Books by Mary E. Lyons

Released: Jan. 9, 2007

"However, they do demonstrate a satisfying growth in Joseph's grammar and spelling and his awareness of the world he's growing into, and offer a good resource for students learning about slavery and racism through the eyes of one fictional character. (Fiction. 12+)"
After the success of her Letters from a Slave Girl: The Story of Harriet Jacobs, Lyons here imagines the story of Jacobs's son, Joseph, born, perhaps, in 1830, and journeying from North Carolina to New York City and New Bedford, Mass., and from there to a whaling ship and the gold mines of California. Read full book review >
ROY MAKES A CAR by Mary E. Lyons
Released: Jan. 1, 2005

"Tain't no telling what he'll try next.' (source note) (Picture book/folktale. 7-9)"
Lyons wheels out a terrific new tall-tale character in a Florida yarn based on a fragment collected by Zora Neale Hurston. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2002

"This will be a useful volume for library collections on Ireland, immigration, cities, hunger, and the 19th century. (Web sites, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 9-12)"
In the summer and fall of 1845, a plant fungus hit Ireland. Read full book review >
KNOCKABEG by Mary E. Lyons
Released: Aug. 1, 2001

"Try giving this to lovers of historical fiction or fantasy; paired with Patricia Reilly Giff's Nory Ryan's Song (2000), readers will gain another perspective on the 19th-century's Irish potato famine. (glossary, laws of Trooping Faeries physics, author's note) (Fiction. 9-12)"
An author of historical fiction and nonfiction tries her hand in the faery world. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"A map of Richmond would have been a nice addition. (Historical fiction. 10-14)"
Told in a series of letters between young freed slave Liza Bowser and Miss Bet (Elizabeth L. Van Lew), who freed young Liza and sent her from Richmond, Virginia, to Philadelphia to be educated, this is fiction based on facts. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"The expertly edited interviews create a glowing portrait of the hard-working, outspoken woman who died in 1988 at the age of 101; the narrative flows, a conversation with the artist about her life that also offers insights into the folk-art style. (b&w photos, bibliography) (Biography. 8-12)"
Lyons (Catching the Fire, 1997, etc.) introduces an extraordinary woman in Clementine Hunter, through careful collages of interviews that present the artist's story in her own words. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

In a riveting work of historical fiction from Lyons (Catching the Fire, p. 1032, etc.), readers take a transforming tour through Charles Willson Peale's museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 1997

"Even without it, readers will come away with respect for hard work combined with creative pursuits, and will surely never look at wrought iron the same way again. (notes, bibliography, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)"
Vivid details about the life of a hardworking blacksmith artist will inspire readers in this engrossing biography from the author of Painting Dreams (1996), etc. The poor, industrious descendant of a slave, Philip Simmons was captivated by the men who fired up iron and bashed it into form. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1996

"Lyons (Letters From a Slave Girl, 1992, etc.) uses Minnie's own words for the few chapters that chart her life, all illustrated with full-color reproductions of the artwork. (afterword, notes, index) (Biography. 8-12)"
A vivid portrait of an African-American artist whose work remains controversial but who demonstrated courage and perseverance in the face of enormous obstacles. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 30, 1992

"Bibliography; family tree; glossary. (Fiction. 12+)"
Based on Jacobs's autobiography and presented as letters she might have written from 1825, at age 12, until she escaped north in 1842, a moving evocation of the tragedies inflicted by slavery. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 30, 1991

A biographer of Zora Neale Hurston (Sorrow's Kitchen, 1990) presents 15 eerie tales featuring ghosts, monsters, and ``Gullah Goblins,'' collected in the Caribbean and the southern US by the Federal Writers' Project and other researchers. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 30, 1990

An effective, imaginative blend of a straightforward biography of this noted African-American with Hurston's own words. Read full book review >