Monday, January 18, 2010

Addie Clawson, Appalachian Mail Carrier by Julia Taylor Ebel

Title: Addie Clawson, Appalachian Mail Carrier
Author: Julia Taylor Ebel
Artist: Sherry Jensen
ISBN: 1887905677, Parkway Publishers, 2003
Genre: KidLit, Women's History, Biography
Rating: A

First Line: When Addie Clawson took the job of rural mail carrier, folks said it just wasn't right-- a woman doing a man's job.

Addie Clawson got her job in 1936 after earning one of the top three scores on the Civil Service exam, and it was only temporary through the good weather, you understand, because she was a woman. A woman wouldn't be able to handle the floods and snows of the mountains of North Carolina. Addie wore pants and made tongues wag as she drove her Model A Ford along the dirt roads and rode her horse through the really bad patches. She learned to bring along a shovel because she never knew when she'd have to dig herself out of the mud or clear out the snow down to the mailboxes. (Yes, I did mean down.)

Although this book is meant for young children, the text, the art, and the old photographs had me alternately smiling, laughing, or willing myself not to shed a tear. The only thing wrong with this book is the fact that it's too short! Addie Clawson was the type of woman about whom it's a Pure D joy to read. She was smart, she was feisty, she knew the meaning of hard work, she was brave, and she had a heart that would've put a bar of 24 karat gold to shame. (I also have the suspicion that she enjoyed making those strait-laced women's tongues wag, too.)

Addie Clawson worked that temporary job for the next thirty years because no one could do it better. It wouldn't surprise me at all to learn that more than a few of the rural residents of Watauga County shed tears on the day this exemplary woman retired.

I would have.


  1. I love historical books like this, YA or not. This one really sounds interesting, too : ).

  2. Addie Clawson sounds like a woman to admire!

  3. I'm so glad you read this first of all your "bingeing" books. I was so curious about it. (I feel like you read it just for me.) This is the kind of character I love to read about - someone who fought against all the odds and shocked people at the same time. Thanks for reading the book. Now I have to find it for myself.

  4. Margot K-- It is very interesting. At 28 pages, it's just too darned short!

    Kathy-- She certainly does!

    Margot JR-- I'd love to read more about her. I wish there were a full-length adult biography about her.

  5. Thanks for the great review. I like this kind of story!


Thank you for taking the time to make a comment. I really appreciate it!