Release Date: November 1, 2014
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The Making of an Inconvenient Hero
Thaddeus Stevens: The Making of an Inconvenient Hero is an exciting fictional story based on historical fact about "Thad" as a teenager-after his father deserted the family, leaving the family penniless. Brought to life with vivid descriptions and colorful scenes are Thad's character, physical challenges, and the strong opinions and actions he took to help runaway slaves.
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“This account of Thaddeus Stevens' early life is very useful and instructive from the point of view of dealing with bullying and abuse. It is an inspirational story of how one of the greatest figures in American history overcame his disabilities to play an invaluable role in dealing with the subject of abolition, assisting the disadvantaged, combating prejudice and how he truly lived the principles of American freedom. Young readers will find the book a clear account of farm life in rural Vermont and the sheer strength needed to perform basic chores - young Thad is definitely a role model for today.”
“I loved that this book, aimed at younger readers, made Thad a "real" person who didn't always make the right choices but obviously had a good heart. I really got the sense of his struggle with his feelings regarding his father's alcoholism, his relationships with the other people around him, and the difficulties of being crippled, which included physical limitations as well as bullying. Even though many of the events are fictional, they take on an air of authenticity because of the details the author has added to make the time and place come alive. His journey is far from easy, but Thad shines as a role model, a fact demonstrated particularly in the exciting events at the end of the book.”
Thad reached under his side of the bed and groped for his boots, knowing he’d come out at the little end of the horn if he didn’t obey. He hated putting on his boots. His feet had gotten too big and his toes cramped something fierce when he wore them. Walking in them made it even more painful because of his club foot.
My strange foot. Abner and Alanson have normal feet. But not Joshua and me. Why only us? We’re older than Abner and Alanson. Mama has told us that she depends on Joshua and me since Pappy left. How can we be dependable with these feet? My left leg is shorter than my right and it doesn’t have any heel – it sort of hangs from my ankle. Both Joshua’s feet are crooked – they stick out to the sides. When we walk, we can’t help our limp. But Thad didn’t want to think about that. He felt like disappearing when he heard the jibes and barbs behind his back.
“Devil’s left his mark,” the other kids taunted. As if we’d done something bad enough to displease God to deserve these club feet.
Thad asked himself that question every morning. Mama sighed when either he or Joshua asked he, then mumbled, “God knows,” or “Got to learn to live with that thorn in your flesh like the Apostle Paul.” Pappy said, “Being born with those feet t’weren’t your fault. I’m the one to blame.”It seemed to Thad that Pappy blamed Mama as much as she blamed him. She usually gave his pappy a disgusted look when he came home after drinking. Then he told her to stop nagging and they would argue. Maybe their fighting all the time caused our feet to be like they are, Thad often thought.But his father disgusted Thad too— especially when he was drunk. At those times Thad wished this man weren’t his father. At other times… well that was different. He missed their times of riding together to watch the sunset, of playing chess in the evenings, and wrestling. But when Pappy had been drinking, Thad wished he would just go away. Thad thought Pappy read his mind since he thought that so much recently and that’s why he left this time. He probably didn’t like Mama nagging him either. Thad wanted the old Pappy back. If I didn’t have this club foot, if I behaved better… maybe that would make him stop drinking. Thad wished he’d had the nerve to tell him that before he left.