Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ida M. Tarbell : The Woman Who Challenged Big Business -- and Won! by Emily Arnold McCully - - NO

McCully, Emily Arnold Ida M. Tarbell : The Woman Who Challenged Big Business -- and Won!, 288 pgs. Clarion Books, 2014. $18.99.  Language: G (0 swears); Violence: G; Mature Content: G.  NON FICTION  

Ida Tarbell was one of the first investigative reporters, and the only woman of her time in this career.  She chose magazine writing over marriage and family in a day when career wasn’t really available to women. She disagreed with the suffragettes and the robber barons.  She wrote for McClure Magazine and dug up a lot of dirt on John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil, and was one of the first to be called a muckraker (though she hated that name).  Biographer, researcher, writer and woman before her time, Ida crossed gender barriers to achieve her dreams.  

I cannot tell you how much I hated reading this book.  I kept hoping it would get exciting, or interesting.  She had many famous friends in her social circle, Alexander Graham Bell, Mark Twain, Willa Cather,  - - some anecdotes about them would have picked up the story considerably, but the passing name drop only teased my hope, and dropped it flat.   This contains far too much text for a YA reader.  Dry and difficult - - full of archaic vocabulary, and extremely slow.  More like a textbook than a page turner, the index, source notes, bibliography and photography show the intense amount of research and preparation, but it didn’t pan out in the book.  Sorry, not for my middle school library.  HS - - No  Lisa Librarian   


Ms. Yingling said...

288 pages is a LOT for middle school. I'm keeping this in mind if students are doing history day projects, but I think we'll just check out a copy from the public library. Drat. Good topic and author, just too much information!

Cindy Mitchell said...

I totally agree Ms. Yingling. I hope this isn't a continuing trend, but unfortunately I just saw a giant Roosevelt book too. 150 pages should be the max for this format if they are marketing to schools, no matter how passionate the author is about the subject.