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Monday, February 23, 2009

CHILDREN'S AUTHOR TO SPEAK MARCH 2 AT PITT-BRADFORD





BRADFORD, Pa. – Author Joyce McDonald, whose novels for children and young adults have been nominated for many awards and appeared on numerous reading lists, will speak on March 2 at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

The free Spectrum Series event will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall. A reception and book signing will follow.

“Joyce is a fairly well-known writer for young adults whose books combine elements of magical realism and historical and suspense fiction in innovative ways,” said Dr. Nancy McCabe, associate professor of writing at Pitt-Bradford. “She is also very personable and a good teacher, and is coming in conjunction with my class in Writing for Children.”

McDonald’s most recent book, “Devil on my Heels,” has been recognized as the Best Children’s Book of the Year by Children’s Book Committee/Bank Street College, appeared on the Sequoyah Young Adult Book Award Master List and was a finalist in the Heartland Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature.

Set in the 1950s, the book centers on a teenage girl, Dove, who must deal with racism and hatred between migrant workers in the Florida community. Fires begin to break out, and the Ku Klux Klan is suspected.

Another of McDonald’s books, “Shades of Simon Gray,” won the American Library Association/Young Adult Library Services Association Best Book for Young Adults; New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age; and Voice of Youth Advocates Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Book. It was also an Edgar Allan Poe Award nominee.

This work describes the unfolding of strange events mixed with deceit, crimes and desires after the main character, Simon Gray, crashes his vehicle into a haunted tree in the town of Bellehaven. He ends up in a coma, and Gray’s friends worry he may tell about his hacking into the school’s computer network when he awakes.

McDonald also has written “Swallowing Stones,” “Comfort Creek” and “Mail-Order Kid.”
She earned bachelor of arts and master of arts degrees from the University of Iowa and received a doctor of philosophy degree from Drew University in New Jersey.

McDonald has taught courses at Drew University, East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania and Spalding University in Kentucky.

A former book store owner and publisher and editor of a children’s literary magazine, she has also served on the Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature for more than a decade.
McDonald and her husband live in Northampton County.

For disability-related needs, contact the Office of Disability Resources and Services at 814-362-7609 or arj4@pitt.edu.

Additional information is available by contacting McCabe at (814) 362-0785 or ngm4@pitt.edu.

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