Item description for Words By Heart by Ouida Sebestyen...
Overview Vowing to gain her father's approval and her white classmates' respect by winning a Bible-quoting contest, Lena, an African-American girl, is horrified when her success brings violence and death to her home. Reprint.
Publishers Description Lena can recite the Scriptures by heart. Hoping to make her adored Papa proud of her and to make her white classmates notice her "Magic Mind," not her black skin, Lena vows to win the Bible-quoting contest. But winning does not bring Lena what she expected. Instead of honor, violence and death erupt and strike the one she loves most dearly. Lena, who has believed in vengeance, must now learn how to forgive.
Awards and Recognitions Words By Heart by Ouida Sebestyen has received the following awards and recognitions -
National Book Awards - 1982 Winner - Child. Fic. (Paperback) category
Citations And Professional Reviews Words By Heart by Ouida Sebestyen has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Wilson Children's Catalog 96 - 01/01/1996 page 586
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.58" Width: 5.32" Height: 0.43" Weight: 0.26 lbs.
Release Date Jan 13, 1997
ISBN 044041346X ISBN13 9780440413462 UPC 071009004993
Reviews - What do customers think about Words By Heart?
A very good book Nov 29, 2007
Lena Sill is an eight year old, African American girl. She has a Papa named Ben and a step-mother whom she calls Claudie. Lena also has a five year old brother named Roy, a three year old sister named Armilla, and a baby brother named Brother.
Lena's family works for Mrs. Chism. Lena misses a lot of school because of her housekeeping for Mrs. Chism. However, she gets the school work beforehand so she doesn't fall behind.
This book is really good, I think, because it is a very touching story. Sebestyen was able to get excitement in the olden day book by having a contest, adventures, and fun. This book is interesting in every way.
Life of Fear Jul 2, 2007
Lena is a black girl living in an all-white town shortly after slavery is abolished. Her father and stepmother and younger siblings used to live in a segregated black town, but her father wanted more opportunities for his children. Here in this new town, Lena's life isn't easy. She goes to school with other kids who largely ignore her despite her intelligence.
When a contest is announced to see which student in town is able to quote the most Bible verses from memory, Lena thinks this is her chance to prove herself and gain acceptance from her classmates and to make her father proud. It is a tough competition; it seems for awhile to Lena that Winslow Starnes, the clear favorite of the town, will beat her. But Lena manages to keep her mind clear and pull up enough verses to beat him.
Far from gaining her acceptance in town, this win may actually make Lena more of an outcast. Her dog is murdered and her home threatened. Her father keeps her out of school until things cool down and sends her to work for a grumpy old lady who has wonderful books she won't let Lena borrow. Everything seems to be going wrong. Is her father's patience despite the situation really the way to act? Is it wrong for Lena to get angry about the way she is treated?
This book was a good historical view of a certain time in history through the eyes of a character who is struggling to be herself in a place where she is disliked. I liked the optimism of Lena's father, despite everything that happened to him. However, I thought at times that Lena's father should have done something more to make sure his family was safe.
Don't miss this book! Nov 26, 2006
This book was thoroughly captivating and well written. I finished it in two nights, and I have 3 children!! Portrays a type of character that one rarely encounters in our present society, enduring hardships not easily understood. You gotta read this book!, and then buy one for everyone you know.
Excellent Read for Tweeners Aug 24, 2006
My daughter enjoyed reading this book along with me. Good fiction related to black history and christianity.
Realistic Portrayal Jun 17, 2004
I read this book as part of an Education Class requirment this semester. I started reading this book reluctantly and was going to skim through it to get only the information that I needed for the exam. I found myself engulfed, reading everysingle word and not stopping until I had finished the book. It is a very good portrayal of a young sheltered child that learned a terrible reality about prejudice and racism. In the end, this child showed courage and loyalty far behond her age. Her head held high, she did not deviate from her convictions or responsibility.