In early-nineteenth-century New England, folks considered a clean chin a sign of godliness. Born into this buttoned-up, strict society, Joseph Palmer stood out from childhood as someone who liked to do things his own way. A friend to Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Alcotts, Palmer lived by his own code and grew a belly-flowing beard that made his neighbors so crazy that they tried forcibly to shave him. He fought back and ended up in prison for a year. His cause became a local sensation, and a few short decades later a president of the United States–Abraham Lincoln–would wear a beard.
Narrated with the charm of a tall tale, this true story celebrates the long American history of nonconformity and encourages children to question social rules they may take for granted.
Praise for Quite Contrary Man
“She [Hyatt] cleanly lays out a morality tale that could prompt a healthy civics lesson. Brown’s arch illustrations, in watercolor with pen and ink, nicely capture 19th-century New England.”
– Kirkus Reviews
“Brown’s warmhued watercolors reiterate the folk yarn feel with rustic touches. A spirited introduction to an iconoclastic 19th-century activist.” – Publishers Weekly