Karen Cushman and Paul Yee

Both of our authors today delve into history; one loves the Middle Ages and the other explores the lives of immigrants from China coming to Canada.

62. Our first author is very inspiring to those of who started writing later in life. She started writing when she was 49, and was 53 when her first books was published. She has been pumping out award-winning books for children ever since. One of her books won the Newbery in 1996. She lives in Seattle.

Do you know who she might be?

Karen Cushman is a teacher who dabbled in writing until she became intrigued with the life of a girl in the Middle Ages. She started writing about the girl, fleshing out her life, and before long had the novel Catherine, Called Birdy. Carol Hurst has a nice review and ideas for lessons.

Cushman continued her interest in history with her following novels. In 1996, she won the Newbery for The Midwife’s Apprentice, the story of an orphan who aids a midwife in a medieval English village.

If you enjoy historical fiction, take a look at these books by Karen Cushman:

63. Our second author saw a need for books about immigrants coming to Canada, particularly Chinese immigrants. With a Master’s degree in Canadian history, he has the research skills to write authentic tales. As a third generation Canadian, he knows the challenges immigrants face from experiences in his own family. His book, Ghost Train, won Governor General’s Award for children’s literature in the same year our first author won the Newbery.

Do you recognize this author?

Paul Yee was gaining recognition in Canada the same year Karen Cushman won the Newbery in the United States. He says he writes his historical stories about Chinese immigrants coming to Canada because people forget that that there were immigrants coming from China as long as 150 years ago.

Have you read a book by Paul Yee?


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