Stand Straight, Ella Kate: The True Story of a Real Giant
by Kate Klise
illustrated by M. Sarah Klise
* * * * * Stars (Amazing!)
Ella Kate grew up in the late 1800s. She started life in the normal way, but when she was 7 years old she started growing rapidly, quickly outdistancing her peers. She didn’t stop growing until she was 22 years old, and by then she was over 8 feet tall! Initially, Ella was very distressed by her height. Like most kids, she just wanted to be able to blend in, and people were often mean to her – calling her a freak. When she was 18, she was offered a job as an “attraction” – to make appearances as the world’s tallest woman, first at a museum and then later as parts of touring shows around the United States and Canada. She took the job and was able to help support her parents, pay off their debts, and become financially independent. The touring allowed her to travel all over the country and see and do things most women could not. She became quite popular back in her hometown of Rainbow, Missouri, for her stories. This picture book biography of Ella Kate is told from her (fictional) point of view and describes her experiences as she grew, and kept growing! Kate Klise’s storytelling and Sarah Klise’s vivid, colorful illustrations bring Ella Kate to life. An author’s note provides some additional information at the end. Interesting story and woman.
Reviewed by YA Librarian