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This Land Was Made for You and Me: The Life and Songs of Woody Guthrie (Golden Kite Awards (Awards)) [Hardcover]

By Elizabeth Partridge (Author)
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Item description for This Land Was Made for You and Me: The Life and Songs of Woody Guthrie (Golden Kite Awards (Awards)) by Elizabeth Partridge...

Offers an in-depth look at the life and music of this celebrated song writer and singer who performed songs from the late 1920s to the 1950s about daily life, racial equality, and the working man's world in America.

Publishers Description
Before Springsteen and before Dylan, there was Woody Guthrie. With "This Machine Kills Fascists," scrawled across his guitar in big black letters, Woody Guthrie brilliantly captured in song the experience of twentieth-century America. Whether he sang about union organizers, migrant workers, or war, Woody took his inspiration from the plight of the people around him as well as from his own tragic childhood.
From the late 1920s to the 1950s, Guthrie wrote the words to more than three thousand songs, including "This Land Is Your Land," a song many call America's unofficial national anthem. With a remarkable ability to turn any experience into a song almost instantaneously, Woody Guthrie spoke out for people of all colors and races, setting an example for generations of musicians to come. But Woody didn't have the chance to find everything he was looking for. He was ravaged by Huntington's disease, just like his mother, and died in a mental institution at the age of fifty-five.
Award-winning author, Elizabeth Partridge has taken the life of this songwriting genius and woven in his lyrics, and other rich materials to create a touching and highly entertaining portrait of a true talent.

Awards and Recognitions
This Land Was Made for You and Me: The Life and Songs of Woody Guthrie (Golden Kite Awards (Awards)) by Elizabeth Partridge has received the following awards and recognitions -
  • Golden Kite - 2002 Winner - Nonfiction category
  • Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards - 2002 Winner - Nonfiction category
  • National Book Awards - 2002 Finalist - Young People's Lit. category
  • Children's Books of Distinction Awards - 2003 Winner - Nonfiction category
  • Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award - 2004 Nominee - Children's category

Citations And Professional Reviews
This Land Was Made for You and Me: The Life and Songs of Woody Guthrie (Golden Kite Awards (Awards)) by Elizabeth Partridge has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Wilson Senior High Core Col - 01/01/2011 page 704
  • Kirkus Review - Children - 01/15/2002 page 107
  • Publishers Weekly - 02/25/2002 page 68
  • Horn Book Magazine - 03/01/2002 page 230
  • Bookpage - 04/01/2002 page 26
  • School Library Journal - 04/01/2002 page 180
  • Booklist - 04/01/2002 page 1338
  • Bulletin of Ctr for Child Bks - 07/01/2002 page 415
  • New York Times - 07/14/2002 page 19
  • Voice of Youth Advocates - 08/01/2002 page 211
  • Hornbook Guide to Children - 01/01/2002 page 469
  • Booklist Ed Choice Youth - 01/01/2003 page 796
  • ALA Best Books Young Adults - 03/15/2003 page 1290
  • ALA Notable Childrens Books - 03/15/2003 page 1309
  • Commonweal - 04/11/2003 page 21
  • Wilson Middle/Junior Hi Catalo - 01/01/2003 page 49
  • Wilson Senior High Core Col - 01/01/2003 page 63
  • Hornbook Guide to Children - 07/01/2002 page 469
  • Wilson Middle/Junior Hi Catalo - 01/01/2005 page 409
  • Wilson Senior High Core Col - 01/01/2007 page 579
  • Wilson Middle/Junior Hi Catalo - 01/01/2009 page 571

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Viking Juvenile
Pages   192
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.5" Width: 8.8" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   2.05 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2002
Publisher   Viking Juvenile
Age  12-17
ISBN  0670035351  
ISBN13  9780670035359  
UPC  051488021995  

Availability  5 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 26, 2016 09:32.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Elizabeth Partridge

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Elizabeth Partridge( is a National Book Award finalist and author of several nonfiction books for children, includingRestless Spirit: The Life and Work of Dorothea Lange;Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don't You Grow Weary; and the Printz Honor winningJohn Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area."

Elizabeth Partridge currently resides in San Francisco, in the state of California.

Elizabeth Partridge has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Guys Read

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 4-8 > General
2Books > Subjects > Children > Literature > Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths > Anthologies
3Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Explore the World > Europe
4Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Social Science > Folklore & Mythology
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > Mythology > Children's Books > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about This Land Was Made for You and Me: The Life and Songs of Woody Guthrie (Golden Kite Awards (Awards))?

Hard times and great songs  Feb 24, 2006
Like every other genius, Guthrie had hard times all his life. But that may be why he wrote so many great songs of people's lives. The world needs not superficial love songs but real love songs.
4+  Sep 24, 2005
I have not read other books about Woody, but I don't feel I have to, to get an appreciation of who he was and where he came from. Until I read this book, I really had no idea what a great musician he was. I'm a fan of Arlo, but knew very little about Woody.
Woody's parents didn't have it easy - his father, Charley didn't like to face the reality of what was happening to his wife, he would drink so he didn't have to face it.
Woody explored just about every belief looking for answers, answers to life and how to live his life. He was mostly interested in the Communist Party and their beleifs.
At times Woody was a counselor to those who were lost, sick, hungry, wanting work and he would give them "commonsense answers", the people would go away satisfied with what Woody had to say to them.
Woody would quite frequently sing his songs to down and out families in migrant camps, always identifying with the workers.
Woody began to suspect the same illness that haunted his mother was effecting him also, he knew that Huntington's disease could be passed along generation to generation.
My heart breaks for all the people who loved Woody and for Woody himself. It's a tragic story, but one worth reading.
Below me the golden valley  Mar 8, 2004
Elizabeth Partridge set herself up with a monumentally difficult task when she decided to write an authoritative juvenile biography of the great Woody Guthrie. How to write a story about a man that was simultaneously brilliant and woebegotten? Who spoke out for racial equality, strength among the masses, and freedom while also leaving every family who ever loved him? Partridge has done as good a job as could be done, considering her circumstances. The result is a meticulously researched labor of love that is just as much tribute as it is tell-all. As Pete Seeger himself has said about the work, "The best book about Woody ever written".

Woody Guthrie was born in 1912 in Okemah, Oklahoma to a mother with Huntington's Disease and a father who joined lynch mobs and Klu Klux Klans. Talking about this point in Woody's life, Partridge simultaneously displays all the harsh horrible things Woody had to deal with growing up without actually condemning anyone. In fact, the portions of the text that talk about Charley Guthrie (Woody's father) joining in the persecution of African-Americans aren't related with any commentary at all. It's as if Partridge is working on the assumption that the readers will be able to process these facts and come to their own conclusions, rather than have interpretations rammed down their throat. It is also the first moment the author gives the audience the benefit of the doubt. It is not the last.

Moving on through Woody's life, we see him grow up, loose his parents (one way or another), and join various bands. We also see him beginning to travel all across the country on his own. At last, Woody marries and it becomes clear that he is not exactly prime husband material. Abandoning his wife regularly to travel (sometimes when she's just about to give birth), Woody joins various causes around the country. When Woody and his wife finally break up, her narrative abruptly ends. Patridge has a habit of following the people in Woody's life meticulously right up until the moment Woody breaks off all contact with them. Then, their story ends immediately. We never really learn how Woody's father ended his life. Or what became of Woody's children by his first wife (though an afterword in the back of the text explaining Huntington's Disease explains that all but three of his children died either of the disease or of car accidents). Do we criticize Partridge for her choice or narratives? Or do we accept that she really couldn't continually follow Woody's friends and relatives because of space and narrative issues? I'm inclined towards the latter, though it would have been nice to see a little afterword that explains what became of everyone.

Moving towards Woody's second wife, the war, and his battle with Huntington's, Partridge nicely melds text with social commentary. Woody's acceptance of all people, regardless of color, is especially well done. As he sinks further into Huntington's, and has an affair with a pretty young folk singer, the reader sees how Woody finally loses control. A little more information about the talented Arlo Guthrie (his son) would not be out of place at this point, but this is Woody's story, I suppose. Finally, we read Woody's death. The story ends.

Partridge is to be commended for how interesting this book is. As I read it, my husband continually asked me why this was considered a juvenile book. Apart from being published by a press for young readers, I have to assume it's considered a youth text because its so doggone interesting. The words are a little larger than you'd find in an adult biography. The pictures a little more interesting and consistent. On the whole it's a great read. Most wonderful of all is how well the book has been researched. Partridge includes an Afterword about her own personal connection to the subject, a tribute to the Woody Guthrie Foundation, information on Huntington's Disease, Acknowledgements (in which she mentions her interviews with Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seegar), Source Notes, a Bibliography, an Index, Picture Credits, and Permissions. She is nothing if not extensive.

"This Land Was Made For You and Me" is not the world's most definitive biography written with youth in mind, but it comes pretty darn close. But don't limit it to the kids. Read it yourself. Learn a little more about what made the great man tick. Though it's over-quoted, here's what Woody himself had to say about his music:

"I hate a song that makes you think that you're not any good. I hate a song that makes you think you are just born to lose. I am out to fight those kind of songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood".

We shall overcome ! !  Oct 20, 2003
I really enjoyed this book.A longtime fan of Woody and have the bulk of his music that has been published.I have other books of Guthrie;namely, Woody,Cisco,&Me by Jim Longhi,Pastures of Heaven by Woody,edited by Marsh and Leventhal,Woody Guthrie-a life by Joe Klein and this is a very good addition.Though it is a quick read, there is a lot of fresh stuff;plus a lot of really good pictures I've not seen before.
If Pete Seeger says "The best book about Woody ever written", it's got to be good. Can you imagine Pete saying something he didn't believe? Get it,it's a keeper and enjoy it.
Outstanding book.  Jul 7, 2003
An always interesting and well presented recap of an astonishing
life. This book has stayed on my nightstand to be picked up again and again at all hours.

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