Presents the stories of six people whose lives were shaped by their physical and cultural differences from the rest of Western society: Jack Erlich, the Hilton Siamese twins, Ota Benga, Ishi, and the Wild Boy of France.
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A sad collection of biographies of people who were regarded during their lifetimes as freaks. Despite Drimmer's thesis that these unusual people overcame their abnormalities, all of them experienced loneliness and unhappiness, with one of them committing suicide. Four of the stories take place during the early 20th century: Jack Earle, a giant whose father encouraged him to join the circus; Ishi, the so-called last Indian in North America; Daisy and Violet, Siamese twins who performed in vaudeville; and Ota Benga, the first Pygmy brought to the US. A fifth story, about Victor, a wild boy found in the south of France in 1800, seems out of place with the first four, unless the definition of an ``extraordinary'' person is someone who remained ``fearful, half-wild, and unable to learn to speak'' during his short lifetime. Jack Earle's father told him that ``being a freak is only a state of mind.'' Readers will sense the real tragedy, however, of lives that were led outside the mainstream, and the despair connected with being so different. (b&w photos and illustrations, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Booklist:
Gr. 4-7. Jack Earle, seven and one half feet tall, was known as the tallest man on Earth. Ishi, the last "wild" Indian in North America, wandered into civilization from a California mountain range in 1911. Siamese twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, joined at the waist for the 60 years of their lives, were exploited as children and went on to become vaudeville performers. Ota, a Pygmy from the African rain forest, lived in a cage in the Bronx Zoo until a group of black ministers started a movement against the outrage. Victor, a young deaf mute seemingly raised by animals, appeared out of nowhere in southern France in 1800. Each of these stories vividly tells of the struggles these individuals faced having to live lives so very different from the norm. Drimmer, author of the similar Born Different: Amazing Stories of Very Special People (1988), includes some historical information and brief explanations of terms when appropriate. The book will be enjoyed by biography lovers who want something out of the ordinary. Selected bibliography. Susan DeRonne
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Descrizione libro Atheneum, 1997. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0689319215
Descrizione libro Atheneum, 1997. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. First. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0689319215