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Saturday, May 19, 2012
Reading Vs. Writing guest post with Author Mary Cunningham
What do you consider more important for a child…reading or
From age 7 on I was lucky enough to have a library within
walking distance of my house, AND have a beloved aunt as head librarian. The
tomboy in me gravitated toward sports biographies. I read everything from A-Z
(Hank Aaron to Babe Zaharias). After those ran out, my aunt made sure I read
books that challenged my reading level. I'll be forever grateful for that.
As to writing, every teacher from 3rd grade on
said, "Mary, whatever you do, don't stop writing."
That advice runs through my mind whenever I try to plant the
writing bug into elementary students during school visits. Start small; short
stories about family (how I began my writing career), one or two page fantasy/fiction,
poetry…anything that inspires and encourages writing and leads to improved
over-all school work. Plus, it's fun and something we can do for the rest of our
I love seeing faces light up when I explain how book ideas
are adapted from family stories and pictures of my ancestors. But, what really thrills
me is when a small group of 4th or 5th graders tell me
about their writing club.
Usually two best friends will give exciting details of their
stories and how they're going to be authors one day. Music to my ears! I have
no doubt they'll be successful, especially after hearing from a 4th
grader who stood before me, crossed her arms and declared, "I'm going to
be a famous author one day. I just want you to know that." She then turned
on her heels and marched away. I had been duly warned.
Legend of Lupin Woods (Book 5)
and Gus have solved a lot of mysteries across time, but something is seriously
wrong and things are beginning to unravel.
Belle is missing…again! Cynthia’s great-grandfather, Beau, was never found! And
now they are wondering if Blackie is
still making life miserable for Lilly and Annie.
time, the twelve-year-old girls journey into a strange woods full of frightening creatures and dark secrets in
search of answers.
Aunt Belle's cottage to a small village in France, they meet new friends and
discover a connection to New Orleans that may lead to the devious source behind
these alarming developments. Or bigger trouble.
Mary Cunningham Bio: Like Cynthia and Gus, my childhood best
friend, Cynthia and I grew up in a small, Southern Indiana town…the setting for
the series. Not one summer day passed that we weren’t playing softball, hide
and seek, badminton, or croquet with friends in the vacant lot behind Becky’s
In my attempt to
grow up, I joined The Georgia Reading Association, and the Carrollton Creative
Writers Club. When giving my fingers a day away from the keyboard, I enjoy
golf, swimming and exploring the mountains of West Georgia where I live with my
husband and adopted furry, four-legged daughter, Lucy. Together we’ve raised
three creative children and are thrilled with our 2 granddaughters.
At last count,
I’ve moved 9 times to six different states (all after the age of 36), and aside
from the packing and unpacking, it’s been a great experience, having made some
very dear and lasting friendships. My non-writing time is spent showing power
point presentations on gathering ideas and the writing process to schools and
*Stories for Children Publishing, LLC. (SFC) and its divisions do not receive any compensation for product reviews beyond a sample and/or limited access to a paid website. SFC donates all books sent for review to a charitable organization. SFC may do a contest or giveaway of samples we receive.