Books by Jesse Haas

WILL YOU, WON’T YOU? by Jesse Haas
Released: Oct. 31, 2000

This is a less-than-riveting novel about a 13-year-old trying to decide who she is. Madeline, Mad for short, lets her fears rule her actions and is intimidated by the two very strong-willed women close to her. Her mother is an attorney and her grandmother is chair of the Senate Finance committee in the rural East Coast. Mad just wants to be invisible. She is sent to her grandmother's for the summer to relax and ride her beloved horse, Cloud. Throughout the season Mad learns much about politics as her grandmother is caught in the controversial debate surrounding clear-cutting, but more importantly she discovers Scottish dance. Terrified during her first class, Mad progresses rapidly and learns to love the complicated steps and nuances of partnering. Meanwhile, she is trying to devise a way to help Cloud over his newfound fear of cows. The sub-theme throughout is her desire to impress the father she has never met. Her confidence grows in direct relation to her ability to dance, and to her amazement she speaks out at a heated political meeting. Senatorial details and the intricacies of Scottish dance steps bog down the story. Haas (Hurry, p. 714, etc.) links life to dance, and dance to horse riding, in a clumsy way, but by the end Mad begins to understand and like herself. This book will be of some interest to girls who enjoy stories with an equestrian element. (Fiction. 10-12)Read full book review >
HURRY! by Jesse Haas
by Jesse Haas, illustrated by Jos. A. Smith
Released: May 30, 2000

"Hurry! Hurry!" Rain is coming and Nora and her grandparents worry that the rain will come before the grass is dry and the hay can be gathered into the barn. In this fourth picture book about Nora, Gramp, and Gran, Haas (Unbroken, 1999, etc.) captures the urgency and worry as well as the joy of living close to the land. Nora drives the horse-drawn haytedder, around the field: "The forks of the tedder kick like dancing legs. They kick the grass high in the air and turn it over so the sun can dry the underside." When the sweet grass is dry, grandpa races to rake it, while Nora drives along the windrow and the hayloader swooshes up the hay and pours it in the wagon. Then it's the race to the barn when "the load of hay is as big as the moon." Safe inside the barn, with the mountain of hay, they wait out the summer storm. A satisfying, lyrical story of rural life, handsomely illustrated with watercolor paints, colored pencil, and watercolor pencils. (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >