Thursday, January 20, 2011

Charlie Anne is "Strong Girl" Role Model

The American Library Association's AMELIA BLOOMER PROJECT announces its list of books each year that feature strong, powerful, capable, girls. The Wonder of Charlie Anne was named to the 2011 list!

Named for the women's rights activist and writer, The AMELIA BLOOMER PROJECT is part of the Feminist Task Force of the American Library Association’s Social Responsibility Round Table. Each year it offers a bibliography of books with significant feminist content intended for young readers from birth to 18.

The AMELIA BLOOMER PROJECT applauds books that encourage girls and young women to love themselves for who they are. It looks for books that move beyond merely “spunky” and “feisty” young women to characters who not only fight to protect themselves, but also further the rights of others.

The books on the list show girls and young women solving problems, gaining personal power, and empowering others. They celebrate girls and young women as a vibrant, vital force in the world. A book with a strong female character that does not demonstrate that an inequality exists may not be a feminist book, according to project committee. Strong female characters may be plucky, perseverant, courageous, feisty, intelligent, spirited, resourceful, capable, and independent–but the book’s presentation may still not be feminist.

I am thrilled that Charlie Anne has been named to such an important list. As she says so many times about the prejudice and inequality that face her daily, "We'll just see about that!"

Thank you to committee members Angela Semifero, Marshall District Library (MI); Beth Olshewsky, co-chair, Tulare County Office of Education (CA); Dana Campbell, Corvallis-Benton County Public Library (OR); Jennie Law, John Bulow Campbell Library (GA); Joy Worland, Joslin Memorial Library (VT); Linda Parsons, Ohio State University (OH); Maureen McCoy, co-chair, Brooklyn Public Library (NY).

For more information, please visit the Amelia Bloomer Project.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Isaac Paine School

I have a dear friend, Laurie Smith Murphy, who teaches fifth grade at Isaac Paine School in Foster, RI.

Each year she reads Tending to Grace, my first novel, to her students as part of her writing curriculum. This year, her class also read The Wonder of Charlie Anne.

Laurie and I are both writers and we often share our writing projects with one another. As a past special education and current regular education teacher, she helped me describe Charlie Anne's reading disability correctly.

Each year her students are ready with dozens of questions for me about my books, about writing, and about the publishing world. Often, I will be asked a question I have never been asked before.

Here is what her students said about the visit:

"I never met a real author before. It was very interesting to find out what your inspiration was for Tending to Grace. I was also very pleased that you weren't afraid to write about being a stutterer. If Cornelia wasn't a stutterer, the book wouldn't be as good as it is."

"I was also amazed that you had an outhouse that was leaning to the side with one little window in it just like in Tending to Grace."

"You answered all my questions that I wanted to know. You gave me some facts about writing. Now I reread my writing at least twice to see if there are any mistakes."

"Tending to Grace is one of my favorite books. Our class is reading The Wonder of Charlie Anne. I am thinking that it's going to be my favorite book ever."