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Category: authors
  • The Nobel committee praised Glück "for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal."

    The acclaimed American poet and essayist Louise Glück has been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize for Literature! The Nobel committee praised Glück "for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal." The 77-year-old Yale professor is best known for lyric poems focused on intense personal experiences, such as those involving loss, rejection, desire, and healing. She has been honored with a Pulitzer Prize for The Wild Iris and a National Book Award for Faithful and Virtuous Night, as well as serving as the Poet Laureate of the United States for 2003 to 2004. In announcing the award, the Nobel Prize committee chair Anders Olsson, praised Glück's unique voice, observing: "It is candid and uncompromising, and it signals that this poet wants to be understood — but it is also a voice full of humor and biting wit.” Continue reading Continue reading

  • Susie King Taylor's extraordinary life is captured in her memoir, one of the most detailed accounts ever written by a woman about life in a Civil War camp.

    When Susie King Taylor was born in 1848, it was illegal to educate African Americans in Georgia but she learned to read and write thanks to a secret school. That gift of literacy would allow her to become a trailblazing teacher in her teens and, later, the first black Army nurse during the U.S. Civil War; an experience she shared in her remarkable memoir about life in a Union camp. Today, more than a century later, her words show her fortitude and determination to make a contribution to the war effort. "I gave my service willingly for four years and three months without receiving a dollar," she wrote, adding that she was glad "to be allowed to go with the regiment, to care for the sick and afflicted comrades." Continue reading Continue reading

  • Joanna Cole's bestselling series starring the beloved Ms. Frizzle, which sold more than 93 million copies, made science fun for generations of kids.

    Joanna Cole, the author of the beloved The Magic School Bus book series which made science fun for generations of kids, died this week of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis at the age of 75. Through her books, Cole aimed to make science fun for kids as they followed the adventures of a group of schoolchildren taking field trips on their 'magic school bus' everywhere from outer space to the inside the human body — all led by their exuberant, red-haired teacher Ms. Frizzle. In the decades since the first book was published, The Magic School Bus has grown to include a variety of books, an animated TV show, a series of science kits; and, this year, plans for a live-action movie adaptation. "Joanna Cole had the perfect touch for blending science and story," Scholastic chairman and CEO Dick Robinson said when announcing her death on July 15. "Joanna's books, packed with equal parts humor and information, made science both easy to understand and fun for the hundreds of millions of children around the world." Continue reading Continue reading

  • Beverly Cleary redefined children's literature for a generation of young readers.

    For decades, children have delighted in the adventures of Ramona and her sister Beezus, Henry Huggins and his dog Ribsy, and Ralph, the motorcycle riding mouse! Although these books were written long ago, their characters feel like they could still be living in the house next door thanks to the remarkable writing of their author, Beverly Cleary, who celebrated her 104th birthday this year! When asked about the multi-generational appeal of her books, Cleary credits the spirit of childhood which she believes is just as timeless as her stories. "I think deep down inside children are all the same," she told NPR in a 2006 interview. "They want two loving parents and they would prefer a house with a neighborhood they can play in. They want teachers that they can like. I don't think children themselves have changed that much." Continue reading Continue reading

  • "I share this honor with ancestors and teachers who inspired in me a love of poetry, who taught that words are powerful and can make change when understanding appears impossible."

    Poet Joy Harjo has been named America's 23rd Poet Laureate — making her the first Native American person to hold the prestigious position! "Joy Harjo has championed the art of poetry — 'soul talk' as she calls it — for over four decades," Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in a press release announcing Harjo's selection. "To her, poems are 'carriers of dreams, knowledge and wisdom,' and through them she tells an American story of tradition and loss, reckoning and myth-making." The 68-year-old, who is also the first poet laureate from Oklahoma, called it a "tremendous honor," saying, "I share this honor with ancestors and teachers who inspired in me a love of poetry, who taught that words are powerful and can make change when understanding appears impossible, and how time and timelessness can live together within a poem." Continue reading Continue reading

  • By Katie Quirk, Author, A Girl Called Problem

    Today, Friday, October 11th, the world is celebrating the second annual Day of the Girl Child, and I couldn’t be more excited. I have a personal stake in the growing awareness that educating and empowering girls can transform whole communities — all of us do I suppose, but my dear friend and sister, Modesta, exemplifies that notion for me in a very personal way.

    Modesta

    Modesta Pounds Rice 2 Modesta Pounds Rice

    I met Modesta in Tanzania in 1998. I was an American volunteer, teaching in a newly-formed university on the southern shore of Lake Victoria. Modesta was a spunky, 12-year-old girl with an infectious laugh who sold papayas and mangoes door to door. She also turned out to be the key to my survival in Tanzania.

    In addition to teaching me how to speak Swahili, Modesta schooled me in village living — everything from how to carry buckets of water on my head, to how to bargain with vendors at the vegetable market, to how to rid my mattress of bedbugs. In return, I tried to do whatever I could for Modesta. I didn’t have a lot to offer — an open ear, a willingness to play with her on days when she had energy to spare after going to school, selling fruit, gathering firewood, washing her laundry by hand, cleaning dishes, carrying water…you get the picture. Continue reading Continue reading

  • by Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Senior Research Intern

    photo posted on post-gazette.comToday we continue our Mighty Girl Creators Series with our latest installment: an interview with esteemed author and illustrator Jeanette Winter. Ms. Winter is the creator of numerous highly regarded picture books, many of which feature the true stories of amazing women.

    Ms. Winter loves writing about artists, since her own desire to be one growing up has resulted in a fascination with the artistic process, though she also writes about any story that captures her interest. Her latest book, due for release in the summer of 2013, is Henri’s Scissors, the story of Henri Matisse’s work in his later life.

    On A Mighty Girl’s website, we feature several of Winter’s books, including the picture book biographies My Name Is Georgia, about artist Georgia O’Keeffe; The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps; and Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa about Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai. Her book The Librarian of Basra: A True Story From Iraq tells the amazing story of Alia Muhammad Baker’s rescue of the books during the invasion of Iraq. And Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan is a testament to the power that reading and books can have to heal even the deepest wounds.

    Winter lives in New York City with her husband, painter Roger Winter. You can read more about Winter’s life and writing at her Macmillan author page or her Simon and Schuster author page. Continue reading Continue reading

  • doreen-rappaport2[1]By Jennifer de Beer, A Mighty Girl Senior Research Intern

    We are pleased to continue our new blog series, A Mighty Girl Creators, with our latest installment: a conversation with author Doreen Rappaport. An award-winning creator of nearly forty books for children and young adults, Ms. Rappaport often shares the true stories of remarkable individuals from over the course of history. In particular, she likes to feature those figures whom she calls “not-yet-celebrated.” She is an especially appropriate subject for Women’s History Month, as her writing so often celebrates the lives and contributions of women while making their stories accessible to young readers.

    On A Mighty Girl’s website, you will find multiple books from Ms. Rappaport’s pen, and the selections cover a wide range of non-fiction territory. There are picture books presenting engaging biographies of Eleanor Roosevelt and Helen Keller, and a gripping tale of female baseball legends. Older children will be invited to read stories of danger and bravery in Escape from Slavery: Five Journeys to Freedom, a collection of five true tales, four of which focus on girls or women. A young adult audience will discover fascinating historic content within the covers of The Flight of Red Bird: The Life of Zitkala-Ša and American Women: Their Lives in Their Words, two publications that heavily feature primary source material. Continue reading Continue reading

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