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Little Author in the Big Woods: A Biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Christy Ottaviano Books) by [Yona Zeldis McDonough, Jennifer Thermes]

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Little Author in the Big Woods: A Biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Christy Ottaviano Books) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 39 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Little Author in the Big Woods:

"This condensation of the long, peripathetic life of Laura Ingalls Wilder will intrigue fans of the Little House series." — Kirkus Reviews

"This biography draws parallels between Wilder's life and writing, featuring both hardships and joys of her experiences as a pioneer in the late 1800s and early 1900s . . . 'Little House' fans will find a lot to love here." — School Library Journal

Praise for Louisa: The Life of Louisa May Alcott:

A Junior Library Guild Selection

"McDonough, appropriately for the audience, places the development of Louisa’s character over literary exegesis, and her words are harmoniously both accessible and expressive. . . . While too dense for the littlest of women (and men), middle-graders will be charmed by this first look at one of America’s most beloved authors." — Kirkus Reviews

Praise for The Doll Shop Downstairs:

A 2010 Cooperative Children’s Book Choice

A 2012 New York State Reading Association (NYSRA) Charlotte Award Master List’s Selection

* "Mix one part Rumer Godden’s The Story of Holly and Ivy and many parts Sydney Taylor’s All-of-a-Kind Family and you create a standout family-and-doll story." — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "McDonough gives us a wholly original story. . . . Dolls and doll parts, a resourceful Mama and Papa and an appealing heroine and her sisters are all deftly drawn. . . . The Doll Shop Downstairs will become a classic." — Jewish Book World, starred review

About the Author

Yona Zeldis McDonough is the author of many books for children, including Sisters in Strength, Anne Frank, and Louisa: The Life of Louisa May Alcott. Ms. McDonough lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Jennifer Thermes is the author and illustrator of When I Was Built and Sam Bennett's New Shoes, which was a Bank Street College Best Children's Book. Her books as illustrator include the middle-grade novel Maggie & Oliver and The Iciest, Diciest, Scariest Sled Ride Ever! Jennifer also creates illustrated maps for magazine and book publishing clients.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00JTIU1L2
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (September 16, 2014)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ September 16, 2014
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 6390 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 178 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 39 ratings

About the author

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Yona Zeldis McDonough is the author of seven novels for adults: THE FOUR TEMPERAMENTS, IN DAHLIA'S WAKE, BREAKING THE BANK (which has been optioned for a film), A WEDDING IN GREAT NECK, TWO OF A KIND, YOU WERE MEANT FOR ME, and THE HOUSE ON PRIMROSE POND, which came out on February 2, 2016. And for all those New Hampshire natives who happen upon the book, please know that she is fully aware that the state flower is purple lilac, and not lavender, as it states on page 8! How this mistake found its way into the novel is still a mystery, and she apologizes profusely for it!

She is also an award-winning children's book author with 26 children's books to her credit. THE DOLL SHOP DOWNSTAIRS received a starred review from Jewish Book World saying that it "will become a classic." In another starred review Kirkus called the sequel, THE CATS IN THE DOLL SHOP, "a quiet treasure." THE DOLL WITH THE YELLOW STAR won the 2006 Once Upon a World Award presented by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Yona has also written several books in the popular WHO WAS series, including WHO WAS HARRIET TUBMAN? which has sold over 400,000 copies and is the most popular title in the series. Her newest book for children, THE BICYCLE SPY, will be out from Scholastic in September 2016. Set in war-torn France, it tells the story of a brave boy who helps save a Jewish friend by riding his bicycle and delivering messages to Resistance members.

For over a dozen years, Yona has been the Fiction Editor at Lilith Magazine. She works independently to help aspiring writers polish their manuscripts. To arrange a book club visit, inquire about editorial services or just to say hi, please contact Yona via her website: www.yonazeldismcdonough.com or on the Facebook fan pages for her novels, which she hopes you'll "like."

FROM YONA:

When I was young, I didn't think about becoming a writer. In fact, I was determined to become a ballerina, because I studied ballet for many years, and by the time I was in high school, I was taking seven ballet classes a week. But I was always a big reader. I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and I used to frequent all the different libraries in my neighborhood on a regular basis. I would look for books by authors I loved. I read my favorite books--ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, A LITTLE PRINCESS, A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN--over and over again. I probably read each of those books twenty times in all. I read lots of other things too: I loved comic books and magazines, like Mad and Seventeen. But when you are reader, you just need to read. Sometimes you read books that change your life, like OF MICE AND MEN, which I read--and adored-- when I was in sixth grade. Other times, you read the latest adventures of Betty and Veronica. You'll read a three-day old newspaper some days or the back of the cereal box if that's all that there is available, because readers just need to read. So I kept reading, and I kept dancing too, though by the time I was a senior in high school, it was pretty clear to me that I was neither talented nor driven enough to become a professional ballet dancer and I stopped taking lessons and went off to college instead.


As a student at Vassar College, I never once took a writing course. I was not accepted into the poetry workshop I applied to, so I avoided all other writing classes, and instead focused on literature, language and art history, which was my declared major. I was so taken with the field that I decided to pursue my studies on a graduate level. I enrolled in a PhD program at Columbia University where I have to confess that I was miserable. I didn't like the teachers, the students or the classes. I found graduate school the antithesis of undergraduate education; while the latter encouraged experimentation, growth, expansion, the former seemed to demand a kind of narrowing of focus and a rigidity that was simply at odds with my soul. It was like business school without the reward of a well-paying job at the end. Everyone carried a briefcase. I too bought a briefcase, but since I mostly used it to tote my lunch and the NYT crossword puzzle, it didn't do much for my success as a grad student. But I have to thank the program at Columbia for being so very inhospitable, because it helped nudge me out of academia, where I so patently did not belong, and into a different kind of life. I was allowed to take classes in other departments, and by now I was recovered from my earlier rejection so I decided to take a fiction writing class--also, the class was open to anyone; I didn't have to submit work to be accepted. This class was my 'aha!' moment. The light bulb went off for me when I took that class. Suddenly, I understood what I wanted to do with my life. Now I just had to find a way to make a living while I did it.


I finished out the year at Columbia, got a job in which I had no interest whatsoever, and began to look for any kind of freelance writing that I could find. In the beginning, I wrote for very little money or even for free: I wrote for neighborhood newspapers, the alumni magazine of my college. I wrote brochures, book reviews, newsletters--anything and everything that anyone would ask me to write. I did this for a long time and eventually, it worked. I was able to be a little choosier about what I wrote, and for whom I wrote it. And I was able to use my clips to persuade editors to actually assign me articles and stories, instead of my having to write them and hope I could get then published.
But all the while I was also writing the kind of fiction--short stories, a novel--that had interested me when I was still a student at Columbia. And eventually I began to publish this work too.

I presently live in Brooklyn, NY with my husband and our two children and two small, yappy dogs. I have been setting my recent novels in my own backyard so to speak; Brooklyn has been fertile ground in all sorts of ways.

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
39 global ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

rebecca prost
4.0 out of 5 stars they would find it a great, fun and informative read
Reviewed in Canada on May 10, 2017
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Sara J. Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging
Reviewed in Canada on September 24, 2021
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