Marie Bradby More Than Anything Else

ISBN 13: 9780590103138

More Than Anything Else

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9780590103138: More Than Anything Else
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"A fictionalized story about the life of young Booker T. Washington. Living in a West Virginia settlement after emancipation, nine-year-old Booker travels by lantern light to the salt works, where he labors from dawn till dusk. Although his stomach rumbles, his real hunger is his intense desire to learn to read.... [A] moving and inspirational story." - School Library Journal, starred review

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From School Library Journal:

PreSchool-Grade 3?A fictionalized story about the life of young Booker T. Washington. Living in a West Virginia settlement after emancipation, nine-year-old Booker travels by lantern light to the salt works, where he labors from dawn till dusk. Although his stomach rumbles, his real hunger is his intense desire to learn to read. Back in town, the boy sees a man reading aloud from a newspaper; he envisions himself possessing this magical knowledge and passing it on to others. When his mother presents him with an alphabet book, he studies the letters and "...tries to imagine their song." Just when he is feeling frustrated, he finds the newspaper man, who explains the letters. An exuberant Booker throws his arms in the air, then settles down to learn how to write his name. Bradby's text is eloquent, presenting phrases and spinning images that capture the intense feelings in the story. Throughout the poetic narrative, Booker glows with his desire to read, and the inspiring tone of the language predicts a bright future. Soentpiet's watercolors create a realistic sense of time and place, perfectly matching the emotional level of the text. Booker awkwardly lifting a heavy shovel of salt, his straight-backed posture when accepting the book from his mother, his look of concentration while practicing his letters by candlelight, his face shining with satisfaction when he has written his name?all of these images, underscored by a dramatic use of shadow and light, work with the words to create a moving and inspirational story.?Joy Fleishhacker, New York Public Library
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Ages 5^-8. The spare, lovely narrative of this picture book, based on the childhood of Booker T. Washington, is in the voice of a nine-year-old boy. He tells of leaving his cabin before dark to work all day shoveling salt with his father and older brother: "All day long we shovel it, but it refuses to grow smaller." Despite the community poverty and toil, there's a sense of freedom now, something different: "All people are free to go where they want and do what they can." What Booker wants is to read. Finally, he finds someone to teach him his letters, and it's as if he's reborn. He will read, and he'll teach others to read. Soentpiet's beautiful watercolor paintings show individual portraits lit up from the surrounding darkness. There's some idealization: even in the saltworks the pictures focus not on the back-breaking, skin-tearing labor, but on the child's view of himself and his world. Booker dreams of the light of literacy and the freedom it will bring. The story will hold kids and make them want to find out more about the person and the history. Hazel Rochman

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Marie Bradby, Chris K. Soentpiet (Illustrator)
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Bradby, Marie
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