Stand Straight, Ella Kate
written by Kate Klise; illlustrated by M. Sarah Klise
(Dial Books For Young Readers) 2010
Source: Orange County Public Library
Ella Kate Ewing started out at a normal size. When she was seven, she began growing at an alarming rate. Ella suffered from a gland disorder called gigantism. She was so tall that her father created a special desk for her in school. Unfortunately, people teased her a great deal and this made her withdraw and become a shy young lady. By age 17, she was eight feet tall. A man from Chicago offered her a job as an exhibit in a museum and surprisingly she accepted. She made a lot of money and began to realize that she liked traveling and then coming home to Rainbow, Missouri to share tales of her travels. Ella Kate Ewing used her height to make her greatest dreams come true.
Stand Straight, Ella Kate is a terrific biography of a person who overcame her shyness and lived an extraordinary life. It is also a wonderful character lesson in that Ella Kate strives to give respect to others and finds that most of them gave her respect in return. A modern version of Ella Kate was Sandy Allen who grew to 7'7'' and by all accounts was a gracious and kind woman like Ella Kate.