Grand Adventureby Don Brown
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On June 9, 1909, twenty-two-year-old Alice Ramsey climbed behind the wheel of a Maxwell touring car. Fifty-nine days later she rolled into San Francisco, becoming the first woman to drive across America. "Brown describes an astonishing feat without fanfare or needless adulation . . . . [he] leaves the story spare and true, with touches of humor. . . . It's quite a story, and Brown reminds readers that it's also quite a triumph." -- Kirkus Reviews, pointer
In delicate watercolors, using a palette and pen-and-wash technique familiar from his first book, Brown tells the story of Alice Ramsey, the first woman to drive across America. She undertook her venture in 1909 with three women and a promise of car-repair assistance from the Maxell company, maker of the touring car and sponsor of the trip. Her journey offers readers a unique perspective on the US at that time: It was varied (hogs in the farmland, miles of railroad track in Chicago, gravelly arroyos in Wyoming) and vast (the seemingly limitless horizon of Nebraska and little more than a sandy path through Nevada). An arrival in San Francisco is enlivened by much flag-waving in the illustration, one more variation on the compositions that reveal cool nights, hot sunny plains, and lush mountainous forests. Brown leaves the story spare and true, with touches of humor; readers have enough information to pursue facts in other books, among them Patricia Rusch Hyatt's Coast to Coast With Alice (1995). It's quite a story, and Brown quietly reminds readers that it's also quite a triumph.
"Brown describes an astonishing feat without fanfare or needless adulation . . . . [he] leaves the story spare and true, with touches of humor. . . . It's quite a story, and Brown reminds readers that it's also quite a triumph." Kirkus Reviews with Pointers
“The author of RUTH LAW THRILLS A NATION pays admiring tribute to the first woman to drive across the United States — an uncommonly daring feat in 1909, before the days of interstates, road maps, or gas stations . . . truly a grand adventure.” School Library Journal, Starred
Meet the Author
Don Brown is the award-winning author and illustrator of many picture book biographies. He has been widely praised for his resonant storytelling and his delicate watercolor paintings that evoke the excitement, humor, pain, and joy of lives lived with passion. School Library Journal has called him “a current pacesetter who has put the finishing touches on the standards for storyographies.” He lives in New York with his family.
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