Author: Tucker, Georgia
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Books: Freedom Summer, illus. by Jerome Lagarrigue, Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, Jan. 2001. Two friends, one black, one white, want to go swimming at the town pool together the day it opens to integration in 1964 Mississippi. Winner, Coretta Scott King/ John Steptoe New Talent Award, Ezra Jack Keats Award, Simon Wiesenthal Award, Oprah Book Club for Kids Selection.

Love, Ruby lavendar, Harcourt Brace, Spring 2001. Novel for elementary-age readers. Nine-year-old Ruby and her grandmother, Miss Eula, survive a summer apart where Ruby raises her unruly chickens, defends herself against the snooty Melba Jane, befriends the new girl, Dove (junior-anthropologist-in-training), saves the town Operetta, and learns to let go of her guilt over her grandfather's death. An ALA Notable book, NCTE Notable book, Parent's Choice Children's Media Award winner, Capitol Choices Noteworthy Book for Children.

One Wide Sky, Harcourt Brace, Spring 2003. Bedtime lullaby and counting book in rhymed couplets, about a family's day spent outdoors in the natural world together.

Hang The Moon, Harcourt Brace, Spring 2003. Novel for older elementary/middle school readers about two cousins who travel from Mississippi to Memphis in 1966, to find Elvis Presley.

Fee: Please E-mail for information.
Availability: K-12, and conference speaking, presentations and workshops are tailored to the particular age and stage.
  • Author-in-the-Schools Assembly Program: - "Write for Your Life! Tell Your Story!" Participating in a presentation of slides, artifacts, anecdotes, laughs, and lots of questions, students discover how pieces of Debbie's life story are captured in her books. Students should be able to carry away a sense of how they can do this, too, along with a feeling that their stories and what they have to say are important. Suitable for all ages and tailored to all age groups
  • Creative Writing Program: Using Freedom Summer or Love, Ruby Lavender as a model, students explore the writing process by writing from their lives. Grades 2 and up, tailored to grade level. Students discover the power of words, selection of telling details, story structure, characterization, translation of an idea into story, and revision.
  • Poetry Program: Using One Wide Sky as a model, students learn how to use brainstorming, metaphor and simile, the senses, and emotions, to create poetry of their own, to tell their stories. Suitable for all grades. Older students work with poetry forms as well.
  • Customized Presentations: Teacher in-service and conference speaking on several themes, including the value of incorporating life stories and oral history into your classroom, how it reaches across the curriculum, and strategies for teaching students to "Write for your Life!" using poetry, essays, fiction, and oral history. Interactive teacher programs, parent and family programs, and other customized presentations on tools for teaching creative writing, raising life-long readers, and advice on choosing and using children's books, all illuminated by stories, slides, and props.



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