A Home for Mr. Emerson

Barbara Kerley, Author, Edwin Fotheringham, Illustrator
Barbara Kerley, illus. by Edwin Fotheringham. Scholastic Press, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-545-35088-4
Reviewed on: 12/02/2013
Release date: 02/25/2014
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The team behind What to Do About Alice?, The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy), and Those Rebels, John & Tom continue their tradition of excellent and exuberant studies of historical figures with a theatrical story about writer Ralph Waldo Emerson’s relationship with his beloved Concord, Mass., home and community. Fotheringham pours visual variety onto the pages: in one image, Emerson contentedly reads while encircled by a whirlwind of books; on an especially powerful wordless spread, Emerson stands in shadow before the burning ruins of his estate, which caught fire in 1872. Well-sourced quotations appear throughout the story (and fill the endpapers), both contextualizing Emerson’s life and standing as testament to the value of an open mind and a generous heart. Appended materials offer additional details about Emerson and encourage readers to “choose the life you create for yourself,” as he did. Ages 8–12. Illustrator’s agent: Pat Hackett. (Feb.)
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