JOAN OF ARC by Ann Tompert


Heroine of France
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 9
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Tompert (Pied Piper of Peru, 2002, etc.) draws on early sources for this simply phrased retelling of the familiar legend, quoting Joan directly and letting contemporaries do the moralizing: “Even the King of England’s secretary wept. ‘We are all lost,’ he cried. ‘We have burnt a good and holy person.’ ” The author rounds off her tale with an account of how King Charles, “filled with Joan’s winning spirit,” drove the English from most of France, and of Joan’s subsequent canonization. Garland (Best Place to Read, Jan. 2003, etc.), however, sanitizes the Maid of Orleans’s brief career, portraying her as a creamy-skinned, spotlessly clean figure who never displays more than minor discomfort, even when pulling an arrow (bloodlessly) from her own shoulder, or standing with palms together as flames and smoke rise around her. Next to Josephine Poole’s searching version, with its powerful illustrations by Angela Barrett (2000), or Diane Stanley’s richly detailed rendition (1999), this comes across as a bland, superficial portrait of one of history’s most surprising movers and shakers. (Picture book/biography. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2003
ISBN: 1-59078-009-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2003


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