Monday, February 17, 2014

Young Reader Pick: Clara and Davie

Clara and Davie: The True Story of Young Clara Barton
by Patricia Polacco
Illustrations by the author
Scholastic Press
40 pages
ISBN: 9780545354776

Beautifully rendered illustrations from Patricia Polacco  tell the poignant story of the early years  of Clara Barton's life. It is a story close to Polacco's heart and part of her family tree.

One Christmas Day 1821, a baby girl was born in Oxford, Massachusetts. The baby was named Clarissa, but brother Davie said she should be named Clara and the name stuck from that moment forward. Childbirth and illness took its toll on Clara's mother. Davie became Clara's constant companion and best friend. Clara had a  gentle nature and kind heart, and Davie  gave a newborn puppy to her to raise.

Kids at school made fun of Clara's lisp, so Davie made sure that Clara could be home schooled. She learned every flower and plant and loved all animals. When a boy breaks his leg, Clara sets it; after that,  farmers turned to Clara for help with their sick animals.

Davie breaks his leg in a fall, but Clara takes care of him until the doctor arrives. Davie heals slowly but is afraid to try to walk. Clara begs him to try each day to no avail. Clara can take it no longer. She runs to the barn and cries; later, Davie stands at the door of the barn with a bouquet of wild flowers. He walked all that way all by himself; it was the first day he walked again.

Clara Barton became one of the most famous women in American history. Known as "the Angel of the Battlefield" during the Civil War, she later founded the American Red Cross.

Readers will love Clara's humanity for all creatures. She stands for goodness and care.

Highly recommended for young readers who love animals. Polacco fans will not be disappointed.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the F & G from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at

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