Summer vacation time reminds me of the trip my husband and I took to a place where we vacationed with the kids when they were little, the White Mountains of New Hampshire. This time, we actually stayed in Littleton, instead of nearby Bethlehem or Lincoln down the road. When strolling through Littleton’s charming business district, we came upon the public library–with a statue of Pollyanna on the front lawn. At that point, I recalled that this lovely town is the birthplace of the creator of the eternally optimistic child, Eleanor H. Porter. One more reason the White Mountains are a delightful vacation spot…
While driving back to Burlington, Vermont, where we were to catch a plane back to New York, we stopped at a convenience store in a town near Barre (pronounced Barry), Vermont. I only remembered the name of the town because a clerk mentioned a certain event happening there. However, after returning home, I discovered that Katherine Paterson, the author of Bridge to Terabithia, Lyddie, and many other unforgettable novels, lives in Barre.
Stephen King fans visiting Maine will want to make a stop in Bangor, where you can see the Stephen King house. The structure looks like an appropriate abode for a horror fiction writer. http://www.destination360.com/north-america/us/maine/stephen-kings-house provides information about the author’s home. Incidentally, many towns in King’s novels were inspired by actual locations in his home state.
Speaking of Maine, Portland is the birthplace of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Some other notable hometowns of famous authors:
L. Frank Baum, Chittennango, New York (near Syracuse); Eric Carle, Syracuse, New York; Mark Twain, Florida, Missouri; Dr. Seuss, Springfield, Massachusetts; Jack London, Oakland, California; Nathaniel Hawthorne, Salem, Massachusetts; Scott O’Dell, Los Angeles, California
Next time, I’ll talk about some contemporary authors and their birthplaces.
My post would not be complete without mentioning some awesome books.
Ghosthunters and the Incredibly Revolting Ghost by Cornelia Funke
Nine-year-old Tom is afraid to go down to the cellar, and for good reason: a ghost resides down there. Worse, nobody believes him–not his father, or his mother, or his know-it-all big sister, who ridicules him every chance she gets. How can Tom rid his home of the haunt and convince his family that he’s not imagining things? The first in a delightfully spooky series by the talented author of Igraine the Brave, Dragon Rider, the Inkheart books, and more! Ages 8-10
Seven Hungry Babies by Candace Fleming
When Mama Bird’s eggs hatch, out come seven ravenous chicks. The little ones cry “Feed us! Feed us!” so Mama eagerly flies off in search of food. As she satisfies her babies’ hunger one by one, the remaining hatchlings demand food–which an increasingly exhausted Mama brings them. The countdown and refrain will delight young readers and listeners and make this a natural for story time. The comical illustrations perfectly match the lighthearted tone of the story. Ages 3-6
The Knight Who Took All Day by James Mayhew
A very proud knight wants to impress a princess with his dragon-hunting ability, but he is unable to find such a monster. (The reader has no problem, as there are plenty of clues in the illustrations.) When the knight finally sees the beast, he sends his squire for exactly the right armor and proper accessories so he will look splendid as he rides out to do battle. But will the knight be ready before the dragon destroys the village? Ages 5-8
My Friend the Enemy by J.B. Cheaney
On Hazel’s birthday, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Several years later, the eleven-year-old’s community is occupied with supporting the war effort and gripped by a loathing of anyone of Japanese ancestry. When Hazel’s beloved neighbor Jed joins the Marines, he asks that she keep watch on things at home. Little does she realize that honoring Jed’s request involves making a surprise discovery–one that challenges much of what she has been led to believe. Ages 10-13
See you between the pages!