The following, in Shonnie Brown’s “Neighbors” column, appeared in The Healdsburg Tribune, our local weekly, on February 9, 2012. [Most of the images were not in the original.]
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Ann, born and raised in Casper, Wyoming, has the dubious distinction of attending high school with both Dick and Lynne Cheney and participating in student government with Dick. Dick, who Ann recalls as being “good looking” back then, wrote “I’ll be your friend forever” in Ann’s yearbook.
Ann attended a Catholic college in Denver and then got married — resulting in a breakup and three kids. She returned to college, putting herself through law school, and then became a New Jersey prosecutor. She moved to the Bay Area in 1984 and Continue reading “Two Lives in a Small Town”
How do you get kids excited about reading?
My answer is to show them how reading a good book is an adventure in itself. I get them to ask themselves questions. Questions like: Who are these characters? Why did the plot take that turn? How did the author create this mood?
I call it being a reading detective.
And in that spirit, my school presentations consist of lots of questions. Using my middle grades novel, Cheesie Mack Is Not a Genius or Anything, first in a series from Random House, I engage students, exhorting them to become reading detectives.
Here’s a short video that captures Continue reading “Cheesie Mack and the Reading Detectives”
Several years ago I had an idea for a book about an active, inquisitive ten-year-old boy. His name was Ronald Mack, but his friends all called him Cheesie. I envisioned him as full of life, talkative, smart, and funny…exactly the kind of youngster who’d get into complicated kid situations that would require clever kid thinking to get out of.
I gave him a best friend, Georgie, and loving family…with one exception: an older sister who would be much happier if he’d never been born.
I’m a Californian, and it would have been easy to build his world on the west coast. But as I began to write the first book in what will become a Random House series, Cheesie demanded to live in Massachusetts…Gloucester in particular.
Today that book, Cheesie Mack Is Not a Genius or Anything, appeared on bookshelves across the country.
Cheesie is my little boy, and I held him in my arms this afternoon.