The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio tells the story of Evelyn Ryan and her family, told by her daughter. The family of 12 never had much in the way of money or possessions, but they had a mother determined to make their life meaningful. Evelyn entered as many contests as she could, writing jingles, rhymes, and poems to bring in money to feed and clothe her growing household. She won large and small contests, sometimes earning $1 for her writing, sometimes trips and cars, all sold to bring money into their simple lifestyle.
Terry Ryan, Evelyn's sixth child, tells the story of their life growing up with an amazing woman--a woman all the children call their hero for everything she did to make their lives happy. Evelyn, as reported by Ryan, took every situation life threw at her in stride, with confidence and optimism that things would work out. Raising 10 children practically on her own, she struggled and sacrificed to keep their house together. This is the true story of one amazing woman's life, and the impact she made on her children and their community.
A fantastic read. The subject matter seems depressing, but the book is written in love and humor. Many laugh-out-loud moments throughout, especially when reading the limericks, jingles, and rhymes Evelyn came up with to win. This non-fiction reads like fiction.