Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy New
$13.77
  • List Price: $17.99
  • Save: $4.22 (23%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
That Book Woman has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 4 images

That Book Woman Hardcover – October 7, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$13.77
$6.65 $5.18

$13.77 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • That Book Woman
  • +
  • Rain School
  • +
  • My Librarian Is a Camel: How Books Are Brought to Children Around the World
Total price: $40.89
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2–5—A simple and heartfelt paean to the Pack Horse Librarians of the 1930s who were part of a WPA program founded to take books to remote areas. Cal and his family live high in the Appalachian hills. He's proud to be a hard worker and scorns his sister, who'd read all day if allowed. When a stranger appears on horseback to deliver books, Cal wants nothing to do with her until one winter evening when she braves the snowy mountain to deliver her goods. Her courage and strong will make him realize that her job must be very important, so he asks his sister to teach him to read. Henson's free-verse narrative is peppered with colloquialisms and authentic-sounding language that might be tricky for some readers, but lend immediacy and atmosphere to the story. Done in pale browns and greens, Small's signature ink-and-watercolor illustrations depict an austere mountain home and the hardscrabble lives of family members who have little to spare. Cal's expressions of resentment and anger, and then his acceptance and enjoyment of reading, are shown with simple yet effective lines. Pair this poignant book with Kathi Appelt and Jeanne Cannella Schmitzer's Down Cut Shin Creek (HarperCollins, 2001) for an excellent unit on these dedicated women and for a great discussion starter on the importance of books.—Angela J. Reynolds, Annapolis Valley Regional Library, Bridgetown, NS, Canada
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Cal describes his way-up mountain home—“So high / we hardly sight / a soul”—but that changes when the Book Woman, a traveling librarian, rides up to the house. The Book Woman is a boon for Cal’s sister, Lark, “the readenest child you ever did see,” but no use to Cal, who is not “born / to sit so stoney-still / a-starin at some chicken scratch.” However, he is impressed by the librarian, who rides in all weather; finally, he asks Lark to teach him to read. This tribute to the Pack Horse Librarians of Appalachia has a lyric, simple style that lends itself to reading aloud. Henson, a Kentucky native, creates a reliable narrator in Cal, whose journey to reading is gentle and believable. There are a couple of stereotypes here (Mother is pregnant and barefoot), but overall, the mixed-media illustrations (ink, watercolor, pastel) support the text’s genial flow. Mountains and sky achieve a lofty spaciousness that makes the Book Woman’s ride even more impressive. An author’s note gives background on the WPA’s Pack Horse Librarian program. Grades 2-4. --Janice Del Negro
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 920L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (October 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416908129
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416908128
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jodi VINE VOICE on September 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
One of the things I look for in a children's book, besides a good storyline itself, is good illustrations. Before buying a book, I ask myself two questions:

1) "Could I read this book to my daughter over and over and over again without getting sick of it?" and

2) "Could I look at these illustrations over and over and over again without getting sick of them?"

Since my daughter can't read yet, only well illustrated books (combined with my attempts at multiple character voices) will hold her interest. This book has passed that test.

The storyline itself deals with the Pack Horse Librarians who used to deliver books to the people living in the Appalachian mountains and it is written from the first person point of view. Cal, our narrator, talks about "that woman" who comes every two weeks like clockwork to deliver books to them. In the beginning, Cal has no use for this woman or her books, ("...it would not bother me at all if she forgot the way back to our door.") but by the end of the story, he admits that he wishes he had a gift to give this stubborn woman whose resilience and devotion to her job turned him into a lifelong reader.

Cal speaks in an Appalachian dialect which, in the beginning, was a turn off for me. Trying to read things like, "Lark would keep her nose a-twixt the pages of a book...." was a bit irritating to me, until my daughter started laughing. Hearing Mommy speak these funny words in this funny voice was a real treat for her and anything that makes my daughter laugh is a keeper as far as I'm concerned.

I feel compelled to write a line or two about the illustrations.
Read more ›
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By S. J Parker on October 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book was very interesting for both my 8 yr old granddaughter as well as myself. I read it first & upon re-reading it to her, tried to read it as the characters were supposed to be speaking (in a mountain slang). Some parts I had to read twice but she was able to follow the story easily looking at the illustrations, which are excellent & tell the story.

This book is inspired by the true and courageous work of the Pack Horse Librarians, who were known as "Book Women". The women would travel on horseback to difficult to reach rural areas in the Appalachian Mountains during the Depression loaning books to families. The Pack Horse Library Project was set up by Franklin D. Roosevelt's Work Projects in the 1930's.

The Book Woman is a must read
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Cal wasn't very interested in reading. But he admired the courage and determination of the book woman, a traveling librarian who would ride through all kinds of weather, every two weeks to bring them books for free. One day, he asks his sister to teach him how to read, and before the winter was over, there were now two readers in the family.

This book is a tribute to those brave and dedicated "book women", who would ride through the rural hills to faraway villages bringing books so that children can read. I didn't know about their existence until I read this book. Thanks for sharing this fascinating story.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition
Very nice collaboration Heather Henson did with David Small. This picture book narrates about an unnamed Pack Horse Librarian and her biweekly visits in the Kentuckian mountains. How she brings literature, culture, and the outside world to a remote farm family. How a little boy's resentment for that woman and her "chicken scratch" evolves as she risks rough weather only to give them new books.

But more than that, this book is a wonderful way for older generations to teach young people and those that didn't live in remote regions about the "Pack Horse Librarian" program, an initiative President Roosevelt did for those who lived in remote areas where schools and libraries were not easily accessible. And what's nice is that Heather Henson offers in her book other resources (websites, books) to know more on this topic, proving she did her researches and knows what she is talking about.

As for David Small, his watercolours are pleasant to watch. Clear and well organised compositions, distinct character designs for each person, rich colours that display the region's weather and/or the focal point of an illustration (ex: pack of berries), each painting offers subtle details that describe those remote rural families' reality (ex: how the chicken roam around the house). Details that I appreciated a lot. Although I have to say that under the Kindle app, those artwork and Henson's text suffer as the application doesn't offer zooms like on Google Play as the letter fonts in this book are small. Especially in the author's Note as the letters appear on an Ipad and Android tablet as tiny fleas. Therefore, I suggest to those who'd want to buy an electronic version of the book to resort to Google Play's as its app offers zooms; the opportunity to look closer at artwork details and letters a Kindle app couldn't offer.

In conclusion, this picture book is material for all ages and for all reading interests, whether they are historical, entertainment, or artistic.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
This is not only a book about a subculture of the 1930s (and a little about today)--mountain folk, hillbillies, the very rural or isolated, maybe even the inner-city--but about the power that reading can have on children. Having grown up country, myself, with hillbilly relatives, I appreciate the colloquial lingo used in this story about a horse-traveling, itinerate librarian called, officially, a Pack Horse Librarian.

The reader can sense feelings about the value--negative and positive--of books in this rural family. Unfortunately, the slang or torture of the English language can hinder appreciation of the story. For example, if a read-aloud choice, the reader may want to explain the language choices that young Cal, the main character, uses, such as: Pap, chicken scratch, onliest, sassy tea, for naught, tinker-man, mess of greens, poke of berries, hoot, howdy-do, sakes alive, and boughten shoes--though the context does help somewhat.

Cal is a non-reader by choice, though his younger sister isn't; she's the "readenest child," says his Pap. But, eventually, Cal is fascinated to know WHY the Book Woman makes such an effort to deliver "dumb old books" way up into the mountain hollows. In fact he's so curious about the Book Woman and those dumb book, which he so labeled in the past, that new thoughts "go a-swirling around inside [his] head." So..., fascination turns to curiosity, which turns to a yearning "to know what makes that Book Woman risk catching cold or worse."

Finally, he asks his younger sister to help him read, which up to now was just "chicken scratching". And when that Book Woman returns weeks later, he wants to give her a gift of appreciation for what he has discovered because of her (and his sister) efforts.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

That Book Woman
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: That Book Woman