The miracle & tragedy of the Dionne quintuplets /

by Miller, Sarah [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York : Schwartz & Wade Books, [2019]Edition: First edition.Description: 309 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.ISBN: 9781524713812; 1524713813.Other title: Miracle and tragedy of the Dionne quintuplets.Subject(s): Dionne quintuplets -- Juvenile literature | Quintuplets -- Ontario -- Biography -- Juvenile literature | Sisters -- Ontario -- Biography -- Juvenile literature | French-Canadians -- Ontario -- Biography -- Juvenile literature | Dionne quintuplets | Quintuplets -- Ontario -- Biography | Sisters -- Ontario -- Biography | French-Canadians -- Ontario -- Biography | Young adult literature
Contents:
Quintuplets born to farm wife -- Canadian woman gives birth to five girls; all are doing well -- Country doctor struggles to save lives of Canadian mother and quintuplet girls -- Progress of quintuplets amazes medical world -- Star sends assistance to mother and five babes -- Quintuplets may go on exhibit at Chicago fair -- Quintuplets' father to get $100 a week while all live -- Home turned into hospital -- Parents of quintuplets dazed by sudden fame, offers, gifts -- Too many showmen after quintuplets -- Dionnes now have to guard quintuplets from tourist horde -- Quintuplet hospital started near home of parents -- Parents of babies plan for future -- Parents' wishes to be ignored -- Ontario adopts five world-famous little girls -- Mrs. Dionne, world's most famous mother, declares she is one of the unhappiest -- The private life of the Dionne quints -- Quints lose stage fright, 2500 gawkers a day -- Quintuplet frolics play to "standing room only" -- The threat to the quints' happiness -- Dionne endorsements, incorporated -- Dr. Dafoe himself -- Science designs a life for the Dionnes -- Home or science? The Dionnes' case debated -- Just one big unhappy family -- Guardians of Dionnes seek better relations with tots' parents -- "Felt right at home with king and queen" -- Dionne suing Dafoe for libel ; New York photo basis of action -- Dionne wins control over his five girls -- Quints will soon move to new home -- Dionne quints get schoolmates, nine specially selected girls -- Dionne quints 16 now, but no dates, says stern papa -- Famous Dionne quintuplets to be separated for first time this fall -- Four quints dry-eyed and close to shock -- Four Dionne sisters start life anew -- Boys? Million dollars? Dionnes shrug shoulders -- The Dionnes : a fight for happiness -- Quints' story causes new wound -- The babies of Quintland now : broke and bitter.
Summary: "When they were born on May 28, 1934, quintuplets Yvonne, Annette, Cécile, Émilie, and Marie captivated the world, defying medical history with every breath they took. In an effort to protect them from hucksters and showmen, the Ontario government took custody of the quints, sequestering them in a private, custom-built hospital across the road from their family. Here, Sarah Miller reconstructs their unprecedented upbringing with depth and subtlety, illustrating not only their resilience, but also the unique bond of their sisterhood"-- Provided by publisher.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

In this riveting, beyond-belief true story from the author of The Borden Murders, meet the five children who captivated the entire world. <br> <br> When the Dionne Quintuplets were born on May 28, 1934, weighing a grand total of just over 13 pounds, no one expected them to live so much as an hour. Overnight, Yvonne, Annette, Cecile, milie, and Marie Dionne mesmerized the globe, defying medical history with every breath they took. In an effort to protect them from hucksters and showmen, the Ontario government took custody of the five identical babies, sequestering them in a private, custom-built hospital across the road from their family--and then, in a stunning act of hypocrisy, proceeded to exploit them for the next nine years. The Dionne Quintuplets became a more popular attraction than Niagara Falls, ogled through one-way screens by sightseers as they splashed in their wading pool at the center of a tourist hotspot known as Quintland. Here, Sarah Miller reconstructs their unprecedented upbringing with fresh depth and subtlety, bringing to new light their resilience and the indelible bond of their unique sisterhood.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 265-267) and index.

Quintuplets born to farm wife -- Canadian woman gives birth to five girls; all are doing well -- Country doctor struggles to save lives of Canadian mother and quintuplet girls -- Progress of quintuplets amazes medical world -- Star sends assistance to mother and five babes -- Quintuplets may go on exhibit at Chicago fair -- Quintuplets' father to get $100 a week while all live -- Home turned into hospital -- Parents of quintuplets dazed by sudden fame, offers, gifts -- Too many showmen after quintuplets -- Dionnes now have to guard quintuplets from tourist horde -- Quintuplet hospital started near home of parents -- Parents of babies plan for future -- Parents' wishes to be ignored -- Ontario adopts five world-famous little girls -- Mrs. Dionne, world's most famous mother, declares she is one of the unhappiest -- The private life of the Dionne quints -- Quints lose stage fright, 2500 gawkers a day -- Quintuplet frolics play to "standing room only" -- The threat to the quints' happiness -- Dionne endorsements, incorporated -- Dr. Dafoe himself -- Science designs a life for the Dionnes -- Home or science? The Dionnes' case debated -- Just one big unhappy family -- Guardians of Dionnes seek better relations with tots' parents -- "Felt right at home with king and queen" -- Dionne suing Dafoe for libel ; New York photo basis of action -- Dionne wins control over his five girls -- Quints will soon move to new home -- Dionne quints get schoolmates, nine specially selected girls -- Dionne quints 16 now, but no dates, says stern papa -- Famous Dionne quintuplets to be separated for first time this fall -- Four quints dry-eyed and close to shock -- Four Dionne sisters start life anew -- Boys? Million dollars? Dionnes shrug shoulders -- The Dionnes : a fight for happiness -- Quints' story causes new wound -- The babies of Quintland now : broke and bitter.

"When they were born on May 28, 1934, quintuplets Yvonne, Annette, Cécile, Émilie, and Marie captivated the world, defying medical history with every breath they took. In an effort to protect them from hucksters and showmen, the Ontario government took custody of the quints, sequestering them in a private, custom-built hospital across the road from their family. Here, Sarah Miller reconstructs their unprecedented upbringing with depth and subtlety, illustrating not only their resilience, but also the unique bond of their sisterhood"-- Provided by publisher.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Prologue (p. 1)
  • Part 1 1 IN 57,000,000 Births
  • Chapter 1 Quintuplets Born to Farm Wife (p. 5)
  • Chapter 2 Canadian Woman Gives Birth to Five Girls; All Are Doing Well (p. 15)
  • Chapter 3 Country Doctor Struggles to Save Lives of Canadian Mother and Quintuplet Girls (p. 21)
  • Chapter 4 Progress of Quintuplets Amazes Medical World (p. 28)
  • Chapter 5 Star Sends Assistance to Mother and Five Babes (p. 33)
  • Chapter 6 Quintuplets May Go on Exhibit at Chicago Fair (p. 37)
  • Chapter 7 Quintuplets' Father to Get $100 a Week While All Live (p. 40)
  • Chapter 8 Home Turned into Hospital (p. 46)
  • Chapter 9 Parents of Quintuplets Dazed by Sudden Fame, Offers, Gifts (p. 52)
  • Chapter 10 Too Many Showmen After Quintuplets (p. 57)
  • Chapter 11 Dionnes Now Have to Guard Quintuplets from Tourist Horde (p. 63)
  • Chapter 12 Quintuplet Hospital Started Near Home of Parents (p. 69)
  • Chapter 13 Parents of Babies Plan for Future (p. 79)
  • Chapter 14 Parents' Wishes to Be Ignored (p. 86)
  • Part 2 Quint-Mania
  • Chapter 15 Ontario Adopts Five World-Famous Little Girls (p. 93)
  • Chapter 16 Most Famous of Mothers One of the Unhappiest (p. 99)
  • Chapter 17 The Private Life of the Dionne Quints (p. 104)
  • Chapter 18 Quins Lose Stage Fright, 2500 Gawkers a Day (p. 109)
  • Chapter 19 Quintuplet Frolics Play to "Standing Room Only" (p. 115)
  • Chapter 20 The Threat to the Quints' Happiness (p. 122)
  • Chapter 21 Dionne Endorsements, Incorporated (p. 127)
  • Chapter 22 Dr. Dafoe Himself (p. 133)
  • Chapter 23 Science Designs a Life for the Dionnes (p. 137)
  • Chapter 24 Home or Science? The Dionnes1 Case Debated (p. 144)
  • Chapter 25 Just One Big Unhappy Family (p. 151)
  • Chapter 26 Guardians of Dionnes Seek Better Relations with Tots' Parents (p. 153)
  • Chapter 27 "Felt Right at Home with King and Queen" (p. 157)
  • Chapter 28 Dionne Suing Dafoe for Libel; New York Photo Basis of Action (p. 166)
  • Chapter 29 Dionne Wins Control over His Five Girls (p. 175)
  • Part 3 Finding Home
  • Chapter 30 Quints Will Soon Move to New Home (p. 181)
  • Chapter 31 Dionne Quints Get Schoolmates, Nine Specially Selected Girls (p. 194)
  • Chapter 32 Dionne Quints 16 Now, But No Dates, Says Stern Papa (p. 203)
  • Chapter 33 Famous Dionne Quintuplets to Be Separated for First Time This Fall (p. 208)
  • Chapter 34 Four Quints Dry-Eyed and Close to Shock (p. 216)
  • Chapter 35 Four Dionne Sisters Start Life Anew (p. 222)
  • Chapter 36 Boys? Million Dollars? Dionnes Shrug Shoulders (p. 227)
  • Chapter 37 The Dionnes: A Fight for Happiness (p. 234)
  • Chapter 38 Quints' Story Causes New Wound (p. 241)
  • Chapter 39 The Babies of Quintland Now: Broke and Bitter (p. 248)
  • Epilogue: Dionne Visit Creates New Memories (p. 257)
  • Afterword (p. 261)
  • A Note on Dialogue (p. 263)
  • References (p. 265)
  • Acknowledgments (p. 269)
  • Notes (p. 271)
  • Index (p. 301)

Excerpt provided by Syndetics

<opt> <anon I1="BLANK" I2="BLANK">    November 1943   In an empty nursery, behind two woven wire fences topped with barbed wire, five nine-year-old girls waited for their father. Five suitcases sat alongside them. Five smiling Shirley Temple dolls were clutched in their arms. Yvonne stared out the window at the yellow brick mansion up the hill. Annette quietly seethed, pretending not to be afraid. Cécile sat in a corner, rocking her doll. Émilie prayed that it was all just a bad dream. Marie tried to tell a silly story, but no one laughed. At the sound of their father's footsteps in the hall, all five sisters hugged their Shirley Temples closer to their chests. The moment they dreaded had come. For the first time in their lives, the Dionne Quintuplets were going home. Oliva Dionne did not speak as he and his five identical daughters walked through the hospital's guarded gate, down the road, and through another gate that led to the colossal Georgian house that was to be their new home. He did not lead them up the steps to the grand front door. Instead, he entered through a service door into the kitchen. Yvonne followed first, trying to be brave for her sisters' sake. Though Yvonne was no more than a few minutes older than Annette, Cécile, Émilie, and Marie, she had acted the part of the little mother since she was a toddler. For nine years Mr. Dionne had battled with the government to unite his family under a single roof. Now that his triumphant moment had arrived, the man who had once crawled through a drainpipe to elude hospital guards just so he could glimpse his five famous babies through a window spoke a single sentence. "The little girls are here," he told his wife, and continued into the house, leaving his daughters standing in the unfamiliar kitchen with their dolls and suitcases. "Bonsoir, Mom," Yvonne, Annette, Cécile, Émilie, and Marie said, greeting their mother in a mixture of French and English. "Supper will be ready soon," Mrs. Dionne replied in French, then called for two of her elder daughters. "Show the little girls around the house," she instructed. Without a word, "the little girls" followed as their big sisters pointed into one doorway after another. The living room, the den, the sewing room, their father's office. Redolent of fresh paint and filled with pristine furniture, the house felt new and sterile, more sterile by far than the hospital that had been their home since they were four months old. Then they reached the dining room. Like everything else in the house, it was big, in this case big enough to seat fourteen--Mr. and Mrs. Dionne, Yvonne, Annette, Cécile, Émilie, Marie, and their seven brothers and sisters, Ernest, Rose-Marie, Thérèse, Daniel, Pauline, Oliva Jr., and Victor. An archway divided the room in half, with a table on each side. "This side is for our family," the little girls remembered one of their elder sisters saying. "The other side is for your family." Not one of the bewildered nine-year-olds knew what to say. Excerpted from The Miracle and Tragedy of the Dionne Quintuplets: Five Children Who Captivated the Entire World by Sarah Elizabeth Miller All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.</anon> </opt>

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Horn Book Review

The miracle referred to in the title was of course the birth of the five identical Dionne sisters in Ontario in 1934, the first time quintuplets were known to survive. The tragedy is pretty much everything else about their story, with the baby girls taken from their parents to be raised in a custom-built hospital led by the dedicatedand controllingDr. Dafoe. The babies parents had to ring a bell at the gate and wait for the guard to let them inside. As much expos as biography, Millers book is a propulsive account of what life in that hospital was like for the girls, who lived there until they were nine years old, receiving necessary treatment for their initial fragility, certainly, but also serving as both a science experiment and as a tourist attraction, with thousands of visitors lining up daily for a chance to observe the quints at play. Their eventual repatriation to the family was a decidedly mixed affair, as the girls had become used to their own society and were not welcomed by their other siblings. They were also, as alleged by three of the sisters fifty years later, sexually abused by their father. To her credit, Miller avoids a sensationalizing tone, allowing the facts to speak for themselves. International media darlings during the Great Depression, the Dionne sisters are virtually unknown to todays young people, but Millers intense focus on what the girls were going through makes their story timeless. Readers may start this account for the horror but finish with sympathy. Substantial back matter includes a lengthy references section, thorough source notes, and an index. roger Sutton September/October 2019 p.115(c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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