No Ordinary Lives -- Four 19th Century Teenage Diariesw

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9780828321587: No Ordinary Lives -- Four 19th Century Teenage Diariesw
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The diaries in this collection include the writings of four young people between the ages of twelve and twenty—a boy growing up on a lake in Maine, a sea captain’s daughter, a Shaker farm boy, and a daughter raised by a single mom. What can we discover from these diaries? Readers may be surprised, for example, by the technology available to Delmer Wilson in the Shaker community in 1887. Because all these diaries were produced during the writers’ developmental years, teachers and young readers may find comments about school and growing up issues to be of some interest. Young readers will also want to compare teenage life today with that of the past. Some teenage girls of today may find that their pastimes do not differ that much from those of Ethel Godfrey in 1894. And, like Augusta Skolfield, how many of us have gazed up at a bright moon and thought about that same light shining on loved ones far away? Readers will find the personalities themselves of great interest. Nat Hathorne, for example, can be seen to be a great wit and a fine storyteller as a lad. Rich and varied, each of these diaries contributes something different to young people’s understanding of our American story. These diaries are interesting because they allow us to eavesdrop on the lives and times of those we can never know in any other way. Some of their lives were exciting and fast paced—others quite ordinary. But even the driest factual record can be poignant as it records the everyday stuff of a life. The extraordinary may be hidden by the ordinary record. Stories may be hidden or painful crises omitted. But there are no ordinary days. No ordinary lives.

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About the Author:

Marilyn teaches in the Writing Program of the English Department at Kent State University. She lives with her husband in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio and in Gray, Maine. No Ordinary Lives is Marilyn's ninth book.

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