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The Kid Who Climbed the Tarzan Tree Paperback – October 4, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Little Creek Press. A Division of Kristin Mitchell Design, LLC (October 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0989643158
  • ISBN-13: 978-0989643153
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,266,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David William Rozelle lives in retirement with his wife Judith, a plant scientist, in Wisconsin's Wyoming Township near Spring Green. Following his boyhood at Taylor Home and in a rural foster home, he earned an undergraduate degree at Wisconsin State College-Whitewater and did graduate work at universities in both Colorado and California. Rozelle's accomplishments as a young University of Wisconsin System faculty member won him a Fulbright grant in 1971-72. Posted to Denmark, he taught American literature at five Danish colleges. Since 1973, his resume has included positions as associate director of an antipoverty agency, community services director of a large rural mental health center, and assignments as freelance writer and creative consultant for a number of public education programs, often in the field of preventive mental health. A published poet, essayist and former guest political columnist, Rozelle has for years collaborated as 'poet in residence' with his distinguished artist friend Christian Andrew Grooms on events for Paoli House Gallery in Wisconsin. Grooms, who is the gallery's artistic director, graciously volunteered to be this book's illustrator. The Kid Who Climbed the Tarzan Tree represents Rozelle's long-delayed written celebration of his six years as a 'kid from the Home.' His deepest gratitude goes out to his wife Judith and friend Christian for not only believing in this work but also making it an immeasurably better one. He is honored by their presence in his life and in the book's publication.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Perry T. on October 20, 2013
Format: Paperback
The Kid Who Climbed the Tarzan Tree made me laugh and cry. I have read few books that I have experienced so many emotions in so few pages. How surprised I was to find that Mr. Rozelle's time at Taylor Children's Home in Racine, Wisconsin was a time that gave hime a place of peace, excitement and a steady, solid "family" to be part of for six years.

His tribute to the women who ran the home is the great legacy of this book. And the tribute to his sister, will make you realize that he and his sister struggled through their childhood together. This is when you begin to cry and this is only the first time, but not the last. Read the "Street Car Name Delirium" and you will cry for the young the Rozelle children. The "Fire in the Jungle" story will make you laugh and also realize how truly unique the woman of the children's home really were. The woman allowed the children the freedom to be "children". Imagine giving little boys frying pans and eggs to go out and make a fire in the woods so they could cook a campfire meal. A great read not to be missed and one to take to heart. Maybe there should be children's home in every state run by women like those at Taylor's Children Home.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By david giffey on October 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
David Rozelle’s writing makes “The Kid Who Climbed the Tarzan Tree” a truly splendid and unique piece of literature. The story – brother and sister in need of and finding a home – is unique in itself. But Rozelle’s lyrical and good-humored writing makes this little book a real gem. From his adult perspective, based on experience, art, and intelligence, the author re-tells stories of innocence and fulfillment which are heartfelt, funny, and touching. The book is instructive but not didactic. The illustrations are subtle and suit the era. A reader is left to contemplate the absence, in the 21st century, of places like the children’s home of Rozelle’s youth, and to wonder about that absence. Where have such places gone? Where are the generous souls who ran them? In his wonderful book, Rozelle recycles the love and understanding he gained from the remarkable people who cared for him. “The Kid Who Climbed the Tarzan Tree” is an enchanting testimony to human goodness, told most poetically. Congratulations Mr. Rozelle!
--David Giffey
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Julie Tallard Johnson on November 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
David is such a skilled storyteller that when I came to the end of the book I wished there was more. He will take you up the Tarzan Tree with him as you explore the realities of living in a group home in the 1940's. The drawings in this book make it read like a graphic novel and give us a visual window into the stories David weaves so well (and the ones he lived). You will treasure this book and likely return to it as I have. Added: I just heard him read from the book and met the artist too at a local bookstore. Hearing the stories again brought them to life. If you can, invite him to your book club or bookstore -- what an extra delight!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rozelle and his sister were placed in the Taylor Avenue Orphan Asylum in Racine, Wisconsin in the mid-1940s. They were to stay there for six years. The Taylors who endowed the home had lost all their children; he had been in an orphanage in England and resented the cruel treatment there. Accordingly, TAOA was established with women clearly in charge. It was a benevolent place with chores but also time to play, to climb the Tarzan Tree, to roast potatoes, to attend school. Punishment was rarely rendered. Each child received an allowance to show that “we are all in this together.” I was particularly interested in this book because I remember Taylor Home. I went to Mitchell School with kids from there and my Girl Scout troop went there to entertain the children. My mother had died and I was quite aware that, except for an aunt and uncle, I might have been there. It is good to know how well it was run and what happy memories came from there. Unfortunately, it no longer exists. This is a memoir of anecdotes and good times plus chapters of a dysfunctional family. The Rozelle children were lucky to have such an escape hatch.
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By cathy Levis on September 10, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
wornderful,charming,enchanting
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More About the Author

A university colleague once quipped, "You're the kind of guy who gives a bad name to juvenile delinquents." He was right. (Wise guys always get the last word.) Reared in both an orphan asylum and foster homes, I foiled expectations by not failing. Instead, I went on to careers in academia, antipoverty, preventive mental health, and freelance writing. Now retired to a hilltop retreat near Frank Lloyd Wright's Wisconsin Taliesin, I hold forth during my lengthening life, thanks to (A) a progressive orphanage, (B) an inspired rural high school, (C) the joys of friendship, (D) a loving wife of nearly four decades and (E) a barely suppressed juvenile delinquent's sense of humor.

See! We orphans can and do learn our ABCs. In fact, in February The Kid Who Climbed the Tarzan Tree won a GOLD ADDY for creative excellence in book design. Better yet, in June a commemorative plaque was hung by the Village of Elmwood on the original Tarzan Tree. Meanwhile, planning for a memorial to Taylor Orphan Asylum by Elmwood Park and Preservation Racine Inc. approaches the final stages. The etched, marble obelisk will stand on the vanished Asylum's grounds as a reminder that children gone to pieces had once been made whole again there.