Cover image for The Shakers
The Shakers
Williams, Jean Kinney.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Franklin Watts, [1997]

Physical Description:
111 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm, .
Examines the history, beliefs, way of life, and current status of this humble and devout Christian group.
Reading Level:
1270 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 9.0 3.0 1846.

Reading Counts RC High School 10 6 Quiz: 19440 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BX9766 .W55 1996 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



This series meets National Curriculum Standards for: Social Studies: Culture Individuals, Groups, & Institutions Science, Technology, & Society Time, Continuity, & Change

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 6^-10. Williams, the author of three previous books in the American Religious Experience series, turns her attention to the once thriving United Society of Believers, which now numbers eight members. (The text is unclear on this point, as Ted Johnson, pictured on the dust jacket with seven presumably current members, is noted in a caption to have died in 1986.) Williams gives a lucid account of the movement's history and beliefs, including the prejudice the Shakers experienced from outsiders and the reasons for their declining numbers. She's less forthcoming about the Shakers who are still practicing. Their personal perspective would have enhanced the text. Photos are scattered throughout the book, as are a selection of prints depicting various aspects of Shaker life. Several further readings are noted, including a book by Frances Carr, current leader of the Shaker community. An accessible and interesting introduction. --Stephanie Zvirin

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6 Up‘Remembered today primarily for their artistic and craft skills, the Shakers were an economically and religiously significant group in early to mid-19th-century America. Williams discusses their beginnings in the 18th century and their migration from England to this country to seek freedom from oppression and restriction, and traces the flourishing and the decline of the Shaker way of life. Readers are made aware of the group's contributions to the larger American society: architecture, design, music, dance, and the organization of primary education. Controversial aspects of their communities are clearly explained, including mandatory celibacy, gender separation, common property, and autocratic rule. In fact, what may be called the negative side of the Shaker experience is fully treated, including the severing of family ties and the widespread use of alcohol. The text is respectful, but the chapters that detail Shaker decline drag. Sadly, the name of the upstate New York town in which Mother Ann established the first Shaker settlement, Niskayuna, is misspelled throughout. Handsome black-and-white photos supplement the text. The great strength of this work is the author's success in placing the Society of Believers within the context of American history. This book covers Shaker history in greater detail than earlier studies for this age group, and it emphasizes the role of women as leaders.‘Libby K. White, Schenectady County Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.