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Stand Straight, Ella Kate

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  328 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
Ella Kate Ewing was born in 1872. She started out small, but she just kept on growing. Soon she was too tall for her desk at school, too tall for her bed at home, too tall to fit anywhere. Ella Kate was a real-life giant, but she refused to hide herself away. Instead, she used her unusual height to achieve her equally large dreams. The masterful Klise sisters deliver a tou ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 29th 2010 by Dial Books
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Nov 30, 2010 Kathryn rated it really liked it
The story begins, "Most tall tales are made up. But my tall tale is true. I was a giant--a real, live giant." This is the true story of the "giantess" Ella Kate, born in 1872 well before anyone understood the disease gigantism. Though she is teased and stared at, she learns to embrace her differences and even use them to her advantage.

I loved the Klise sisters' Regarding the Fountain. With this picture book, I missed some of the humor from that book, though perhaps I just felt in too somber a mo
Margo Tanenbaum
Jun 14, 2010 Margo Tanenbaum rated it it was amazing
The versatile Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise have penned and illustrated a variety of titles for young people, ranging from picture books to novels to non-fiction. Their newest book, a large format picture book, is based on the true story of a real woman giant, Ella Ewing, who lived from 1872 to 1913. "Most tall tales are made up," the book opens. "But my tall tale is true. I was a giant--a real, live giant." Narrated by Ella herself, the book features delightful illustrations, which evoke a prim ...more
Jun 02, 2010 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
When Ella Kate was born in 1872, she was normal sized, but that soon changed. At school she needed a larger desk that her father built for her, and she was wearing her father’s shoes, size 12. Ella Kate was sometimes ridiculed for her size. At age 17, she reached 8 feet tall, finally growing to a height of 8 feet 4 inches tall. When she was 18, she was approached to appear at a museum because of her height. This started a six year tour of museums, exhibitions and circuses where she made enough m ...more
Apr 10, 2016 Joan rated it really liked it
This is a children's picture book that is based on a true story of a woman in the late 1800's who grew to be 8 feet tall. She toured with travelling shows and although was considered a "freak", she received a nice paycheck and was financially independent and enjoyed travelling all over the country.

I love finding interesting historical people in random picture books!!
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I'd never heard of this woman until I read this book. She stood 8 feet 4 inches tall, and was the world's tallest women in her time. I thought the illustrations of her were odd, because they seem to show her legs as being abnormally long. However, it's just that she wore empire waist dresses, which make one's legs look longer by bringing the waist up to just under the breasts. The story ends with her going off to see the world. A note at the end, with a picture of the real Ella Kate, indicates t ...more
Dec 21, 2015 Amanda rated it it was amazing
• Summarize the book
This book tells the story of Ella Ewing who was born in Missouri in 1872 and died in 1913. Ella was said to be the tallest woman of her time though that was not well documented. While this book is about a real person it is fiction in that it is told in the first person, as if Ella Ewing had written it but she did not.

In the story, Ms. Ewing is at first reluctant to be a celebrity for her height but eventually yields to her circumstance and goes to work for the Ringling Broth
Feb 26, 2015 Maria rated it it was amazing
Personal Reaction -
This book is an excellent book because it’s a true story, so students can really appeal and relate to the book if it’s made clear the children that it was based off a real woman! This book is easy to follow since it’s written in first person and the narrators voice is written for young children to understand just fine. It’s entertaining to read about how she uncontrollably year after year grows taller and taller. The illustrations do a good job of portraying just how tall sh
Melanie Berthiaume
Aug 02, 2015 Melanie Berthiaume rated it really liked it
Shelves: edli-200

Stand Straight, Ella Kate, The True Story of a Real Giant
By Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise

Categories/Genres for this class fulfilled by this resource: Picture Book

Estimate of age level of interest: 6-8

Estimate of reading level: Grades K-3

Brief description: The true account of a real-live giant, the pains of growing up different and the joys of traveling the world because of this difference.

Identify at least 2 characteristics of this genre(s) and subgenre and discuss how they appear:
This picture
Abby Johnson
Oct 07, 2010 Abby Johnson rated it really liked it
This picture book biography of Ella Kate Ewing (1872-1913), a woman with gigantism who was over 8 feet tall by age 18, is written in an accessible first-person voice. The illustrations add to the text with lots of great details. The positive message of staying true to yourself is relayed without being didactic. A great read for elementary students.
Ella Kate grew up in the late 1800s. She started life in the normal way, but when she was 7 years old she started growing rapidly, quickly outdistancing her peers. She didn’t stop growing until she was 22 years old, and by then she was over 8 feet tall! Initially, Ella was very distressed by her height. Like most kids, she just wanted to be able to blend in, and people were often mean to her – calling her a freak. When she was 18, she was offered a job as an “attraction” – to make appearances as ...more
Jul 27, 2012 Marfita rated it really liked it
Shelves: storytime
What a wonderful book that you can use all sorts of ways! Imagine being so much bigger than anyone else ... or so much smaller. What would that be like? The endpapers contain comparison information about Ella Kate's size, including actual size representations of her shoe and glove so that children can measure themselves up to Ella Kate!
I'd like to use this in storytime because the story is so compelling. Instead of hiding at home so she's not mocked for her unusual size, Ella Kate agrees to be a
May 24, 2012 Kelly rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shana Martin
Apr 10, 2012 Shana Martin rated it really liked it
Shelves: eced221
The Teacher’s Choice Award Stand Straight, Ella Kate by Kate and M. Sarah Klise is a story about Ella Kate who is born normal however she continues to grow taller till the age of 22. From growing taller, Ella is faced with many problems such as not fitting in her desk which caused her distress about her height. However, she is able to overcome her height by embracing it by being an attraction as the tallest women in the world. Not only was she able to overcome the distress, but use her height as ...more
Dec 03, 2014 Kelly rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A very lovely book. The illustrations (acrylic on Bristol board) are simple, with vivid colors and interesting texture. My favorite aspect of the illustrations were the "Actual Size" depictions of a shoe and clove on the flyleaf. I must admit, I held the book down next to my foot to compare. The type is a bit small and bland for my taste. I was glad to see a source note at the back with a photograph of the real Ella Ewing.

As for the story itself, I would like to say that one of my favorite thin
Jul 05, 2011 Whitney rated it it was amazing
Winner of the 2011 Comstock Read Aloud Book Award, an annual award for the best read aloud picture book for older children (ages 9-12).

I am slightly above average height and I hate that sometimes I feel like a GIANT, but this book really spoke to me about making the most of one's situation. Ella Kate was about three feet taller than me and sometimes she would get frustrated by the laughing and staring, but she was a bold enough person to tell herself to stand straight and be herself. Klise does
Anne Broyles
Jul 23, 2013 Anne Broyles rated it really liked it
This lovely collaboration from the Klise Sisters gives a little-known heroine her place in the sun. Ella Kate Ewing lived with gigantism and her 8'4" height made her stand out in several ways. This version of her story focuses on a loving family who accept and encourage their exceptionally tall daughter. Readers will feel Ella's pain at being called names, and her excitement to be showcased in traveling shows. Ella Kate was able to earn good money and keep her dignity at the same time. (And it's ...more
Alicia Scully
An historical fiction accounts of one of our nation's tallest women at a time when women has hardly any opportunities. Ella Kate decides to embrace her tallness to better herself and her family and she is quite smart about her life.

A good book for discussing impressive figures, real women who accomplished past their projected worth, and historical times.
Sep 03, 2010 Tina rated it really liked it
My Summary
When you think of a giant, what comes to mind? Jack and his beanstalk? Fables? Fairy tales?

Ella Ewing (1872-1913) was a real American giant! By the age of thirteen, she was almost six feet tall. At seventeen, she was 8 feet tall. Being bigger wasn't always better, though, as many people were mean to Ella.

Take a walk in Ella's large shoes, and learn how she used her height to become famous, to travel, and to accomplish what many "normal" people from her time could not dream of.

My revi
Nov 27, 2013 Andrea rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
I love this book. It is wonderful to pair with The Thing about Georgie and any SEL themes on different perspectives and respect. There are some wonderful informational books on P.T. Barnum that can expand on the same ideas in here and Ella Kate is such a forward thinking woman. We have had one of the Klise sisters come speak at my school and she was excellent. They are a sister duo where one sister writes and the other does the illustrations who, if you don't know, have written a lot of fun book ...more
Katherine Salinas
Feb 21, 2015 Katherine Salinas rated it really liked it
Shelves: olivia-read
I really like these Klise girls. They seem to work so well together and it shows in their books. What a well written (and illustrated!) book for kids! Fun to learn about a real woman who lead a very interesting life. I loved the lessons and Ella's determination to be authentically her! Great book!
KidsFiction Teton County Library
Teton County Library Call # J PICTURE KLISE
Suzy's rating: 4 stars

At a time when media/advertising is dictating to society what our bodies should look like, this is a welcome book, allowing for differences to exist. Ella Kate was born taller than most, with a gland condition callled gigantism. She learned how to live with it, and use it to her advantage. The very thing that made her unhappy as a child, made it possible to live a remarkable life. She became a star attraction in traveling shows, a
Ms Threlkeld
Fascinating biography of Ella Kate Ewing, a woman who stood over 8 feet tall and worked in museums and circuses. Could spark a great discussion with students about embracing that which makes us unique.
Sarah BT
Mar 09, 2011 Sarah BT rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books

Stand Straight, Ella Kate is a picture book biography of Ella Kate Ewing, the tallest lady on Earth. When Ella starts growing at an alarming rate at age seven, she's embarrassed, teased and becomes shy. But as she grows up, she realizes that her height can also lead to great adventures. She travels with the circus, appears in museums, and makes money for her family.

I loved the illustrations! The illustrations bring the story to life. I also love that there's a great discussion that can happen w
Jen Greene
Aug 13, 2015 Jen Greene rated it really liked it
Loved this not only because the author read it to us in class, but because it's based on an actual woman! A wonderful story, and another to read with the family.
Feb 27, 2014 lilylovespjo rated it it was amazing
This is such a cute book! And its a true story too, which is kind of sad but this is a really nice book!
Jan 29, 2011 Rachel rated it really liked it
I too had never heard of this woman until I picked up this book while shelving today at the library. The story looked interesting and I have always been fascinated with people who joined the side shows at circuses, so that is a good enough reason for me to read it. The book is based on the real life of the "Gentle Giantess," Ella Kate Ewing, who stood 8 ft 4 in tall! I liked it because it said that despite what she cried about as a child, being made fun of for being too tall, it allowed her free ...more
Aug 18, 2014 Natalie rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
This book spurred surprisingly thoughtful conversation from my 7 and 4 year old children.
Dec 04, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Like this book on numerous fronts! From "shared" height to the discussion options as Ella Kate uses that which makes her "different" to make her own life fulfilling and unique. Math tie in's with measuring, could find (perhaps) primary sources with photos/newspaper articles about Ella Kate, have kids discuss what makes them unique and how that's a good and a hard thing ... Definite read-aloud for the older crowd. Could also discuss circuses, shows, etc. Maybe pair with Circus Ship if done carefu ...more
Diana Thomsen
Feb 04, 2016 Diana Thomsen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
This awesome picture book based on a true story really touched my heart. How a quiet, shy, and gentle woman grew up (literally!) to be independent, strong, and a wold-traveler was inspirational. And the illustrations showing her gloves and shoes actual!!!
Informative and encouraging to anyone who is a little different.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author by this name in the Goodreads data base.

Catherine "Kate" Klise is an American author of children's literature. Many of her books are illustrated by her sister, M. Sarah Klise. Their popular Regarding series is presented in a scrapbook style format, with letters, journal entries, and related ephemera telling the story. She is also known for her picture
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