Friday, February 15, 2013

PPBF: Julia Morgan Built a Castle

Welcome to Perfect Picture Book Fridays, where we review picture books which we deem worthy of mention.  This concept was created by Susanna Hill, and is a helpful resource for librarians, teachers and parents.  For a list of all books reviewed so far, along with activities to complement them, click here.



Author: Celeste Davidson Mannis
Illustrator: Miles Hyman
Publisher: Viking
Copyright: 2006

Age Range: 7 and up

Themes: Architects, Architecture, Biography of Women, Professions, Realizing one's dreams.

Inside flap: At a time when most girls weren't encouraged to think beyond running homes of their own, Julia Morgan dreamed of building them. But in the late nineteenth century, it was almost unheard of for a woman to become an architect. Julia fought to become one anyway, breaking down countless barriers with quiet strength, determination, and talent.

...During a long and extraordinary career, she designed almost eight hundred buildings, including newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst's magnificent castle, San Simeon. With exquisite illustrations, this is the story of a practical woman who never lost sight of her dreams.

First lines: "Julia Morgan loved to build. Born in 1872, Julia was raised in the small California town of Oakland, on San Francisco Bay. Little Julia preferred jumping on the trampoline in her family's barn and chasing her brothers to playing with dolls and having tea parties."

Why I like this book: While I would never encourage a woman to have a career instead of marriage and a family (the highest calling for a women), I love to hear success stories of women who dreamed a big dream, and realized it. Where would we be without ladies such as Florence Nightingale, Betsy Ross, and Molly Pitcher? I love the detailed account of Julia's life, and the tidbits of information at the end about her and the history of San Simeon which were not included in the text. The author also shares her account of how she came to write this book...a plus for picture book authors!


 Links to activities relating to the book:


Tourist information on Hearst Castle here.

About Julia Morgan, architect, here.

History of Hearst Castle as it relates to Julia Morgan, here.

Lesson plans relating to architecture in general, here.

Quotes by Julia Morgan, here.


Now, go out and build some dreams of your own!

18 comments:

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    1. Yes, me too...I've always had a bit of an "upstart" attitude. Thankfully, I've kept it under control when needed!

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  2. Awesome! I love women who do engineering and architecture - and we need more books about them.

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  3. Agreed...but, I sure couldn't do it!

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  4. Jarm, this sounds marvelous and inspirational! I had a friend in high school who became an engineer for GM. At that time she was in a scant minority and I thought she was a little peculiar to want to do it. Now there are 4 women I know who are engineers. I will look for this book.

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  5. Fabulous find! I love biographies about women doing things before that were outside of the box for the times. I'm a sucker for biographies and historical fiction anyway. But, Jarm, this one is a gem.

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    1. Great...I'm so glad you are drawn to it Pat. Enjoy!

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  6. I've put this on my list to find-both for the story, AND the author's note!

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    1. I'm so glad you look forward to reading it. Hope you can find it easily...

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  7. This looks like a fabulous book! I know some girls who need to read this one! thanks for sharing!

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  8. I love books about strong girls who followed their dreams.

    sandi

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    1. This is one of the best I have read so far, Sandi!

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  9. This looks really interesting, Jarm! I love this kind of story. I had Clara Barton and Florence Nightengale when I was little :) I'm glad that there are so many more opportunities open to women today then there used to be. Everyone should be able to follow their dreams! Thanks for adding this book to our list! :)

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    1. Yes, Susanna, we need more good role models for our children. Especially for boys...and I don't just mean sports figures and super heroes. The scales seem tipped these days towards girls, and the guys are left in the dust! I have a few more ideas of this kind for PPBF...stay tuned. ;-}

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  10. Young girls often forget that women doing great things is not a new concept - or is that just youngsters in general? I'm going to see if I can find this in our local library to share it with my students. :-)

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    1. You are right, Kay. Just this morning I was reading about Queen Esther in the Old Testament who saved her people, the Jews, from destruction!

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