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Imogene's Last Stand Library Binding – October 13, 2009

4.9 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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The Battle of the Vegetables
The Battle of the Vegetables
Leeks who believe a cow is one of Santa’s reindeer, carrots who accept an invitation to a party given by rabbits, and a leek and carrot couple whose romance precipitates total vegetable warfare are the hapless protagonists in these satiric, snarky stories. Hardcover

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2—Imogene is a feisty child who loves history and spouts quotes from famous people on all occasions. When she discovers the now-abandoned Historical Society building in her New Hampshire town, she cleans it up and opens it as a museum. No one comes. Then one morning she finds a sign posted outside the building stating that it will be torn down to make room for a shoelace factory. Imogene tries to enlist the aid of the mayor and other influential people, but they all say that the factory will put them on the map. At the last minute, she finds a letter in the museum that was written by George Washington to indicate that he had slept there. She notifies a historian and then puts herself in a stockade on the porch as the wrecking crew approaches. Soon the whole town turns out to watch the spectacle, and people tell her to move. "'In the immortal words of the Vietnam War protesters,' she shouted, 'Heck no, I won't go!'" (There is no mention of the fact that the quote has been changed.) The President of the United States (an African-American woman) appears and declares the museum a national landmark. Illustrations done in pen-and-ink and digital media provide a lot of historical details and humor, featuring a determined child who rides in a sidecar on her father's motorcycle. This title could serve as a jumping-off place for some early elementary history lessons.—Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI END --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Starred Review, The Horn Book Magazine, November/December 2009: "With a light touch, complemented by Carpenter’s breezy illustrations, Fleming introduces rather than stresses these issues, making room for more thoughtful discussion but never requiring it"

Publishers Weekly, October 5, 2009: "Imogene’s passion and comedic perseverance inspire"

Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2009: "Fleming peppers the text with famous quotes that add a layer of historical depth to the story"

Booklist, July 1, 2009: "Fleming’s sense of small-town space is impeccable; Carpenter’s pen-and-ink art enjoyably scribbly; and the historical facts and quotes that bookend the story are just the thing to get new Imogenes fired up."
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Library Binding: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Schwartz & Wade (October 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375936076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375936074
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 0.4 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,050,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I have always been a storyteller. Even before I could write my name, I could tell a good tale. And I told them all the time. As a preschooler, I told my neighbors all about my three-legged cat named Spot. In kindergarten, I told my classmates about the ghost that lived in my attic. And in first grade I told my teacher, Miss Harbart, all about my family's trip to Paris, France.

I told such a good story that people always thought I was telling the truth. But I wasn't. I didn't have a three-legged cat or a ghost in my attic, and I'd certainly never been to Paris, France. I simply enjoyed telling a good story... and seeing my listener's reaction.

Sure, some people might have said I was a seven-year old fibber. But not my parents. Instead of calling my stories "fibs" they called them "imaginative." They encouraged me to put my stories down on paper. I did. And amazingly, once I began writing, I couldn't stop. I filled notebook after notebook with stories, poems, plays. I still have many of those notebooks. They're precious to me because they are a record of my writing life from elementary school on.

In second grade, I discovered a passion for language. I can still remember the day my teacher, Miss Johnson, held up a horn-shaped basket filled with papier-mache pumpkins and asked the class to repeat the word "cornucopia." I said it again and again, tasted the word on my lips. I tested it on my ears. That afternoon, I skipped all the way home from school chanting, "Cornucopia! Cornucopia!" From then on, I really began listening to words--to the sounds they made, and the way they were used, and how they made me feel. I longed to put them together in ways that were beautiful, and yet told a story.

As I grew, I continued to write stories. But I never really thought of becoming an author. Instead, I went to college where I discovered yet another passion--history. I didn't realize it then, but studying history is really just an extension of my love of stories. After all, some of the best stories are true ones -- tales of heroism and villainy made more incredible by the fact they really happened.

After graduation, I got married and had children. I read to them a lot, and that's when I discovered the joy and music of children's books. I simply couldn't get enough of them. With my two sons in tow, I made endless trips to the library. I read stacks of books. I found myself begging, "Just one more, pleeeeease!" while my boys begged for lights-out and sleep. Then it struck me. Why not write children's books? It seemed the perfect way to combine all the things I loved: stories, musical language, history, and reading. I couldn't wait to get started.

But writing children's books is harder than it looks. For three years I wrote story after story. I sent them to publisher after publisher. And I received rejection letter after rejection letter. Still, I didn't give up. I kept trying until finally one of my stories was pulled from the slush pile and turned into a book. My career as a children's author had begun.

For more information visit my website: www.candacefleming.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 8 year old son and I just love this book. We've read it twice now and will be reading it again. Imogene is a determined patriot, whose love of history leads her to do amazing things. We particularly enjoyed the quotes she uses from famous people in history and were excited to read more about those characters. This book is one you need in your library. Every person, of every age can read it and enjoy it, because in the immortal words of my son, "Wouldn't it be great if everyone had at least a little Imogene in them?" Indeed it would. Bravo!
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Format: Hardcover
Liddleville, New Hampshire was one of those small towns that if you drove though quickly you'd never know you missed it. It was full of history, but the only person who seemed to know that was Imogene Tripp. It was said that her first words were "Four score and seven years ago," but maybe that was pushing it a bit. At any rate, she was passionate about history. Every opportunity she got in school, she was talking about history. She was soooo interested in it she even had to go visit the Liddleville Historical Society, a "centuries-old house stuffed with dusty antiques." It was, as her Daddy exclaimed when they opened the door, "a mess."

Imogene was so excited the only thing she could say was "Wow!" She cleaned and organized the cobweb-ridden mess and told her father that the "mess" was history "And in the immortal words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., `We are made by history.'" When she was finished cleaning and organizing the "history" of Liddleville she threw open the door (dressed in an historical costume of course) and waited for the crowds to come. And waited and waited and waited. Mayor I. M. Butz soon declared that the house would have to be torn down to make way for a shoelace factory. Money counted more than history. How on earth would Imogene convince the town and Mayor Butz that history was more important than shoe laces?

This Liddleville, New Hampshire tall tale gives the reader many American historical tidbits to think about. In Imogene's travels we get to take brief looks at Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., William Morris, John Paul Jones, Paul Revere, Teddy Roosevelt, Chief Joseph, Vietnam War protesters, Martin Van Buren and Eleanor Roosevelt. Imogene's little vignettes about historical figures may entice the young reader into learning more about them.
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Format: Hardcover
My youngest daughter received this book as a gift and she read it immediately. However, she refused to pass up the chance for reading along with her, (possibly because I use voices for the different characters). We enjoyed every single page, but I became sad as I saw how the community responded to Imogene's many cries.

In celebration of Kwanzaa and the need for the community to come together, this book brought many things home. Because it strongly encourages girl-power and the use of yesterday's wisdom to accomplish many of today's tasks, I stand behind Imogene and shout OUTSTANDING!

I am looking forward to reading it again, sharing it with other children, and reading it many for years to come.
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Format: Hardcover
Imogene takes on the mayor and other elders when she discovers her town's historic house faces demolition to make room for a shoelace factory. She tries half a dozen schemes that fail to alert her elders to the historical importance of the empty house. When the bull dozers arrive, we find her locked in stocks on the front steps. Finally, the small town becomes aware of the importance of the house when a letter shows Georgre Washinton slept there.
A friend gave my wife this book because the two helped save a historic house in our small town. The book introduces the major issues of historic preservation without going into depth. Our grandchildren were enticed by the illustrations and alert to the dialogue. References and quotes to historic figures will entice the adult reader.
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Format: Paperback
I have a different take on this book than all the other reviewers, at this writing, who laud the fact that this is a positive story about a GIRL or that it gives snippets of quotes from randomly eulogized historical figures. It doesn't matter that she's a girl, and her quoting of a historical figure or saying doesn't add that much to the story. What is important is that this young girl, Imogene, is persevering and being clear-/far-sighted in fighting for her convictions--in this case, the saving of an old historical society building slated for demolition. When one has fervent convictions or a heart-felt goal one needs to be persuasive and determined when convincing others. The lesson I want children to get from this story is not famous-people references but the idea that one should pursue an important objective as arduously as possible. Even when reaching the goal may seem nearly impossible, ones persistence can be rewarded with success or--to be realistic, too--a near-alternative.

The Creative Teacher: Activities for Language Arts (Grades 4 through 8 and Up)
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Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
This book stands apart for it's story line and it's subject matter. It weaves history throughout in a humorous way and provides a great cross section of quotes. The story is compelling and empowering for children of all ages. You will root for Imogene and revel in her victory, a must have for any child. I plan on making this a staple of gift giving, what a great book!!! I cannot wait for my two year old to start shouting "The bulldozers are coming!" "The bulldozers are coming!"
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