What do Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C. J. Walker, and Marie Curie have in common? They were all born in 1867 and they all had daughters. In this verse novel, Atkins explores these famous women and their relationships with their respective daughters.
What I thought: I've long been a fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder, so I was very excited to hear about this book. I was familiar with Marie Curie, but had never heard of Madam C. J. Walker. The research that went into this book was phenomenal. Through narrative poetry, I learned more about Wilder and her daughter Rose than I ever could have imagined. I was so intrigued by the idea that Rose not only proofread but revised the Little House books that I have since read The Ghost in the Little House: A Life of Rose Wilder Lane by William Holtz. It goes without saying that my favorite poems from the Laura and Rose sequence are "Shears" and "Truth." The poems about the other mothers and daughters also left me wanting to know more. I truly enjoyed this book. I can't wait to see what Atkins treats us to next. This would be a great book to give to mothers and/or daughters. I also think mother-daughter book clubs would enjoy Borrowed Names.
(New York: Henry Holt, March 2010. ARC provided by publisher.)