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Maniac Magee

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NEWS
April 25, 1991 | By Cynthia J. McGroarty, Special to The Inquirer
Jerry Spinelli did not envision winning the John Newbery Medal for children's literature as he penned Maniac Magee on his lunch hours at Chilton Publishing Co. "It's not the kind of thing you tend to be emboldened enough to think about winning," Spinelli said. "Well, I may have fantasized about it once or twice in the shower. " Spinelli had written other books while a senior editor at Chilton - Space Station Seventh Grade, Dump Days and Who Put That Hair in My Toothbrush - with a less prestigious but more practical goal than winning a Newbery: He wanted to make a living as a writer.
NEWS
October 11, 1990 | By Pamela J. Podger, Special to The Inquirer
The first three paragraphs emerged about midnight. The voice erupting from those first words compelled Phoenixville author Jerry Spinelli to write Maniac Magee, a novel about a homeless boy who fosters brotherhood in a racially torn town. Spinelli's sneaker-clad hero has won the author the 1990 Boston Globe-Horn Award for excellence in young-adult fiction. The engraved silver bowl from an Oct. 1 fete in Sturbridge, Mass., graces a wooden table in Spinelli's home, with furnishings he describes as "early garage sale.
NEWS
March 6, 2002 | By Brendan January INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
When Ann Scull moved to North Carolina in 1960, she was shocked to discover that drinking fountains were separated by race and buses seated white passengers in the front and black passengers in the rear. Fran O'Brien grew up in the 1930s and '40s on 116th Street in Manhattan, where she and her family walked every week into the heart of Harlem to buy food at a market. To a fifth grader in Medford, a time before the civil rights movement may seem impossibly remote, a world of black-and-white images that exists only in textbooks.
LIVING
April 23, 1997 | By Murray Dubin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Picture books for toddlers. Software for preschoolers. Learning-to-read books for first graders. Fiction for fourth graders, multimedia encyclopedias for sixth graders, biographies for eighth graders. Recommendations of the best in children's books and software will be offered by Free Library experts beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday as part of Children's Book Day at the main library on Logan Square. Tickets are $15 for the 9 a.m.-to-3 p.m. event, and that includes registration, coffee and a box lunch.
NEWS
January 16, 1991 | By W. Speers, Inquirer Staff Writer Contributing to this report were the Associated Press, the New York Post and USA Today
Phoenixville's Jerry Spinelli was named winner of the 1991 Newbery Medal Monday in Chicago for his book Maniac Magee. The award, given by the American Library Association, is considered the Pulitzer Prize for children's literature in America. David Macaulay, famed for his book The Way Things Work, was given the association's 1991 Caldecott Medal for his illustrations in the children's picture book Black and White. The Newbery honor book was The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi, while two Caldecott honor books were named - Puss in Boots, illustrated by Fred Marcellino, and More, More, More Said the Baby, words and pictures by Vera B. Williams.
NEWS
February 4, 1991 | By Joe Logan, Inquirer Staff Writer
The phone rings at Jerry Spinelli's Phoenixville home for the seventh time, maybe the eighth, in about an hour. "Well, thank you," Spinelli's wife, Eileen, can be heard saying in the next room. "Yes, we are excited. " Spinelli, 50 and every inch the rumpled, middle-aged writer, seems embarrassed by yet another intrusion. He shrugs almost apologetically, then says, "It has been like this ever since the award was announced. " It was Jan. 14, with the nation on the cusp of war, that the mild-mannered, self-effacing Spinelli got the phone call that changed his life.
NEWS
November 28, 1991 | By Joseph M. Davis, Special to The Inquirer
Once upon a time in a not-so-far-off land called Haverford, there was an elementary school called Coopertown. Coopertown was a nice little school, with teachers and classrooms and a nice new library that used to be a gym. Coopertown children were smart and hard-working and went by the name of Highlanders because of their location at Coopertown Road and Highland Lane. Many Highlanders loved to read. So one day they invited some grown-ups to their Coopertown castle for a book fair.
NEWS
April 2, 1992 | By Sharon O'Neal, SPECIAL TO THE INQUIRER
Jim Trelease, best-selling author of The New Read-Aloud Handbook, told a Phoenixville crowd Tuesday night that research shows reading aloud to children helps them perform better in school. But that is not why he read to his two children, now ages 23 and 27. "The only reason . . . was because my father read to me. And it made me feel good," he told 500 people at the Phoenixville Area Senior High School. "I didn't want my children cheated out of that good feeling. " Trelease told parents, teachers and administrators that listening to books read aloud both in school and at home helps children improve their performance in school, become lifelong readers, bond with their parents and develop what Trelease calls a higher "HQ" or heart quotient: learning lessons of love, justice, courage and compassion that literature offers.
NEWS
March 19, 1992 | By Dave Urbanski, SPECIAL TO THE INQUIRER
Award-winning children's novelist Jerry Spinelli said he learned how to write after the first minute of his first day in the first grade. "I was at a desk in the front row, and sitting to my right is the foxiest girl I'd ever seen," Spinelli told 150 eighth graders on Author Day at Pitman Middle School last week. "She had pigtails, she was missing two front teeth - what else could a first-grade guy ask for? "I thought to myself, 'I've got to meet this chick!' " the author, who was born in Norristown, Pa., told the laughing children.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 4, 2008 | By David Hiltbrand INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Don't tell Jerry Spinelli you can't go home again. The popular and prolific author of more than 20 young adult novels regularly makes the trip across the Schuylkill to Norristown, the working-class community where he was born and raised. Spinelli calls these junkets "little pilgrimages back into my memories. " They help inspire books like Maniac Magee, the Newbery Award-winning saga of an orphan in a blue-collar river town. "Jerry is the William Faulkner of Norristown," says Roger Adelman, a prominent Washington attorney who has been friends with Spinelli since they were 6. "He has used Norristown as the basis for many of his books in the same way Faulkner used Yoknapatawpha County.
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NEWS
February 28, 2012 | By Michael D. Schaffer and Bill Reed, Inquirer Staff Writers
Jan Berenstain, whose personality and art merged in the wise and gentle Mama Bear of the cartoon clan that she and her husband created, died at Doylestown Hospital on Friday of a stroke. She was 88. Mrs. Berenstain was stricken at her home in Solebury on Thursday. Just two days earlier, she had still been at work in the studio, illustrating two books that will appear later this year, said her son, Michael Berenstain, an artist who has been her coauthor in recent years. The books, which Michael Berenstain will finish, are to be published in December.
NEWS
October 19, 2008 | By Sally A. Downey INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Ray Lincoln, 89, formerly of Elkins Park, a literary agent whose aggressive advocacy for her clients created best-selling authors, died of heart failure Oct. 7 at the Quadrangle in Haverford. Mrs. Lincoln became a literary agent in the early 1970s after a career with J.B. Lippincott, a publishing company in Philadelphia. She encouraged authors in whom she saw talent even when they were about to give up writing, and cherished their friendships, said her son, Joseph. Among her clients were Barbara Robinson, whose books for young people include The Best Christmas Pageant Ever; Willard S. Randall, author of biographies of Thomas Jefferson and Benedict Arnold; Jerry Spinelli, author of more than a dozen books for young readers; and Spinelli's wife, Eileen, a children's author.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 4, 2008 | By David Hiltbrand INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Don't tell Jerry Spinelli you can't go home again. The popular and prolific author of more than 20 young adult novels regularly makes the trip across the Schuylkill to Norristown, the working-class community where he was born and raised. Spinelli calls these junkets "little pilgrimages back into my memories. " They help inspire books like Maniac Magee, the Newbery Award-winning saga of an orphan in a blue-collar river town. "Jerry is the William Faulkner of Norristown," says Roger Adelman, a prominent Washington attorney who has been friends with Spinelli since they were 6. "He has used Norristown as the basis for many of his books in the same way Faulkner used Yoknapatawpha County.
NEWS
March 6, 2002 | By Brendan January INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
When Ann Scull moved to North Carolina in 1960, she was shocked to discover that drinking fountains were separated by race and buses seated white passengers in the front and black passengers in the rear. Fran O'Brien grew up in the 1930s and '40s on 116th Street in Manhattan, where she and her family walked every week into the heart of Harlem to buy food at a market. To a fifth grader in Medford, a time before the civil rights movement may seem impossibly remote, a world of black-and-white images that exists only in textbooks.
LIVING
May 18, 1997 | By Ann Waldron, FOR THE INQUIRER
Jerry Spinelli, author of 17 books for kids and winner of the 1991 Newbery Medal, the country's most prestigious prize for young people's books, does not sit down to write for children. "I write about kids," he said. "I don't write for kids. " Spinelli decided to be a writer when he realized he couldn't hit a curve ball. He wrote a poem about a historic victory of Norristown High School over Lower Merion and was delighted when it ran in the Norristown Times-Herald sports pages under the headline, "Student Waxes Poetic.
LIVING
April 23, 1997 | By Murray Dubin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Picture books for toddlers. Software for preschoolers. Learning-to-read books for first graders. Fiction for fourth graders, multimedia encyclopedias for sixth graders, biographies for eighth graders. Recommendations of the best in children's books and software will be offered by Free Library experts beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday as part of Children's Book Day at the main library on Logan Square. Tickets are $15 for the 9 a.m.-to-3 p.m. event, and that includes registration, coffee and a box lunch.
NEWS
July 31, 1994 | By Ralph Vigoda, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Easing into a chair, settling on the most comfortable position, Eugenie Ford prepares to spend a couple of hours reading a book. This is no lazy summer activity, however. Not unless your idea of a lazy summer activity is sitting in a small, rectangular booth, reading sentences like "Actin-containing microfilaments in a cultured fibroblast, visualized with fluorescent phalloidin. " Out loud. Ford is a volunteer at Recording for the Blind, a national organization that puts books on tape.
NEWS
April 12, 1992 | By Joyce Vottima Hellberg, SPECIAL TO THE INQUIRER
Children at the Second Avenue Elementary School in Phoenixville have been participating in the annual Young Authors Project since January. Organized by principal Joseph C. Dougherty and librarian Lois Boyer, children created, wrote and illustrated books individually or with classmates during the three-month program. They also learned how books are researched and formated. Three professional authors, Jerry Spinelli, Eileen Spinelli and Nancy Van Laan, visited the school on Author's Day recently and talked to the children about editing and rewriting, and how they get ideas for books.
NEWS
April 2, 1992 | By Sharon O'Neal, SPECIAL TO THE INQUIRER
Jim Trelease, best-selling author of The New Read-Aloud Handbook, told a Phoenixville crowd Tuesday night that research shows reading aloud to children helps them perform better in school. But that is not why he read to his two children, now ages 23 and 27. "The only reason . . . was because my father read to me. And it made me feel good," he told 500 people at the Phoenixville Area Senior High School. "I didn't want my children cheated out of that good feeling. " Trelease told parents, teachers and administrators that listening to books read aloud both in school and at home helps children improve their performance in school, become lifelong readers, bond with their parents and develop what Trelease calls a higher "HQ" or heart quotient: learning lessons of love, justice, courage and compassion that literature offers.
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