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Anne Hutchinson's Way Hardcover – July 24, 2007
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*Starred Review* At first blush, the subject of this oversize picture book might seem to have little interest for primary readers. Anne Hutchinson arrives with her family in Massachusetts colony in 1634 and begins preaching scripture from her home after finding herself in disagreement with the minister's beliefs. Yet Atkins is able to take the issue of religious freedom and make it personal by telling the story through the eyes of Hutchinson's young daughter, Susanna. The tale begins with the Puritan Hutchinson family aboard a rocking ship, heading for a new country to escape persecution by the Church of England. Susanna is the youngest of 10, and readers become familiar with the land through the things she sees, smells, hears. One of the sounds is the loud voice of the minister, who objects to the way Anne has gathered first women and then both sexes to listen to her talk about a forgiving God. Others in the community whisper that women should not preach at all. In time, a court banishes her, and eventually the family must find a new home. A sense of sturdiness is everywhere here: in the story of Anne and her husband's unwavering courage to stand strong for their beliefs and in Dooling's impressive artwork, plain in color but rugged in its portrayal of the demands of colony life. Illustrated in a photo-realistic style that makes the long-ago events seem close, this offers something solid for children, especially those studying early American history Cooper, Ilene
"Atkins is able to take the issue of religious freedom and make it personal . . . Executed in a photo-realistic style that makes long-ago events seem close."—Starred, Booklist
"Beautifully produced and constructed . . . Atkins tells a complex story of faith and freedom with clarity and strength."—Kirkus Reviews
"A useful addition for women’s history or early Colonial studies."—School Library Journal
"Dooling's big illustrations full of historic detail are wonderful." —The Recorder, Greenfield, MA
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Jeannine Atkins' portrait - subtle and rich - matches the quiet strength of her subject. Her sentences are a marvel, gracefully combining emotion and information. The illustrations are quite something, as well - the entire work skillful and inviting on all counts.