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Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Howe Library J FRO 31254003697436 Children's new shelf Checked out 04/05/2021

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780374312992 :
  • ISBN: 0374312990 :
  • Physical Description: 254 pages ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 2020.

Content descriptions

Summary, etc.:
In 1939 six-year-old Henry, who is deaf, is taken from his family and placed in a home for the feeble-minded where, years later, his friends include a conscientious objector serving there during World War II. Includes historical notes.
Target Audience Note:
Ages 10-14. Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers.
Grades 4-6. Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers.
Subject: Novels in verse.
Inmates of institutions > Fiction.
Deaf > Fiction.
People with disabilities > Fiction.
Conscientious objectors > Fiction.

Syndetic Solutions - The Horn Book Review for ISBN Number 9780374312992
All He Knew
All He Knew
by Frost, Helen
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The Horn Book Review

All He Knew

The Horn Book


(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

In free-verse poems, Frost tells the story of Henry, deafened by disease in 1937 at age four. Because Henry is deemed "unteachable" by the School for the Deaf, his family is pressured to consign him at age six to a residential institution for the "feeble-minded," a dumping ground for those with a variety of cognitive and physical issues. Through his own intelligence and good nature, Henry makes friends and survives this place of scarcity and lovelessness. And once the United States enters World War II, a compassionate conscientious objector joins the staff, bringing hope for Henry's return to his family. Frost's short poems sketch Henry's story through clips of his experiences, conveying his limited understanding of what is going on around him. But she also frames his experience within a larger context -- of the family that is too poor and cowed to care for him, and of the role conscientious objectors played during the war. This is a quick read, full of historical richness and glimpses of the cruelty and abuse so common in the institutions of the era. Frost's interpretation is softened by the hopeful conclusion of Henry's return home and his introduction to American Sign Language. Deirdre F. Baker November/December 2020 p.98(c) Copyright 2020. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Syndetic Solutions - BookList Review for ISBN Number 9780374312992
All He Knew
All He Knew
by Frost, Helen
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BookList Review

All He Knew

Booklist


From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.

A bright lad who survived a childhood illness but lost his hearing, Henry is six years old in 1939, when he arrives at Riverview, a residential facility staffed by loutish attendants. Considered "unteachable," the boys are provided with substandard food and living conditions but ample punishments for small infractions. Henry makes two friends there. Still, he longs for home. Living in poverty, his family can rarely afford bus fare to visit him. In 1942, a young conscientious objector named Victor is assigned to Henry's ward. He treats the boys kindly, recognizes Henry's intelligence, and begins a correspondence with his family. In 1944, Henry returns home, where his older sister Molly begins teaching him sign language and helping him adjust to their community. Inspired by her mother-in-law's poems based on family memories and included in an appended section, this moving story unfolds in a novel written in third person, creating interwoven narratives in free verse and sonnets expressing Henry's, Molly's, and Victor's points of view. Frost brings Henry's experiences sharply into focus through her spare, evocative storytelling.

Syndetic Solutions - Kirkus Review for ISBN Number 9780374312992
All He Knew
All He Knew
by Frost, Helen
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Kirkus Review

All He Knew

Kirkus Reviews


Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A young deaf boy faces the horror of institutionalization in the late 1930s and '40s. This verse novel tells the story of Henry, who is born hearing and becomes deaf due to a fever at age 4. The school for the deaf erroneously labels him "unteachable," and he is sent to an institution for the "feebleminded," where the children face abuse and neglect. Henry's story merges with that of Victor, a conscientious objector who works at the institution. Frost depicts one grim reality of deaf/Deaf life in mid-20th-century America in a way that is approachable for readers as she explores the rarely discussed story of conscientious objectors in World War II. The story is told in discrete poems, creating an episodic narrative that highlights poignant moments and delves into characters' thoughts. All the characters are presumed white. However artful, the book is not without flaws. Characters repeatedly suggest that Henry's institutionalization is particularly unjust because he is "smart," an implicit comment on intellectual disabilities that is not adequately explored. The author's note detracts from the story itself, raising questions that wouldn't need to be asked otherwise, such as why the author gave Henry the ability to speak when the man he is based on could not. A sequence of poems by the author's mother-in-law that inspired the novel are included and contain an outdated portrayal of disability that is presented without context or commentary for readers. An engaging, emotional read that tells an important story--with caveats. (notes on form and characters, acknowledgements) (Verse historical fiction. 10-14) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Syndetic Solutions - School Library Journal Review for ISBN Number 9780374312992
All He Knew
All He Knew
by Frost, Helen
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School Library Journal Review

All He Knew

School Library Journal


(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 4--6-- From family history about a young Deaf boy who was institutionalized in 1939, Frost, poet and author of the award-winning Keesha's House, has constructed a moving work of historical fiction written in free verse and sonnets. It bridges two worlds: The deaf community and conscientious objectors who, during World War II, numbered 12,000 men. They refused to be drafted, and were assigned to work in state institutions instead, such as one for the "feebleminded" called Riverview. That's where protagonist Henry Williams winds up, and where the U.S. Army assigns 18-year-old Victor Jorgensen for his alternate service. Henry, curious, observant, and Deaf, doesn't belong at Riverview; no one does, Victor realizes. The bond between the boys helps shield some of them from neglect and abuse, but it can't get them released. Someone who can is Henry's elder sister, a courageous young teenager named Molly. The real sister, whose name was Maxine, wrote seven poems "to give my brother the life he never had." The poems became the seed of Frost's project and eventually its soul. Maxine's original poems are included as well. This evocative title is on a par with Colson Whitehead's The Nickel Boys, a historical novel about a reform school for teenage boys in Florida in the 1960s, also based on a true story. VERDICT This must-have is an instant classic of historical fiction, focusing on a Deaf boy institutionalized during World War II. Written in eloquent free verse and sonnets, it's an excellent poetry-teaching tool as well.--Georgia Christgau, LaGuardia Community Coll., Long Island City, NY

Syndetic Solutions - Publishers Weekly Review for ISBN Number 9780374312992
All He Knew
All He Knew
by Frost, Helen
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Publishers Weekly Review

All He Knew

Publishers Weekly


(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

In this poignant free verse novel spanning 1933--1945, six-year-old Henry, who becomes deaf following a fever, arrives at the Riverview Home for the Feebleminded after, deemed "unteachable," being rejected by a school for the deaf. Without knowing where he has been taken or how long he'll stay, Henry navigates dorm life, peer relationships, and often-cruel "men with keys," such as Blanket Man, who yanks the children's covers off to wake them. In portraying Henry's perspective, Printz winner Frost deftly sketches his heightened senses and keen observations, such as regarding the institution's oppressive stench ("something like potatoes/ forgotten in a corner of the kitchen"), alongside chilling abuse, including boys confined in straps for days. The viewpoint shifts between Henry and his older sister Molly, who tells her brother's story and describes family struggles to save enough to visit, and then widens to include a kind conscientious objector, 17-year-old Victor, who notices Henry's intelligence after arriving in Riverview to work in lieu of enlisting to fight in WWII. An author's note describes the family member who inspired the story and includes dated poems by his sister, the author's mother-in-law. Frost balances descriptions of institutional abuse with strong characters and enduring hope. Ages 10--14. Agent: Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown. (Aug.)


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