The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

September 13, 2013

Young authors wanted to write a 'Book by Me'

The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — The Sawmill Museum will host a one-of-a-kind workshop/presentation for aspiring youth authors who are younger than 18.

The event will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Sept. 14.

Ten years ago, Deb Bowen from Aledo, Ill., created a writing program called “A Book by Me.” The program began after her discovery of 10 Jewish Holocaust survivors living in the Quad-Cities.

She began asking young people to interview the World War II generation (survivors, veterans and people who risked their lives and gave aid to the Jews). After the interviews, the students wrote and illustrated a 10-page children’s book about the person’s life. Today there are more than 80 books written by kids for kids in the Holocaust series. Teachers are using them in the classrooms in Iowa and Illinois and report they are excellent teaching tools.

The search is on for more young authors and illustrators to tell important stories. In addition to the Holocaust series there are now two additional series to choose from: Human Rights series and Heroes series. All authors and illustrators are 18 years old and younger.

On Saturday, she will show you how you can memorialize a powerful WWII story, write about an important human rights story or recreate the life of one of your heroes. Also, meet Katie Goodson and her daughter, Ava Goodson, a published A Book by Me author. Ava will share her personal story and her experience with the writing process.

Ava wrote about Dorothy Kamenshek, the real life person behind Geena Davis’s character in “A League of Her Own.” After baseball, Dorothy became a physical therapist who helped disabled children gain mobility. Ava wrote her book, “Peaches and Wheelchairs: The Dorothy Kamenshek Story,” because Ava herself was born premature and has cerebral palsy. Ava wrote this book to educate students about life during WWII and to show how they can better treat students with disabilities.

What story will you tell? Come to the program to learn about the process and hear the value of preserving and telling these stories. All programs are included with admission to the museum. Teachers get in for free, just show your school identification.

The Sawmill Museum allows visitors to experience the American lumber saga. The museum shows the rich connections between Clinton’s lumber history with the American heritage. The museum is open seven days a week, Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.; and Monday from 1 to 6 p.m.

Admission is $4 per adult and $3 per child ages 4 to 12. Family memberships are available.