Literary Arts Biographies for Young Readers and Writers

Celeste Trimble, St. Martin’s University, Lacey, WA

Cover of Sounds and Silences, depicting two trees, one drawn realistically and one drawn abstractly.When I was fourteen, I loved poetry. I always loved it, having grown up on a steady diet of recited nursery rhymes and children’s poetry like A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. But something happened in junior high school: The anthology, Sounds and Silences: Poetry for Now, edited by Richard Peck. I loved that it included song lyrics by Woody Guthrie, Leonard Cohen and The Beatles–verses I recognized. What I really loved about this book was that it was my introduction to writers who shaped and continue to shape how I think about the world, my life and the lives around me. “The Rebel” by Mari E. Evans was practically an anthem for the duration of my adolescence. Langston Hughes, e e cummings, Dylan Thomas, this book was my introduction to modern poetry. But, most importantly, it was my introduction to Gwendolyn Brooks. Continue reading

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MTYT: Six Dots

For our last My Take/Your Take discussion of Schneider Family Award winning picture books, Mary, Christopher and Leslie share their takes on Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Boris Kulikov. “Too small. He won’t survive!” cluck visitors looking into Louis’s bassinette. Readers follow along with Louis as he grows from a small baby into a healthy, curious toddler. Tragically, Louis’s curiosity leads to an accident that eventually results in him being blind.

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