That Book Woman

That Book Woman

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416908128
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 10/07/2008
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 185,086
Product dimensions: 10.10(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile: AD920L (what's this?)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

Heather Henson lives on a farm in Kentucky with her husband and three children, and is the author of several critically acclaimed picture books and novels, including the Christopher Award–winning That Book Woman and Dream of Night.

David Small is the Caldecott Award–winning illustrator of So You Want to Be President? by Judith St. George. He also received Caldecott Honors for The Gardener by Sarah Stewart and One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo. He’s illustrated dozens of other award-winning books, including That Book Woman by Heather Henson and The Underneath by Kathi Appelt, and lives in Michigan with his wife, Sarah Stewart.

Reading Group Guide

THAT BOOK WOMAN
By Heather Henson
Illustrated by David Small
ABOUT THIS BOOK
High up on a mountain, right near the tippy-top, Cal and his family squeak out a living with their farm. There's no time for visiting or reading or learning, and that suits Cal just fine. But then a woman starts coming around with loads of books for borrowing, and Cal has to wonder if there's something to this reading after all.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
What does Cal think about school and learning? Does it help the family survive on their mountain? How does Cal feel when Lark reads or tries to teach others?
Why is it so strange for the family to see a woman ride up with the books? Is there anything that would make a woman better for this job than a man?
Why is Cal so angry when his father offers up the poke of berries in exchange for the books? Does he change his mind about giving the book woman something in exchange for her work?
The book woman accepts very little from the people that she visits — she won't take payment for the books or shelter from the storms. Why? Why do you think the families keep trying to give her things?
What makes Cal decide to learn to read? Why would it have been hard for him to ask Lark to teach him?
Describe how Cal's face looks in the beginning of the book, when he talks about reading, and when the book woman first starts coming around. Does the expression on his face change as the story continues? How?
Why do you think we never see the book woman's face in any of the pictures?
Does Cal talk like someone who never reads? Does he use fancy words or expressions? If his way of talking doesn't come from books, where does it come from?
What kinds of things does Cal learn before he knows how to read? Where does he learn them?
Is it important for Cal and his family to learn to read? What will it do for them?
ACTIVITIES
Working as a group, explore the history of libraries. Where was the first library? Are there other programs, like the Pack Horse Librarians, where books are brought to the people?
In any community, there are people who like books and stories but don't have access to them. Find a nursing home, hospital, homeless shelter, or doctor's office that needs books, and collect donations for them.
David Small's illustrations capture the feeling of living on a mountain and the love that the family members have for one another. Draw a picture of your home or family, and show what makes you special.
The Pack Horse Librarians must have loved books a lot, if they were willing to dedicate their lives and put themselves in danger just to share them. Choose one or two of your favorite books and tell others what they are about and why you like them.
Cal and his family live in the Appalachian Mountains. Look up some facts about this unique region and the problems that its people have faced over the years.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
HEATHER HENSON is the author of Making the Run and Angel Coming. A former editor, she resides in Kentucky.
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR
DAVID SMALL was awarded a Caldecott Medal for So You Want to Be President? and the Caldecott Honor for The Gardener. He has illustrated many other books, including When Dinosaurs Came with Everything and The Underneath. He lives in Mendon, Michigan.
This reading group guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.

Introduction

THAT BOOK WOMAN
By Heather Henson
Illustrated by David Small

ABOUT THIS BOOK

High up on a mountain, right near the tippy-top, Cal and his family squeak out a living with their farm. There's no time for visiting or reading or learning, and that suits Cal just fine. But then a woman starts coming around with loads of books for borrowing, and Cal has to wonder if there's something to this reading after all.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

What does Cal think about school and learning? Does it help the family survive on their mountain? How does Cal feel when Lark reads or tries to teach others?

Why is it so strange for the family to see a woman ride up with the books? Is there anything that would make a woman better for this job than a man?

Why is Cal so angry when his father offers up the poke of berries in exchange for the books? Does he change his mind about giving the book woman something in exchange for her work?

The book woman accepts very little from the people that she visits — she won't take payment for the books or shelter from the storms. Why? Why do you think the families keep trying to give her things?

What makes Cal decide to learn to read? Why would it have been hard for him to ask Lark to teach him?

Describe how Cal's face looks in the beginning of the book, when he talks about reading, and when the book woman first starts coming around. Does the expression on his face change as the story continues? How?

Why do you think we never see the book woman's face in any of the pictures?

Does Cal talk like someone who never reads? Does he use fancy words or expressions? If his way of talking doesn't come from books, where doesit come from?

What kinds of things does Cal learn before he knows how to read? Where does he learn them?

Is it important for Cal and his family to learn to read? What will it do for them?

ACTIVITIES

Working as a group, explore the history of libraries. Where was the first library? Are there other programs, like the Pack Horse Librarians, where books are brought to the people?

In any community, there are people who like books and stories but don't have access to them. Find a nursing home, hospital, homeless shelter, or doctor's office that needs books, and collect donations for them.

David Small's illustrations capture the feeling of living on a mountain and the love that the family members have for one another. Draw a picture of your home or family, and show what makes you special.

The Pack Horse Librarians must have loved books a lot, if they were willing to dedicate their lives and put themselves in danger just to share them. Choose one or two of your favorite books and tell others what they are about and why you like them.

Cal and his family live in the Appalachian Mountains. Look up some facts about this unique region and the problems that its people have faced over the years.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

HEATHER HENSON is the author of Making the Run and Angel Coming. A former editor, she resides in Kentucky.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR

DAVID SMALL was awarded a Caldecott Medal for So You Want to Be President? and the Caldecott Honor for The Gardener. He has illustrated many other books, including When Dinosaurs Came with Everything and The Underneath. He lives in Mendon, Michigan.

This reading group guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.

Heather Henson grew up in Kentucky and recently returned to her home state after spending many years in Brooklyn, New York, where she worked as an editor of children's books and a freelance writer. She now lives on a farm with her husband, Tim and three children, and is the author of several picture books and novels, including That Book Woman.

David Small is the Caldecott Award-winning illustrator of So You Want to Be President? by Judith St. George. He received a Caldecott Honor medal for The Gardener by Sarah Stewart. He has also illustrated many other beloved picture books, which include The Library and The Journey, both by Sarah Stewart, and Imogene's Antlers, which he also wrote. He lives in Michigan with his wife, Sarah Stewart.

Customer Reviews

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That Book Woman 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
This was kind of sweet. The story was also good.
LucaBabe More than 1 year ago
Children will enjoy this lively story of a boy and how reading becomes important to him. A must for any elementary teacher!
easyreader50SV More than 1 year ago
I consider myself a bookwoman; my license plate is BKWOMAN. When I saw the title of this book, I had to have it. The story is from the viewpoint of a rural North Carolina reluctant reader during the depression. It's written in the dialect of the area and the times. The pack horse librarians brought books to isolated farmers and mountain people who otherwise would not have had books. The women (and a few men) were determined and steadfast. The beautiful watercolors of David Small (Imogene's Antlers)add a richness to the story. I'm proud to be a librarian.
MGKing More than 1 year ago
Heather Hensen has a beautiful way with language! She captures the spirit of another time and place. That Book Woman tells about the pack horse riders who bravely traveled through the Appalachian Mountains to bring books to impoverished children. This little told piece of American history underscores the importance of books, and how they widen our world. This provided some great discussion among my own children, and I think it would be a wonderful classroom story as well.