Virginia Johnson

11/10/2016 - 2:23am
Cover to Magyk by Angie Sage

In Angie Sage’s world of Magyk, when the seventh son of a seventh son is born to the humble wizard Silas Heap, of course, the new father takes it on himself to fetch healthful herbs from the local wise woman outside the city wall. They’ve only the one room for all the family to share, but it’s a happy place, and the new addition is welcome.

When Silas discovers another newborn child with violet eyes well-wrapped but abandoned in the snow, his heart opens even wider. He knows there will be room for this tiny girl. He is surprised when Marcia, the new ExtraOrdinary Wizard, appears and hurriedly tells him they must treat the child as if she were born to them. A matter of great secrecy. As he rushes home, he is passed by the midwife, carrying another small bundle—his son—wrapped in bandages and wailing that his newborn son Septimus is dead.

11/17/2016 - 9:21am

Author Facts:

  • Born on December 8, 1940, in Washington, D.C. to L.G. and Eleanor Schneider
  • Received a B.A. in art from Smith College in 1963
  • Married Tomas Azarian, a musician, that same year
  • Mother of three sons—Ethan, Jesse, and Timothy
  • Now resides in Plainfield, Vermont

Mary was raised on a small farm in Virginia, yet her life's road would take her into the New England countryside where she would create folk art that celebrates the region's traditional farming culture. She has illustrated more than 50 books and written several of her own, often employing a 19th-century hand press to create her woodcut designs.

12/01/2016 - 11:31am

Kwanzaa, celebrated between December 26 and January 1, is a time for families in the African-American community to come together and enjoy their heritage. Unlike many holidays, Kwanzaa was created by one person, Maulana Karenga, in 1966. He named the celebration Kwanzaa, which means "first fruits" in Swahili.

11/01/2016 - 12:51am
Nancy Tafuri

When Nancy Tafuri began her illustrating her own marvelous stories, she had a hard time at first finding a publisher who would believe in her work. Fortunately for the many, many children who have been delighted by her books, Nancy persisted, learning more about her craft while waiting to be published. Her books were successful, and they definitely found their young audiences. Eventually, the New York Times would call Nancy Tafuri “the Queen Mother of Warmly Soothing Animal Bedtime Stories.”

10/27/2016 - 12:48am
Cover to Wild Child by Lynn Plourde, illustrated by Greg Couch

There are some books that beg to be a part of autumn storytimes, and Lynn Plourde’s Wild Child is one of them. Large, glowing, flowing pictures by Greg Couch accompany the playful words that tell of Mother Nature putting her little one to bed.

10/26/2016 - 12:47am
Cover to Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery

Emma Rowena Caldwell was an intelligent, attractive young woman and a hard worker. Growing up in rural Ohio in the very early 1900s, there wasn’t much opportunity for someone in her circumstances. Born into a poor family with 15 brothers and sisters, she grew up to know farm work, but she also loved to read. At 19, she married 27-year-old, college-educated P.C. Gatewood. It wasn’t very long before the beatings started. And continued.

In 1940, having borne him eleven children and endured near constant torment, she left him. Few outside her community knew the part of her story she left behind her.  But everyone across America came to know “Grandma Gatewood,” the first woman to walk the entire Appalachian Trail—more than 2,000 miles—from Georgia to Maine. By herself.

10/31/2016 - 10:01am
Frank McCourt: The Man Himself

When Frank McCourt passed in 2009, he left behind memoirs filled with anguish, love, and dark merriment. Personal experiences are what this Irish-American author took and shaped into works of sorrowful beauty.

10/24/2016 - 12:46am
Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush by Virginia Hamilton

Theresa, better known as Tree, is just at the age when guys are starting to notice her. She doesn’t have any time for them, though. She’s got to get home after school. With her mom working and living somewhere else and no dad they can remember, it’s up to Tree to look after her brother Dab. Dab might be older in years than Tree, but he’s younger inside. Always been that way.

No, Tree doesn’t have time for the boys and men who call her name on the street—until she sees the finest looking young man ever. He doesn’t call her name. He doesn’t say anything at all. The truth of the matter is, Brother Rush, for that is his name, is a ghost.

10/17/2016 - 12:59pm

Marcia Sewall's name can be found on the covers of many books in the library. She has a simple drawing style that conveys the rhythm and characters of the stories without overwhelming them. Whether the subject is something light-hearted, such as Daisy's Taxi, or bold retellings of Thanksgiving history, Marcia's drawings give the books a clarity that works beautifully with their storylines.

10/18/2016 - 11:21am
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

Orphaned Kit Tyler had found life with her rich grandfather in Barbados to be wonderful. But her grandfather’s death revealed that their life of tropical splendor was nothing more than an illusion. In debt and desperate, the 17-year-old had very few options.

Running away from an arranged marriage to a much older man, she and her many trunks of expensive clothes board the Dolphin on a voyage to Wethersfield, a Puritan village in Connecticut. She goes to meet her Aunt Rachel, her Uncle Matthew and their daughters—the only relatives she has.

While traveling, she catches the eye of John, a kind, poor student on his way to Wethersfield, and Nat, the captain’s son, who teases Kit about her aristocratic upbringing. She truly enjoys being at sea, but even before she steps foot on the New England shore, she is accused of being a witch by yet another passenger heading to Wethersfield.

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