Monday, June 20, 2016

Summertime Adventures!

Summer is the perfect time for a new adventure. At Teaching Authors, we’ve been sharing our favorite summer adventures. Mary Ann offered wonderful ideas for reluctant readers.

Carmela discusses the power of writing camps.

JoAnn gives us a lovely Unfinished Poem about her favorite summer adventures in the backyard. 

As a writer, I take advantage of the summer to dive into my research, tracing the footsteps of my characters as they lived. In writing Girls of Gettysburg, I traveled to Gettysburg several times, walking the length and width of the battlefield to recreate the lives and times of my characters. You can read more about that adventure, traveling to Gettysburg, here

Summer is a ripe time for traveling. Visiting the homes of your favorite authors can be a grand adventure. Such adventures can bring a deeper understanding of  your favorite characters, and their creators. You are literally (all puns intended) entering the world where  they lived.  Among my favorites, the Mark Twain house. You can just hear the indomitable Becky Thatcher thrash Tom Sawyer and his friend Huck for their misadventures. And Louisa May Alcott’s house, in Concord MA, is the perfect home for the strong -willed and creative Jo March and her sisters, as they put on their plays. Emily Dickenson's Museum includes the house, and the enchanted gardens, where the poet lived and wrote. There are so many I have yet to explore! Let me know about your favorite author's home in the comments below! Joy Lanzendorfer at Mental Floss gives a wonderful top ten list of historical author’s homes to visit.   

As you can imagine, historical fiction is also my favorite genre, and summer is the perfect time to catch up on my reading. You may remember my discussion (here) on the (rather) complicated definition of historical fiction. I used Doctor Who, the quintessential adventurer, to help explain it:  “People assume that time is a strict progression of cause and effect…but actually, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff.” Perhaps the same thing can be said of plot and the historical fiction. Reading historical fiction is like traveling through time and space, where “… we might see anything. We could find new worlds, terrifying monsters, impossible things. And if you come with me... nothing will ever be the same again!”

Where can you find the best historical fiction? Legendary editor and author Anita Silvey offers many titles, including audio books, on her blog, Children’s Book Almanac

Children’s Editor Extraordinaire Harold Underdown lists the winners of the Scott O’Dell Award on his site, The Purple Crayon

Another great list is by the authors of Bookworm For Kids, a resource blog for teachers, parents, grandparents, and all others interested in encouraging children to love reading.

Happy Summertime Adventures!

Photo Credit: Mark Twain House

 Bobbi Miller


Rebecca C said...

I'm ashamed to say I haven't visited any author's homes that I can think of but I'm putting it on my wishlist of things to do now. I'd love to visit Laura Ingalls Wilder's home in Wisconsin one of these years.

Bobbi Miller said...

Hi Rebecca: Ooo, that's a good choice! Another one I'd love to see is L.M. Montgomery's Prince Edward Island, and -- another one -- Jack London's San Francisco. What about J. M. Barrie's house in London, to see the place where Wendy captured Peter Pan's shadow! And, who wouldn't want to see 221 B Baker Street! Boy, I could go on!

Laurie J. Edwards said...

I've always wanted to visit Beatrix Potter's home and the Anne Frank House. It's fascinating to see where various authors lived and worked.

Bobbi Miller said...

Laurie: O YES! Most especially the Anne Frank house. What grand suggestions. Thank you!

Yvonne Ventresca said...

Great resources! Thank you1

Anonymous said...

I love to visit the homes of bygone authors and artists (and then blog about them). Aside from the wonderful ones you've mentioned, I really enjoyed Edith Wharton's beautiful estate in Lenox, MA. I'm a fan of historical fiction, as well. Have a wonderful summer, Bobbi, and thanks for this fun post!

Bobbi Miller said...

Thank you, Yvonne! And thank you for another good recommendation, Marcia! That's close enough to the Dickinson Museum, you could make it a day trip to see both of them, stopping by Thoreau's Pond as well!