Visually compelling biography for young readers provides an accessible foundation in the notable Unitarian’s words and beliefs.
© Edwin Fotheringham, courtesy of Scholastic
A Home for Mr. Emerson by Barbara Kerley, illus. by Edwin Fotheringham. (Scholastic, 2014) $18.99.
From the award-winning team behind What To Do About Alice? (2008), The Extraordinary Mark Twain (2010), and Those Rebels, John and Tom (2012), A Home for Mr. Emerson is a visually compelling biographical picture book for readers ages 8–12. Playful illustrations take readers on a journey from Emerson’s boyhood in Boston to his beloved home in Concord, Massachusetts, where he surrounds himself with all he values most: family, friends, nature, and books. In the most touching section of the story, Emerson realizes the true importance of home and community when his friends and neighbors pull together to help him after his house is destroyed in a fire.
The story cleverly incorporates many Emerson quotations, giving young readers an accessible foundation in the notable Unitarian’s words and beliefs. Playing off of one such line—“Every spirit builds itself a house; and beyond its house a world. . . . Build, therefore, your own world”—an exercise at the back of the book encourages readers to “build a world of your own” by looking at the things they value.
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Sonja L. Cohen is deputy managing editor of UU World and a lifelong Unitarian Universalist.
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