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Patience Wright: American Sculptor and Revolutionary Spy Hardcover – February 20, 2007


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 1010L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); 1st edition (February 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805067701
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805067705
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.5 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #474,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–6—This biography introduces an obscure but fascinating American Revolution figure—a patriotic precursor to Madame Tussaud. Born in Oyster Bay, NY, in 1725, Patience Lovell grew up in a Quaker household. From an early age, she exhibited a gift for creating lifelike sculptures, first using clay, and later, wax. Widowed at 45, she moved to Philadelphia, where she opened an art studio. Wealthy clients commissioned busts and figures of themselves. After establishing permanent exhibits in Philadelphia and New York, Wright opened a London studio. Letters of introduction from Ben Franklin helped to establish her success in England. While her efforts to persuade King George not to wage war on the colonies failed, her engaging nature helped her obtain information from members of Parliament and military officers. "Patience led them into revealing secrets by offering wrong information, which they immediately corrected." She put the secrets inside hollow busts that she sent back home, revealing which colonists took bribes from the British, as well as details about enemy weapons and attacks. The delicately rendered, gouache-and-pastel illustrations, covering full spreads, portray the artist, the early American landscape, period costumes, and life-size, fully dressed sculptures. The one of Franklin's head looks alarmingly alive, as the coloring, facial expression, and eyes are so real. Use this unique biography to enrich social-studies units on the Revolution and on women's history.—Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* As a child, Patience Wright enjoyed sculpting from clay. Years later, after the death of her husband, she decided to support her children through her art. Her wax-modeling business, producing three-dimensional portraits, busts, and life-size replicas of clients, became a huge success, as Shea explains in her informative author's note, "a female artist was rare enough . . . a woman who passionately pursued her career . . . was unheard of." Wright's life was to become even more unconventional. After moving her business to London, she became privy to information about the Revolutionary War, which she heard from important clients. A wonderful picture of Ben Franklin's wax head illustrates how Wright sent secret messages in sculptures she shipped to America. Shea writes with a dynamic simplicity that brings Wright to life. At the same time, she seamlessly incorporates information about the war and events leading up to it into her text. Andersen has a way with women characters; her cover depiction of Wright, looking straight at the audience, a small wax head in her hand, is particularly effective. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Hi! Thanks for your interest in my work. I LOVE to meet readers at school visits and teacher conferences, and share my writing processes. Please visit www.pegideitzshea.com for details.

Right now, I'm celebrating the release of my new YA novel, STITCH IN TIME, a sequel to TANGLED THREADS about the Hmong refugee, Mai, first introduced in my picture book, THE WHISPERING CLOTH. Mai reunites with her crush from camp, Yia, but he wants her to become a mother to his sons rather than pursue art school. STITCH IN TIME is available on Kindle as well as in paperback on Amazon.

I'm working on several projects as usual, revising two novels: SNAKE BOY, SISTER SPY, a YA novel based on the teen exploits of my aunt and uncle in the French Resistance during WWII; and THE JERSEY DEVIL, a novel set in the NJ Pine Barrens in 1979 when gambling returned to Atlantic City. "Angie" is a budding folk singer/songwriter. I'm still working with UCONN marine biologists on a series called AQUANAUTS: TEEN HEROES OF THE SEAS.

I teach writing at the University of Connecticut, the Mark Twain House and Highlights Foundation. I love sharing my knowledge, energy, and passion for writing. I also love sports, travel and reading, of course.

Learn more about me at my website, or email me at pegideitzshea@aol.com

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shannon Hitchcock on May 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Author Pegi Deitz Shea makes history come alive in this tale of colonial America. Patience Wright was a widow who supported her children by making wax sculptures. She was so good at it that she was even invited to Buckingham Palace to create wax busts of the king and queen. Perhaps the most intriguing part of Patience's story is that she gathered information from the British and sent messages hidden inside her sculptures to the Continental Congress. These secret messages helped colonists win the American Revolution. This book makes an interesting supplement for students studying the Revolutionary War period.
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By kendall trudy on April 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thought the book was informative and had great illustrations. I gave it to a friend still have not heard back to much
what he thought but one of his comments was why did he not have her in school. We both have a hard time reading and for anyone old or young who has a hard time reading I would recomend this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is no way near a book for an older child. My daughter is going in to 5th grade, it took her about 20 minutes to read. It was way too expensive for such a short book. It is an interesting woman and she was disappointed there was no more information in it.
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Format: Hardcover
This book tells the story of an American patiot spy and entrepeneur, the little known Patience Wright. Girls will find a new role model from American history. Great artwork too.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on April 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Patience Wright was born in 1735. From an early age she had a talent for art. When she grew up she and her sister ran a wax sculpting business. She was very successful and made great life like images of famous people such as Ben Franklin and the Queen of England. During the American Revolutions she was able to use the statues as spies. The head was made hollow so that a message could be hidden inside.

I liked the books historical content.

Yes It would be great for a read aloud during a unit on the American revolution
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