My first four years of school were at Beeline School, a two-room country schoolhouse. We walked most days down the gravel road, running the last few yards if the bell started ringing (one of the boys was assigned the task of pulling the heavy rope to ring the large bell atop the school).
One of my clearest memories of the schoolroom is of the little library -- long, low shelves of books, really -- especially I remember the long row of books on the lowest shelf, the biographies with orange covers.
I remember reading so many of them and learning odd 'facts' about various famous Americans. The book about Thomas Edison told the story of how he lost his hearing -- he was running to jump onto a moving train and stumbled; the train conductor grabbed him by the ears and pulled him aboard, thus damaging his hearing for the rest of his life. Well, that doesn't even make sense, does it? But I sure was fascinated by the story.
All this rushed back over me when I found 'Jane Adams: Little Lame Girl' at the thrift shop. It's pictured open above, showing the silhouette illustrations. How fun to find it! Copyright 1944, published by Bobbs-Merrill Company, part of the "Childhood of Famous Americans Series."
'Bird Girl: Sacagawea' soon found me, too, via Ebay. And listed in the series is 'Tom Edison: Boy Inventor.' I also remember 'Clara Barton: Girl Nurse.'
'Twould be fun to find more of these books -- but not the more recently published of the series -- I want the orange books of my childhood.