Gnawbone1, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by Gnawbone1)
This was such a good touching book. It hit real close to home as I have raised my children on entering contests and making their life a little brighter.
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Donna in Lake Oswego, June 24, 2009 (view all comments by Donna in Lake Oswego)
I adored this book. It made me want to enter contests, too! The pictures of the vintage contest entry slips here and there just add to the whole charming book. Even though the time period is mostly the 50's and 60's, it can still inspire you to make the very most of what you have, and to be appreciative.
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The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less
Used Trade Paper
0 stars -
Simon & Schuster -
Evelyn Ryan's family may have been one of the poorest in town, but her children did not go without the occasional taste of well-earned luxury. Their mother entered every contest imaginable (there were plenty in the '50s and '60s) and won everything from candy bars and basketballs to a trip to Switzerland and a down payment on the family's house. Terry Ryan ? poet, collaborating author of the long-running T. O. Sylvester cartoon, and sixth in Evelyn's brood ? offers this utterly heartwarming memoir about her mother's knack for keeping the family in shoes and in stitches when basic necessities and laughter would have otherwise been scarce. Ryan's memoir reveals as much about American consumers' relationship with postwar marketing as it does about her mother's wit and resourcefulness. Evelyn's jingles, crafted at the ironing board, made it into magazines, roadside Burma Shave signs, and ad campaigns all over the country. Her determination to share with her family every taste and experience that Privilege would never have deigned to grant them is deftly portrayed in this exhilarating tribute to spirit.
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio introduces Evelyn Ryan, an enterprising woman who kept poverty at bay with wit, poetry, and perfect prose during the "contest era" of the 1950s and 1960s. Evelyn's winning ways defied the church, her alcoholic husband, and antiquated views of housewives. To her, flouting convention was a small price to pay when it came to raising her six sons and four daughters.
Graced with a rare appreciation for life's inherent hilarity, Evelyn turned every financial challenge into an opportunity for fun and profit. The story of this irrepressible woman, whose clever entries are worthy of Erma Bombeck, Dorothy Parker, and Ogden Nash, is told by her daughter Terry with an infectious joy that shows how a winning spirit will always triumph over poverty.
This bestselling memoir starring a Midwestern wife and mother whose prize-winning poetry and prose kept her family afloat through the most difficult of times is now basis for a feature film from DreamWorks, starring Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson, scheduled for release in September.
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