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The prize winner of Defiance, Ohio : how my mother raised 10 kids on 25 words or
Terry Ryan
Adult Nonfiction CT275.R8964 A3 2001

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In the 1950s, the Ryan family struggled to make ends meet. Ten kids and a father who spent most of his paycheck on booze drained the family's meager finances. But mom Evelyn Ryan, a former journalist, found an ingenious way to bring in extra income: entering contests on the backs of cereal boxes and the like. The author, Evelyn's daughter, tells the entertaining story of her childhood and her mother's contest career with humor and affection. She is not a professional narrator, but her love and admiration for her mother come through in every sentence. Evelyn won supermarket shopping sprees that put much-needed food on the table, provided washing machines and other appliances the family couldn't afford, and delivered cash to pay the mounting pile of bills. This well-told, suspenseful tale is peppered with examples of Evelyn's winning poems and slogans, taken from the years of notebooks that she saved and passed on to her daughter, and has a fiction-worthy climax that will keep listeners laughing even as they're glued to Ryan's tale. Simultaneous release with the Simon & Schuster hardcover (Forecasts, Feb. 5). (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

This is the story of Evelyn Ryan, whose brood of ten children is not fully supported by her working husband, in part because of his perpetual drinking. Her sixth child, San Francisco Chronicle cartoonist Ryan, here recounts how the family depended on her poems, jingles, and contest entries to make ends meet (and sometimes not even). When they must move, Evelyn wins $5000 for a down payment on a house; when their car breaks down, she wins a new one. In addition to her seemingly boundless flow of words is her positive outlook on life, one that her children inherited despite their subsistence on fish sticks and hand-me-down clothes. While readers will root for the family and admire Evelyn's strength and her way with words, in the end the story could have been improved with some judicious editing, especially of the repetitions of the jingles. Suitable for leisure collections. Gina Kaiser, Univ. of the Sciences in Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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