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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Rekindling the Reading Fire

International Reading Association - Institute 12
Rekindling the Reading Fire: Author Panel -- Using the Story Strategies of Professional Authors to Inspire a Love of Reading and Writing

This seminar did not turn out to be what I thought it was going to be.  It had been "advertised" as being some group presentations and some break-out sessions however, for some reason the format was changed and the day turned out to be lecture, lecture, lecture.  Made for a long day.  However, several of the sessions were very valuable.
The authors presenting included:  April Halprin Wayland, Esther Hershenhorn, Carolee Dean, Uma Krishnaswami, Lisa Schroeder, Carolyn Meyer, and Kimberley Griffiths Little.
April Halprin Wayland and Esther Hershenhorn
May, 2012

The most interesting segments came in the afternoon with Uma Krishnaswami, April Halprin Wayland, and Esther Hershenhorn -- "Social and Cultural Influences: Approaching Plot Through the Intersection of Character, Setting, and Time."  Their take on the influences of social and cultural factors; time and place and how they affect character development was most illuminating.  Esther Hershenhorn is one of my favorite people.  I first met her at a function that I attended with Jane Kurtz and Toni Buzzeo several years ago.  Her most recent book seems to be a couple of books from Sleeping Bear Press.  A book of ten little riddles: Little Illinois and an alphabet book: S Is for Story.  However, my favorite just might be a picture book she published with Holiday House, Fancy That.  With illustrations by Megan Lloyd this turn about tale of fortunes sought and goals obtained is sure to tickle the fancy of many young readers.

Later in the day Caroline Starr Rose and Carolyn Meyer talked about "Content Area Literacy: Making History Come Alive."  Carolyn Meyer is now the author of many books of historical fiction.  Their discussion of research and using historical facts as nuggets included in their fiction stories.  All in an attempt to interest young readers in history and story.  I knew Carolyn Meyer as a writer but not as a writer of historical fiction.  But she is best known for her many books set in exotic and interesting locations.  Her forthcoming (June 2012) novel, The Wild Queen: The Days and Nights of Mary Queen of Scots begins in Farewell, Scotland.  Come to find out I was familiar with a story that was just reissued with a new cover.  Her tale of Cynthia Ann Parker - a white woman who was kidnapped as a young child by the Comanches.  She lived among the Native Americans for twenty-five years and became the mother of Quanah Parker - the last of the Comanche chiefs. But as an adult she is kidnapped back by the Texas Rangers and returned to her "family" against her will. 

Carolyn Meyer - author The Bread Book:
All About Bread and How to Make It

But the book I knew Carolyn Meyer for, had nothing to do with historical fiction.  And the book does not even get a mention on her website -- it wasn't her first book, and it wasn't a book of historical fiction, and it isn't in print today.  But it is MY favorite a first book that I found as a graduate student in library school.  The book was The Bread Book: All About Bread and How to Make it.  I had forgotten that the line drawings inside were created by Trina Schart Hyman but she did and it is wonderful.
The Bread Book: All About Bread and How to Make It (Voyager Book ; Avb 106)The book combines folk and fairy tales with recipes.  The first edition came out in 1971 with Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.  Voyager came out with a paperback edition in 1976.  The book "describes the history and important ingredients of bread-making. Includes customs and legends about bread and discusses breads popular in different countries."  The book was a great companion to Ellin Greene's Clever Cooks: A Concoction of Stories, Charms, Recipes and Riddles. Lothrop, 1973.  Greene's book is also illustrated by Hyman.  One of the stories was The Old Woman and the Tramp and paired that version of "nail soup" or the more popular "stone soup" with a recipe for bread to serve with the soup.   Great books.

New-Year-at-the-PierFront CoverOne of the author's presenting the final segment about social issues in contemporary fiction and verse novels was April Halprin Wayland.  Wayland is definitely a gem among those who write poetry and verse novels.  If you haven't seen Girl Coming in for a Landing you simply must search this book out and read it.  One of her most recent titles - a picture book, New Year at the Pier is a great way to start the year - cleaning the slate.  Tashlich is a traditional ceremony associated with Rosh Hashanah.

Great seminar - great input - -and great authors.  Thank you

1 comment:

  1. Sharron! Thanks so much for your kind comments!