The Borning Room (Charlotte Zolotow Books)

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9780064470995: The Borning Room (Charlotte Zolotow Books)

It's a place where life and love begin, and loss is borne.

Mothers give birth in the borning room. The dying take their departure there.

Ouside the Lott family's Ohio farmhouse, the Civil War rages, slavery falls, and the world marvels at the wonder of electricity. Inside, within the walls of the borning room, Georgina Lott will experience her life's greatest turnings. Across the years, she discovers womanhood and first love, experiences the mourning that comes with loss, and, as did her mother and grandmother, at last takes her place in the room as another precious life is about to begin.

The borning room is a room that figures large in the life of an Ohio farm girl born in 1851. Through its doorway pass the members of a free thinking family, bearing news of the world beyond the window: talk of runaway slaves, the siege of Vicksburg, seances, chloroform, electricity. In this heartfelt and haunting work, an account of one life, one family, and one room widens into a panoramic view of the human seasons and the procession of generations. "From an innovative, highly talented novelist and poet . . . memorable characters and valuable glimpses of social history in a beautifully crafted novel. Deeply rewarding." —K.

Notable Children's Books of 1992 (ALA)
1992 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA)
1992 Fanfare Honor List (The Horn Book)
Best Books of 1991 (SLJ)
1991 Books for Youth Editors' Choices (BL)
1992 Teacher's Choices (IRA)
Notable 1991 Children's Trade Books in Social Studies (NCSS/CBC)
1991 Notable Trade Books in the Language Arts (NCTE)
1991 Golden Kite Award Honor Book for Fiction (SCBW)
1991 Choices: The Year's Best Books (Publishers Weekly)
100 Books for Reading and Sharing 1991 (NY Public Library)
Bulletin Blue Ribbon Books 1991 (C)
Children's Books of 1991 (Library of Congress)
1992 Books for the Teen Age (NY Public Library)

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About the Author:

Paul Fleischman grew up in Santa Monica, California in a house with a printing press, a grand piano, a shortwave radio, and his father—children’s author Sid Fleischman. Playing recorder in early music consorts led to his books of verbal duets— I Am Phoenix, Joyful Noise (winner of the 1989 Newbery Medal), and Big Talk. His novels built from monologues include Bull Run, a 16-character account of the Civil War's first battle, and Seedfolks—the chronicle of the first year of a Cleveland community garden. His interest in theater inspired his young adult novels Mind's Eye, Seek, and Breakout, all of which revolve around the spoken word. His historical fiction includes Saturnalia and The Borning Room. He's written nonfiction and picture books as well, including Time Train, Weslandia, and Sidewalk Circus.

Alongside the Newbery Medal, he's won a Newbery Honor Book, the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, the PEN West Literary Award, the California Young Reader Medal, and most recently was a finalist for the 2003 National Book Award. He makes his home in the village of Aromas, California.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 6-10-- Fleischman's felicity with words is nowhere more evident than in this story of four generations of Ohioans whose most important events--births and deaths--take place in their home's "borning room." Georgina Caroline Lott, who was born there in 1851, tells the story of her family to a portrait painter who has been hired to capture her image toward the end of her life, in 1918, as her family has done for her grandparents before her. She highlights the most telling scenes from her childhood, which include her discovery of a runaway slave, who helps her mother give birth in the absence of the distant midwife; a deathwatch for her beloved grandfather; the loss of her mother during a subsequent childbirth; the nursing of her two brothers, severly ill with diptheria; and her marriage to the local schoolteacher and the birth of their first child. While Georgina summarizes the events of her later life rather quickly, the power of the narrative is never diminished. Less sophisticated readers may experience initial confusion because of the author's technique of using a flashback to begin the story, but by the emotional conclusion, all is made clear. Fleischman successfully tackles many important themes and once again gifts readers with writing lush with similes, metaphors, and allusions, so subtly woven into the mesh of the narrative that they enrich without distracting. A memorable novel, rich and resonant in familial love and the strength of connection and tradition. --Ellen Fader, Westport Pub . Lib . , CT -
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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