Cover image for Hannah, divided
Hannah, divided
Griffin, Adele.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Hyperion Books for Children, [2002]

Physical Description:
264 pages ; 21 cm
In 1934, a thirteen-year-old with a gift for numbers is offered the chance to leave her family's dairy farm to spend one term at an exclusive Philadelphia girls' school preparing for a scholarship exam.
Reading Level:
790 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.2 6.0 64607.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.5 9 Quiz: 34492 Guided reading level: R.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Thirteen-year-old Hannah Bennett loves her life in Chadds Ford. She goes to school, helps out with her family's dairy farm, jumps rope, and listens to favorite radio programs with her friends. Although she has difficulty reading, she does have one area of special talent: numbers. Her gift for math means that she does all of the invoicing for the farm, and helps out the younger students in their one-room schoolhouse. Best of all, Hannah enjoys a special relationship with Granddad McNaughton, who shares her passion for counting and calculating. He thinks of her gift as the key to a greater future elsewhere. 'You'll rust here,' he predicts. But Hannah can't imagine life anywhere else. Then Hannah is offered a rare opportunity for a country girl in 1934: to test for a scholarship to attend a private school in Philadelphia. Over her parents' objections, Hannah goes. But life in a big city is harder and lonelier than she'd ever imagined. Just when things seem at their worst, Hannah must somehow find the courage to decide what she values most. Acclaimed author Adele Griffin's first historical novel is a funny and poignant story of one girl's journey to her bravest self.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-7. Hannah is a country girl in every way, but she has one characteristic that makes her different from her friends and neighbors. She is a mathematical whiz, a savant when it comes to numbers and what she can do with them. She is also obsessive-compulsive, although that term wasn't used when Hannah was growing up during the Depression. She is always tapping her fingers in flights of numbering, making sure that her actions conform to the mathematical music in her head. Hannah's grandfather encourages her ability, but her parents don't see what she can do with her talent on the farm. Then Mrs. Sweet comes to Hannah's one-room schoolhouse. A Philadelphia philanthropist, she offers Hannah the opportunity to stay with her and study for a math scholarship. Not everything works in this story. Snobbish Mrs. Sweet is almost a caricature of a do-gooder, and the sudden turnabout of the girls who first ignore Hannah at her new school seems forced. But Griffin does a marvelous job of presenting a girl who is very different and letting readers peek inside her head. She also touches characters and situations with a freshness that sets her writing apart. In other hands, this might have been a problem novel. Here it is a celebration. Ilene Cooper.

Publisher's Weekly Review

A 13-year-old math genius travels from her home on the farm to Philadelphia, trying out for a scholarship. According to PW, "[Griffin] remains true to Hannah's personality, laying out the ways in which her eccentricities inhibit her even as she wins over friends who see through to her strengths." Ages 8-12. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-Life in Chadds Ford, PA, in 1934 agrees with 13-year-old Hannah. Full of energy, she helps out as much as she can on the family farm and then goes off to school where she struggles with reading. Her crusty, but beloved, grandfather recognizes her exceptional ability with numbers and encourages her to think about the world beyond the confines of her village. When a Philadelphia philanthropist visits her school, she spots Hannah's special talents and invites her to come to the city to study for a scholarship examination. Hannah's family considers the invitation out of the question, but with Granddad's support, she is soon on her way. There, Hannah is lonely and school life is difficult, but she manages to cope with the help of Joe, another young and feisty scholarship hopeful. When her grandfather dies unexpectedly, she is tempted to forget her dream and return home, but Griffin has created a character too determined and stubborn to take the easy path. Despite her increasing anxiety, which results in almost uncontrollable obsessive counting and tapping, she perseveres. This portrait of a child clearly struggling with the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder is sensitive and convincing. Hannah's fierce will enables her to control many of the outward manifestations of her condition, but readers can feel her daily struggle to keep her urges in check. Joe Elway provides a scrappy, refreshing alternative to Hannah's intensity. The contrast of city with country life, of warm, if sometimes contentious, family life with the lonely life of a boarder in a stranger's house, of friendship with people who have known you since birth with the disdain of new classmates, makes this a novel well worth savoring.-Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Part 1
1. The City Visitorp. 3
2. "Hark! ah, the Nightingale--"p. 13
3. Running, Counting, Stackingp. 23
4. Latep. 27
5. Evening Surprisep. 35
6. Coffee or Tobaccop. 51
7. Jumping, Jumpingp. 57
8. Cheese, Sardines, and Granddad McNaughtonp. 62
9. The View from Bloomp. 71
Part 2
10. Mudtownp. 81
11. Doll Facep. 91
12. No X, But Plenty Left Overp. 99
13. Meeting Mr. Barnabyp. 105
14. Too Long and Wrongp. 108
15. Proofs of Old Codgersp. 115
16. Saturday with Maep. 120
17. Dinner at Delancey Placep. 128
18. The Voice of Ulyssesp. 134
19. Blown Backp. 142
20. Aluminum Cityp. 150
21. Rittenhouse Willowp. 163
22. Baby Face Nelsonp. 168
23. Abandonedp. 173
Part 3
24. A Phone Callp. 181
25. Home Againp. 190
26. Heppp. 199
27. The Heart of Itp. 204
28. Please Yourselfp. 210
29. Nobody's Sweetheartp. 214
30. Wooden Kimonop. 219
31. Future Perfectp. 227
32. A Glass Wishp. 237
33. An Ottley Friendp. 242
34. 11p. 248
Author's Notep. 265
Hannah, Divided: A Reader's Companionp. 267
An Interview with Adele Griffinp. 271
Biographical Sketchp. 277