Mid-teens looking for a readable family biography need look no further. Author Catherine Reef focuses on Charlotte, Emily and Anne, with a healthy dose of Branwell and their father, the Reverend, as well. Two other Bronte daughters did not survive their teen years, and Reverend Bronte outlived all his offspring -- they were claimed by tuberculosis, the effects of hard living, and in Charlotte's case an unknown illness. None of six children lived to see 40 years. Though they grew up in a time when women were expected to stay home and raise families, three of the Bronte daughters quietly broke with tradition without openly scorning it in public.
Reef inserts illustrations and artwork every few pages, including family drawings, photos of typical scenes in the Bronte's time, book illustrations and movie stills. At 226 pages, including endnotes and index, this is a rather quick and very enjoyable read on its own merits, and would serve as a starting point for students researching Anne, Emily, Charlotte or Branwell, or the Bronte family in general.
As an aside: I had no idea how pervasive and deadly tuberculosis has been in human history. Teen readers interested in that topic should look at INVINCIBLE MICROBE by Jim Murphy. A fascinating book for roughly the same audience, with great writing and many interesting illustrations and photos.
About me: I'm a middle school/high school librarian
How I got this book: purchased for the library