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Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression

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Before she raised her lens to take her most iconic photo, Dorothea Lange took photos of the downtrodden from bankers in once-fine suits waiting in breadlines, to former slaves, to the homeless sleeping on sidewalks. A case of polio had left her with a limp and sympathetic to those less fortunate. Traveling across the United States, documenting with her camera and her field Before she raised her lens to take her most iconic photo, Dorothea Lange took photos of the downtrodden from bankers in once-fine suits waiting in breadlines, to former slaves, to the homeless sleeping on sidewalks. A case of polio had left her with a limp and sympathetic to those less fortunate. Traveling across the United States, documenting with her camera and her fieldbook those most affected by the stock market crash, she found the face of the Great Depression. In this picture book biography, Carole Boston Weatherford with her lyrical prose captures the spirit of the influential photographer.


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Before she raised her lens to take her most iconic photo, Dorothea Lange took photos of the downtrodden from bankers in once-fine suits waiting in breadlines, to former slaves, to the homeless sleeping on sidewalks. A case of polio had left her with a limp and sympathetic to those less fortunate. Traveling across the United States, documenting with her camera and her field Before she raised her lens to take her most iconic photo, Dorothea Lange took photos of the downtrodden from bankers in once-fine suits waiting in breadlines, to former slaves, to the homeless sleeping on sidewalks. A case of polio had left her with a limp and sympathetic to those less fortunate. Traveling across the United States, documenting with her camera and her fieldbook those most affected by the stock market crash, she found the face of the Great Depression. In this picture book biography, Carole Boston Weatherford with her lyrical prose captures the spirit of the influential photographer.

30 review for Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression

  1. 5 out of 5

    Manybooks

    Although with regard to providing the basic and bare essentials about Dorothea Lange's life and her career as a photographer, author Carole Boston Weatherford has (I guess and to a point) succeeded adequately enough and in a sufficiently informative general manner, personally, I do have to say that Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression has rather been a textually disappointing and at times even quite tediously dragging and uninspiring reading experience, with the Although with regard to providing the basic and bare essentials about Dorothea Lange's life and her career as a photographer, author Carole Boston Weatherford has (I guess and to a point) succeeded adequately enough and in a sufficiently informative general manner, personally, I do have to say that Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression has rather been a textually disappointing and at times even quite tediously dragging and uninspiring reading experience, with the author's, with Carole Boston Weatherford's printed words far too often jumping around haphazardly and back and forth from the present to the past and vice versa (which can easily and potentially cause confusion if readers are not already at least somewhat familiar with Dorothea Lange and can thus make necessary connections due to prior knowledge of her life and career, which though, should in my opinion also NOT be assumed in Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression, which should not be taken for granted in a picture book supposedly and generally geared towards children). And yes, I equally and furthermore very much in fact do think that in Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression, Carole Boston Weatherford almost entirely remains woefully and frustratingly on the surface so to speak, that she never (in my humble opinion) really delves deeply enough into Dorothea Lange's life and her many struggles (her bout with polio, her parents' unsuccessful marriage, her issues at school, her decision to become a photographer), so that readers of Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression might well receive a general and standard knowledge of Dorothea Lange but never enough to really get to know her on a personal and on an emotional level (for yes, albeit that Carole Boston Weatherford's text is factually solid, it is also on a deeper level rather coldly uninspiring and not all that engaging). Combined with the fact that I have also aesthetically not found Sarah Green's accompanying artwork all that visually pleasant (a bit blurry at times, not focussing and concentrating enough on Dorothea Lange herself for my tastes and desires, and also, importantly and annoyingly, with regard to especially Dorothea Lange's clothing, sometimes rather anachronistic choices being made), for me, while Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression does provide a reasonable and general introduction to Dorothea Lange's life and photography career to and for children, it is also an introduction that is rather barely adequate and as such also but a low two star ranking for me (and yes indeed, I am also rather majorly annoyed and frustrated that the supplemental information section of Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression includes no bibliographic materials whatsoever and that there are also only three examples of Lange's actual photographs being featured and presented).

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    The flow of the book was really choppy and weird. The summary of her life at the end was much more informative than the actually story

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Kotkin

    Text: 3 stars Illustrations: 3 stars Picture book biography of photographer Dorothea Lange. Text is choppy and has some holes. Despite the style of dress and old-fashioned camera, the illustrations feel too modern for the historical setting. Informative author's note in the back of the book with a few of Dorothea Lange's most famous photographs included. No bibliography. Text: 3 stars Illustrations: 3 stars Picture book biography of photographer Dorothea Lange. Text is choppy and has some holes. Despite the style of dress and old-fashioned camera, the illustrations feel too modern for the historical setting. Informative author's note in the back of the book with a few of Dorothea Lange's most famous photographs included. No bibliography.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    I was glad that the author included the biography summary at the end of the book as I really enjoyed that. I wished that the rest of the book would have followed this format as I felt at times that the book's language or format was off. The sentences seemed to be too long, too wordy, while at other times, the flow was off. Who was Dorothea Lange? I was interested in her as I remember her name from her photographs from the depression. Her famous black-and-white Migrant Mother photo and the photo I was glad that the author included the biography summary at the end of the book as I really enjoyed that. I wished that the rest of the book would have followed this format as I felt at times that the book's language or format was off. The sentences seemed to be too long, too wordy, while at other times, the flow was off. Who was Dorothea Lange? I was interested in her as I remember her name from her photographs from the depression. Her famous black-and-white Migrant Mother photo and the photos of the children from the depression era yet when I read this book, I see none of them. It isn't until I get to the summary biography at the back that I actually see some of her actual work. I had hoped that this book would have at least a few of her actual pictures in the story so that readers can experience her. I just hope everyone looks at the back pages of the book to see her actual photographs. Dorothea had a dream of becoming a photographer and she accomplished that dream. I liked that she was able to capture on film, the individual(s) who was in front of her. She didn't ask them for anything, they were just themselves. She took pictures of anyone, every walk of life, there were no exclusions. If you haven't seen her photographs, you need to look her up. I was disappointed in this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Donalyn

    Pair with Lange's original photographs. Don't miss the detailed author's note. Pair with Lange's original photographs. Don't miss the detailed author's note.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sandy Brehl

    Lange's life is a powerful story that is far less known than are her iconic photographs from the US depression era. In fact, her life began as a victim of bullying for her post-polio limp. She not only ignored the thought that a limo could hold her back but she actively moved into the world with character and physical strength that was rarely seen by able-bodied men, let alone women. Her intention and persistence to self-instruct, to follow her dreams and impulses, and to use her most valuable t Lange's life is a powerful story that is far less known than are her iconic photographs from the US depression era. In fact, her life began as a victim of bullying for her post-polio limp. She not only ignored the thought that a limo could hold her back but she actively moved into the world with character and physical strength that was rarely seen by able-bodied men, let alone women. Her intention and persistence to self-instruct, to follow her dreams and impulses, and to use her most valuable talent, her "eyesight", which she used to suggest so much more than simply accurate vision. This is an entertaining and inspiring story for girls AND boys, not to mention the adults who share the book with them. In this age of everyone having a camera in their hand, from a very early age, Lange's story is a valuable guide to the thought that a picture is only worth taking if it tells a story, if it touches a heart, if it transforms the viewer, and perhaps the subject as well.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kirsti

    I never knew Dorothea Lange had polio as a child. This is an excellent read, but the vocabulary is at a high level. It would be fine for a kid to read with an adult but might be frustrating for younger solo readers.

  8. 4 out of 5

    KC

    Biography of photographer Dorothea Lange and how she exposed the poverty of our country through a camera lens.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mary Louise Sanchez

    Dorothea Lange certainly did see people through the lens of her camera differently, perhaps because she could empathize with them. During the Great Depression, she focused on the people who struggled to survive. She too strugged, but with the disease of polio which left her with a limp and a nickname, Limpy. Lange documented people who were forgotten and put them in the spotlight. Her pictures told their stories and opened the eyes of many Americans as to the plight of the poor. The back section Dorothea Lange certainly did see people through the lens of her camera differently, perhaps because she could empathize with them. During the Great Depression, she focused on the people who struggled to survive. She too strugged, but with the disease of polio which left her with a limp and a nickname, Limpy. Lange documented people who were forgotten and put them in the spotlight. Her pictures told their stories and opened the eyes of many Americans as to the plight of the poor. The back section of the book has more insight into the life of Dorothea Lange, but I would have liked to see more photographs of the internment of the Japanese Americans, which she took.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence: Because childhood polio left her with a limp and a rolling gait, Dorothea knew how those less fortunate felt without ever walking in their shoes. Premise/plot: This is a picture book biography of Dorothea Lange, a photographer perhaps best known for her photograph, "Migrant Mother." My thoughts: I didn't love this one as much as I'd hoped. I've really enjoyed some of Weatherford's other picture book biographies. And I think this one had potential. Dorothea Lange was certainly an in First sentence: Because childhood polio left her with a limp and a rolling gait, Dorothea knew how those less fortunate felt without ever walking in their shoes. Premise/plot: This is a picture book biography of Dorothea Lange, a photographer perhaps best known for her photograph, "Migrant Mother." My thoughts: I didn't love this one as much as I'd hoped. I've really enjoyed some of Weatherford's other picture book biographies. And I think this one had potential. Dorothea Lange was certainly an interesting woman who left an impact on the world. I found the author's note, "About Dorothea Lange" to be fascinating. The actual text of the picture book was less so, in my opinion. But I'm glad I read it. Even if I merely "liked" it, it was worth reading. Her photographs were familiar to me; her story was not. Text: 3.5 out of 5 Illustrations. 3.5 out of 5 Toal: 7 out of 10

  11. 4 out of 5

    Edward Sullivan

    A simple picture book biography introducing Lange unremarkable in prose and illustrations. Most disappointing is the lack of end matter.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*

    Weatherford, Carole Boston Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression Illustrated by Sarah Green PICTURE BOOK Albert Whitman and Company, 2017. $16.99 Content: G. Dorothea had polio as a young child and was always aware of those who were less fortunate. She didn’t do well in school but found an interest in photography and started taking pictures of those around her who were suffering. Her pictures began to capture the heartache and suffering of the Great Depression an Weatherford, Carole Boston Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression Illustrated by Sarah Green PICTURE BOOK Albert Whitman and Company, 2017. $16.99 Content: G. Dorothea had polio as a young child and was always aware of those who were less fortunate. She didn’t do well in school but found an interest in photography and started taking pictures of those around her who were suffering. Her pictures began to capture the heartache and suffering of the Great Depression and she had some printed in a newspaper. Eventually her photographs gained enough attention that the government helped those who were suffering. This is a great biography on Dorothea Lange which is short and to the point, but hits the major facts. The illustrations are in muted tones and at the end of the book there are three of Lange’s well known photographs and a more descriptive biography. This is a short book that is more of a starting point for this time period and made me want more information, but is good for younger readers. EL (K-3) – ADVISABLE. Reviewer, C. Peterson. https://kissthebook.blogspot.com/2017...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Strong

    Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression by Carole Boston Weatherford; pictures by Sarah Green • We all know the photograph that made Dorothea Lange memorable- Migrant Mother- the face of the Great Depression. But what I learned and loved about this books is that it took her years to really grasp her purpose and focus of photography. She started out taking portrait photographs in her own studio. As she grew she gained experience out in the world taking photographs of Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression by Carole Boston Weatherford; pictures by Sarah Green • We all know the photograph that made Dorothea Lange memorable- Migrant Mother- the face of the Great Depression. But what I learned and loved about this books is that it took her years to really grasp her purpose and focus of photography. She started out taking portrait photographs in her own studio. As she grew she gained experience out in the world taking photographs of people, real people, who weren't staged or wealthy. She showed real Americans. • This book is a very short and rather quick overview of Dorothea Lange's life and focuses primarily on her growth as a photographer. Included in the back is an About page with more detailed information about her life. It's a good first introduction into her life's work for kids. • I know it's a kids book but I wish it was longer and shared more information in the story.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gretchen

    I love picture book biographies because I love exposing my students to so many amazing people in the world that they can learn more about and they can think about all the possible things there are to do in the world. One of the things I appreciate about how this story is told is that it shares how some of Dorothea's empathy, which is so evident in her photographs, began when she was a child and others did not empathize with her dilemma. I also really appreciate the illustrations that "draw" the I love picture book biographies because I love exposing my students to so many amazing people in the world that they can learn more about and they can think about all the possible things there are to do in the world. One of the things I appreciate about how this story is told is that it shares how some of Dorothea's empathy, which is so evident in her photographs, began when she was a child and others did not empathize with her dilemma. I also really appreciate the illustrations that "draw" the photographs in black and white to stay with the illustration style throughout the book. This can be paired with the other Dorthea Lange picture book I reviewed as well as the picture book Ruby's Hope. Using the three books together along with some actual prints of her photographs could be a great way to start a discussion about the Great Depression and/or photography as an art form.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    I love the line from the story that says, " She was a storyteller with a camera." I think that perfectly describes Dorothea Lange. She took pictures that told the story of people from all different walks of life. When she became a photographer for the government she took pictures of the things other people ignored or neglected. Dorothea Lange's photo of the "Migrant Mother" helped the spur the government into action. After the photos ran in the newspaper, the government rushed to send food to th I love the line from the story that says, " She was a storyteller with a camera." I think that perfectly describes Dorothea Lange. She took pictures that told the story of people from all different walks of life. When she became a photographer for the government she took pictures of the things other people ignored or neglected. Dorothea Lange's photo of the "Migrant Mother" helped the spur the government into action. After the photos ran in the newspaper, the government rushed to send food to the people in need. I think the vocabulary used in the book could be difficult for young children to understand. I would not use this particular book about Dorothea Lange to teach her to my students.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    I knew the name Dorothea Lange and some photos of suffering people from the Depression era, including the woman with children that made Lange well known, brought food to suffering people, and employment to Lange working with the Farm Security Administration and the Resettlement Administration. By the way the photograph was entitled, “Migrant Mother” and the woman was a full blooded Cherokee Indian. Lange also photographed the Japanese internment camps during WWII. Having had polio as a child,Dorot I knew the name Dorothea Lange and some photos of suffering people from the Depression era, including the woman with children that made Lange well known, brought food to suffering people, and employment to Lange working with the Farm Security Administration and the Resettlement Administration. By the way the photograph was entitled, “Migrant Mother” and the woman was a full blooded Cherokee Indian. Lange also photographed the Japanese internment camps during WWII. Having had polio as a child,Dorothea had great empathy for people and used her photography skills to show that suffering to others. This brief, well done children’s biography makes me want to learn more about Dorothea Lange.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Martha

    This is a wonderful book for young girls. It will inspire them to reach beyond their imagined as well as real limitations to seek fulfillment, satisfaction and personal growth. Written in prose and beautifully illustrated by two women. The world is so much bigger now but in a sense more manageable with unlimited information through technical media and the sharing of personal stories by older women. Go ahead, buy this one as a gift for that inquisitive female in your life who wants to find a plac This is a wonderful book for young girls. It will inspire them to reach beyond their imagined as well as real limitations to seek fulfillment, satisfaction and personal growth. Written in prose and beautifully illustrated by two women. The world is so much bigger now but in a sense more manageable with unlimited information through technical media and the sharing of personal stories by older women. Go ahead, buy this one as a gift for that inquisitive female in your life who wants to find a place in the world.....................

  18. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Here is another artist’s life story told in this new fascinating book by Carole Boston Weatherford with illustrations by Sarah Green. Dorothea had polio as a child, ended up walking with a limp, and she was teased about it, became an outcast. After her parents’ divorce, she finished school (which she didn’t like) and ended up in California with a friend. She worked in a department store, but in only a few months opened her own studio, earning money by taking portraits of rich people. The book te Here is another artist’s life story told in this new fascinating book by Carole Boston Weatherford with illustrations by Sarah Green. Dorothea had polio as a child, ended up walking with a limp, and she was teased about it, became an outcast. After her parents’ divorce, she finished school (which she didn’t like) and ended up in California with a friend. She worked in a department store, but in only a few months opened her own studio, earning money by taking portraits of rich people. The book tells bits about her life, hiding her limp, marriage and children, divorce. As she photographed many things, she began to realize that she was meant to photograph people’s lives. It was then she was asked by a writer to illustrate an article he had written. He was drawn to her street photos and soon they collaborated in capturing lives. Dorothea became “a storyteller with a camera”. The illustrations are simple in conveying the scenes written, including some of the most famous of Dorothea’s work. There is an afterword that does show that one well-known photo of the woman in the migrant camp. For those who aren’t familiar with Dorothea Lange, it’s a good introduction.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Pam Page

    Dorothea Lange was such an accomplished photographer, sharing photographs of real people in real-life situations. The illustrations in this book just did not seem to work for the story and the author's note at the end was written in a more interesting format than the text of the story. (I would have liked to see more of Lange's photographs in the book.) I like to see bibliographies for non-fiction books and that is missing from this one. Dorothea Lange was such an accomplished photographer, sharing photographs of real people in real-life situations. The illustrations in this book just did not seem to work for the story and the author's note at the end was written in a more interesting format than the text of the story. (I would have liked to see more of Lange's photographs in the book.) I like to see bibliographies for non-fiction books and that is missing from this one.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ben Biddle

    I've always enjoyed and admired Lange's photography. This book is a good introduction for children but the illustrations do not carry the same visual weight as her original prints. I actually learned more from the biography section in the back than the text. Perhaps the writing was too simplistic or haphazard to adequately convey Lange's hardships and skillful abilities. Overall a good book to check out from the library. I've always enjoyed and admired Lange's photography. This book is a good introduction for children but the illustrations do not carry the same visual weight as her original prints. I actually learned more from the biography section in the back than the text. Perhaps the writing was too simplistic or haphazard to adequately convey Lange's hardships and skillful abilities. Overall a good book to check out from the library.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Maya Norton

    My first thought was: did someone force this author to write this book (e.g. under contract, etc.)? Then I looked up the author and realized that Carole Boston Weatherford is someone I've read many good books from and was further confused. This book is not well written, there is scant storytelling, and the telling lacks passion. While Dorothea Lange and her subjects are certainly worthy of their story being told, this book should not have been published. (I'm sorry.) My first thought was: did someone force this author to write this book (e.g. under contract, etc.)? Then I looked up the author and realized that Carole Boston Weatherford is someone I've read many good books from and was further confused. This book is not well written, there is scant storytelling, and the telling lacks passion. While Dorothea Lange and her subjects are certainly worthy of their story being told, this book should not have been published. (I'm sorry.)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Christina Getrost

    Straightforward biography picture book about the famed photographer, briefly covering her childhood, and more detailed about her visit to the migrant camp where she shot her famous "Migrant Mother" image. Two-page author's note gives more details about her life and death, and three actual photos of hers are reproduced there. No sources given. Straightforward biography picture book about the famed photographer, briefly covering her childhood, and more detailed about her visit to the migrant camp where she shot her famous "Migrant Mother" image. Two-page author's note gives more details about her life and death, and three actual photos of hers are reproduced there. No sources given.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jo Oehrlein

    A biography of Dorothea up to the Depression. Includes her working for the US Government and taking a picture in a migrant camp that really made a difference -- it motivated the government to deliver food to starving people. A person who made a difference in people's lives by seeing the people around her. A biography of Dorothea up to the Depression. Includes her working for the US Government and taking a picture in a migrant camp that really made a difference -- it motivated the government to deliver food to starving people. A person who made a difference in people's lives by seeing the people around her.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kris Dersch

    Ends better than it starts. Telling me the person had polio before you actually introduce them doesn't help. But once you get into reading the story of her life, this is a really great story that I never knew. Some of the actual photos, including the one that made her most famous, are included in the very good author's note at the end. A really great intro to a life. Ends better than it starts. Telling me the person had polio before you actually introduce them doesn't help. But once you get into reading the story of her life, this is a really great story that I never knew. Some of the actual photos, including the one that made her most famous, are included in the very good author's note at the end. A really great intro to a life.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Maura

    Interesting picture book biography of the famous Depression-era photographer. Having read so many other great books by Carole Boston Weatherford, this one comparatively fell a little short. Illustrations were okay but my son and I both wished that her photos could have been interspersed throughout rather than confined to just the back matter. Would recommend, but didn’t love.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    I enjoyed simple illustrations and think the text would be very approachable for K-2 students. The final pages beautifully tell just how important her work was to providing aid to those during the depression and could be part of a unit on social change.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lynne

    Dorothea Lange and her photography are fascinating subjects. This book has some great information but is told in a way that wasn't really as enticing and entertaining as I had hoped. I would still recommend it as a starting point to learning about Lange for a reluctant learner Dorothea Lange and her photography are fascinating subjects. This book has some great information but is told in a way that wasn't really as enticing and entertaining as I had hoped. I would still recommend it as a starting point to learning about Lange for a reluctant learner

  28. 5 out of 5

    Villain E

    After a rough childhood of her own, Dorothea Lange goes from a studio photographer to a political activist. This book seems more blunt than other biographical picture books I've read. It's good, but I would recommend it for older kids and parents who are ready to talk about sensitive subjects. After a rough childhood of her own, Dorothea Lange goes from a studio photographer to a political activist. This book seems more blunt than other biographical picture books I've read. It's good, but I would recommend it for older kids and parents who are ready to talk about sensitive subjects.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Maija

    I enjoyed the photos and illustrations.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Margie

    Current technology allows us to capture a split second with a photograph or a series of moments with video simply using our phones. We can document anything anywhere at any time. For those pictures and videos to have an impact outside our own personal realm though, we need to give the subject matter more than a quick click. For those devoted to the art of photography or videography either as amateurs or professionals, it is a fact that rarely is the ultimate photograph or video created on the fi Current technology allows us to capture a split second with a photograph or a series of moments with video simply using our phones. We can document anything anywhere at any time. For those pictures and videos to have an impact outside our own personal realm though, we need to give the subject matter more than a quick click. For those devoted to the art of photography or videography either as amateurs or professionals, it is a fact that rarely is the ultimate photograph or video created on the first try. Sometimes it can take a lifetime of work to produce a masterpiece. In both fields the person behind the camera must see the world differently than others bringing certain aspects more sharply into focus. Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression (Albert Whitman & Company, February 28, 2017) written by Carole Boston Weatherford with pictures by Sarah Green portrays the essence of a woman who saw people and places others did not. She knew how to bring our attention to those people and places ignored or forgotten by others. My full recommendation: http://librariansquest.blogspot.com/2...

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