A Most Clever Girl: How Jane Austen Discovered Her Voice
Jasmine A. Stirling
Illustrated by Vesper Stamper
Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books
Published March 16, 2021
About A Most Clever Girl: How Jane Austen Discovered Her Voice
Witty and mischievous Jane Austen grew up in a house overflowing with words. As a young girl, she delighted in making her family laugh with tales that poked fun at the popular novels of her time, stories that featured fragile ladies and ridiculous plots. Before long, Jane was writing her own stories-uproariously funny ones, using all the details of her life in a country village as inspiration.
In times of joy, Jane’s words burst from her pen. But after facing sorrow and loss, she wondered if she’d ever write again. Jane realized her writing would not be truly her own until she found her unique voice. She didn’t know it then, but that voice would go on to capture readers’ hearts and minds for generations to come.
I know we’re not really supposed to admit to judging a book by its cover, but as soon as I saw this one, I had a feeling I was going to love it– and I was right! Each page gives some details about Jane Austen’s life, but through the lens of how her experiences impacted her writing. The story strikes a great balance between her biography and her life as an author and even why she was unusual, especially for her day.
The pictures are fantastic. I love the warm, playful colors and the details on every page that really bring the story to life. They make me want to design a children’s library in this style of artwork. It is really just gorgeous.
At the end of the book, there’s a full page, more in-depth biography of Jane Austen that goes into a little bit more detail than the earlier pages do, and I loved reading that as well, to kind of fill in a little more about her life.
I absolutely recommend this book for any young reader or writer and think it’d be a great addition to any classroom or library. I will definitely be adding a finished copy to my own family library!
Recommended for Ages 6 to 10.
Jane Austen and her family are English and white.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Brief mention that Jane’s father was a church minister.
Note: I received a free copy of A Most Clever Girl in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support running this blog.