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Joan of Arkansas: Awakening to the World

Madeleine Herrmann


 book cover


In Joan of Arkansas, a compassionate teenage girl faces personal dilemmas and has an overriding concern for the health of our planet. Herrmann fills the pages with Joan’s progressive thinking, while using school assignments to honor trail-blazers of the past. As Joan attempts to win over opponents, she becomes immersed in the complex workings of American politics and must accept that change takes time. At times her adversaries may seem too easily swayed, but this book is a timely recognition of the younger generation as a significant force in solving world problems.

Judith Austin Mills, author of Accidental Joy: a streak of poetry and the Texas Revolution trilogy How Far Tomorrow, Those Bones at Goliad and The Dove Shall Fly

Privileged to live on a big estate, Joan loves to commune with nature. With typical teenage dilemmas and school assignments that challenge her thinking, she is immersed in the complex workings of American politics when some parents want to fire her science teacher. This story reminds us that the younger generation are our future problem solvers.


Sixteen-year-old Joan Larousse has a lot on her mind. She knows she is lucky to live on a big estate with her parents, two caretakers and a parrot named Victor, Joan loves the woods and a cave becomes her "church". Joan's life is generally busy and happy. With her French tutor, Joan explores existentialism and consciousness, debate and speaking your truth, patience and love. As Joan chooses a date for the prom and enjoys her first kiss, she also confronts personal delimnas. Her values differ from her wealthy parents, who do not understand her, and want her to change. Joan doesn't want an expensive prom dress or the Mercedes her father offers. She overhears her parents arguing; her father travels too often and her mother drinks too much.  

When Joan and her friend Kristin find out there is a petition to fire their well-liked science teacher at school, they become determined to stop that from happening and becomes immersed in the complex workings of American politics. With the help of her father, Joan gains the audience of the President. Reflecting the bravery of Joan of Arc, Joan of Arkansas musters the courage to speak clearly from her heart for her cause. This story reminds us that the younger generation are our future problem solvers.




ISBN: 978-1-63210-038-2

228 pages, $18.95

YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Action & Adventure / General
YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Nature & the Natural World / Environment

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