The Miracle & Tragedy of the Dionne Quintuplets

Random //Schwartz & Wade. Aug. 2019. 320p. index. notes. photos. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781524713812.
Gr 7 Up–In May of 1934, a 24-year-old farmer’s wife in North Bay, Ontario gave birth to five identical girls. The Dionne Quintuplets, as the media would christen them, were named Yvonne, Annette, Cécile, Émilie, and Marie. Born prematurely, the girls were tiny—surprising even the two midwives who had helped deliver hundreds of babies. Miller (The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century) is no stranger to writing historical nonfiction astutely and accurately. The story of the quintuplets is told in chronological order, and the dialogue is directly rendered from diaries, books, and newspapers. Photographs put faces to the names. Miller’s style is captivating and enchanting, as well as respectful. The references section offers further reading or watching, and the well-organized notes section proves Miller did her due diligence.
VERDICT Thoughtfully, cautiously, and candidly researched. A must-purchase for all YA/junior high nonfiction collections.

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