NOAH WEBSTER & HIS WORDS is getting great reviews! I am soooo happy and relieved. Horn Book, Kirkus, starred review in School Library Journal, a Junior LIbrary Guild selection and more!
(Since I mention the Lincoln Public Library, you can see this is from my library column in the Lincoln News Messenger.)
As we think about our great and blessed nation on this 4th of July, we also think about our great public library system. Public, not private. Free entrance to all. Free books and free information, with a free library card. All available to every one of us at the Lincoln Public Library at Twelve Bridges.
It was 236 years ago that the men of the Second Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence, after some editing of Thomas Jefferson’s writing. Jefferson himself sat silently during the editing process but he wrote that John Adams fought “fearlessly for every word.” As we know, Jefferson’s argument against slavery was taken out. Also cut was his beautiful phrase of regret to King George – “We might have been a free & a great people together...”
Instead, we are a free & a great people as Americans.
Two hundred and thirty-one years ago, in October 1781, the British surrendered at Yorktown and the Revolutionary War was over. (At least the fighting was. The war ended officlally in 1783 when the peace treaty was signed.) Two hundred and twenty-three years ago George Washington was elected our first president. And as we all know, 186 years ago Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on the very same day, the 4th of July.
One of my friends, Rae Yund, wrote this after my Flag Day presentation (okay, she exaggerated a bit, but still...): "We are all agog - can't believe that such a poised, entertaining, engaging, erudite, effective and accomplished speaker is our friend. That an accomplished hostess, chef, Bible Study mentor, greeting card designer and just plain Prairie horse-back-paper-route-delivery-girl could hold four hundred discerning adult Lincoln Hills residents in rapt attention for over an hour is truly phenomenal."
Don't worry, she said I could use her name. In fact she made a good point, which is that if I did not give attribution people would thingI could have made it up myself and passed it off as a compliment from "someone."
I was worried to death that about 30 people would show up in a room that holds 390. As it turned out 400 showed up. If I'd known there'd be THAT many I've have been even more worried! Luckily it went well – very, very well. Subject: People Who Made America Great. I had about 130 slides to go with, so it was quite the illustrated lecture. In fact, I'd say it was practically a graphic novel!
Tomorrow it's supposed to be over 100 here in Lincoln, so I'm going out to ride about 7 a.m. Should be only about 90 then!
I wish you all lived here in the Sacramento, CA, area. On Thursday, June 14, I'm giving a (lively and fun and thought-provoking and altogether wonderful) presentation here in Lincoln on "People Who Made America Great!". Of course I'll be talking about NF research and writing, but mainly about the eleven people in my first eleven books. Come if you can!
Here's an announcement from a local newspaper:
June 14 is Flag Day! The perfect day to learn more about our amazing American history. What more is there to learn, you ask?
Come to the Orchard Creek Lodge ballroom in Sun City Lincoln at 2 p.m., June 14, for
everything you always wanted to know about people who made America great!
Don’t miss hearing award-winning author Jeri Chase Ferris bring eleven people from 1776 on back to life (okay, not really). Don’t miss the good and the awful of researching people’s lives. Don’t miss her slide presentation on how an author gets the facts – on an ice floe in the Arctic, for example, or … well, come and find out. But don’t worry, she won’t be trying on eleven different sets of clothes.
Who wrote the best-selling book in the English language (after the Bible)? What IS that book? What did John Adams reply to Abigail’s “remember the ladies”? Who wrote almanacs, built the first wooden clock in America, and more. Hint: first name Benjamin. Hint: NOT Benjamin Franklin.
Which Chief Justice turned his back on which President-elect when administering the oath of office? Why?
There are at least three hugely significant events tied to July 4, 1826. Do you know what they are? Can you tell us even more?
What escaped slave took one of God’s attributes as her last name? Why? And what WAS it? What world-famous American singer could not …
What Native American … What president …
You’ll know the answers on June 14. And you may want to add to the discussion yourself.
Come and celebrate Flag Day with people who made America great!