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The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio : How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less
The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less
Author: Terry Ryan, Brendan Ryan
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio introduces Evelyn Ryan, an enterprising woman who kept poverty at bay with wit, poetry, and perfect prose during the "contest era" of the 1950s and 1960s. — Stepping back into a time when fledgling advertising agencies were active partners with consumers, and everyday people saw possibility in e...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780743211222
ISBN-10: 0743211227
Publication Date: 4/4/2001
Pages: 352
Rating:
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 65

4.3 stars, based on 65 ratings
Publisher: Simon Schuster
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio : How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
In this book
you will see
a mother's love
through creativity
reviewed The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio : How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
While the blurb on the back of the book describes the book perfectly, I was most impressed by this woman, who after raising 10 kids and sending them all off to college on full scholarships, continued to support her husband while he eventually became a better man. He banked every penny of his pension as she supported him in retirement, and surprised her with a gift of it all, upon his death. It was so much money that she was able to live and travel off the interest and her own pension, and leave the total amount to her kids!

Blurb on the back of the book: "This plucky middle American chronicle, starring an unsinkable, relentlessly resourceful mother and her Madison Avenue-style magic, succeeds on many leels -- as a tale of family spirit triumphing over penury, as a history of mid-century American consumerism, and as a memoir about a woman who was both ahead of her time and unable to escape it." --- The New Yorker
reviewed The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio : How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This is an entertaining and true story of a wife and mother of 10 who uses product contests in the 1950s to supplement her family's meager living. An easy but interesting read about a great family.
reviewed The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio : How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
What a great find! I picked this book up at the Salvation Army and loved it! It is the true story of a woman who supported her family of 10 kids by doing what she did best- write jingles or finish a line in 25 words or less. She was a gifted writer and she won many prizes to prove it; two cars, numerous trips, bicycles, toys, kitchen appliances and a boat-load of money- all used to support her family. She was a hero to her kids and a true inspiration to the rest of us.
reviewed The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio : How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less on
Helpful Score: 2
Although a lot of this book was heartbreaking it was also funny and touching. The mother was a genius at writing jingles and ad lines. She did what what she did best to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.
Read All 85 Book Reviews of "The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less"

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reviewed The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio : How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less on
This book is amazing. It's been a LONG time since I've cried while reading a memoir/biography, but, I lost it during the final pages. Evelyn Ryan was a REMARKABLE woman, and her daughter Terry tells her story beautifully. Fascinating, emotional, fun, sad, uplifting - all in one book. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
reviewed The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio : How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less on + 5 more book reviews
Great book, even better than the great movie!!! I saw it in Defiance, Ohio, and the book has so much to offer. A real uplifting story...........and a fun look back.
vavoice avatar reviewed The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio : How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less on + 153 more book reviews
An amazing book about an amazing woman. I grew up in a low-income family of five children, but my experiences pale in comparison to the history of this no-income family, living off whatever she could win. Wow!
reviewed The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio : How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less on
I loved this book. It showed how a person could take difficulty and keep going despite it all.
reviewed The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio : How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less on + 41 more book reviews
This was a decent read but overall I was disappointed. For the first half of the book I felt like I was reading the same chapter over and over again. We were poor, mom entered a contest, (insert catchy entry here) she won a prize. It picked up at the end but was too repetative for me.
Pambie avatar reviewed The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio : How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less on + 7 more book reviews
I loved this book on so many levels.

First off, the story of Terry Ryan's mother, Evelyn, and her talent for contesting and, indeed, for living life and rising above challenges is heartwarming. Then again, you've got a vivid, if understated, portrayal of what many Catholic families faced in the '50's when living with an abusive alcoholic. There was virtually no support. A woman was to "put up and shut up." And yet Terry, AKA "Tuffy," does not appear to be bitter about her dad, but rather grateful, another testimony to the grace of her mother.

Highly recommended.
VintageNana avatar reviewed The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio : How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less on + 28 more book reviews
I enjoyed reading this book. I remember the juggle contests of the 1950s and 1960s. Evelen Ryan was a typical housewife of her time. She stayed home raising her kids, taking pride in her home and family. She kept her family from poverty with her poetry and contesting. Somehow her jingle winnings always arrived just in time to keep food on the table or shoes on her children's feet. She won sewing machines, washers and dryers, dancing shoes, roller skates, trips and, of course, money. She once provided Christmas for all the children from the things in her prize closet. That's where she kept all the prizes she won. This book is an enjoyable read and I hope you have an opportunity to read it.
reviewed The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio : How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less on + 121 more book reviews
This was an excellent book. I read it before the movie came out. The movie, by the way, was a very good representation of the book.
crisislady avatar reviewed The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio : How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less on + 15 more book reviews
I found this book fascinating, mostly because of how much I admired the lead character -- a woman who had to deal with much adversity in her life, but did it with great humor and an incredible optimism.
poohbritt avatar reviewed The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio : How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less on + 37 more book reviews
Great story about how a mother in the 1950's kept her family from poverty by contentiously winning prizes for writing witty jingles or catchphrases for companies. It's a good movie and an even better book.
reviewed The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio : How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less on + 9 more book reviews
This book is a delight to read. Funny, touching, and very clever. You will never forget Evelyn Ryan once you've heard her story.
reviewed The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio : How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less on + 46 more book reviews
Loved it!! Funny, heart-warming story of a woman who provided for her family the best way she knew how.
txbeck avatar reviewed The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio : How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less on + 64 more book reviews
Very interesting despite being an abridgement. Makes a very interesting companion/contrast to Jeanette Walls "Glass Castle."
LENNY01 avatar reviewed The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio : How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less on + 82 more book reviews
An enterprising woman who kept poverty at bay with wit, poetry, and perfect prose during the contest era of the '50s and '60s. Her strength, determination, and heart make this a truly wonderful story.
hazeleyes avatar reviewed The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio : How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less on + 331 more book reviews
This is a wonderful story of triumph over extreme adversity, heartwarming and sweet.
tchstroo avatar reviewed The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio : How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less on + 74 more book reviews
I enjoyed this very much! Fun & inspiring.
reviewed The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio : How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less on + 16 more book reviews
LOVED this book! I had seen the movie and was so impressed with Terry's mother. The book is even better, much more detail about their lives and mom's prize winning!


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