Mary on Horseback

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9780803721548: Mary on Horseback

When John's pa has his leg crushed riding timber down the tumbling streams to the mill, the granny woman can't help. If he loses his leg, the entire family will suffer because he won't be able to work. Luckily it's eastern Kentucky in the early years of this century, and Mary Breckinridge has arrived on horseback to help. When a mountain man's wife dies, he takes his twin babies and young daughter Pearl, who has stopped talking, down the mountain to the care facility that Mary Breckinridge established to provide medical services for people in 700 square-miles of wilderness. When a young nurse from Scotland seeks adventure and a chance to use her nursing skills, she applies for a job with Mary and spends most of the rest of her life on horseback, following the mountain trails to provide vaccines, medicines, and care in the Frontier Nursing Service. Here, through the skillfully told stories of three lives that were changed forever, a portrait of a courageous, self-assured, determined woman emerges. She is Mary Breckinridge, who through her pioneering Frontier Nursing Service, saved more lives than Clara Barton and Florence Nightingale put together, and who can serve as an American role model for young girls today. Rosemary Wells discovered Mary Breckinridge while traveling in Kentucky on a book tour. She has spent three years researching her subject in dusty archives and courthouses, and interviewing surviving relatives. Rosemary Wells lives in Westchester, New York.

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About the Author:

Rosemary Wells (rosemarywells.com) is the author of 120 books for children, including more than 40 about the beloved bunnies, Max and Ruby, who star in their own television show on Nick, Jr. She travels all over the country as a tireless advocate for literacy. Wells was born in New Jersey to a playwright father and ballet dancer mother who encouraged her artistic bent. She worked as an art director and designer before illustrating her first book. She is the mother of two grown daughters, Victoria and Marguerite, and grandmother to four girls.

From Publishers Weekly:

Three well-honed first-person narratives add up to an outstanding biography of one remarkable woman: Mary Breckinridge, founder of the still-extant Frontier Nursing Service in the Appalachian Mountains. After being widowed twice and having lost two children, Breckenridge enrolled in nursing school, determined to help other youngsters live. Wells takes up Breckenridge's story upon her arrival in 1923 Kentucky, through the perspectives of three people whose lives were greatly affected by her mission. John Hawkins, the young son of a "river man" injured while riding newly cut logs down the rapids, tells how Mary fortuitously arrived at their doorstep before the "horse doctor with a bone saw" came to saw his father's leg off. An 18-year-old nurse who travels from her native Scotland to work with Mary describes her battle to convince the mountain residents (who are terrified of needles) to let the nurses vaccinate them against rampant diphtheria. In the finalAand most stirringAof the accounts, Pearl refuses to talk after witnessing her mother's death from childbirth. Through drafting the girl into her cause, Mary moves Pearl to speak again. Wells's careful attention to the details and hardships of mountain living authenticates these achingly real accounts, as she spells out both the enormity of Breckenridge's challenge and the triumph of even the smallest victories. McCarty's finely crafted drawings, based on actual photographs, add to the historical accuracy and elegance of the volume. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Rosemary Wells
Published by Dial (1998)
ISBN 10: 0803721544 ISBN 13: 9780803721548
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Rosemary Wells
Published by Dial (1998)
ISBN 10: 0803721544 ISBN 13: 9780803721548
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