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Joan of Arc Hardcover – September 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4th - 7th
  • Lexile Measure: 950L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Two Lions (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761459537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761459538
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 10.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #362,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Ages 8-12 Author-illustrator Demi (Rumi: Whirling Dervish) does her usual visually stunning work in this illustrated biography of the storied Joan of Arc, a patron saint of France. The outlines of Joan s life are known well enough: pious and unsophisticated young Joan hears voices from God that send her to the 15th-century court of the Dauphin, Charles of France. Her victories in battle assure the ascension of the opportunistic Charles to the French throne. But when Joan, heeding secular rather than divine guidance, begins to fail, Charles abandons her, leading to her capture by the English and martyrdom. Demi goes into detail in glorious color, from deep regal blue to medieval gold, bordering her illustrations with small symbols that introduce young readers eyes to the glories of illuminated manuscripts and Book of Hours visual richness. The message of female empowerment is a bonus. Recommended for libraries and especially for Catholic educators, who can put to good use fresh renderings of the lives of familiar saints. --Publisher s Weekly, August 15th Issue

Ages 8-11 Demi s biography of Joan of Arc contains bright illustrations evocative of the text and in the spirit of 15th century medieval art. In a note, Demi lists the books she has studied and the artwork that was inspiring to her. Sections of the text will be hard for some children to understand because of the names and some higher-level vocabulary. The book will be useful to students who need to know about Joan for reports, or for browsing the artwork. The story, however, will not be as useful or enjoyable. It gives the facts of her life and tells of her hearing the voice of God. Definitely purchase this book for the stunning artwork. Ellen Spring, Librarian, Rockland District Middle School, St. George School, Thomaston Grammar School, Maine. Recommended. --Library Media Connection, January/February Advanced Reviews

About the Author

Demi lives in Yarrow Point, Washington State. Some of her other picture-book biographies are Alexander the Great, Tutankhamun, Rumi: Whirling Dervish, and Marco Polo.

More About the Author

Demi was born in Cambridge, Mass. She studied at the Instituto Allende in Guanajuato, Mexico, at Immaculate Heart College with Sisters Magdalen Mary and Sister Corita in Hollywood, California. She also studied at the M.S. University in Baroda, India, while on a Fulbright Scholarship, as well as the China Institute For Arts in New York City.

Her husband Tze-si Huang introduced her to the religion, folklore, ancient culture, and history of China.

Demi has illustrated and authored more than 300 children's books including biographies of Jesus, Buddha, and the Dalai Lama, as well as folktales such as The Empty Pot and Liang and the Magic Paintbrush. Her work has received many awards and accolades, among them the Christopher Award, which recognizes individuals whose work makes a positive difference in the world, and the Middle
East Book Award. Her titles have been designated American Library Association Notable Children's Books, New York Times Best Illustrated Books, Notable Books for a Global Society, and American Bookseller Pick of the List Books.

Customer Reviews

Enough details are provided to make the book useful for school reports as well as pleasure reading.
M. Tanenbaum
Demi's artistic interpretation of Joan of Arc is a beautifully rendered effort with illustrations reminiscent of illuminated manuscripts and stained glass windows.
Carol Toscano
Like most of the stories of her life, it tells how Joan was inspired by the Archangel Michael to lead the French army into battle and victory.
Tim Drake

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I am a great admirer of author-illustrator Demi's work and some of my favorites are Firebird and Marco Polo. When I saw the latest title I was enraptured by the beautiful illustrations that remind readers of illuminated manuscripts. Her artwork is inspired by the beauty of stained glass, and also the architecture, paintings, and sculpture of the 15th century.

The story of Joan of Arc is told in a simple manner here befitting its target audience of upper elementary children. Joan's story is told chronologically, beginning with her birth on January 6th, 1412. From a young age, Joan was a kind, gentle, and devout soul. Joan grew up during a period of political turmoil, as both England and Burgundy were at war with France. The Dauphin Charles of France was young and lacked the mettle to go to Reims Cathedral and crown himself king of France.

One summer day, Joan experiences a vision where the Archangel Michael comes to her and tells her that she has been chosen by God to save France. Emboldened by her faith, Joan finally goes to visit the Dauphin at the age of sixteen. Initially, Joan's attempts meet with failure but eventually she succeeds in her mission. The author does a fine job in telling this tale - providing enough details but keeping the story simple so that young children are able to understand Joan's mission, her failures, successes, and tragic downfall. Demi conveys in simple words how Joan's downfall began when she "obeyed the king's voice and not her inner voices." In vivid illustrations, readers are shown how Joan is eventually captured by France's enemies and burned at the stake as a witch, even though she had always been guided by her devout belief in God.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By helena t on April 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Great story and beautiful illustrations, which cannot be appreciated in the Kindle version of the book. The fond of text cannot be increased, therefore making impossible it to read for young readers. The illustrations are too small in the Kindle version as they appear 2 to the page. Not worth buying for Kindle.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Tanenbaum VINE VOICE on November 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In this exquisitely illustrated new picture book biography of Joan of Arc, award-winning author/illustrator Demi retells Joan's timeless story for today's young people, with simple text suitable for elementary school children and gorgeous mixed media illustrations, inspired by 15th century medieval manuscripts, stained glass, paintings, and sculpture.

Joan's story is told chronologically, beginning with her ordinary girlhood in rural France, in a time when the lives of peasants like Joan's family were made dangerous by the ravages of a long war with Burgundy and England. At the tender age of thirteen, Joan begins to have visions telling her that she would save the kingdom of France by leading the heir to the throne, or Dauphin, to Reims Cathedral to be crowned king. The story of how Joan convinced powerful men to back her, a poor and friendless maiden, convinces the Dauphin she is sent by God, leads the French army to victory, and then falls from the height of power to her ultimate tragic end as she is burned at the stake, remains compelling for all ages, and is rendered in glowing detail by Demi. The oversized book's pages mimic the ivory colored parchment of the Middle Ages, while the illustrations seem to glow with gold, vibrant purple, and the red of the flames that ended Joan's life. While the faux illuminated manuscripts are the star of this book, with exquisitely detailed borders enriching each image, Demi's simple retelling of Joan's story should fascinate young people not familiar with her history. Enough details are provided to make the book useful for school reports as well as pleasure reading.

This book is a must-buy for school and public libraries alike. Highly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sunny Sewing Honeybee on October 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This retelling of Joan of Arc tells the story of Joan trying to help the dauphin of France become king. Heavenly voices--saints and angels--have communicated with her it is what she is meant to do. After her victory commanding the army, she is asked to stay on by the new king, and be in charge of the royal army. Joan is told not to accept this offer by the saints and angels who advise her. Yet, she goes against their advice. At that moment, they abandon her, and she no longer is victorious.

What happens next is her eventual trial, false confession, repentance, and burning at the stake.

The wonderful illustrations are what really make the book. They remind me of illuminated texts. The illustrations are embellished with "gold" and "silver" metallic-like ink in various places. For example, armor is silver, and crosses, gold.

The book is beautifully done, but because of the sad nature of Joan's story (her burning is even shown in illustration), it might be best for ages on the farther side of the recommended age range, or even for adult readers who might enjoy the illuminated text appearance of the illustrations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ctwink VINE VOICE on September 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The story of Joan of Arc is hugely uplifting tale of spiritual conviction and bravery in the face of difficult situations, but also an extremely complicated one. Despite this, Demi has crafted an extremely beautiful and engaging book that faithfully captures Joan's story (I fact-checked the book before I wrote the review). Historical picture books seem to be quite popular recently as Demi has written 30 of them and I've seen similar products from other authors (I recently reviewed The Elephant from Baghdad and A Giraffe Goes to Paris for Vine Voice). The story itself is gripping, uses age-appropriate words, and follows Joan's life all the way to its unpleasant end and later canonization as a saint. The illustrations are more than beautiful and I love that they have the look of period (15th century) paintings and/or stained glass windows as I felt this furthered the "historical setting" that you enter into when reading the book. As basically a larger "picture book", there is text on 40 pages and the text is only around 2000 words total, the illustrations are important. The map at the end was also very helpful. Considering how woefully ignorant most Americans are to even places in the U.S., I'm pretty sure most of us couldn't pinpoint Poitiers, Orléans, or Reims on a map of France...

The only drawback I see is that I'm not sure if the depths and nuances of Joan's story can be understood by your average nine year old. Although my nine year old loved the book, she didn't really understand everything that was going on.
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