|Cheryl Harness||In her own words...|
|In honor of Franklin's 300th birthday on January 17th, 2006...
Join, or Die
These three powerful words, penned by Benjamin Franklin in the May 9, 1754 edition of his Pennsylvania Gazette, became a rallying cry of the revolution that created the United States. They also perfectly reflect the no-nonsense philosophy of the wittiest and most colorful of the country's Founding Fathers.
You probably already know how Franklin used a kite, a key, and a thunderstorm to prove his theories about electricity and skyrocket himself to world fame in the process. But did you know that he had to leave school and get a job before he was 12? That he launched his literary career under the name of Mrs. Silence Dogood? That he was the first to map a warm-water current he called the Gulf Stream? That he invented everything from the lighting rod to bifocals and encouraged towns to establish libraries, fire departments, hospitals, and streetlights? That the words of wisdom in his Poor Richard's Almanack are as relevant today as when he wrote them? And that he was the only one of the Founding Fathers to sign the Declaration of Independence, the treaty that ended America's war for independence, and the Constitution?
Don't miss this jewel of a book.
It has been 200 years since George Washington died, but his story is more important than ever. His sacrifices for his country made him a legend, but who was this complex and valiant man? Cheryl Harness uses her lively writing style and richly detailed watercolors to bring the man behind the monument to life.
You'll smell the "hot blood and smoke" as George dodges bullets in the French and Indian War, sense his "purple fury" at soldiers who ran from battle early in the Revolution, shiver as he leads his army across the icy Delaware, and shout "Long live George Washington" as he is sworn in as President of the United States. But you'll see another George, too: A man who loved to dance, listen to his granddaughter play music, and entertain friends at his beloved Mount Vernon.
Love of liberty compelled George Washington to serve his country. Was he always sure he could do the job? Not at all! But he had to try.
The Remarkable Rough-Riding Life of Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of Empire America
Additional titles in the Cheryl Harness Histories series:
The Literary Adventures of Washington Irving: American Storyteller - Ages 9-12 (2008)
Books for Young Time Travelers
When Iím asked about how I came to write and illustrate historical picture books, this is what I say:
Well, the first two books I wrote, The Windchild and The Queen With Bees in her Hair (published by Henry Holt, 1991 & 1993) got nice reviews and the six people who read them liked them very much, but still, my feelings were hurt. It was as if Iíd sent my dear, pretty child to school then hardly anybody talked to her. Okay, I donít have any children, just two cats and an old Scottie, but you see what I mean. Maybe, I thought, if my books were educational, more people would read them, so I did Three Young Pilgrims (Simon & Schuster, 1992) and folks liked it. I got a bang out of doing it and since Iím not a total goober, Iíve done historical books ever since, more than twenty of them. The next oneís The Remarkable Benjamin Franklin (National Geographic Society 2006, in honor of the great manís 300th birthday.)
I could go on and tell you how Iíve loved looking things up, writing, rewriting, which all authors do, then drawing and watercolor-painting (thereís a lot of research there too, making sure the clothes, carriages and such are right) all day as I listen to audio books. Iíve loved imagining past times. I even like getting dressed up in old-time clothes. Do I wish I really lived in the past? No, but of course, to the people in the future, we already do! One of my favorite books for adults is Jack Finneyís Time and Again (1970), the ultimate time travel book. It gave me these ideas: know the facts about how people lived in their present time and youíll be wiser in yours. Historyís alive, back upstream in the living past.
What if I did a book with no pictures at all? I wondered about that for a long time. What if I wrote a book, good and thick, with chapters. I wanted to see if I could do that: one of the best reasons for doing something neat, something youíve never done. How will you know you canít do it if you donít try and keep on trying? The main thing is donít give up, not for long anyway. I know you didnít ask, but thatís my advice. My novel is about an artistic 12-year-old girl like I was, sort of, in 1963 (see? still historical) who likes to imagine all the time. She wishes that her family wasnít so big, poor, and messy, then Ė oh oh Ė something happens. Its title is Just For You to Know (HarperCollins, summer 2006). Does this mean Iím not doing nonfiction, illustrated books anymore? No way. These days, studying and writing about Pilgrims (again) and the Oregon Trail (later, Theo. Rooseveltís and other times) for a series of National Geographic books: lots more words with little pictures done in pen & ink, my total favorite. Here I am, still imagining the past.
More Books by Cheryl Harness:
Our Colonial Year (2005) Ages 5-7
Franklin & Eleanor (2004) Ages 8-11
Remember the Ladies: 100 Great American Women (2001) Ages 8-12
Thomas Jefferson (2004) Ages 9-12
The Revolutionary John Adams - Ages 9-12
Rabble Rousers: Twenty American Women Who Made a Difference (2003) Ages 9-12
Ghosts of the Civil War - Ages 8-11
Mark Twain and the Queens of the Mississippi (2003) Ages 8-10
Just for You to Know (Ages 10-13) - the importance of holding on to your dreams and what it means to be a family