Stand Straight, Ella Kate
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Stand Straight, Ella Kate is about Ella Kate Ewing who started out small, but she just kept on growing. Soon she was too tall for her desk at school, too tall for her bed at home, too tall to fit anywhere.
Ella Kate Ewing was born in 1872. She started out small, but she just kept on growing. Soon she was too tall for her desk at school, too tall for her bed at home, too tall to fit anywhere.
Ella Kate was a real-life giant, but she refused to hide herself away. Instead, she used her unusual height to achieve her equally large dreams.
The masterful Klise sisters deliver a touching and inspiring true story about a strong-minded girl who finally embraced her differences. It’s the perfect book for every child who has ever felt like an outsider.
About the Author & Illustrator:
Kate Klise is an author of many genres. She has written picture books, as well as middle-grade novels, all illustrated by her sister, Sarah. She has also written two young adult novels and is a freelance reporter for People magazine. Kate lives and writes in Norwood, Missouri.
Learn more about Kate and Sarah Klise here.
A Few Reviews:
When she starts to grow at an alarming rate at the age of seven, no one can predict what life may have in store for Ella Kate, a country girl who becomes a “real, live giant.” Self-conscious about her abnormal height, Ella hunches down to look smaller, tries unsuccessfully to place her long legs under her desk, and suffers the teasing of thoughtless classmates, feeling “too big for the world.” By the time she reaches 8 feet, in 1889, 17-year-old Ella is invited to work as an attraction in a Chicago museum, and, despite her father’s protective instincts, takes the offer. Thus begins a life of fame, fortune, and worldwide adventure for the girl once labeled a “freak.” Told in first person, this is a delightful tale about an extraordinary young woman who embraced her difference. The story is well told in straightforward prose with lots of dialogue, and Ella’s strength of character shines through. The stylized acrylic illustrations add much to the text, using bright colors and emphasizing Ella’s height from various perspectives. A sepia-toned photo of the real Ella and an author’s note are included. This is an excellent choice for youngsters who have ever had to deal with being different. It would also work well paired with a version of “Molly Whuppie,” offering a point of comparison between the fantasy giant and the real-life Ella. Sure to be a hit. – School Library Journal
Born in 1872 and brought up on a farm in Missouri, Ella Kate Ewing begins to grow so quickly that she soon towers over her friends. Though her parents vow to protect Ella Kate from name-calling and taunts by keeping her at home, at 18 she ventures out to earn money as a museum exhibit in Chicago. Later, Ella Kate sees the world and makes her fortune by appearing in exhibitions and circuses as THE TALLEST LADY ON EARTH. When people are cruel, she maintains her dignity by remembering her parents’ admonition to Stand straight, Ella Kate. Based on the real Ella Ewing and told from her point of view, this intriguing picture book ends with a page of information about her medical condition (gigantism) and her remarkable life. Although the book’s well-paced, lightly fictionalized story underscores Ella Kate’s dignity and generosity, it includes many height-related incidents that will intrigue and amuse children. The acrylic paintings reflect the tone of the text while illustrating the narrative with warmth, wit, and style. The book’s factual basis makes its underlying message more powerful. Readers will enjoy watching this sympathetic character gradually come to accept her unusual height and make the most of it – Booklist