Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: David Elliott
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Joan's life began simply on a farm, where her greatest ambitions were restricted to domestic opportunities. Oddly perhaps, she excelled at duties such as baking, sewing, and tending the animals. But when her father arranges a marriage for her, she declines and runs away to lead an army against the English King Charles. Her endeavors bring success originally, and then she is captured and put on trial for her life. Alone in the end, she is burned at the stake.
The period-appropriate poetry in this book offers many points of view and many styles of verse. It is easy to follow and presents an interestingly different approach, but the repitition becomes somewhat tiresome from time to time. The poems are in the voice of Joan and occasionally the voice of a saint, animal, or other person. This allows the author to express many more ideas than would be possible with another writing style. The historical aspects and poetry styles make this a good book for either a historical or english study section, but age may be an issue as many youth find poetry more challenging than traditional storytelling. This is a well-written book that presents a different style of storytelling that deserves some attention from the educational community.
*Contains mild violence.