Thursday, January 24, 2013

Two nonfiction biographies (2012, 2013)

Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children. Jan Pinborough. Illustrated by Debby Atwell. 2013. [March 2013] Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  40 pages.

Once in a big house in Limerick, Maine, there lived a little girl named Annie Carroll Moore. She had large gray eyes, seven older brothers, and ideas of her own. In the 1870s many people thought a girl should stay inside and do quiet things such as sewing and embroidery. But Annie thought otherwise...

There was a time when children weren't allowed in libraries, weren't allowed to touch books let alone to take them home. Some librarians felt differently. Anne Carroll Moore was among them. Children needed access to books, to good children's books. Libraries needed to have special rooms and collections for children. Miss Moore Thought Otherwise tells the story of one librarian whose special work within the field of librarianship had a great impact on the world, on how people thought of libraries. The book does note that she was not the only librarian working in this field, striving to make children's rooms a part of every public library. She just happened to be in the right place and right time. (New York City). She not only was a librarian; she reviewed children's books and compiled recommended reading lists as well.

I definitely enjoyed this one. It is so easy to take having access to books for granted, it's good to have a reminder now and then that it always wasn't so. This book might pair well with Miss Dorothy's Bookmobile.

Noah Webster & His Words. Jeri Chase Ferris. Illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch. 2012. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 32 pages.

Noah Webster always knew he was right, and he never got tired of saying so (even if, sometimes, he wasn't). He was, he said, "full of confidence" [noun: belief that one is right] from the beginning. He was born in 1758 on a farm in West Hartford, Connecticut, when America still belonged to England, and by the time he was twelve he knew how to grow everything from beans and corn to peas and potatoes. His father said Noah would be a fine farmer, following in the footsteps of a long line of Webster farmers. But Noah did not want to be in that long line. He didn't want to be a farmer at all. 

I definitely enjoyed this picture book biography of Noah Webster. The narrative was straightforward and yet playful at times with it's interruptions of definitions. The book provides background on American life and culture in addition to providing background on Webster himself. The book primarily focuses on Webster writing AMERICAN textbooks for use in schools and his writing of the AMERICAN dictionary. There are plenty of details to bring this story to life. For example, his blue-back speller cost fourteen cents, but Webster's profit was only a penny per book sold. It didn't take Webster long to learn that he wouldn't be getting rich by writing textbooks. Half the book focuses on the time he spent working on the dictionary. It was quite an accomplishment of course...
An example of the book's playfulness:
Now Noah needed to read the two thousand pages he had worked on for almost twenty years, to be sure there were no mistakes. Next, he needed to find just the right publisher. Last, he needed to take a nap.

I would recommend this one.

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comments:

Ms. Yingling 3:59 PM  

I'llhave to take a look at both of these. Such a sucker for books about libraries, not surprising!

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

Pageloads Counter

Search Book Blogs Search Engine

The background is based on a background I found here...with some small adjustments on my part so it would work with the template.
Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP