Take, for instance, Edgar Allan Poe.
Poe was the middle child of three, born in early 1809 to
parents who were performers. Because they were gone a lot,
baby Edgar was mostly cared-for by other people; at age two,
that became permanent when his father abandoned the family
and his mother died. Says Stabler, Poe was a so-so student
and he was bullied as a boy. Was that the reason he wrote
such scary stories?
And then there was Laura Ingalls Wilder, who grew up on the
prairie, where family often slept out in the open – this was
the 1800s, after all – and bugs, weather, and fire were big
concerns. So were the local Indians, who were not at all
happy that the Ingalls had built on Osage land.
As the tale goes, Zora Neale Hurston was a baby when a wild
hog wandered into her mother’s kitchen. That was the first
story of her life; later ones included those she heard from
the men who hung out at a general store near her Alabama
home. She loved words. She loved them so much that
she gained a reputation for being her class’s best reader,
which won her a hundred pennies and “a library full of
J.K. Rowling wrote her “first adventure story” at age seven.
Poet Langston Hughes endured a “massive earthquake” while
living in Mexico as a boy, before meeting his grandmother,
who told him family stories of abolitionists, racism, and
possibilities. Charles Schulz was a published cartoonist at
age 15. And Beverly Cleary loved books but the creator of
Henry Huggins was a “struggling reader.”
“Everybody loves a good story,” says author David Stabler –
and that includes your bookish child. So what better way to
read about the story-behind-the-storytelling than with
Open these covers, and you’ll see a good representation of
literature throughout the centuries. That’s good for you but
your child will find something even better here: each of the
15 mini-biographies and most of the back-of-the-book
“fun-facts” are about authors your child will recognize, and
Stabler makes them relatable. Chapters are accompanied by
illustrations by Doogie Horner but that’s still not all:
oh-so-subtly, there’s encouragement in these tales. If Stan
Lee or Maya Angelou can become a famous writer, your child
can do it, too.
Kids ages eight-to-12 will devour this book, especially if
they’re hungry readers. Parents can love it, too, because
Kid Authors will teach your child to do the write thing.