Joan of Arc by Diane Stanley

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Synopsis

She was a child of wartime, for her country had long suffered under the twin horrors of invasion and civil war. At thirteen she began to hear the voices of saints. At seventeen she rode into battle and was proclaimed the savior of France. By nineteen she was dead--burned at the stake as a heretic. Almost five hundred years later she was declared a saint. This is her story, the story of Joan of Arc.

She was an illiterate peasant girl barely in her teens when the voices commanded her to leave her village, take up arms, and go to the aid of the young prince of France. Terrified, she protested--she was "Just a poor girl, who did not know how to ride or lead in war!" Still, she accepted her impossible mission and, during her brief and stunning career, faced hardship and danger, fought with unparalleled bravery, was twice wounded, and became a legend. The English, who began by mocking her as a foolish "cowgirl," soon came to fear her awesome power. The French were so inspired by this miraculous child that the tide of the dreadful war began to turn.

In the latest of her acclaimed series of picture-book biographies, Diane Stanley brings history to life through carefully researched, vivid narrative and sumptuous, gilded illustrations inspired by the illuminated manuscripts of the time. She takes readers to Joan's humble village of Domremy, to the splendid chambers where she first met the timid prince for whom she would sacrifice everything, to the battlefields where Joan fought so bravely, and to the dark and terrifying halls where she was condemned to die.

In this magnificent portrait of Joan of Arc, award-winner Diane Stanley once again reveals to young readers the richness and excitement of history.

Joan of Arc grew up during a time of invasion and civil war. At thirteen, she began to hear the voices of saints. At seventeen, she rode into battle. And by nineteen, she was burned at the stake as a heretic. Almost five hundred years later, she was declared a saint. In the latest of her acclaimed series of picture-book biographies, Diane Stanley tells Joan's story with a lively, carefully researched text and sumptuous, gilded illustrations inspired by the illuminated manuscripts of that time. In this glittering portrait of the illiterate peasant girl who became the savior of France, an award-winning author once again reveals to young readers the richness and excitement of history.

00-01 South Carolina Book Award Nomination Masterlist (Grds 3-8)

 

About Diane Stanley

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Diane Stanley is the author and illustrator of beloved books for young readers, including "Saving Sky", which ALA "Booklist", in a starred review, called "beautifully written" and noted that "parallels to our contemporary times appear on every page. . . . The young people manifest a courage few can emulate"; "Bella at Midnight", a "School Library Journal" Best Book of the Year and an ALA "Booklist" Editor's Choice; "The Mysterious Case of the Allbright Academy"; "The Mysterious Matter of I. M. Fine"; and "A Time Apart". Well known as the author and illustrator of award-winning picture-book biographies, she is the recipient of the "Washington Post"-Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award for the body of her work. Ms. Stanley has also written and illustrated numerous picture books, including three creatively reimagined fairy tales: "The Giant and the Beanstalk", "Goldie and the Three Bears", and "Rumpelstiltskin's Saughter". She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
 
Published September 1, 1998 by HarperCollins Publishers. 48 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Religion & Spirituality, War, Children's Books, Travel, Education & Reference.

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From Stanley (Rumpelstiltskin’s Daughter, 1997, etc.), a sympathetic biography that is also a straightforward affair, captured in gemlike illustrations that feign a Book of Hours touch—though many are drenched in piety—recounting the story of Joan’s life.

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Publishers Weekly

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Told in smooth, expansive chapters, the narrative skirts some of the more searching questions about Joan's voices and vocation (such as those raised in Diane Stanley's recent picture-book biography, Joan of Arc) and accepts Joan's religious visions at face value.

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Publishers Weekly

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"Appealing to the audience's intelligence and imagination, this book stimulates an interest in both its particular subject, Joan of Arc, and history in general," said PW in a starred review.

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Publishers Weekly

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At the end, Stanley offers readers different theories about Joan's ""voices,"" and concludes, ""Sometimes, in studying history, we have to accept what we know and let the rest remain a mystery."" Appealing to the audience's intelligence and imagination, this book stimulates an interest in both it...

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