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Gloria Whelan

Author of Homeless Bird

68+ Works 10,439 Members 243 Reviews 4 Favorited

About the Author

Gloria Whelan was born on November 23, 1923 in Detroit, Michigan. She took a strong interest in reading early in life when she was bedridden for a year with rheumatic fever. She dictated stories to her sister who would then type them. She then went on to writing poetry and later editing her high show more school newspaper. She attended the University of Michigan and earned her B.S.degree and M.S.W. degree. She began working as a social worker in Minneapolis and Detroit. She soon became tired of Detroit's hectic pace and moved to a cabin in northern Michigan.This peace was disrupted by an oil company 's desire to drill on her property. Because she did not own the mineral rights, the drilling proceeded. This experience inspired Gloria Whelan to write her children's novel, A Clearing in the Forest in 1978, which was about a boy working on an oilrig. Gloria Whelan has written several works of fiction for children and adults, many set in rural Michigan. She has also written stories set in exotic places like China and India. She won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature in 2000 for Homeless Bird - the story of a young woman in India abandoned by her mother-in-law. show less

Includes the names: Gloria Whelan, Gloria Wheelan


Works by Gloria Whelan

Homeless Bird (2000) 2,305 copies
Listening for Lions (2005) 967 copies
Angel on the Square (2001) 944 copies
Chu Ju's House (2004) 600 copies
Hannah (1991) 478 copies
Once on This Island (1993) 456 copies
Silver (1988) 404 copies
Next Spring An Oriole (1987) 340 copies
Goodbye, Vietnam (1992) 325 copies
The Indian School (1996) 247 copies
Night Of The Full Moon (1993) 226 copies
The Impossible Journey (2003) 206 copies
Burying the Sun (2004) 142 copies
Yatandou (2007) 128 copies
The Turning (2006) 125 copies
The Disappeared (2008) 119 copies
Shadow Of The Wolf (1997) 118 copies
Farewell to the Island (1998) 108 copies
Friend on Freedom River (2004) 102 copies
Return to the Island (2000) 94 copies
The Listeners (2009) 93 copies
Parade of Shadows (2007) 91 copies
After the Train (2009) 72 copies
The Locked Garden (2009) 67 copies
Waiting for the Owl's Call (2009) 66 copies
See What I See (2010) 56 copies
A Time to Keep Silent (1979) 52 copies
Miranda's Last Stand (1999) 47 copies
The Wanigan (2002) 44 copies
Summer of the War (2006) 42 copies
A Week of Raccoons (1988) 34 copies
The Boy Who Wanted to Cook (2011) — Author — 28 copies
Bringing the Farmhouse Home (1992) 23 copies
The Secret Keeper (1991) 18 copies
The Hedge School (2015) 18 copies
First Girl (2007) 18 copies
Friends (1997) 15 copies
In Andal’s House (2013) 13 copies
The President's Mother (1996) 12 copies
A Clearing in the Forest (1978) 11 copies
The Ambassador's Wife (1997) 6 copies
Charles McGee: 2008 Kresge Eminent Artist (2008) — Contributor — 2 copies
the turning 1 copy

Associated Works

Half-Minute Horrors (2009) — Contributor — 279 copies


Common Knowledge



From the Dust Jacket:

"In 1843, with all their possessions loaded onto a single wagon, young Louisa May Alcott and her family bravely venture into the wilderness. Louisa's father is determined to realize his vision of a perfect life: one where people live in peace with each other and with nature, surviving off the land. Louisa keeps a journal in which she vows to try to uphold her father's high ideals.

But her family's journey can't erase her own dreams, doubts, frustrations, and fears. With the words "This is to be my secret diary," Louisa begins recording a very different version of events. Unfolding together, the two accounts reveal one remarkable tale of young writer finding her voice.

Based on Louisa May Alcott's own journals, National Book Award winner Gloria Whelan's novel breathes new life into a forgotten chapter from the youth of the beloved author of Little Women.

Author's Note:

In 1843, when Louisa May Alcott was ten years old, Louisa, her sisters Anna, twelve, Lizzie, seven, and two-year-old Abby May settled with their mother and father on a farm they called Fruitlands. It was the dream of Louisa's father together around him men and women who shared his vision of a more perfect world. Louisa's experiences at Fruitlands were both sad and funny.

From the time she first learned to write, Louisa kept a journal. It is believed that her father destroyed a part of her Fruitlands journal. Louisa herself, when she was older, destroyed many of her diaries. Only nine brief journal entries about her eight months at Fruitlands remain. I have imagined the diary that Louisa might have kept as well as a secret diary that told of her thoughts. This book is fiction, but it is based on real happenings. Fruitlands itself is now a wonderful museum where you may see, among many mementos of those days, the attic where Louisa and her sisters slept and a lock of Louisa's hair.
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northprairielb | 3 other reviews | Feb 2, 2024 |
15-year-old Rosalind is the smart and sympathetic narrator of this lovely story about a British girl coming of age in India during the push for Indian independence. The book has the feel of an old-fashioned classic, making it suitable for readers as young as 5th grade, even though it's technically YA. It's full of very interesting questions about identity (how can Rosalind follow her heart and also please her father?) and compassion (even though she's supposed to be loyal to the British crown, Rosalind understand why Indians want their independence).

I thought Rosalind's maiden aunts, Ethel and Louise, were a bit flat and stereotypical, but, as devices, they contributed nicely to the themes being explored in the story. Ethel is so firmly attached to her identity as a frugal, upright British citizen that she's unbending and unsympathetic. Louise is practically Ethel's ward, though she has the ability to strike out and follow her heart.

Some small acts of amazing courage that stood out for me: Rosalind trying to save the baby, Rosalind going to see Gandhi speak, Aunt Louise standing up to Aunt Ethel, and the young Indian boy Ravi braving cold England for his education.
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LibrarianDest | 7 other reviews | Jan 3, 2024 |
I was miserable in Africa, and yet this made me want to go back. It's a beautiful story about a remarkable girl born in Kenya, raised by missionary parents, who's then caught up in a scandal. The audiobook is excellently narrated. I super loved it.
LibrarianDest | 28 other reviews | Jan 3, 2024 |



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