The Quite Contrary Man: A True American Tale

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Quick Overview

In early-nineteenth-century New England, folks considered a clean chin a sign of godliness. Born into this buttoned-up, strict society, Joseph Palmer stood out from childhood as someone who liked to do things his own way.

The Quite Contrary Man

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A friend to Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Alcotts, Palmer lived by his own code and grew a belly-flowing beard that made his neighbors so crazy that they tried forcibly to shave him. He fought back and ended up in prison for a year. His cause became a local sensation, and a few short decades later a president of the United States—Abraham Lincoln—would wear a beard.

Narrated with the charm of a tall tale, this true story celebrates the long American history of nonconformity and encourages children to question social rules they may take for granted.

Additional Information

Author Patricia Rusch Hyatt / Kathryn Brown
Publisher Abrams Books for Young Readers
Page Count 32pp
Publication Size 9 x 10
Publication Notes hardcover, full color
Publication Date April 2011
ISBN 978-0810940659

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