My Face to the Wind: the Diary of Sarah Jane Price, a Prairie Teacher, Broken Bow, Nebraska 1881 (Dear America Series)

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9780590438100: My Face to the Wind: the Diary of Sarah Jane Price, a Prairie Teacher, Broken Bow, Nebraska 1881 (Dear America Series)

Following her father's death from a disease that swept through her Nebraska town in 1881, teenaged Sarah Jane must find work to support herself and records in her diary her experiences as a young school teacher.

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From School Library Journal:

Gr 5-8-Sarah Jane Price, 14, does not want to leave Broken Bow, NE. Her father, the town's teacher, has recently died and she wants to stay near his grave. The modest amount of money that he left her is rapidly dwindling and soon she will not be able to pay for her room and board at Miss Kizer's boarding house. Fully aware of Sarah's financial problems, Miss Kizer decides to send her to the Orphan Girls Asylum in Grand Island. The teen knows that she needs to earn her keep, and, despite opposition from some of the townspeople, she is given the opportunity to take her father's place in the classroom. She faces many challenges, including the schoolhouse, itself, an abandoned soddy; unruly children; and lack of confidence from many adults. In addition, Miss Kizer and Reverend Lauter, the traveling preacher, disapprove of her decision, seeing it as defiance of their authority. Despite these problems, Sarah proves that she is an exceptional teacher. This diary brings to life the problems and day-to-day activities of an educator while also providing a glimpse into life in Nebraska during the late 1880s.

Lana Miles, Duchesne Academy, Houston, TX

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Gr. 5-8. This addition to the Dear America series reconstructs the adventures of a nineteenth-century Nebraska teacher. When Sarah Jane's father dies of diphtheria, orphaning her at the age of 12, some folks want to send her to an orphanage. But Sarah Jane is reluctant to leave the home that she shared with her father, and when she finds out that the orphanage is actually a workhouse, she's determined to stay in Broken Bow. Before he died, Sarah Jane's father was the town teacher, so Sarah Jane presents herself as 16 and takes over her father's job. The plot isn't particularly realistic, but readers will enjoy the wish fulfillment of a preteen becoming a teacher, and fans of prairie tales will find all the usual elements--from sod houses and cow chip fuel to a blinding blizzard. The fictional epilogue may be a bit confusing; the historical notes and photos are informative. Marta Segal
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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