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Jennifer Michelle

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Who Is Mother Goose? The Curious Mystery of Everyone's Favorite Mother

By Jennifer Michelle. May 11, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books

With Mother's Day approaching, we thought it would be a fine time to revisit the history of everyone's favorite mother: Mother Goose. Whether she exists in your mind as a clucking bird, a gentle elderly woman, or a combination of both, the image of Mother Goose is universally synonymous with joy, childhood, storytelling, and safety. Her origins reach back to the sixteenth century, prior to the birth of the fairy tale, and her future attaches to the minds of millions of young children every year. But who is Mother Goose? Who came up with her, and what exactly does she mean?

     
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Buzz Aldrin, Authorial Astronaut

By Jennifer Michelle. Jan 18, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Science

Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Jr. was born January 20, 1930 to a career military man and his wife Marion. Nicknamed “Buzz” when his sister called him “buzzer” instead of “brother,” he served in combat during the Korean War as an Air Force fighter pilot and went on to become the second human to walk on the surface of the moon.

     
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The Dichotomy: Amanda Cross and Carolyn Heilbrun

By Jennifer Michelle. Jan 11, 2014. 8:00 AM.

Carolyn Gold Heilbrun was an English professor at Columbia University, the author of fourteen mystery novels written under the pseudonym Amanda Cross, and a mother of three successful children. On October 9, 2003, she finished her morning routine of reading and writing, took a walk around Central Park with a close friend, and sent a series of emails to colleagues. Then she ingested an overdose of pills and covered her head with a plastic bag until she died.

     
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Art, Science, and the Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault

By Jennifer Michelle. Jan 10, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books

Charles Perrault (January 12, 1628 – May 16, 1703) was the most influential Frenchman you’ve never heard of. As secretary to Jean Baptiste Colbert, Louis the Great’s Minister of Finance, Perrault was responsible for matters of French arts and sciences for over twenty years. He used his influence to achieve both personal and nationalistic goals, eventually laying the foundation for an entire genre of literature.

     
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Zora Neale Hurston: Ahead of Her Time

By Jennifer Michelle. Jan 5, 2014. 4:00 PM.

More than fifty years after her death, the world is finally catching up with Zora Neale Hurston. The independent and engaging African-American feminist was born on January 7, 1891 and grew up in the small African-American community of Eatonville, Florida. She was not exposed to the inequities of racism in the South as a child, or limited by the expectations of black literary movements in the 1920s as a young woman. Hurston wrote her novels, folklore, short stories, and essays not as a crusading pioneer, but as an anthropologist, an intellectual, and a lover.

     
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Incarcerated Authors: Free Minds in Shackled Bodies

By Jennifer Michelle. Dec 31, 2013. 7:38 PM.

Creative genius blooms where it’s planted. Inventors, engineers, artists, and writers use their everyday experiences and observations in their work, mimicking nature in their creation or drawing greater ideas from small occurrences. It is not a different set of experiences that leads to creative genius, but a different style of thought. In the literary world, those imprisoned for crimes related to either their writing or their personal lives have long produced critically acclaimed work.

     
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Celebrating Jane Austen: A Lifetime in Six Novels

By Jennifer Michelle. Dec 13, 2013. 12:50 PM.

Topics: Literature

She wrote her first formal work at 18 years old and lived until 42, but Jane Austen made the literary impact of much more prolific writers in only six published novels. With universally appealing works such as Pride & Prejudice (1813) and Sense & Sensibility (1811), Austen has amassed an impressive following the world over, and her works have been adapted into plays, TV series, and modern movies as varied as the film "Pride & Prejudice" and the American comedy "Clueless." 

     
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Charles Dickens Saves Christmas

By Jennifer Michelle. Dec 6, 2013. 4:40 PM.

As a young writer, Charles Dickens was full of charm and intellect with no clear sense of what he wanted to do other than become famous. He came to write plenty and eventually attained that hazy goal, but in the process he also changed the course of history and essentially created the modern celebration of Christmas.

     
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Louisa May Alcott: More Than 'Little Women'

By Jennifer Michelle. Nov 28, 2013. 4:00 PM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, American Literature

Louisa May Alcott (29 November 1832 – 6 March 1888) was an American writer, feminist, abolitionist, and Civil War nurse. Her name is attached most often to her novel Little Women, but her work encompassed thrillers, adult novels, and theatrical plays, and she wrote many of her early novels under the pseudonyms Flora Fairfield and AM Barnard.

     
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Astrid Lindgren: Good-Natured Housewife, Accidental Revolutionary

By Jennifer Michelle. Nov 14, 2013. 9:30 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Children's Books

Astrid Lindgren (November 14, 1907 - January 28, 2002) was a friendly housewife who wrote children’s tales such as Pippi Longstocking, while also speaking out about animal welfare, children’s rights, racism, and taxation. From her humble beginnings in the Alps of Sweden, she is now the eighteent most-translated author in history, has sold 145 million copies of her work, and is the namesake of the most lucrative award offered in children’s literature worldwide.

     
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