Purple Mountain Majesties (Reading Railroad)

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9780142301814: Purple Mountain Majesties (Reading Railroad)
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Chronicles the train ride west taken by young Wellesley professor Katharine Lee Bates in 1893, during which she recorded her experiences in her journal and was inspired to write "America the Beautiful." Reprint.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

In 1893, when she was 34, Wellesley English professor Katharine Lee Bates took a train trip from Boston to Colorado Springs to teach summer school. She kept a diary, as she had since she was nine, and wrote down odds and ends of observation and poetry when she could. She saw Niagara Falls, stopped off to visit a friend and see the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where she marveled at Mr. Ferris's Wheel and the gleaming white buildings. While in Colorado, she briefly glimpsed the top of Pike's Peak, and the beginning of poem began to form. Combined with her other jottings, it would become ``America the Beautiful,'' set to a hymn by Samuel Ward. Using original sources, Younger makes a living character out of Bates, whose quirks and full-bodied charm gracefully flow from the letters and diary excerpts. Schuett's illustrations, with their slightly exaggerated forms and saturated colors, capture not only the ``fruited plains'' and ``alabaster cities'' but vistas of Bates's hometown of Falmouth, and intimate scenes of her cozy bedside table and the parlor where she welcomed guests. A wonderful historical endnote will be appreciated by those who think they are too old for picture books, or those working on school reports. Put this on display near Barbara Cooney's Miss Rumphius (1982) and Michael Bedard's Emily (1992). (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-10) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Booklist:

Gr. 3^-5, younger for reading aloud. Traveling westward by train in 1893 to lecture at a college in Colorado, Katherine Lee Bates, a New England writer, stopped to view Niagara Falls and the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, spent the Fourth of July rolling past Kansas wheat fields, and watched the Rockies loom. Shortly after her arrival, she rode with friends to the top of lofty Pikes Peak--and turned all of her observations into the poem that has become our other national anthem. After delving into Bates' papers and corresponding with her descendants, Younger offers an energetic account of Bates' early life, interspersed with lines from her diary and other writings, then goes on to describe the poem's creation and how it came to be set to music. Using luminous stained-glass colors, Schuett depicts a series of American scenes and vistas for viewers and shows Bates as a sturdy, confident figure in regal purple and practical-looking wire-rim glasses. Match this enlightening, engaging picture book for older readers with Steven Kroll's grand and earnest account of the composition of "The Star-Spangled Banner," By the Dawn's Early Light (1994), illustrated by Dan Andreasen. John Peters

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780525456537: Purple Mountain Majesties : The Story of Katharine Lee Bates and America the Beautiful

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0525456538 ISBN 13:  9780525456537
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile, 1998
Hardcover

9780439076654: Purple mountain majesties: The story of Katharine Lee Bates and America the beautiful

Schola..., 1999
Softcover

9780606246576: Purple Mountain Majesties: The Story of Katharine Lee Bates and America the Beautiful

Demco ..., 2002
Softcover

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Barbara Younger, Stacey Schuett (Illustrator)
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