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Small Beauties: The Journey of Darcy Heart…
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Small Beauties: The Journey of Darcy Heart O'Hara (original 2006; edition 2006)

by Elvira Woodruff, Adam Rex (Illustrator)

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5313316,819 (4.3)1
Member:rcreamer10
Title:Small Beauties: The Journey of Darcy Heart O'Hara
Authors:Elvira Woodruff
Other authors:Adam Rex (Illustrator)
Info:Alfred A. Knopf
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:Irish, immigration, Great Famine

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Small Beauties: The Journey of Darcy Heart O'Hara by Elvira Woodruff (2006)

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
I was honestly very interested in the plot of this story and found it very sad and touching. This book tells the story of a young girl, named Darcy, and her family who are forced to emigrate from Ireland to America during the potato famine of the 1840s. I thought the illustrations were beautiful and represented the setting and characters' feelings very well. I think this would be a great book to use in a classroom of students who are learning about emigration. ( )
  Eayyad | Feb 15, 2017 |
I personally loved this story and was very interested in the plot of the story. Although I have Irish heritage, I am unaware of many of the Irish traditions and lifestyles. I love history and so this book was great because it focused on the time period of the Great Potato Famine of Ireland in the late 1840’s. Although the story provided a lot of information on the famine and the hardships and struggles they went through, I liked how the story was told in a realistic way through the eyes of a young child. I loved how the child was very positive and was able to see the beauty in everything, even in the midst of destruction and loss: “But as poor as she was, Darcy often felt rich with the many beauties she noticed.” The story was great because it showed how a positive perspective can change your outlook on even the worst situations. ( )
  EmilyXia | Nov 11, 2015 |
In this historical fiction book, a young girl and her family lived in Ireland. They lived on a potato farm, and had animals and land to take care of. When they had Darcy, they named her Darcy Heart because their grandmother said she could see the future, where Darcy would have held the families heart. Many years went by, and all Darcy did was notice small things. She would get distracted by dewey spider webs and castle-like clouds, instead of doing her chores like she was supposed to. She even would find little things that she would save in the seem of her dress. Things like pebbles and flowers that she didn't know if she should keep. When the potato famine hit Ireland, they were not sure what they were going to do to make ends meet. The Crown's agent came and took their livestock, and told them they had to lead their land. The family did not know what to do, so Darcy and her grandmother prayed. Not long after that, the Agent came again, but with reinforcement to take over the house, forcing the family out and on the ships to America. Darcy's grandparents stayed because they were not well enough to travel. This made Darcy very sad. When the family got to America, they were all sitting around, sad and cold. Then Darcy pulls out the little things she had been collecting. This brought memories and joy to the family's heart, just like their grandma said she would.
  BethWal94 | Apr 6, 2015 |
Summary: Darcy was born in Ireland to a family with six boys. They lived on the farm and growing up Darcy was required to help out on the farm. Granny was very impressed with the way that Darcy was working however, sometimes Darcy got distracted with looking at the clouds. Her family was very poor, as most people in Ireland during this time were, but she found much beauty in nature from the little things around her. She noticed flowers, rocks, birds, dogs and much more, even though it drove her family crazy. She couldn't contain her curiosity as she looked at the world around her. One day, someone came to her family and threatened to take away everything the family owned. The family prayed and prayed that they would be allowed to stay at their house. The men came to the house this time, evicting them and taking their house down. The only thing they could save was Granny's rosemary beads. The family had to leave Ireland after this incident, traveling for many many weeks, arriving in America.

Argument: I think the main message is this book is about finding beauty in the little things in life. Darcy was a girl who was poor, living in Ireland and was about to lose everything she ever had yet she was still able to find beauty in little things that she saw in her everyday life. This is something that every child needs to learn in life and I think this book is a great way to do so. It also talks about making the best out of a bad situation which is another life lesson for children. ( )
  csteve13 | Dec 8, 2014 |
I really liked this book! The first reason I liked this book was for the front and back flyleaf designs. After reading the title and predicting it was going to be about a journey a young girl’s goes on, the flyleaves depicted a colored pencil-drawn map of the Atlantic ocean with a nautical line drawn from Ireland to the United States. The flyleaves were also tainted a little brown to make the hand-drawn map look older. These flyleaves immediately caught my attention because I love the look of nautical maps and it gave me more insight as to where the young girl was going to be traveling. I have always wanted to go to Ireland so I was very interested to see if the young girl traveled to the United States or to Ireland from the United States. Another reason I enjoyed this book was for the unique placement of some of the illustrations throughout the story. Whenever the book enumerated items that were found in the hem of Darcy’s dress, the items were strung along within the text. For example, when Darcy lived in Ireland and found something she noticed was beautiful, she would loosen a few stiches in the hem of her dress and “tuck in a flower, a pebble, or a found butterfly’s wing.” After each item in the list, a picture of that item would be placed right next to it, allowing the reader to look at it as they read from left to right across the page. I loved this aspect of the book because it made reading the text more interesting to read by placing pictures where I would normally never see pictures in a text. I felt as if I was reading the pictures! Overall, the big idea of this book was to detail about the struggle of moving from one country to another when your entire family has lived in that country for as long as they can remember. The loss that comes with saying your final goodbyes to the country and the people who live there is a hard concept to grasp and deal with and this book wanted to highlight this event, especially because so many people when through this during the time immigrants were flooding to America. ( )
  mspisa1 | Mar 31, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elvira Woodruffprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rex, AdamIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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For my mother, Franny Pirozzi, who always noticed the wildflowers growing along the road.

And for three Irish beauties I know:

Pat M. Brisson, who was born with poetry in her soul,

Caroline Ryon, who shes her heart upon her page,

& her grandmother, Joan Donegan, whose poetry is in her smile.

-- E.W.
For Emma Leever and her family -- thanks. -- A.R.
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On the night Darcy O'Hara was born, her father danced a jig in the firelight of their small cottage.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375826866, Hardcover)

"One day this child shall hold the very heart of our family in the palm of her hand," predicts Granny on the day Darcy Heart O'Hara is born in a cottage on Derry Lane, in the town of Pobble O'Keefe, in County Kerry, Ireland.

Darcy grows up to be a noticer, delighting in the small beauties all around her: a dew-covered spider web, castles in the clouds, a shiny wooden rosary bead. Life is simple but sweet in Pobble O'Keefe, with her family gathered round the hearth in the evenings while Granddad's voice fills the small room with stories. But in 1845, a blight strikes the land, the potatoes turn rotten, and Darcy and her family must leave Ireland forever. How will Darcy ever find a way to to bring the small beauties of home across the sea to America? Elvira Woodruff's story of emigration, heartbreak, and hope is vividly illustrated with the warm, evocative oil paintings of Adam Rex.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:00 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Darcy Heart O'Hara, a young Irish girl who neglects her chores to observe the beauties of nature and everyday life, shares "family memories" with her homesick parents and siblings after the O'Haras are forced to emigrate to America in the 1840s.

(summary from another edition)

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