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Cheryl Harness In her own words...
In honor of Franklin's 300th birthday on January 17th, 2006...
The Remarkable Benjamin Franklin

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?
--National Geographic 2005

Don't miss this jewel of a book.
Ages 8 and Up

[Learn More about Ben]

George Washington

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.
Ages 8 and Up

The Remarkable Rough-Riding Life of Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of Empire America

The Remarkable Rough-Riding Life of Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of Empire America
How did a sickly boy transform himself into one of the country's boldest leaders? You'll get the full storyófront page and behind-the-scenesóas only Cheryl Harness can tell it. Through her lively narrative and engaging artwork, readers will see Teddy riding the range in South Dakota, charging up San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American War, climbing the political ladder all the way to the White House, breaking up big business, building the Panama Canal, and big-game hunting in Africa. They will also experience life in America when the telephone, airplane, and automobile were all brand-new, when women, blacks, and laborers were demanding equal rights, and when the cry for expansion stretched the borders from Maine to the Philippines and from Puerto Rico to Alaska. This was an age in which Roosevelt's promise to give every American a "square deal" and to "walk softly and carry a big stick" helped build the country into a world power.
Ages 9-12

Additional titles in the Cheryl Harness Histories series:
The Adventurous Life of Myles Standish and the Amazing-but-True Survival Story of Plymouth Colony (2006)

The Tragic Tale of Narcissa Whitman and a Faithful History of the Oregon Trail - Ages 9-12 (2006)

The Literary Adventures of Washington Irving: American Storyteller - Ages 9-12 (2008)

Cheryl HarnessBooks 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

The Trailblazing Life of Daniel Boone and How Early Americans Took to the Road
The Trailblazing Life of Daniel Boone and How Early Americans Took to the Road
Daniel Boone's story is every young adventurer's fantasy: A childhood in Pennsylvania spent hunting on lands shared with Native Americans; a coming-of-age fighting in the French and Indian War; and the fulfillment of a life's dream with the blazing of the Wilderness Road across the Appalachian Mountains and the settling of Boonesborough in Kentucky. Add to this the rescue of his daughter from Shawnee warriors, and readers are quickly in the thick of another irresistible Cheryl Harness History. Ages 9-12

The Groundbreaking, Chance-Taking Life of George Washington Carver and Science and Invention in America
The Groundbreaking, Chance-Taking Life of George Washington Carver and Science and Invention in America
Another winning combination of history, biography, and illustration: the inspiring story of a man who rose from slavery to worldwide fame as Americaís Plant Doctor. Follow the action as Confederate raiders kidnap young Carveróalong with his mother and siblingsóand sell them to Arkansas slaveholders. Here, whooping cough threatens Georgeís life, yet the disease will be the key to his future. Unable to work in the fields, he spends his days studying plants. His desire for knowledge leads him to the rich farmlands of Iowa, where he becomes the first black studentóand later the first black faculty memberóat the state university. Carver pioneers hundreds of new uses for plants and revolutionizes American agriculture by teaching farmers the value of rotating cotton with nitrogen-rich crops.