Finding Her Way

Author: Faigen, Anne

Subjects: American History; Relationships; Transcendentalists; Thoreau, Henry David; Gifted Women and Girls; Growing Up Gifted

Age: 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Order code: 4055

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 4055S

Finding Her Way Cover

“A novel that will illuminate Thoreau, Walden Pond, Margaret Fuller, and the Transcendentalists for secondary students” – KLIATT Magazine

Concord, Massachusetts, 1845. Fifteen-year-old Rachel is neglecting her farm chores in order to sketch and draw. To make money for her art supplies, she raises hens for their eggs. But a drought forces her father to ask for that money for the farm. Understanding his need, but miserable when he calls her life’s ambition to draw a “little hobby,” Rachel runs to Walden Pond to recover. There, she is befriended by Henry David Thoreau, who is living “an experiment” in Walden Woods.

During a subsequent visit to Thoreau, Rachel meets Margaret Fuller, author, editor of The Transcendentalist Journal, reporter, and America’s first female foreign correspondent. Fuller takes samples of Rachel’s art with her to New York for an opinion about an art tutor. Gino Riccardi agrees to instruct Rachel by mail until she can come to New York.

Rachel’s family visits her brother in Boston, and Rachel, not allowed into the factory, contents herself with sketching a young boy warming himself by the fire in the courtyard. She is shocked by the number of children working there.

Rachel’s talent reaches new highs with the sketch of the young Simon, and Riccardi notifies her that she must now come to New York for instruction. With no means of living in New York, Rachel wants Thoreau to intercede with Riccardi to keep her lessons coming by mail, but Thoreau instead tells her about his friends, the Emersons, who live in New York and have room for her (William is Ralph’s brother). Their conversation is interrupted by shouts of Rachel's brother falling into frozen Walden Pond while ice fishing. Thoreau rushes out to save him.

With the family now in debt to Thoreau for their son’s life, he asks that they express their gratitude by allowing Rachel to stay with the Emersons and study art in New York. He also asks for the portrait of Simon.

In the spring, Rachel says goodbye to Thoreau and her beloved woods; he too prepares to leave Walden.

Throughout the novel, the author is careful to contrast for the reader the difference between commonly accepted attitudes and expectations and those of the Transcendentalists, who judged people in defiance of conventional expectations. This book is an accessible introduction to the Transcendentalists and to some of the important issues that characterized their thought.

“A novel that will illuminate Thoreau, Walden Pond, Margaret Fuller, and the Transcendentalists for secondary students” – KLIATT Magazine 

Concord, Massachusetts, 1845. Fifteen-year-old Rachel is neglecting her farm chores in order to sketch and draw. To make money for her art supplies, she raises hens for their eggs. But a drought forces her father to ask for that money for the farm. Understanding his need, but miserable when he calls her life’s ambition to draw a “little hobby,” Rachel runs to Walden Pond to recover. There, she is befriended by Henry David Thoreau, who is living “an experiment” in Walden Woods.

During a subsequent visit to Thoreau, Rachel meets Margaret Fuller, author, editor of The Transcendentalist Journal, reporter, and America’s first female foreign correspondent. Fuller takes samples of Rachel’s art with her to New York for an opinion about an art tutor. Gino Riccardi agrees to instruct Rachel by mail until she can come to New York.

Rachel’s family visits her brother in Boston, and Rachel, not allowed into the factory, contents herself with sketching a young boy warming himself by the fire in the courtyard. She is shocked by the number of children working there.

Rachel’s talent reaches new highs with the sketch of the young Simon, and Riccardi notifies her that she must now come to New York for instruction. With no means of living in New York, Rachel wants Thoreau to intercede with Riccardi to keep her lessons coming by mail, but Thoreau instead tells her about his friends, the Emersons, who live in New York and have room for her (William is Ralph’s brother). Their conversation is interrupted by shouts of Rachel's brother falling into frozen Walden Pond while ice fishing. Thoreau rushes out to save him.

With the family now in debt to Thoreau for their son’s life, he asks that they express their gratitude by allowing Rachel to stay with the Emersons and study art in New York. He also asks for the portrait of Simon.

In the spring, Rachel says goodbye to Thoreau and her beloved woods; he too prepares to leave Walden.

Throughout the novel, the author is careful to contrast for the reader the difference between commonly accepted attitudes and expectations and those of the Transcendentalists, who judged people in defiance of conventional expectations. This book is an accessible introduction to the Transcendentalists and to some of the important issues that characterized their thought.

Finding Her Way Cover

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