Friday, September 12, 2014

A Golda Meir Picture Book Giveaway! Happy Poetry Friday! And Happy Nearly Jewish New Year!

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Howdy, Campers!

We have a brand new Book Giveaway for your very own autographed copy of a picture book biography (well, a real-life slice of life) of Golda Meir--just published!  Details at the bottom of this post.

Happy Poetry Friday!
 Thank you, Renee, of No Water River, for hosting today!
The link to Barbara Krasner's poem, "The Circle of Life,"
on a site which invites contributions of poetry and prose, is below ~


Today, we welcome author, teacher, blogger, historian, poet and conference organizer Barbara Krasner into our cozy cabin for a cuppa java.
Barbara Krasner

I first met Barbara online, as she was single-handedly organizing the Conference on Jewish Story, held this May in New York.  She invited me to be on the children's panel; it was an adventure and an honor to participate.

Barbara’s interests, accomplishments and energies are unending. She began writing short stories when she should have been paying attention in SAT prep classes! She majored in German and spent her junior year in Germany. Then she spent 30 years in corporate America...but the writing bug never left her. (Can anyone relate? Me, me!)

She's now the author of four nonfiction books, including Discovering Your Jewish Ancestors, and more than 200 articles for adults and children that have appeared in Highlights for Children, Cobblestone, Calliope, and Babaganewz . Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in many publications and she was the semi-finalist in the 2013 Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry.

Barbara publishes the popular blog, The Whole Megillah ~ The Writer's Resource for Jewish Story, she's the recipient of the first-ever Groner-Wikler Scholarship for dedication to Jewish children's literature, and is a member of the prestigious Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee of the Association of Jewish Libraries.

Is Barbara a TeachingAuthor?  Most definitely!   She earned her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, teaches children's literature and creative writing at William Paterson University, and leads the Highlights Foundation workshop, Writing Jewish-themed Children’s Books.

We’ve invited Barbara here today because her first book for children, illustrated by Kelsey Garrity-Riley, titled  Goldie Takes a Stand! Golda Meir's First Crusade  (Kar-Ben, 2014) just came out! (Kar-Ben, by the way, is the Jewish imprint of Lerner Publishing Group.)
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Mazel-tov, Barbara!


"Even at the age of nine, little Golda Meir
was known for being a leader.  As the president of
the American Young Sisters Society, she organizes her friends
to raise money to buy textbooks for immigrant classmates.
It’s not easy, and when her initial plan doesn’t work,
she’s forced to dream even bigger to find a way to help her community.
 A glimpse at the early life of Israel’s first
female Prime Minister, 
this story is based on
a true episode in the early life of Golda Meir."

Welcome, Barbara! What's a common problem your students have and how do you address it?
A common problem my students have is the fear of digging deep. To compensate, they produce redundant narrative that only skims the surface. I challenge them, as my mentors have challenged me, to take a deep breath and dive in.

Thank you--just reading that made me take a deep breath. Would you share a favorite writing exercise with our readers?

I am a certified Amherst Writers & Artists workshop leader and I really believe in the power of writing to timed prompts. A classic prompt is to recall a photograph and begin your writing session with, "In this one..."

Another favorite is to write about something hanging on the wall in a room of your childhood family home.

I want to try those!  What one piece of advice do you have for teachers?

Look for the strength of each student and build on that.

Barbara Krasner ~ teaching, speaking, inspiring ~
What's on the horizon for you?

I'm working on some Holocaust-related short stories and a couple of picture book biographies. In my master's program (Barbara's currently a candidate for an MA in Applied Historical Studies), I am looking for ways to take my academic requirements and turn them into literary projects. A new history book about my hometown of Kearny, New Jersey is an example of this. I am promoting my picture books this fall, such as my "What Would Goldie Do?" program at Jewish community centers (JCCs) and synagogues. I also hope to be teaching Writing Your Family History at my local JCC.

WOW, Barbara!  And since it's Poetry Friday in the Kidlitosphere, do you have a poem you'd like to share with our readers?

Here's a link to my poem, The Circle of Life on The Jewish Writing Project site, which invites contributions of poems and more.

(Readers, this site is well worth exploring and includes, among other things, a terrific page of questions and writing ideas for kids)

We'll close with a preview of Goldie Takes a Stand! (enter for a chance to win it below):



Thank you so much for coming by today, Barbara!

Book Giveaway
Enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of Goldie Takes a Stand!  This giveaway ends on September 26.

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter via 1, 2, or all 3 options specified. If you choose the "comment" option, share a comment to today's blog post about your experience with writing or teaching historical fiction. And please include your name in your comment, if it's not obvious from your comment "identity." (If you prefer, you may submit your comment via email to: teachingauthors [at] gmail [dot] com.)

If you've never entered a Rafflecopter giveaway, here's info on how to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway and the difference between signing in with Facebook vs. with an email address. Email subscribers: if you received this post via email, you can click on the Rafflecopter link at the end of this message to access the entry form.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Trust yourself.  Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life.  Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement." ~ Golda Meir

But wait ~ there's more! Barbara's Goldie Takes a Stand! will soon be followed by a Holocaust picture book, Liesl's Ocean Rescue (Gihon River Press, Fall 2014).

posted by April Halprin Wayland
p.s: It's nearly New Year'
s and my picture book, New Year at the Pier (Dial), winner of the Sidney Taylor Book Award for Younger Readers, celebrates the ritual of Tashlich, a wonderful, seaside gathering during the Jewish New Year (which begins September 24th and ends September 26th this year.)

15 comments:

judy kay Slowey-Sly said...

I have always loved biographies and this one sounds great! I especially enjoy reading about women who are role-models. Thank you.

Carol Varsalona said...

I was fascinated with this interview so I read the poem, commented, and am looking forward to the picture book. Thank you for showcasing Barbara's writing. I will definitely share.

Heidi Grange said...

There is very much a need for great books like this about female leaders.

LInda Baie said...

It looks like a wonderful biography, a lovely entry into this important woman's life. I have a former student named Golda, will try to contact her to share the book with her. Congratulations to Barbara for her first picture book. The site does look good too!

Rosi said...

I won't enter the giveaway since I already have a copy of this wonderful book. I just wanted to mention how much I like it and am looking forward to more books by Barbara.

Barbara Krasner said...

Thank you all for your kind words!

Esther Hershenhorn said...

Thanks for your sharing your Teacher Smarts and your new book with our readers, Barbara!
I can't wait to get my hands on this book.
And thanks for all you do, too, to bring the best of Jewish children's literature to readers.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Judy Kay, Carol, Heidi, Esther and Rosi ~ Barbara is another one of those Energizer Bunnies in the service of children's literature! And Linda--I know your Golda will enjoy this book ~

Kira Yagami said...

This is so cool. Having a giveaway is so helping to others. Bless you. ;)

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

So wonderful to see Golda Meir in a PB! I look forward to reading it.

Myra Garces Bacsal said...

I distinctly remember Kathleen Krull's Lives of Extraordinary Women and reading about Golda Meir - would love to read a full blown picturebook biography on her life - will be on the lookout for this title. Thanks for sharing it.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Hi, Kira, Michelle and Myra!
Myra, note: this book is a small, golden slice of Golda's life--not the sweeping broad view.

kt giorgio said...

Can't wait to read the book! Thank you for sharing!

jan godown annino said...

Rosh Hashana & New Year greetings to all my observant pals.
And I hope to take a workshop with this wonderful author/historian/creative who is new to me.
Plus, my Jewish-theme picture book story, inspired by something sweet in our town, is going to get a boost from all these resources listed here, I hope.

Many appreciations, April & Teaching Authors.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Dear KT, thanks for stopping by! Jan, here's another (new) resource for Jewish children's books, by Anna Levine:
http://jodiebooks.com/