The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio

How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less

Book - 2001
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"Angela's Ashes" meets "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" in this inspirational, true story of an enterprising mother who kept poverty at bay with wit, poetry, and perfect prose during the "contest era" of the '50s and '60s. "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio" is the biography Evelyn Ryan, whose joy for life overshadows both lean times and her husband's alcoholism to raise children who seek out their own winning ways. Photos throughout.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2001
ISBN: 9780743211222
Characteristics: 351 p. : ill. ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Orman, Suze


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Feb 09, 2018

I like this book enough to have read it more than once. For me, it has at least a few laugh-out-loud moments, and I'm impressed by Evelyn Ryan's strength, ingenuity, wit and way with words. I think the book is longer than it needed to be, however; some additional editing would have made it better. The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio was adapted into a 2005 movie of the same title, which is also available from Hennepin County Library.

WVMLStaffPicks Jan 22, 2015

Do you love to enter contests? Before today's era of sweepstakes, the heyday of contests of the 1950s and 1960s required entrants to compose witty poetry, prose and jingles. Meet Evelyn Ryan, who defied her Church, alcoholic husband and society's views of housewives, by keeping her family out of the poorhouse with her winning ways.

Jul 04, 2012

Started June 29, finished July 2, 2012. Had to read this one in record time, to get it back to the library before I went on holidays! This was the real life of an amazing but ordinary woman. I guess depression was not heard of in her day! She was so smart in so many ways and did an amazing job of raising her 10 children. I think her accomplishment would be equal to, if not greater than, climbing Mount Everest! (But bananas in the dryer! hilarious!)

Jan 19, 2008

This was a wonderful book, about a really brave, smart and funny lady who held her family together through some pretty grim times, as well as a fascinating look at 1950s pop culture and the contest mania that swept through it. Highly recommended!


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