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Stand Straight, Ella Kate

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4.06  ·  Rating details ·  423 ratings  ·  98 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 ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 29th 2010 by Dial Books
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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Candace
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-5-star
In this fictional biography, Ella Kate Ewing (1872-1913) is a giantess standing eight feet four inches tall by the time she stopped growing. Based on the true story of Ella, we learn of her shy and sensitive nature growing up. By the time Ella was eighteen, she was paid a $1000 for traveling with the Chicago museum and standing as an exhibit. She later appeared in museums, circus and state fairs all over the United States and Canada. In her home state of Missouri, she was known as a Gentle ...more
Kathryn
Nov 28, 2010 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
...more
Margo Tanenbaum
Jun 14, 2010 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 ...more
John
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, addyvi
I like this book because she grows and grows and grows as tall as this apartment. And she stops growing and she is very tall, as big as if you put me on top of Papa.
Shiloah
What an interesting story!
Selena
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Biography, 2010. A biography showing the life of Ella Kate, a real life giant. Shows her Independence as a woman in a time period where women were usually very reliant on their family and on their spouse. I enjoyed this book so much I forgot it was a biography, good introduction on a lit. unit involving biographies to show that they're not all boring and historical.
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 ...more
Abby Johnson
Oct 07, 2010 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.
Christy
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 touching and inspiring true story about a strong-minded girl who finally embraced her differences. It's the perfect book for ...more
Cathy
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. A touching and inspiring true story about a strong-minded girl who finally embraced her differences.
Solange Guillen
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ella Kate suffered from gigantism. Despite her condition she certainly lived a fulfilled life. Nice biography!!
Chappyfamily
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A true story, inspiring and fascinating
Shana Martin
Apr 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: eced221
The Teachers 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
Amanda
Dec 21, 2015 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
...more
Maria
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Personal Reaction -
This book is an excellent book because its a true story, so students can really appeal and relate to the book if its made clear the children that it was based off a real woman! This book is easy to follow since its written in first person and the narrators voice is written for young children to understand just fine. Its 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 she
...more
Melanie Berthiaume
Jul 29, 2015 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
...more
Tasha
Apr 20, 2010 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 fathers 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 ...more
Kelly
May 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Arminzerella
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 didnt 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 the ...more
Marfita
Jul 27, 2012 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
...more
Whitney
Jul 05, 2011 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
...more
Kelly
Jan 28, 2014 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
...more
Andrea
Aug 25, 2011 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 ...more
Tina
Sep 03, 2010 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
...more
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,
...more
Ann
Jul 23, 2013 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
Sarah BT
Mar 09, 2011 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
...more
Ann Haefele
May 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Really well done picture book biography of a woman who was born in the late 1800s and grew to be 8'4". There is an afterword with a photo of Ella Kate and more detailed info about her life. The best part of the book are the end pages that show what her actual shoe size of 24 was and the actual length of her glove. I read this to two 5th grade classes yesterday in the library after some significant testing. They were acting "too cool for school" but by the end of the first page I had them in the ...more
Rachel
Jan 29, 2011 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 ...more
Elizabeth
Dec 04, 2012 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 ...more
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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
...more

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