Saturday, December 28, 2013

Art in Demand

I just got off the phone with a friend who spent yesterday on line outside the Frick in NYC anxiously waiting to view Vermeer's Girl With A Pearl Earring.

There is no question that this is a spectacular painting. I was lucky enough to view it several years ago in the Rjksmuseum in Amsterdam. But, let's applaud Tracy Chevalier's book of the same title and the adapted movie for launching it's popularity into the stratosphere.  Isn't it wonderful when one art form, or in this case two, can propel another?

Chevalier's inspiration grew from a poster in her room.  Art inspiring art. Don't you love it?

The painting at the Frick will be on view until January 19th. I hope that all the painting's fans will explore the rest of the collection during their visit and find their own inspiration.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Zora Neale Hurston

Today is the day that They're Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston was published!  Have you read it yet?  It's one of my favorites!  If you haven't, today is the day to check it out.

It's also the perfect day to share the story of Zora Neale Hurston with your students through the beautiful, historical fiction, MG novel by Victoria Bond and TR Simon titled Zora and Me.   Read my review in an earlier post.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Some Highlights!

I've been having the pleasure of listening to the wisdom of wonderful historical fiction writers (and a fabulous agent) all week at Highlights and just had to share a few of these gems with you!

Keep in mind - these work for historical fiction AND many other genres!

"It doesn't matter how great the fact is, if the fact doesn't enhance the story." Kirby Larson

"Authentic characters are achieved when the author has become invisible." Linda Pratt

"Thou shall not repeat falsehoods. (Be accurate!)" Tracy Barrett

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Magic Flute

Teacher and librarian friends: Today the Magic Flute premiered in Vienna in 1791.  A nice teaching connection with Kyra Teis' beautiful picture book, The Magic Flute. Check out her site for some great teaching ideas. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Celebrate Women's History Month!

It's March  -- Women's History Month!   Of course, I can't wait until women's history is celebrated all year long, but for now we'll have to settle for the month of March!

Since I'm all about books, I've made a list of some great titles for you to read this month!  Some are hot of the press and others are not-to-miss classics.  Enjoy!

Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors?  The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell, by Tanya Lee Stone
Girls Who Looked Under Rocks: The Lives of Six Pioneering Naturalists by Jeannine Atkins
Almost Astronauts:  13 Women Who Dared To Dream, by Tanya Lee Stone
Elizabeth Leads The Way, by Tanya Lee Stone
Mary Anning and The Sea Dragon by Jeannine Atkins
Mama Miti by Donna Jo Napoli
Patience Wright: America's First Sculptor and Revolutionary Spy by Pegi Deitz Shea and Bethanne Anderson
Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell
The Bobbin Girl, by Emily Arnold McCully
The Escape of Oney Judge: Martha Washington's Slave Finds Freedom, by Emily Arnold McCully
Janis Joplin by Ann Angel

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Teacher Workshop on the Shakers

I had the pleasure of serving on the Board of the Shaker Heritage Society and now have the pleasure of passing on this great opportunity for teachers at Siena College.

      Heaven on Earth: Shakers, Religious Revival and Social Reform in America, a NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop for School Teachers will take place at Siena College in two separate sessions this summer. The first session will run from July 7 to July 13. The second session will run from July 14 to July 20.

      The drive to construct a model society has played a vital role in the making of American culture ever since the English Puritans set out to build a “city upon a hill.” This NEH Landmark Workshop examines the Shaker movement as a model for understanding this utopian impulse.  
     K-12 educators are invited to undertake their own fieldwork in the history of American Shakerism. Participants will engage in interactive seminars with scholars; investigate Shaker artifacts and primary documents at the New York State Museum and New York State Library, and tour three historic Shaker sites: Hancock Shaker Village, Shaker Museum Mount Lebanon and Watervliet Shaker Historic District. Workshop participants will brainstorm with the workshop faculty and each other on how to apply their discoveries to curriculum that will bring the fascinating history of American Shakerism to life for contemporary students. 
For more information about Heaven on Earth, please contact Jennifer Dorsey directly at or 518-782-6947.