Books by Cheryl Harness

MARY WALKER WEARS THE PANTS by Cheryl Harness
Released: April 1, 2013

"Despite awkwardness, this is a welcome window into an important American life. (Picture book/biography. 7-9)"
Pants: Women were not supposed to wear them. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 16, 2012

"Should attract aspiring adventurers. (author's note and list of additional female explorers; selected bibliography, websites) (Collective biography. 9-11)"
After showcasing risk-taking gals in Women Daredevils (2007), Cummins introduces 10 "dauntless" women born before 1900 whose little-known deeds "contribut[ed] to science, geography, history, and cultural understanding" at a time when "proper ladies simply did not go gallivanting around the world to explore new territories." Read full book review >
WOMEN DAREDEVILS by Julie Cummins
ADVENTURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2008

"Kudos for bringing to light this hidden slice of female history. (introduction, chronology, sources) (Nonfiction. 8-11)"
At a time when women were expected to be domestic angels, this spunky history tracks a handful of female risk-takers who dared to do what they loved despite the danger. Read full book review >
THE REMARKABLE BENJAMIN FRANKLIN by Cheryl Harness
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Dec. 6, 2005

"Replete with pithy quotes and closing with a lengthy, wide-ranging timeline, this tribute kicks off what is likely to be a national celebration of Franklin's tercentenary on a strong, sure note. (bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 8-10)"
Harness takes Franklin from a "sick-of-soap-and-candles, sea-hankering boy" to contented, renowned old age, retracing well-traveled territory but slipping in frank acknowledgements that his first son was illegitimate and his other children born of a common-law marriage. Read full book review >
OUR COLONIAL YEAR by Cheryl Harness
NONFICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 2005

"Closing with a hard-to-decipher map, this effort falls well below the author's usual standard. (Picture book. 7-9)"
Harness's attempt to portray common colonial-era activities through the seasons by pairing a scene set in each of the 13 colonies to a month (plus New Year to make it come out even) goes awry on several counts. Read full book review >
FRANKLIN & ELEANOR by Cheryl Harness
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Dec. 1, 2004

"The story of Franklin and Eleanor is a story of overcoming," Harness writes, and in developing that theme, she pays heartfelt tribute to two lives united by a dedication to service. Read full book review >
GHOSTS OF THE NILE by Cheryl Harness
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

"The thin plot line adds at least a sense of forward momentum to this flashy interest-builder. (bibliography) (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-10)"
With characteristic horror vacui, Harness packs verbal and visual information into each teeming, full-bleed spread, sending a young museum-goer and his eccentric great aunt on a quick trip back to Ancient Egypt for tours of the Step and Great Pyramid, plus glimpses of city and rural life, writing, religion, and embalmers at work. Read full book review >
THOMAS JEFFERSON by Cheryl Harness
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Jan. 1, 2004

Thomas Jefferson was a "man of contradictions," an eloquent champion of freedom and equality, yet a slaveholder who fathered several children with Sally Hemings, a slave and half-sister to Martha Jefferson. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Jan. 1, 2003

"Useful for school reports and for expanding the knowledge base of American women's history. (index, bibliographies, Web Resources) (Biography. 8-12)"
Beginning with Ann Lee, mother of the Shaker movement, and ending with Doris Haddock, fighting for campaign finance reform, Harness (The Revolutionary John Adams, p. 1693, etc.) sketches in words and pictures 20 women who "dared to try to change the world." Read full book review >
THE REVOLUTIONARY JOHN ADAMS by Cheryl Harness
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Dec. 1, 2002

"The solid information and lively format will make this a boon to report writers and a must for library collections, but the skimpy bibliography will not be useful to young researchers. (author's note) (Picture book/biography. 8-12)"
In her signature style, Harness (Remember the Ladies, 2001, etc.) joins the contemporary effort to bring John Adams to his rightful place in history. Read full book review >
GHOSTS OF THE CIVIL WAR by Cheryl Harness
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 2002

"The barrage of information may bewilder readers new to the topic or author, but anyone who has studied the Civil War, however superficially, will find this an engrossing, wide-ranging, refresher course. (Picture book/nonfiction. 9-12)"
In her newest kaleidoscopic American history tour, Harness (Ghosts of the 20th Century, 1999, etc.) spirits young Lindsey away from a modern reconstruction of a Civil War battle for a look at the real thing. Read full book review >
REMEMBER THE LADIES by Cheryl Harness
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Feb. 28, 2001

"Useful, perhaps, as a starting point with an eye toward inspiration, a timeline, glossary, and lists of historic sites and women's organizations, as well as a bibliography and recommended reading list will help. (Nonfiction. 7-9)"
This compilation of paragraphs about one hundred of America's most famous women ranges from the dawn of the nation to the current millennium, highlighting the women trailblazers who have altered its history forever. Read full book review >
MARK TWAIN AND THE QUEENS OF THE MISSISSIPPI by Cheryl Harness
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Nov. 1, 1998

"This is a pleasantly accessible and remarkably comprehensive introduction to an American writer; start children with this volume before handing them Kathryn Lasky's A Brilliant Streak (p. 497) or Alice Rose and Sam (p. 341). (Picture book/biography. 6-10)"
The history of Old Muddy and the role the river played in the life of Samuel Clemens make for an intriguing journey through the past in this biography. Read full book review >
GHOSTS OF THE WHITE HOUSE by Cheryl Harness
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Jan. 1, 1998

"The least successful painting appears on the jacket, where various presidents float in the air and sit on the roof of this famous building. (Picture book. 7-10)"
A factual picture book offers a good look at the White House and thumbnail sketches of its occupants, past and present. Read full book review >
ABE LINCOLN GOES TO WASHINGTON 1837-1865 by Cheryl Harness
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

To the growing number of picture-book biographies add this sequel to Young Abe Lincoln (1996) that covers the latter half of Lincoln's life. Read full book review >
THEY'RE OFF! by Cheryl Harness
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"When paired with Andrew Glass's The Sweetwater Run (p. 1399), about Bill Cody's stint with the Pony Express, this book will be ideal for units on the West, for it makes historical events fairly roar with immediacy. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-10)"
In a volume subtitled ``The Story of the Pony Express,'' Harness (The Amazing Impossible Erie Canal, 1995, etc.) traces the exuberance and the debt that—for a brief period in 186061- -blazed the mail west in ten short days, half the time it had taken by stagecoach. Read full book review >
YOUNG ABE LINCOLN by Cheryl Harness
BIOGRAPHY
Released: May 1, 1996

"Harness will cover more of Abe's life in a future book. (bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 5-10)"
A folksy, genial biography, subtitled ``The Frontier Days, 18091837,'' this is an accessible if bland work. Read full book review >
PAPA'S CHRISTMAS GIFT by Cheryl Harness
HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

"The rhyming text is lively and humorous, but the notion of simultaneity comes to life in pen-and-ink illustrations in which events swarm over pages; each spread of a new location explodes with incidentals that refer back to the main drawing. (Picture book. 5-10)"
In a work subtitled ``Around the World on the Night Before Christmas,'' Harness (The Amazing Impossible Erie Canal, p. 469, etc.) chooses a moment in history from which to launch a provocative journey. Read full book review >
THE AMAZING IMPOSSIBLE ERIE CANAL by Cheryl Harness
THINGS THAT GO
Released: April 1, 1995

The book of choice for middle-grade readers embarking on the topic, this fills the gap between Peter Spier's illustrated song- text (The Erie Canal, Doubleday, 1970) and the factual detail of R. Conrad Stein's The Story of the Erie Canal (Childrens, 1985). Read full book review >
YOUNG JOHN QUINCY by Cheryl Harness
BIOGRAPHY
Released: March 1, 1994

"Notes, maps, diagrams and bibliography provide further context, but—as she did with Three Young Pilgrims (1992)— Harness makes historical incidents nearly incomprehensible by densely packing her pages with name- and event-dropping. (Picture book. 6-9)"
``Johnny's'' father is away at the Constitutional Congress when this book opens; it will be another year before the Declaration of Independence is written. Read full book review >
THREE YOUNG PILGRIMS by Cheryl Harness
FICTION
Released: Sept. 30, 1992

"The panoramic watercolors are attractive, with expertly composed, cinematic scenes, but the text, pursuing its separate agenda, regrettably never catches up. (Picture book. 6-9)"
Mary, Remember, and Bartholomew Allerton were among the youngest on the Mayflower's first voyage; the words here tell how, with the other newcomers, they suffer tremendous losses but gradually come to view Plymouth as home. Read full book review >