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Joan of Arc Paperback – February 5, 2002

4.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"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. Ages 7-up.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7-This magnificent picture book exemplifies the author's talent for historical research, skill in writing clear and interesting prose, and ability to adopt different art styles and techniques appropriate to her subject. Joan of Arc's story is both history and mystery. How a peasant girl living in a class-structured century, a female in a man's world of war and politics, an unlettered visionary in a church-dominated society could change the course of history has been an ever-intriguing puzzle. Stanley finds answers in Joan's own words spoken before the Inquisition during her trial for heresy and in the 115 eyewitness accounts recorded in the Trial of Rehabilitation held after her martyrdom. From these 15th-century documents and other sources, the author weaves an absorbing and convincing story of a naive, brave, and driven young woman willing to face death to accomplish God's will as she heard it in her "voices." Stanley does not answer the question of whether Joan's role was divine or human in origin, concluding, "Sometimes, in studying history, we have to accept what we know and let the rest remain a mystery." The meticulously designed pages and colorful, decoratively framed illustrations are full of details from Joan's era. Decorative banners, costumes, scenes with crowds of soldiers and nobles, rooms with patterned floors, and gabled houses and crenellated castles reflect the bright world of the Flemish art of the late Middle Ages. Joan is pictured as young and serene, an innocent child among a throng of cynical warriors and disapproving priests. This narrative description of the greatest of French saints is a work of art, a good story, and a model of historical writing.
Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 6
  • Lexile Measure: 980 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (February 5, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064437485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064437486
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Diane Stanley is the author and illustrator of more than fifty books for children, noted especially for her series of picture book biographies. SHAKA: KING OF THE ZULUS was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book; LEONARDO DA VINCI received the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction from the National Council for Teachers of English. Ten of her books have been honored as "Notable Books" by the American Library Association and she has twice received both the Boston Globe/Hornbook Award and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators' Golden Kite Award. She is the recipient of the Washington Post/Children's Book Guild Award for Nonfiction for the body of her work.

She lives in Santa Fe, NM. Visit her website at dianestanley.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Once again, Diane Stanley has brought intriguing facts and interesting tidbits to a book about a well known character, Joan of Arc, which makes the reader interested and excited about the subject, no matter what age he or she might be. Joan was born an illiterate, peasant daughter of a leader in a French village during the time of the Hundred Years War between France and England. She was highly disciplined in Catholicism, and was often teased about it by her friends. At the age of thirteen, Joan began having visions, while in the family garden, of various Catholic Saints giving her distressing messages and that she needed to act in order to save the French Kingdom. Joan was so convinced and moved by these visions that she took on a life long task of saving the French kingdom, although a woman doing this would have been unheard of at the time. She was eventually captured by the Burgundies that occupied Northern France and handed over to the English for a ransom. She was put on trial by the church for dressing in men's clothing and for acting on her voices and visitations which should have only been heard by members of the clergy. She was found guilty, although she gave clever testimony and was not easily disrupted by tricky questioning, and eventually burned at the stake. Charles, the ruler that Joan help restore to the crown, made it his personal mission to have Joan's trial declared a mistrial sixteen years after her death. This act fueled by his guilt for not negotiating for her release from prison helped her to be declared a saint five hundred years later.

This book helps the reader realize that although Joan my have appeared unstable with her visions in modern times, she brought hope and life to a battle that was hopeless leaving many French residents in despair.
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By A Customer on January 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful book that I purchased for a seven year old girl. I am a medievalist and the depictions in this book of the clothing, etc. are true to fact. The next copy I buy will be for myself as I collect good children's books on medieval times. Every year I publish of list of children's book on this time period that I recommend in our group's newsletter and this book is high on the list.
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Format: Paperback
This book is well-done, but Joan's story is depressing. Diane Stanley does a great job with the illustrations, making them look like medieval tapestries. Many times, it is difficult to tell which illustrated person is Joan (which does mimic the style of the times).

The author explains how Joan (and her followers) could possibly believe she had been visited by angels -- and believe in this enough to take action on it.

After the king was crowned, he granted Joan her only request: to exempt her hometown from taxes forever.

The illustration for the page where Joan is burned at the stake is mostly rooftops and crowds -- smoke from the chimney helps disguise the smoke from the stake. Not too terrifying, Moms.
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Format: Paperback
Diane Stanley, author of a series of high-quality biographies for children, does it again: Joan of Arc is intelligent and interesting with eye-popping illustrations. Of course the story is tragic, so this is not a good first biography for the young, tender-hearted child. The only thing missing is a real sense of the supernatural, what drove Joan to do what she did in the first place. If you're looking for the miraculous in your retelling of Joan's story, choose instead Josephine Poole's breathtaking "Joan of Arc."
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Format: Hardcover
Not only was this an accurate portrayal of Joan of Arc's story, it was wonderfully written and illustrated. I would recommend it for anyone who is starting out in learning of the saint. It is educational and enjoyable for a child.
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By A Customer on April 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
A beautiful book! Diane Stanley carefully traces the life of Joan from her humble beginnings to her tragic end. The book even comes with a pronunciation guide to help those of us who haven't been to France. Although the language is at 8+ year old range, my 5 year old daughter loves it anyway!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My son asked me if there had been any female knights. I thought of Joan of Arc and ordered this book. He was 5 at the time I purchased it and it held his interest all the way through. The illustrations were beautiful and there was just the right level of information / detail. There were some spots where it was tough for me, as I was reading it aloud, to keep track of the timing as far as how many years this was all taking place through, but I think for the intended audience, that is fine, and we can delve further into it with more mature works as the kids get older. All in all, an excellent introduction to Joan of Arc.
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Format: Hardcover
My 8 year old daughter devoured this book in one sitting, which is amazing considering that she hardly ever reads non-fiction. (She was not pleased at the not-so-happy ending, however!)
Beautiful illustrations.
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