May 9

Birthdays: J.M. Barrie (1860), Richard Adams (1920), Mona Van Duyn (1921), Charles Simic (1938), William Pene Du Bois (1916), Eleanor Estes (1906), Joy Harjo (1951)

Tip: Titles of books, TV shows, and movies go in italics, but not titles of individual songs. Those go in quotes. Titles of albums go in italics.

Thought for the day: “The printing press is either the greatest blessing or the greatest curse of modern times, one sometimes forgets which.” – J.M. Barrie

Jumpstart: What are three things your main character has never told anyone? Why?

We all know who J. M. Barrie is thanks to “Peter Pan”, but do you know who these other authors born today are?

Richard Adams – was an English novelist and writer of the books Watership Down, Shardik and The Plague Dogs. He studied modern history at university before serving in the British Army during World War II.

Mona Van Duyn – An American poet. A distinguished writer whose honors included a Bollingen Prize, the Ruth Lilly Prize, the Loines Prize of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and the Shelley Memorial Prize, Van Duyn was the first woman to serve as poet laureate, from 1992 to 1993.

Charles Simic – a Serbian American poet and former co-poetry editor of the Paris Review. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1990 for The World Doesn’t End, and was a finalist of the Pulitzer Prize in 1986 for Selected Poems, 1963-1983 and in 1987 for Unending Blues. He was appointed the fifteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 2007.

William Pene Du Bois –  was an American writer and illustrator of books for young readers. He is best known for The Twenty-One Balloons, published in April 1947 by Viking Press, for which he won the 1948 Newbery Medal.

Eleanor Estes was an American children’s author and a children’s librarian. Her book, “Ginger Pye” which she also created illustrations for, won the Newbery Medal. Three of her books were Newbery Honor winners. Estes’ books were based on her life in small town Connecticut in the early 1900s.

Joy Harjo is an American poet, musician, playwright, and author. She is the incumbent American Poet Laureat and the first Native American to hold that honor. She is also only the second Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to serve three terms.

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