BORROWED NAMES by Jeannine Atkins

BORROWED NAMES

Poems About Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C.J. Walker, Marie Curie, and Their Daughters
Age Range: 12 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

The three women in the subtitle were all born in 1867, and Atkins brings them together in this unusual volume. Each of the three sections has a prose introduction, and the body of each chronicles the life and work, in restrained free verse, of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C.J. Walker and Marie Curie, respectively. The author binds each woman to her daughter in verse as in life and work: Rose Wilder Lane, A’Lelia Perry Bundles and Irène Joliot-Curie. The dark and tangled currents between mothers and daughters as they worked together, pulled apart and reconnected in work strike a somber tone. The work is complex and mighty: Wilder’s books, Walker’s pomades and creams, Curie’s two Nobel prizes (and Irène’s one). Fine as the concept is, the execution does not quite succeed at illuminating the passion that drove each of these dyads, but it is certainly an interesting way of beginning to look for the spark. (timeline, selected bibliography) (Collective biography/poetry. 12 & up)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8050-8934-9
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2010




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