About This Book

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-overflowing 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.

The Author

Patricia Rusch Hyatt, a former newspaper reporter and editor, writes about under-noticed American heroes. She also plays the violin, hugs trees and plants, and feeds her sketchbook travel diaries. She is the author of Coast to Coast with Alice, the story of the first woman to drive a motorcar across the United States, in 1909. Ms. Hyatt was born in Texas and now lives in Princeton, NJ, with her husband, Jim.

The Illustrator

Kathryn Brown is the author and illustrator of Muledred and the illustrator of other children’s books, including Eeny, Meeny, Miney Mole, by Jane Yolen, and Tough Boris, by Mem Fox. She lives with her family in western  Massachusetts.

Publishing Date: May, 2011

To Order:


2 responses to “About This Book

  1. B. A. Hyatt

    March 18, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Looks interesting, Pat. Judy told me you were a writer and took notes on Richard and Penelope Stout. Amazine Penelope would make a good story.

  2. Jeanne Graves

    March 29, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    What an excellent subject for young people! Guaranteed to make them realize that today’s taboos can be tomorrow’s standard procedures. And the cover is most appealing!


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