Anticipating a boring summer at her grandmother's house, Angela complains about the area's lack of video stores, malls, and other twelve-year-old kids but is soon captivated by the story of her great-grandmother's life. Reprint.
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Janet Hickman is a professor at Ohio State University, where she teaches children's literature. Ms. Hickman gerw up in a small town in Ohio and says she was blessed by having many strong women in her family and in her life. She has written several books for children, including Zoar Blue and The Thunder-Pup.In Her Own Words...
"When I was little, the stories that interested me most were not the ones my parents read to me but the real-life ones I overheard in my grandparents' kitchen or on their front porch, where personal crises and world disasters were discussed by great-aunts and uncles and older cousins and assorted friends and neighbors. In Kilbourne, the tiny Ohio town where I grew up, extended families kept in touch, the past seemed very close to the present, and I spent a lot of time listening to people talk. What I've kept from that time in my childhood is a close attachment to family, a sense of connection to other generations, and an ear for the language of everyday speech.
"As soon as I could read, books became my favorite companions, thanks in part to a bookmobile that brought the library to us. Reading a lot soon led me to think that I could make stories of my own. I've been picking away at writing ever since I produced, at age seven, A Cowgirl Romance.
"When I went to college, though, it wasn't to study writing. That would have been considered impractical. I became a teacher instead. My first students were eighth graders who complained about an assignment from their history book. "Take the information in this chapter and use it as background for writing a story." To quiet their complaints (and because it sounded like fun), I promised to write the assignment too, The result was my first paid publication, accepted on its first submission to a magazine. This extraordinary beginner's luck earned me a few points with the eighth grade and made me think I should write a novel.
"Over the next several years, during summers off while I was teaching and in odd moments when I became a stay-at-home mom, I wrote several novels that earned nothing but rejection slips and then, finally, four that were published.
"By the end of that time I had also completed a Ph.D. at Ohio State University, where I now teach children's literature. My students are mostly teachers of grades K-8. Like my first eighth graders, most of them seem interested in having a professor who is also a writer. But working at two desks slows me down. My fifth book, Jericho, is short, but it took more than ten years to write-maybe because the story is so close to my own life. Now that my husband and I have married children, a grandchild, and a young nephew growing up as our son, its theme of family continuity seems more important to me than ever."From School Library Journal:
Grade 5-8-Angela knows it's going to be a boring summer. She's stuck in the small town of Gatesville with her parents and obnoxious brother without a mall, video store, or other 12-year-olds. What's worse is that she has to help Gram look after Grand-Mim, Gram's once-energetic mother who is now frail and feeble. Angela dreads being with her cranky great-grandmother, the smell of her room, the little bell she rings all the time, and her querulous questions. Meeting the local boy, Tom, helps a little, although Angela's feelings about him are confusing, sometimes awkward and painful. Interwoven with the girl's story are the hardships and triumphs of Grand-Mim's life, as the narrative alternates between past and present. Although readers never get a clear picture of Gram or Angela's mother, they do get an evocative portrait of four generations of women, bound by love and history, coping with growth, change, and loss. Understated yet compelling, the emotional narrative sweeps readers along, despite a rather abrupt ending and several unexplained details. Nevertheless, this is an engaging, thought-provoking novel to absorb and reflect on.
Cyrisse Jaffee, formerly at Newton Public Schools, MA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Camelot, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0380726939
Book Description Camelot, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0380726939
Book Description Camelot, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110380726939