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Cover image for Bylines : a photobiography of Nellie Bly
Bylines : a photobiography of Nellie Bly

Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : National Geographic Society, c2009.
Physical Description:
64 p. : ill., maps ; 29 cm.
Reading Level:
1150 L Lexile
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
Added Corporate Author:
The life story of this daring news reporter, globetrotter, and advocate for women's rights is presented chronologically from birth to death.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book J 921 BLY 1 1
Book J 921 BLY 1 1
Book J 921 BLY 1 1
Book J 921 BLY 1 1

On Order



Bylines is the latest title from award-winning biographer Sue Macy. Nellie Bly was a pioneering American journalist who lived by the belief that "Energy rightly applied and directed will accomplish anything." This credo took her from humble origins in Cochran's Mill, Pennsylvania, a town named after her father, to the most exotic cities around the globe by the time she was 25.

Nellie Bly was born Elizabeth Jane Cochran in 1864, in an age when many women led unassuming lives. Her life would make people sit up and take notice: When she wasn't making history herself, she was writing about others who did. Rarely has anyone left a more detailed record of her place in the world than Nellie Bly. In a very public life, she shared her feelings and opinions through her writing and embraced the struggles of all classes of Americans who were fighting for their rights.

The story of the two decades before and after the turn of the 20th century was her story, and she wrote with a powerful pen. Her "stunt journalism" included getting herself committed to an insane asylum for women and circling the globe in a mere 72 days. She profiled leaders from Susan B. Anthony to Eugene V. Debs, exposed corruption, and offered her readers a travelogue that expanded their horizons, even as it made the world a little smaller.

Her words live on even now, and Sue Macy's masterful biography invites young readers into Nellie Bly's America, a country at a time of great growth and social change.

Author Notes

Sue Macy is the author of Bull's-Eye: A Photobiography of Annie Oakley , Winning Ways: A Photohistory of American Women in Sports , and A Whole New Ball Game: The Story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League , among many other titles. She has received numerous awards and starred reviews for her work. Winning Ways and A Whole New Ball Game were both named ALA Best Books for Young Adults and NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People.

Linda Ellerbee is a retired American journalist who cofounded Lucky Duck Productions with her husband, Rolfe Tessem. Their company is best known for its Peabody and Emmy Award-winning show Nick News . Prior to hosting this program for more than 20 years, she worked as a reporter at ABC, CBS, and NBC.

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

This detailed biography of the trailblazing 19th-century journalist incorporates photographs of Bly and her subjects. The extensive text -explores the details of a life spent seeking justice, writing about female factory workers and women institutionalized at the Lunatic Asylum on New York's Blackwell's Island, as well as her most illustrious stunt, a trip around the world with the promise of completing the journey faster than the hero of Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days. A thorough introduction to the life of a fascinating figure. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

Macy, author of Bull's-Eye: A Photobiography of Annie Oakley (2001), chronicles yet another strong female historical figure in the Photobiography series. After her father's death, Bly witnessed her mother's marriage to an abusive drunk and decided she would never rely on a husband for financial security. Macy's readable account takes readers beyond Bly's more well-known exploits. Before she famously faked insanity to get committed to an asylum on Blackwell's Island, Bly lived in Mexico City and spoke out against the Mexican government's censorship. And long after her renowned 72-day jaunt around the world, she married and became the president of her husband's manufacturing company unheard of for a woman at the time. Macy's biography doesn't shy away from Bly's personal setbacks either, many of which, ironically, relate to money. The dramatic double-page spread of the illustrations that accompanied the Blackwell's Island article bring the sensationalism of her journalistic endeavors into sharp focus. Back matter includes a chronology and lists of helpful books, Web sites, and other resources.--Jones, Courtney Copyright 2009 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-The life story of this daring news reporter, globetrotter, and advocate for women's rights is presented chronologically from birth to death. By seamlessly weaving her subject's accomplishments as a national figure with her personal life, Macy offers a masterful account of how Bly and turn-of-the-century American society shaped one another. There is at least one period photo, map, or artifact per spread, as well as several full- and double-page visuals. Insightful captions relate the illustrations to the surrounding text. This meticulously researched and elegantly presented account also provides readers and teachers with a plethora of additional material: a date-by-date time line of Bly's life, museums to visit, and videos to watch. The ample index features just about every supporting character mentioned in the book and uses boldfaced page numbers to indicate illustrations. Pair this book with a read-aloud of Bonnie Christensen's The Daring Nelly Bly (Knopf, 2003) for a riveting classroom discussion of American society, feminism, and journalism.-Rebecca Dash, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Nellie Bly's life was full of derring-do and adventure. At one point, thousands of people followed her every move and wondered what she would try next. But mention this name to young folk today, and a puzzled glance is the likely response. In composed yet passionate prosenot unlike Bly's ownMacy delves into the many escapades of this devoted journalist. From being voluntarily committed to an insane asylum for a story to becoming the only woman allowed to report from the front lines of World War I, Bly never shied away from a challenging assignment. It was her trip around the world in fewer than 80 days, besting the main character from Jules Verne's popular novel, that made her a household name. Complete with full-spread photos, quotes, maps and faded-newsprint backdrops, this attractive package will appeal to young journalists and thrill-seekers alike. (afterword, author's note, timeline, resources, source notes, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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