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Moranville, Sharelle Byars

Moranville, Sharelle Byars

Personal

Married; children: one daughter. Education: Attended Southern Illinois University; State University of New York, Binghamton, M.A.; Kent State University, Ph.D. (English literature). Hobbies and other interests: Gardening, reading.

Addresses

Home—IA. E-mail—sharellemoranville@mac.com.

Career

Teacher and author. Taught English on the college level; worked in corporate world; former child advocate.

Member

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Awards, Honors

Bank Street College of Education Best Book designation, 2006, for A Higher Geometry.

Writings

Over the River, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2002.

The Purple Ribbon, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2003.

A Higher Geometry, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2006.

The Snows, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor to Storydog.com.

Sidelights

Sharelle Byars Moranville completed her first manuscript while she was a college student, and her first children's book, Over the River, was published in 2002. On her home page Moranville commented: "I enjoy sharing my interest in writing with both children and adults. When I speak, I'm often asked when I started writing. The truest answer is that I started writing when I started reading. If we don't read, we can't write."

Set in 1948, as electricity was just coming into the mainstream in the rural Midwest, Over the River focuses on families. In the novel eleven-year-old Willa Mae grapples with the death of her mother and the disappearance of her father. After living with her grandparents for some time, Willa Mae is surprised when her fa-

ther suddenly appears, and wants to take her away from her home so that the two of them can become a family. While Willa Mae finds many of her questions resolved, new problems soon surface; although with her electrician father she enjoys the novel conveniences of refrigerators and hot running water, leaving her grandparents behind has been difficult. Reviewing Over the River, Cindy Darling Codell remarked in School Library Journal that Moranville's book is "superbly crafted and has a dramatically tensioned climax." Hazel Rochman wrote in Booklist that Moranville's novel "is the best kind of historical fiction, where details of time and place are not a picturesque backdrop but an integral part of the story."

In A Higher Geometry Moranville also sets her story in the Midwest, this time in 1959, in the midst of the cold war. Fifteen-year-old Anna Conway is torn between her hope of attending college and devoting her life to mathematics and the expectations of her parents and others that she will become a wife and mother. When athletic fellow high-schooler Mike Dillon enters the picture, Anna begins to reconsider her future and realizes that she must disappoint her parents and maybe even Mike in order to use her talent and pursue her own, somewhat unconventional dream. In Booklist, Gillian Engberg called the romance between Anna and Mike "both thrilling and nurturing," and praised Moranville for creating a heroine who models a way to "challenge a world of expectations." Noting the importance of Anna's strong-willed artist grandmother, Meema, in the teen's life, a Kirkus Reviews writer added of A Higher Geometry that Anna's determined character is a "vivid and natural" element of Moranville's "terrific teen read."

The Snows encompasses much of the twentieth-century and focuses on the sixteenth year of four different young people representing succeeding generations of the Snow family. Jim Snow turns sixteen in 1931, at the height of the Great Depression, and his parents' decision to leave their Iowa home town means that he will have to leave his close friend Julia. Jim's little sister Cathy turns sixteen in 1942, and she is emotionally crushed when she is left pregnant by a soldier who is soon killed in battle. Jill, Jim's daughter, comes of age during the late 1960s, and must traverse a cultural landscape featuring feminism, rock music, free love, and drugs. Mona takes the Snow family history up to the present—2006—and she is guided by the values Grandfather Jim embodies while rebelling against Jill, her mother. Reviewing The Snows in Kliatt, Claire Rosser concluded that Moranville writes "with great skill," and organizes her evocative story "in brief, haunting episodes" that reveal universal truths about the passing generations. In School Library Journal, Diane P. Tuccillo praised the author's "carefully

crafted" story, citing her "beautifully rendered prose" and "precise descriptions." Young-adult readers "will enjoy watching the Snows come full circle," concluded a Kirkus Reviews writer, "as each generation faces similar challenges, dreams and desire for love."

Readers become acquainted with a field mouse named Spring in Moranville's children's picture book, The Purple Ribbon, and follow Spring as she grows up, goes out into the world, and has a family of her own. Before being separated from her own family during a big storm, Spring is given a purple ribbon from GranDora that has traditionally been passed down, generation after generation, from mother to daughter. While seeking refuge during the storm, Spring makes a nest in an old car, where she has four babies herself. Together the tiny mice survive perilous cat attacks and car rides, and eventually Spring is reunited with her family. While a Kirkus Reviews writer noted that while the gentle pace of the story may fail to fully engage readers, Shelle Rosenfeld commented enthusiastically in Booklist that The Purple Ribbon is a "delightful tale that illuminates the importance of family."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, November 15, 2002, Hazel Rochman, review of Over the River, p. 598; March 15, 2003, Shelle Rosenfeld, review of The Purple Ribbon, p. 1327; April 15, 2006, Gillian Engberg, review of A Higher Geometry, p. 56; August, 2007, Krista Hutley, review of The Snows, p. 65.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, September, 2006, Elizabeth Bush, review of A Higher Geometry, p. 26; November, 2007, Elizabeth Bush, review of The Snows, p. 149.

Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2002, review of Over the River, p. 1396; April 1, 2003, review of The Purple Ribbon, p. 537; May 1, 2006, review of A Higher Geometry, p. 464; August 1, 2007, review of The Snows.

Publishers Weekly, March 24, 2003, review of The Purple Ribbon, p. 76.

Kliatt, July, 2007, Claire Rosser, review of The Snows, p. 19.

School Library Journal, November, 2002, Cindy Darling Codell, review of Over the River, p. 174; May, 2003, Jody McCoy, review of The Purple Ribbon, p. 126; June, 2006, Kimberly Monaghan, review of A Higher Geometry, p. 162; September, 2007, Diane P. Tuccillo, review of The Snows, p. 204.

ONLINE

Sharelle Byars Moranville Home Page,http://www.sharellebyarsmoranville.com (January 6, 2009).

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"Moranville, Sharelle Byars." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 12 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Moranville, Sharelle Byars." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 12, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/moranville-sharelle-byars-0

"Moranville, Sharelle Byars." Something About the Author. . Retrieved December 12, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/moranville-sharelle-byars-0

Moranville, Sharelle Byars

MORANVILLE, Sharelle Byars

Personal

Female. Education: Attended Southern Illinois University; State University of New York, Binghampton, M.A.; Kent State University, Ph.D. (English literature).

Addresses

Agent c/o Author Mail, Henry Holt & Co., 115 West 18th St., New York, NY 10011. E-mail bmoran007@aol.com.

Career

Teacher and author.

Writings

Over the River, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2002.

The Purple Ribbon, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2003.

Contributor to Storydog.com.

Sidelights

Sharelle Byars Moranville completed her first manuscripta young-adult novelwhile she was a college student. Her first children's book, Over the River, was published in 2002. On her Web site Moranville commented: "I enjoy sharing my interest in writing with both children and adults. When I speak, I'm often asked when I started writing. The truest answer is that I started writing when I started reading. If we don't read, we can't write."

Set in 1948, as electricity was just coming into the mainstream in the rural Midwest, Over the River focuses on families. In the novel eleven-year-old Willa Mae grapples with the death of her mother and the disappearance of her father. After living with her grandparents for some time, Willa Mae's father suddenly appears, and wants to take her away from her home, so the two of them can be a family. While Willa Mae finds many of her questions resolved, new problems soon surface; although with her electrician father she enjoys the novelty conveniences of refrigerators and hot running water, leaving her grandparents behind has been difficult. Reviewing Over the River, Cindy Darling Codell remarked in School Library Journal that Moranville's book is "superbly crafted and has a dramatically tensioned climax." Hazel Rochman noted in

her Booklist review that "This is the best kind of historical fiction, where details of time and place are not a picturesque backdrop but an integral part of the story."

Readers become acquainted with a field mouse named Spring in Moranville's second children's book, The Purple Ribbon, and follow Spring as she grows up, goes out into the world, and has a family of her own. Before being separated from her own family during a big storm, Spring is given a purple ribbon from GranDora that has traditionally been passed down, generation after generation, from mother to daughter. While seeking refuge during the storm Spring makes a nest in an old car, where she has four babies herself. Together the tiny mice survive perilous cat attacks and car rides, and eventually Spring is reunited with her family. While a Kirkus Reviews writer noted that the gentle pace of the story failed to fully engage readers, Shelle Rosenfeld commented enthusiastically in Booklist that The Purple Ribbon is a "delightful tale that illuminates the importance of family."

Biographical and Critical Sources

periodicals

Booklist, November 15, 2002, Hazel Rochman, review of Over the River, p. 598; March 15, 2003, Shelle Rosenfeld, review of The Purple Ribbon, p. 1327.

Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2002, review of Over the River, p. 1396; April 1, 2003, review of The Purple Ribbon, p. 537.

Publishers Weekly, March 24, 2003, review of The Purple Ribbon, p. 76.

School Library Journal, November, 2002, Cindy Darling Codell, review of Over the River, p. 174; May, 2003, Jody McCoy, review of The Purple Ribbon, p. 126.

online

Sharelle Byars Moranville Home Page, http://www.sharellebyarsmoranville.com/ (February 6, 2004).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Moranville, Sharelle Byars." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 12 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Moranville, Sharelle Byars." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 12, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/moranville-sharelle-byars

"Moranville, Sharelle Byars." Something About the Author. . Retrieved December 12, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/moranville-sharelle-byars