Clara and Davie


Book Information

Scholastic 2014
  • Character-Building Curriculum
  • Social Studies Curriculum

Beautifully rendered illustrations from Patricia Polacco  tell the poignant story of the early years  of Clara Barton's life. It is a story close to Polacco's heart and part of her family tree.

One Christmas Day 1821, a baby girl was born in Oxford, Massachusetts. The baby was named Clarissa, but brother Davie said she should be named Clara and the name stuck from that moment forward. Childbirth and illness took its toll on Clara's mother. Davie became Clara's constant companion and best friend. Clara had a  gentle nature and kind heart, and Davie  gave a newborn puppy to her to raise. Kids at school made fun of Clara's lisp, so Davie made sure that Clara could be home schooled. She learned every flower and plant and loved all animals. When a boy breaks his leg, Clara sets it; after that,  farmers turned to Clara for help with their sick animals. Davie breaks his leg in a fall, but Clara takes care of him until the doctor arrives. Davie heals slowly but is afraid to try to walk. Clara begs him to try each day to no avail. Clara can take it no longer. She runs to the barn and cries; later, Davie stands at the door of the barn with a bouquet of wild flowers. He walked all that way all by himself; it was the first day he walked again.

Clara Barton became one of the most famous women in American history. Known as "the Angel of the Battlefield" during the Civil War, she later founded the American Red Cross.Readers will love Clara's humanity for all creatures. She stands for goodness and care.  Highly recommended for young readers who love animals. Polacco fans will not be disappointed.

40 pages   978054535477   Ages  5-9

Recommended by:  Pamela Thompson, Librarian, Texas USA

To see more of her recommendations:


One of the most wonderful gifts in the world is having someone who loves you and believes in you with all of your mistakes and imperfections and gifts shining brightly.

Clara Barton was born into a family of five children and grew up running outdoors with her beloved brother Davie in Massachusetts.  They explored the woods for wildflowers and Clara found her place among the wild animals who accepted her gentle ways.

As Clara was growing up she had a lisp and when she started school and spent time outside of her family, the other children made fun of how she talked and sent her racing back home to a place where she could feel safe, loved and cherished.

Clara's brother Davie adored her from the moment he first held her.  He watched her in amazement as she moved among the animals and learned the world of the wildflowers.  He also watched as she became known as a girl with healing hands.  One day Davie has a bad fall on the farm.  Lucky for him, Clara comes running and knows how to care for him in the first moments after the fall and then, stays with him week after week and month after month, as he slowly heals.

After all the love and care that Davie has given to Clara, there comes a moment when she is able to give back.  She grows up to create the American Red Cross to care for millions of people in their time of need.  Everyone needs a helping hand one day and Clara's very special hands are still reaching out through others to offer hope and help.

31267151018684  Ages  5-9   40 pages

Recommended by:  Barb,

User reviews

Have you read this book? We'd love to hear what you think. Click the button below to write your own review!