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About Michelle Houts
Learn more about Michelle, her work, speaking schedule, and farm life at www.michellehouts.com.
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Dorothy Mary Kamenshek was born to immigrant parents in Norwood, Ohio. As a young girl, she played pickup games of sandlot baseball with neighborhood children; no one, however, would have suspected that at the age of seventeen she would become a star athlete at the national level.
The outbreak of World War II and the ensuing draft of able-bodied young men severely depleted the ranks of professional baseball players. In 1943, Philip K. Wrigley, owner of the Chicago Cubs, led the initiative to establish a new league—a women’s league—to fill the ballparks while the war ground on in Europe and the Pacific. Kamenshek was selected and assigned to the Rockford Peaches in their inaugural season and played first base for a total of ten years, becoming a seven-time All-Star and holder of two league batting titles. When injuries finally put an end to her playing days, she went on to a successful and much quieter career in physical therapy. Fame came again in 1992, when Geena Davis portrayed a player loosely based on Kamenshek in the hit movie A League of Their Own.
Kammie on First is a real-life tale that will entertain and inspire young readers, both girls and boys. It is the first book in a new series, Biographies for Young Readers, from Ohio University Press.
When you look at a bird, do you see feathers and a beak? Or do you see circles and triangles? Artist Charley Harper spent his life reducing subjects to their simplest forms, their basic lines and shapes. This resulted in what he called minimal realism and the style that would become easily recognized as Charley Harper’s. Art fans and nature lovers around the world fell in love with Harper’s paintings, which often featured bright colors and intriguing nature subjects.
Harper’s love of painting and drawing led him from the hills of West Virginia to the bombed-out villages of Europe, to the streets of New York City, and to the halls of the Art Academy of Cincinnati. How did the farm boy who didn’t know a single artist become one of America’s most recognized midcentury modern painters? The answer is simple. He did it by counting the wings.
Count the Wings is the first book for middle-grade readers about Harper’s life and work. Author Michelle Houts worked closely with the Harper estate to include full-color illustrations, plentiful supplemental materials, and discussion questions that will intrigue and engage young readers. Count the Wings is part of our acclaimed Biographies for Young Readers series, which brings smart, expertly researched books about often overlooked but exceptional individuals to school-age readers.
On Lucy’s first day of second grade, she’s excited to meet her new teacher, Miss Flippo, and find out everything’s she’s going to learn about this year in school. And when Miss Flippo tells the class that they’re going to have their very own science lab, complete with lab coats and goggles, Lucy can’t wait to start exploring.
But one thing is troubling her. The tree that sat outside her first-grade classroom all year is gone. Where are the squirrels going to live?
Inspired by her classroom lab, Lucy starts her own research mission to find out what happened to the tree, and then to lobby for the school to plant a new one. With the help of her cousin, Cora, and their new classmates, Lucy discovers that science is everywhere you look, and a lab can be anywhere you look.
At school, Lucy’s class is learning about fossils and the plants and animals that left them behind.
One afternoon, Lucy finds a special rock, and Miss Flippo gets very excited! But when Lucy’s precious fossil goes missing, everyone in Room 2C is a suspect. . . .
But Lucy is excited about the new science unit Miss Flippo has started: the states of matter. Lucy and her friends understand solids and liquids. They’re easy. But gasses are more difficult to grasp.
When the class goes on a field trip to an orchard and Stewart Swinefest eats too many apples, and gets a serious stomachache, Lucy suddenly understands that even if you can’t see gasses they can fill space and expand, and even make you move.
And with Stewart feeling better, she has a really great idea for her Harvest Festival costume, too.
The second book in a new chapter book series from IRA Children’s Book Award-winner, Michelle Houts, Solids, Liquids, Guess Who’s Got Gas draws on STEM themes and is aligned with curriculum guidelines to bring a love of science to young readers, inspiring them to start their own labs and explore their world.
Luckily, Libby can count on her best friend to get her through most of the county fair chaos. Yet once reality sets in and she realizes that her steers will soon be sold to the highest bidder, the chaos in Libby’s heart becomes
too much to bear.
Michelle Houts lives on a grain and livestock farm in West Central Ohio with her husband and three children. This is her first novel.
An ordinary Danish Christmas turns extraordinary when a family overlooks an important folkloric tradition.
Christmas has come, and with it a sparkling white winterfrost over the countryside. But twelve-year-old Bettina’s parents have been called away unexpectedly, leaving her in charge of the house, the farm, and baby Pia. In all the confusion, Bettina’s family neglects to set out the traditional bowl of Christmas rice pudding for the tiny nisse who are rumored to look after the family and their livestock. No one besides her grandfather ever believed the nisse were real, so what harm could there be in forgetting this silly custom? But when baby Pia disappears during a nap, the magic of the nisse makes itself known. To find her sister and set things right, Bettina must venture into the miniature world of these usually helpful, but sometimes mischievous folk. A delightful winter adventure for lovers of the legendary and miraculous.