Words by Heart

Words by Heart

by Ouida Sebestyen

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback)

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Words by Heart by Ouida Sebestyen

Lena can recite the Scriptures by heart. Hoping to make her adored Papa proud of her and to make her white classmates notice her "Magic Mind," not her black skin, Lena vows to win the Bible-quoting contest. But winning does not bring Lena what she expected. Instead of honor, violence and death erupt and strike the one she loves most dearly. Lena, who has believed in vengeance, must now learn how to forgive.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440226888
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 04/28/1996
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 798,839
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.88(h) x 0.42(d)
Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 14 Years

About the Author

Ouida Sebestyen was raised in Texas and attended University of Colorado. She has published several young adult novels including The Girl in the Box, Far From Home, Out of Nowhere, and Words by Heart.

Customer Reviews

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Words by Heart 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really love the book.The saddest part of the book was when Tater killed papa.
M-Geezy_Yea More than 1 year ago
Words By Heart is a book about family angst and murder. I did not like this book. Figurative language was added, but the plot just didn't take my breath away. Ouida Sebystain could do better. Way better. I had to read it for class and I was not pleased.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sebestyen's novel is an amazing tale of love and forgiveness. This book is well needed in a world where retaliation is the number one goal of justice. There are important virtues to be learned from this novel. In my experience, students who dislike this novel are generally ones who cannot connect with idea of forgiving people who do not deserve forgivness. However, that should be an even greater reason to read Words by Heart.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this book had no real purpose. The begining and the end and a few other tid-bits in the middle wre all the book was worth. I took me four tries to simply get started on this book...it just could not draw me in. It is also writen insuch a way that is hard to understand and follow. I would never suggest anyone read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book went off topic several times and ended very tragic. Under my consideration this book was poorly rated.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that words by heart is a great book to,I read this in school. One thing that I have really learn from the 'Words By Heart', and that thing is that you should never give up something that you really want. I think this is a really good book to read. Thank You
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recomend this book for all readers of any age starting at 10 or 9 and up. This book shows how cruel the white peple were to African Americans after the Civil War evn though the bill was passed. Peple knew they couldn't be slaves but they never had to treat them kindlly, and they knew this as well as everyone. This is the plot of the story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was ok in my opinion i really didn't get that into the book though. If you like books that are about racism then you might like it. But not really into that type of stuff.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was wonderful.It was the best book in the whole wide world.I really think you should read this book. My favorite part of the book was when Lena took a rat to school.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is an oustanding book. I would recommend this book to my friend. The part I like is the end because it was dramatic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think the book was very cool, sad, and interesting.My favorite part is when Lena wins the contest.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for an English assignment. I thought it was moving, and it pefectly demonstrated how people, escpecially blacks, lived in thoses times. Through the details in this book, I walked with Lena to school, I sat with her in the tree, and watched her steal the books, I was there when everything went wrong, I was there with Lena everytime. Ms. Sebestyen did a wonderful job writing this book. I think it deserves four out of five stars. Read it.... it's GOOD!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to read and study this book for school. All in all it is outstanding. The figurative language is everywhere! Vivid descriptions, insights of Lena's thoughts, and much more add up to the excelence of this book. However, profanity is used, but, personally, I think that perfectly fits in the style. Ouida Sebestyen has certainly made a wonderful book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Even though the book isn't without a plot, it is still lacking an interesting storyline. There were no parts that wanted to make you keep reading. I had to read this book for my English class. It's only got things about how blacks lived after slavery and the Civil War.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Words by Heart is a great book written by Quida Sebestyen for many readers. The book tells about Lena and her family's survival. Words by Heart takes place in the country. Lena is a wonderful girl helping her family. Lena is a strong girl. This book made me feel that you can do anything if you put your mind to it.I recommend that everyone reads it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Word By Heart by Quida Sebestyen is considered a good book for young readers. This book was written in 1979. This novel about a girl name Lena and she wanted her papa to be proud of her and make her white classmate notice her. The setting of this story is beautiful with lots of trees The first chaper of this story is talking about Lena's night when her 'Magic' Mind was going to matter and not her skin.This story is really talking about Lena's life. The characters are Roy, Papa, Claudie, Jaybird Kelsey, but the main character is Lena.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a very interesting and a good book to read i would recommend this to book to people that like to read about old time things and slavery.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Words by Heart by Ouida Sebestyen is about a girl named Lena and her family who are a black family growing up when whites think of blacks differently. There is one boy named Tater that seems like he is always watching them. Lena starts to work at Mrs. Chism, the landowner, to make more money for her family. She finds many books in Mrs. Chism's attic and asks her if she can borrow one. She is a grumpy lady and says no. Lena really wants to read those books so she steals on and brings it home. Her parents see it and they think that Mrs. Chism let her read the book. Once Lena's dad finds out that she stole them, he tells her that she needs to tell Mrs. Chism. Lena and her Papa go to her house, and Papa reasons with her and the only agreement they can get to is if Papa goes to Hawk Hill to work on a fence. Hawk Hill is a very dangerous place to go if you are black. I didn¿t like this book in the beginning because it was really slow, but once I got into it, it was really good and I couldn¿t put it down. What I liked about this book ws the suspense and the fact that you never knew what was going to happen.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and enjoyed reading it very much. It teaches a lot about how not to seek revenge and to love your enemies. It was great!