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Clara and Davie

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  399 ratings  ·  91 reviews
Animals and flowers were Clara's best friends. She had a special way with critters and found joy in the beauty that sprang from the soil. But whenever Clara talked, her words didn't come out right. As hard as she tried, she could not get over her lisp.

Clara's older brother Davie understood that his sister was gifted. When folks made fun of Clara's stilted words, Davie was
Hardcover, 34 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by Scholastic Press
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  399 ratings  ·  91 reviews

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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I can't believe it took Patricia Polacco so long to write about someone so famous who's related to her! I loved this true story from Clara Barton's childhood, and, now that I've read it, I'd like to read more about her. Polacco carefully referred to these people by their first names only until the end, when she revealed that she was writing about Clara Barton. (However, if you read her dedication on the verso in the front of the book, you'd be able to guess it was Barton.) How cool to be related ...more
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young Readers Interested in Clara Barton / Patricia Polacco Fans
The prolific Patricia Polacco, author and illustrator of many poignant picture-books whose stories are drawn from her family history, once again mines her ancestors' tales for Clara and Davie. This time however, the tale concerns a person of historical significance - Clara Barton, a pioneering nurse and the founder of the American Red Cross - to whom Polacco is related through marriage.

Opening with the Clara's birth, the story follows its subject through her younger childhood, as she develops he
Maggie Joyce
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I think this book is a warm-hearted and inspiring story. Patricia Polacco does a spectacular job both writing and illustrating the story. Polacco makes the story come to life and makes her readers feel connected to the characters. When Clara was trying to help Davie overcome his negative outlook on his legs she said “Davie, I know you can walk. You have always told me that I have a gift of healing. Unless you try to walk, I’ll never believe that again.” That moment in the story brought tears to ...more
Patricia Polacco describes the childhood and major influences of Clara Barton, the woman who grew up to be known as the 'Angel of the Battlefield.' I love that Polacco describes Clara's lisp in a way that evokes sympathy and portrays the reality of being made fun of.

Recommended for grades 3 - 5.
The Reading Countess
Mar 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fascinating tale about Clara Barton and her healing hands. Children will surely see a glint of themselves reflected in her struggles as a young girl. Interesting and inspirational sidenotes at the end tell the reader how Polacco is directely descended from this important historical figure.
Margo Tanenbaum
Patricia Polacco is one of our great contemporary picture book authors, and specializes in picture books with serious content such as racism, disabilities, and even cancer, making them appropriate for older elementary school readers. In her newest book, which fits in perfectly for Women's History Month, she explores the girlhood of one of the most famous female figures of the 19th century, Clara Barton.

Clara was the fifth child to be born into the Barton family in Massachusetts, and with her mot
Jul 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Clara and Davie by Patricia Polacco is a nominee for the 2015-16 South Carolina Picture Book Award. This moving book tells readers of the early life of Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross.

Clara, the youngest of five children, had a very special bond with her brother, Davie. Davie encouraged Clara to be herself, he listened to her troubles, and he was always there for her. Even when others called Clara lazy or stupid because of her lisp, Davie looked for ways to make his little s
Jennifer Peterson
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Polacco, P. (2014). Clara and Davie: The true story of young Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross. Scholastic Press.


Clara and Davie is a beautiful story book about the childhood of Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross. The story talks about the families hardships when Clara was young as well as Clara's struggle in school. The story expresses the bond that Clara had with her older brother Davie and how important caring for others was to Clara. It is sad, yet
Young readers are likely to be familiar with the actions of the adult Clara Barton who became known as a healer and founded the American Red Cross. But they are unlikely to know the story of young Clara and her struggles as a child. Because she lisped, Clara endured teasing from many of her classmates. Her older brother Davie protected her and saw potential in her that others might have failed to acknowledge. He encouraged her love for animals and for healing. When Davie is injured severely afte ...more
Eden Grey
Aug 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile
The true story of a young Clara Barton is an inspirational look at the childhood of an American legend.

CLARA AND DAVIE tells the story of Clara's childhood struggles with a speech impediment, bullying, and family illness. It is a heart-warming look at how the lonely girl became a strong healer and force to be reckoned with in American medicine.

The illustrations, done by the well-know author-illustrator Patricia Polacco, are warm and colorful renditions of scenes from Clara's life. Frankly, the
Another winner from a prolific and talented author/illustrator, Clara and Davie introduces the reader to Clara Barton as a young girl. I especially enjoyed reading about her relationship with her brother, Davie. Not many brothers ten years older would take the time to help and befriend his younger sister the way Davie does. It's clear that Clara had a gift for healing from the time she was very young. But like everyone else she faced her own challenges including a prominent lisp. This lisp led m ...more
Adams Eagles
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-2018
Rachel L.

Clara was born on Christmas Day everybody loves Clara was a beautiful baby girl. Davie loved Clara he taught her stuff she needed to know but she could not walk. She loved to swing with Davie and they loved to feed the farm animals. Davie got hurt because some farm guys came and said he didn’t take care of the farm they broke his two legs. Clara would bring him flower then he started to walk and healed and got better.

I really like this book because it tells teaches you not to b
Caryn Caldwell
Jul 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Long before Clara Barton became a legendary medical practitioner and started the Red Cross, she displayed an acuity for healing. She was also brave, damaged, and exceptionally smart. This book tells the story of her early years, showing her talents and her struggles, as well as her close relationship with her older brother Davie.

This is an interesting insight into an amazing woman. It was inspiring to see Barton overcome her speech difficulties and tense relationship with her domineering older s
Cara Wilson
May 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Clara and Davie by Patricia Polacco
Cara W., Spring 2015

Nonfiction #1: Biograpical Picture Book

Clara and Davie is the story of the famous Clara Barton and her older brother Davie. Davie understood that Clara was different but that she would go on to do great things in her life. But Clara felt discouraged due to her lisp. Clara went on to be a fantastic nurse and the founder of the Red Cross.

This story holds a special place in my heart. My mom was a nurse for over 30 years and medicine has always
Carol Royce Owen
Oct 26, 2015 rated it liked it
In typical Polacco style, we are told the story of Clara and Davie, the True Story of Young Clara Barton Founder of the American Red Cross. Clara and Davie are two siblings who are always there for each other, helping and encouraging each other through difficult times. Clara is born the fifth child to a weak mother, so Davie, the youngest of her siblings, but ten years older, takes on the responsibility of helping with her.

When Clara goes to school and is teased by other girls because of a spee
Rosa Cline
Jul 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mine-read
Even though this is a children's book, it's more for the 'older' child than a younger one. I think a younger one would loose interest and not 'stay' with it. However, after checking it out of our library because it was written by Ms Polacco I went ahead and read it even though after seeing it knew my 2 year old granddaughter wouldn't be interested in it. I am glad I did read it and was interesting. Especially after finding out that the little girl in the story is the same woman that later founde ...more
Angela Galvin
Mar 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Clara and Davie by Patricia Polacco is a story of a special bond between a brother and sister. The story tells of a young girl who was born to a sickly mother. Her siblings helped raise her. Her brother Davie, developed a special bond with Clara that inspired her to become one of the greatest healers and practitioners of her time. Clara Burton eventually founded the Red Cross. Although this is a non-fiction, the book does not site specific sources of information. Patricia Polacco uses her some f ...more
Michelle Moore
Core Curricular Ties: Reading, Writing, Social Studies

How Could Be Used:
I think this book would be a good one to use for reading responses. We are currently teaching this skill in Writing, but often do it in Reading. We want students to talk about what they liked, disliked and make connections. This book does evoke a lot of emotions so students can easily relate to when they have been sick and taken care of. There are happy and sad moments so they would be able to write a quality response. Socia
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wide-reading
As always, Patricia Polacco strikes gold. Pulling from her families rich history, she weaves a compelling narrative of Clara Barton's growing up years. Plagued with a speech impediment, young Clara is protected and loved by her whole family, but especially by her older brother Davie. When circumstances change and Clara has to care for Davie, she proves her metal and her famous healing hands by (view spoiler) ...more
Nicole Raabe
Apr 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: life-stories
1) Awards: none

2) Age range: 3rd-5th grade

3) Summary: This book follows the story of young Clara Barton, who was made fun of in school for the way she talked. After being taught in her home, she grew an interest in medicine. When her brother/caregiver, Davie, falls and breaks his leg, Clara heals him with her magic hands.

4) Review: I thought the book was interesting. Children may find it inspirational that a young girl who was picked on became such an icon in medicine. I don't think I would do a
Beth Nieman
Jan 28, 2014 rated it liked it
This is the story of Clara Barton's childhood in Massachusetts. Clara showed an early aptitude for encouraging and helping sick animals and sick people, and went on to found the Red Cross. She and her brother, Davie, were inseparable as kids, and Davie always wanted to protect his little sister. But the day comes when she needs to help him, and it takes all her self-taught skill and faithful dedication to do it.

The book includes more interesting facts in the author's notes at the back, along wit
Claudia  Fett
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Patricia Polacco continues to amaze me! Who knew that she was related to Clara Barton??? This picture book biography allows the reader to glimpse Clara Barton's life as a youth: healing animals, helping people, tending to flowers, and struggling with misunderstood speech problems, but always supported by her older brother Davie. The author's note in the back of the book shows the relationship between Patricia's family and Clara's. A photo of Patricia's tussle-mussie will delight the reader when ...more
The formative years in Clara Barton's life are covered here along with the close relationship between brother and sister.

Clara was destined for greatness and her many skills were eveident even when she was a very young child. At times, the narrative is uber dramatic, but it's not so much that it takes away from what the author is trying to showcase here about her subject.

The narrative is very relatable, even to modern children, because it includes Barton's struggle with speech problems. An autho
Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
In true Polacco fashion, the author brings a story to life as she writes of Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross. Her passion for healing and helping others started at an early age with the love of her family always beside her. Clara and her brother, Davie had a special bond...and this bond was strengthened by his devastating accident which required patience, caring, and commitment to foster Davie's healing.

A true American visionary and one the best-known and well-loved medical pract
Mrs. Tongate
A great read-aloud for secondary students during Women's History Month or Health class. Wonderful Patricia Polacco illustrations. True story of Clara Barton an ancestor of Patricia Polacco. Clara struggled in school and was made fun of like Patrica Polacco. Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross. It was Clara's custom to leave nosegays on the pillows of wounded soldiers or send a nosegay of dried flowers to a family who lost a loved one in battle.

Nosegay holder is called a "tussie-mussie."
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Patricia Polacco's stories are special, and this one is no exception. This is the story of the very special relationship between a brother and sister. Clara's mother died shortly after her birth, so she was mothered by her older sisters and brothers. Davy was especially fond of Clara and they were inseparable. Clara had a special gift for healing and nursed Davy through a life threatening accident. Eventually, Clara grows up to be Clara Barton, and one of the most influential women of medicine. ...more
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When Clara was born, her momma was very sick and didn't make it. Her brother Davie since she was born always looked after her. Clara lacked self confidence because of her lisp, which I can relate too! However, when Clara was down about it her brother was always there to pick her up and remind her just how important she was, and how she had magical hands that no one else had and that she could heal anything. This led her in a direction of medicine where she used those magical hands for many heali ...more
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Many people are interested in their ancestors and family history these days. How amazing to find in your history that you are related to Clara Barton. While many students study Clara Barton's wonderful skills and accomplishments as an adult, this book gives you heartwarming stories about her childhood and helps build our understanding of why caring for others was so important to her. This is another great biography picture book to get students interested in, and connected to, great heroes from t ...more
Haydee Romero
Clara and Dave is the story of Clara Barton the founder of the Red Cross. The book tells the story of Clara’s brother Dave. Dave had an accident that inspired Clara to help out others. Polacco’s characters are always strong. I would use this story in my classroom to study her character development. Clara throughout the story grows and students can explore her growth by examining her growth at the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
May 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's always fun to curl up with a new Patricia Polacco. This one is a biography! It's an insightful look at Clara Barton as a child, based on first hand knowledge from Polacco as she is related to the Bartons and is retelling a story that she knows. I'm looking forward to pairing this with the Barnes & Noble/History Maker series biography of Clara Barton that I use in my 4th grade classroom. A great addition to the genre! ...more
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Patricia Polacco is a New York Times bestselling author and illustrator with around seventy beloved and award-winning books to her credit, including The Keeping Quilt, Pink and Say, The Blessing Cup, Chicken Sunday, and Thank You, Mr. Falker. She resides in Michigan.

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