Vermont Folklife Center

Michael Medearis and Angela Shelf Medearis
Paintings by Larry Johnson
Hardcover, 32 pages, illustrated
U.S. $14.95, Can.$23.95
Paperback, 32 pages, illustrated
U.S. $7.95

man and child

About this Story

Boldness and a gift for improvising verse enable eight-year-old Daisy Turner, an African American living in Grafton, Vermont, in the late 19th century, to triumph over an incident of discrimination in her school. Told in Daisy’s voice, the book’s themes of identity and self-affirmation offer a powerful lesson to today’s youngsters who face similar situations of prejudice and stereotyping in the 21st century classroom.

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Daisy Turner

About the Storyteller

Born on June 21, 1883, Daisy Turner lived most of her 104 years in the area around Grafton, Vermont. She was one of sixteen children of Alec Turner and Sally Early Turner, who began their lives as slaves.

Late in her life, Daisy became her family’s historian, relating tales of her grandfather’s journey from Africa into slavery in Virginia, and her father’s eventual escape to freedom and life on a Vermont hill farm.

Daisy and the Doll is based on an incident that occurred around 1891. Daisy recounted this story to folklorist Jane Beck in a recording made in 1983.

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child holding a doll

About the Authors

Michael Medearis has written 10 books for children and young adults, including an African-American Arts series on music, dance and cooking, which he co-wrote with his wife, Angela. Director of the nonprofit Book Boosters, he has also written a number of educational texts and biographies for young people. In his spare time he enjoys listening to music, gardening and going to the movies.

Angela Shelf Medearis has written more than 70 books for children, including Dancing with the Indians, Poppa’s New Pants, Tailypo and the Coretta Scott King Honor Book, The Singing Man. A popular storyteller and speaker, she is the founder of Book Boosters, a nonprofit organization dedicated to tutoring elementary school children who need a “boost” in their self-esteem and help with their reading. Ms. Medearis lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and coauthor, Michael.

About the Illustrator

Larry Johnson has illustrated over twenty books for children, including Knoxville, Tennessee by Nikki Giovanni, The Wilma Rudolph Story, and Daisy and the Doll by Michael and Angela Shelf Medearis. A man of many interests who lives in Boston, Massachusetts, Larry Johnson co-hosts a radio talk show and serves as a youth minister.

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