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.
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!
Well, part of the column anyway. Thing is, my library columns are fairly personal in that they relate to the Lincoln, California, public library and may not be of interest to, say, someone in Lincoln, Nebraska.
So here's some info about what Friends of a public library do (at least in Lincoln, CA).
We’ve been talking about what exactly the Friends of the Lincoln Public Library at Twelve Bridges (FOLL) DO for the library. We learned last time that the Friends support several important library programs, and help the library buy books, CDs, and DVDs.
What else do the Friends do? Here are two more examples from a very long list:
Friends’ volunteers help shelve library books; protective-cover donated (like new) books before they are shelved; sort donated books for use in the library or for special sales; maintain the Book Sale shelves in the library; manage and staff the special weekend book sales (move lots of books, organize those books, collect money, etc.); arrange the Family Movie Nights (get the film, make the popcorn, move the chairs, etc.); assist with Mother Goose and our other special programs – and more.
That was one example. Here’s another:
We raise money so we can accomplish all the things on the list. Thank you for YOUR membership, your extra donations, and your time. If you aren’t yet a member, we hope you will become one today. Contact info for FOLL follows this column.
Here’s a patron’s question on a different subject: Who leads the Friends? What are his/her qualifications? What is his/her goal for the Friends? And here’s the answer.
Our FOLL President (name omitted), has had a long and successful career in law and politics, including serving on the staff of three U.S. senators. For some time her office “was right next door to the Roosevelt Room and around the corner from the Oval Office and the Cabinet Room” when she worked in the White House. She also worked as an advocate for a paper products manufacturing and recycling company for 26 years. (name omitted) moved to Lincoln in 2002 and joined the Friends in 2009. She is clearly ultra-qualified to lead the Friends! (When you attend the Friends’ meetings, you will notice how extremely well they are run.)
And what is her goal for the Friends? To keep our library(s) open, viable, and thriving for the Lincoln community.
As is clear to all, we’re in hard economic times in Lincoln. To keep our remaining library viable we need your help. We really need you. Please use the contact information at the end of the column. Thank you.
More about eBooks
If you have a Nook (as I do), or a Kindle, or another form of eBook reader, you can check books out from the library on your e-reader! Lora gave us a short tutorial several columns ago, and if you go to the libraryatlincoln.org site you will see the instructions. Here’s more information:
You can check out a book 24/7 online. You may check out three books at a time. If the book you want is already checked out, you’ll be sent an email when it is available. Your book will automatically expire when the lending period is up. You can’t renew your eBook, but can check it out again. I just looked at the downloadable collection. There are 100 books, and there are a lot of people waiting, so we’ll need to join the queue.
Okay, now I’m going to go check out some books for my Nook. I mean, join the queue.
Several years ago I wrote a chapter book on Noah Webster. Sadly (for me, anyway) it went out of print. But I still talked about Noah in my presentations because of what he did for our country, and teachers kept asking for a book on him. It was great fun to write a picture book biography about this supremely confident and hugely important man. When the text was perfect (to me, anyway) I sent it to my then-agent, who said he was smitten. Smitten! Wow, I thought, now if only there's an editor who will also be smitten! Turns out I am lucky enough to have the fantastic Kate O'Sullivan as my editor for NOAH WEBSTER & HIS WORDS.
More next time on writing the text. Did my editor think it was perfect? Well, ...
Blog #1 – How do people DO this? First time doing anything is kind of tricky, but if I can write whole books I can write a blog. Right? I hope you'll come along for the ride. Speaking of which, I realize this will cut into my horseback riding time, though my horse will be happy to lounge about. First, thanks to Mira Reisberg for teaching me how to do this (as they say, any mistakes are mine). Not that there will be any mistakes.
In my next blog posts I'll be telling you about my adventures with Noah Webster. This picture book biography will be published in October 2012. Yay!! There will be More Later: why I wrote about Noah, where I got the idea, why he's important (what did HE write? and what else did he do?) the process of actually writing and working with an editor, and more. And, boy, the joy of seeing what Vincent X. Kirsch did with the illustrations!
Whew. That wasn't so hard.