|Clara and Davie|
Author: Polacco, Patricia
Clara Barton had a special way with animals and plants as a child. But whenever she talked, her lisp got in the way of her expressing herself. Her brother Davie always reminded her that she had a talent for healing creatures. She grew up to become a famous medical practitioner and founded the American Red Cross.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.90
Points: .5 Quiz: 164712
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 3.30
Points: 2.0 Quiz: 62524
Common Core Standards
Grade 2 → Reading → RI Informational Text → 2.RI Key Ideas & Details
Grade 2 → Reading → RI Informational Text → 2.RI Craft & Structure
Grade 2 → Reading → RI Informational Text → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 3 → Reading → RI Informational Text → 3.RI Key Ideas & Details
Grade 3 → Reading → RI Informational Text → Texts Illustrating Complexity, Quality, & Range of
Kirkus Reviews (-) (12/15/13)
School Library Journal (01/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (02/14)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2014 Gr 1–3—Drawing once again on her family history, Polacco shares the story of a distant relative. The very shy Clara was especially close to her brother, Davie. While their older sister thought that Clara was too lazy to speak correctly, Davie understood that she had a severe lisp. The siblings became inseparable, Clara a willing student to Davie's lessons in horseback riding and other outdoor endeavors. Clara spent time with the barn animals, studying their habits and needs. She seemed "to have healing in her hands." After classmates teased her about her speech, Clara, an excellent student, was taught at home. She and Davie visited the library and borrowed books about nature. Soon, Clara was borrowing medical books as well. Word of her ability spread and she began treating the neighbors' livestock. When Davie was severely injured in an accident, she immediately took over his care. After his long recovery, Davie proclaimed, "You do have the gift of healing, Clara….Thank you for my life." The author's endnote details Barton's adult accomplishments in the medical field and her founding of the American Red Cross. Polacco's characteristic mixed-media illustrations are lively and evocative, and the winter scenes are especially appealing. This heartwarming story of sibling devotion and overcoming obstacles will whet readers' interest and lead them to further study.—Sara-Jo Lupo Sites, George F. Johnson Memorial Library, Endicott, NY - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 01/01/2014 Polacco introduces readers to one of her ancestors, Clara Barton, the famous Civil War battlefield nurse and founder of the American Red Cross. These adventures are alluded to only in the author’s note at the book’s end; Polacco instead focuses on Barton’s childhood on a farm in early nineteenth-century Massachusetts. Clara had a lisp, which isolated her, but she also had a brother—the Davie of the title—who championed her. The narrative traces the development of Clara’s healing touch with animals and humans alike. Polacco’s illustrations, done in pencil, marker, and acrylics, are sometimes a bit flat when it comes to human depictions, but that doesn’t stop this from being a smart choice for curriculum use. Although the book is directed at preschoolers, its text-heavy nature brings it into an older child category, an audience that might better appreciate the worthy details. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 02/01/2014 Drawing on stories from her extended family, Polacco recounts the formative childhood of distant cousin Clara Barton, the “angel” of the Civil War battlefield and founder of the American Red Cross. Born in 1821, Clara grew up motherless in a large family of siblings and formed a particular attachment to her older brother Davie. Every little girl’s image of the ideal brother, Davie championed Clara against the stricter discipline of their sensible sisters, taught her to embrace nature with gusto, defended her when she was teased or censured for her lisp, and recognized her affinity with animals and innate talent for healing. Never was her talent more urgently required than when Davie broke both legs in a fall from a roof beam, and Clara served as nurse, therapist, and guilt-tripper-in-chief during his long recovery (“You have always told me that I have the gift of healing. Unless you try to walk, I’ll never believe that again”). Davie walked, and Clara’s future accomplishments became the subject of a plethora of biographies. With her customarily intimate storytelling and fluid, loose-lined pencil and watercolor pictures, Polacco renders a portrait of a child discerning and testing her own strengths. Children will recognize through this pivotal episode that healing is not always a matter of life-saving heroics but the steady application of comfort, exhortation, and lots and lots of patience, a consideration worth pondering for those kids who want to be a doctor or a nurse when they grow up. An author’s note on Barton and her place on the author’s family tree is included. EB - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.