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Turner, Ann 1945- (Ann Warren Turner)

Turner, Ann 1945- (Ann Warren Turner)

Personal

Born December 10, 1945, in Northampton, MA; daughter of Richard (a printer) and Marion (an artist) Warren; married Richard E. Turner, June 3, 1967; children: Benjamin, Charlotte. Education: Bates College, B.A., 1967; attended Oxford University, received certificate of study; University of Massachusetts, M.A.T., 1968. Politics: "Liberal Democrat." Religion: Protestant. Hobbies and other interests: Gardening, tennis, cooking, sailing, reading.

Addresses

Home and office— Williamsburg, MA. Agent— Marilyn E. Marlow, Curtis Brown Ltd., 10 Astor Place, New York, NY 10003. E-mail—annwturner@aol.com.

Career

Author and educator. High school English teacher in Great Barrington, MA, 1968-69; writer, 1971—; Antioch University, Northampton, MA, assistant director, 1978-80. Affiliated with Friends of Meekins Library, 1986-87; instructor of writing at University of Massachusetts.

Member

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Awards, Honors

First prize, Atlantic Monthly college creative writing contest, 1967; New York Academy of Sciences Honor Book citation, 1976, for Vultures; American Library Association (ALA) Notable Children's Book citations, 1980, for A Hunter Comes Home, and 1985, for Dakota Dugout; International Reading Association (IRA)/Children's Book Council (CBC) Children's Choice, 1988, for Nettie's Trip South; National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Notable Book citations, 1989, for Heron Street and Grasshopper Summer, 1990, for Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies, 1991, for Stars for Sarah, and 2000, for Abe Lincoln Remembers;

School Library Journal Best Books selection, 1991, for Rosemary's Witch; Pick of the List selection, American Booksellers Association (ABA), 1993, for Katie's Trunk, and 1996, for Shaker Hearts; Books for the Teen Age designation, New York Public Library, 1994, for Grass Songs; Smithsonian magazine Notable Books for Children designation, 1997, for Finding Walter; Best Books for Young Adults and Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers designations, Young Adult Library Service Association, both 1999, both for A Lion's Hunger; Willa Literary Award, children's/YA category, Women Writing the West, 2000, for Red Flower Goes West; Best Books for Young Adults selection, ALA, 2000, Book Sense 76 selection, ABA, 2000, and Young Adult Honor Book designation, Massachusetts Book Award, 2001, all for Learning to Swim.

Writings

FOR CHILDREN

Vultures (nonfiction), illustrated by Marion Gray Warren, McKay (New York, NY), 1976.

Houses for the Dead (nonfiction), McKay (New York, NY), 1976.

Rituals of Birth: From Prehistory to the Present (nonfiction) McKay (New York, NY), 1978.

A Hunter Comes Home (young-adult novel), Crown (New York, NY), 1980.

The Way Home (historical fiction), Crown (New York, NY), 1982.

Dakota Dugout (historical poem), illustrated by Ronald Himler, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1985.

Tickle a Pickle (poems), illustrated by Karen Ann Weinhaus, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1986.

Street Talk (poems), illustrated by Catherine Stock, Houghton, Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1986.

Third Girl from the Left (young-adult novel), Macmillan (New York, NY), 1986.

Nettie's Trip South (historical poem), illustrated by Ronald Himler, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1987.

Time of the Bison (fiction), illustrated by Beth Peck, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1987.

Grasshopper Summer (young-adult novel), Macmillan (New York, NY), 1989.

Hedgehog for Breakfast (picture book), illustrated by Lisa McCue, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1989.

Heron Street (picture book), illustrated by Lisa Desimini, Harper (New York, NY), 1989.

Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies (picture book), illustrated by James Graham Hale, Harper (New York, NY), 1990.

Stars for Sarah (picture book), illustrated by Mary Teichman, Harper (New York, NY), 1991.

Rosemary's Witch (fiction), Harper (New York, NY), 1991.

Rainflowers (picture book), illustrated by Robert J. Blake, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1992.

Katie's Trunk, illustrated by Ron Himler, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1992.

Grass Songs: Poems, illustrated by Barry Moser, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1993.

Apple Valley Year, illustrated by Sandi Wickersham Resnick, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1993.

Swing Quilts (picture book), illustrated by Thomas B. Allen, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1994.

A Moon for Seasons (picture book), illustrated by Robert Noreika, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1994.

The Christmas House (poems), illustrated by Nancy Edwards Calder, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1994.

Dust for Dinner (fiction), illustrated by Robert Barrett, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1995.

One Brave Summer (novel), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1995.

Elfsong (novel), Harcourt (New York, NY), 1995.

Mississippi Mud: Three Prairie Journals (historical poems), illustrated by Robert J. Blake, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1997.

Shaker Hearts (picture book), illustrated by Wendell Minor, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1997.

Finding Walter (novel), Harcourt (New York, NY), 1997.

Drummer Boy: Marching to the Civil War (historical picture book), illustrated by Mark Hess, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1998.

Angel Hide and Seek (picture book), illustrated by Lois Ehlert, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1998.

Let's Be Animals (picture book), illustrated by Rick Brown, HarperFestival (New York, NY), 1998.

Secrets from the Dollhouse (picture book), illustrated by Raúl Colon, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1999.

A Lion's Hunger (poetry), Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 1999.

Red Flower Goes West (picture book), illustrated by Dennis Nolan, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1999.

The Girl Who Chased away Sorrow: The Diary of Sara Nita, a Navajo Girl, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1999.

What Did I Know of Freedom?, illustrated by Mark Hess, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.

Learning to Swim: A Memoir (verse), Scholastic (New York, NY), 2000.

In the Heart (picture book), illustrated by Salley Mavor, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2001.

Abe Lincoln Remembers (historical picture book), illustrated by Wendell Minor, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2001.

Shaker Hearts, illustrated by Wendell Minor, David R. Godine (Boston, MA), 2002.

When Mr. Jefferson Came to Philadelphia: What I Learned of Freedom, 1776 (historical novel), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.

Love Thy Neighbor: The Tory Diary of Prudence Emerson, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2003.

Pumpkin Cat (picture book), illustrated by Amy June Bates, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2004.

Maia of Thebes: 1463 B.C., Scholastic (New York, NY), 2005.

Hard Hit (young-adult novel), Scholastic (New York, NY), 2006.

Sitting Bull Remembers (historical picture book), illustrated by Wendell Minor, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2007.

Sidelights

The books of Ann Turner reflect her wide-ranging interests as well as her talent; her treatment of historical material in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for children and young adults has earned her a special reputation along with many awards. A versatile writer, Turner has penned works ranging from picture books such as Pumpkin Cat, In the Heart, and Angel Hide and Seek to middle-grade and young-adult novels such as Hard Hit. Often working in verse, Turner draws a variety of themes into her work, from U.S. Civil War history to a teen's first love to sexual abuse to the challenge of international adoption. "My upbringing influenced my writing," Turner once commented. "Possibly because my liberal family was somewhat ‘different’ from the New Englanders of our town, I grew up being interested in different people and cultures. Living in the country and having an artist for a mother gave me a certain way of seeing, an eye for beauty and interest in what others might think ugly or dull."

Turner's first book was a family collaboration: Vultures features illustrations by Turner's mother, artist Marion Gray Warren. The book, published in 1976, is a scientific yet accessible study of a species of bird that has gained a bad reputation. She continues in the nonfiction vein with Houses for the Dead, a book that employs fictional dialogues in detailing burial rites across cultures and through the centuries, and Rituals of Birth: From Prehistory to the Present, which examines the other end of the life continuum. Turner has more recently turned to another form of nonfiction—her own life—in Learning to Swim: A Memoir, which softens her recollections of being sexually abused at age six through the filter of free verse. The purpose of sharing her experiences is made plain at the book's end, as the author encourages readers not to be afraid of telling caring adults about similar experiences. Calling Turner's text "spare, direct, and … laced with strong, immediate feelings," John Peters wrote in Booklist that Learning to Swim is "a courageous, moving acknowledgment as well as a call to action for readers nursing secrets of their own."

Turner's first work of fiction, the young-adult novel A Hunter Comes Home, introduces Jonas, a fifteen-year- old Inuit who returns to his village after a year away at a boarding school. Jonas has had his fill of white culture; now, he wants to go hunting with his grandfather and learn the ways of the Inuit. Making the transition from modern to traditional does not come easily to the young man, however. In the novel, Turner "shows extraordinary sensitivity in revealing the feelings of schoolboys surrounded by a totally unfamiliar atmosphere," according to Horn Book contributor Virginia Haviland. By the end of the story, "Jonas has come to terms with himself by coming to terms with his imposing, demanding grandfather," concluded a Kirkus Reviews writer, the critic adding that Jonas's decision to "not … flatly reject … the new for the old" prevents A Hunter Comes Home "from being still another polemical exercise."

The theme of survival emerges in several of Turner's historical novels, among them The Way Home, Grasshopper Summer, Third Girl from the Left, Maia of Thebes, The Girl Who Chased away Sorrow: The Diary of Sarah Nita, a Navajo Girl, and Love Thy Neighbor: The Tory Diary of Prudence Emerson, the last two part of the "Dear America" series for middle-grade readers. In The Way Home Turner focuses on Anne, a teen with a cleft lip living in fourteenth-century England who is forced to flee from her village after publicly cursing a local tyrant. After hiding in a marsh and living off the land for a summer, Ann returns, only to find that everyone in her village has died from the Black Plague. A thirteen year old, the niece of a temple priest in ancient Egypt, risks her safety to tell the truth in Maia of Thebes, a middle-grade novel that is rich with information on everyday life in a fascinating place and time. According to a reviewer for the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, The Way Home features "vivid details …, good dialogue and adequate characterization, a focused development, and a strong sense of narrative," while Booklist reviewer Carolyn Phelan predicted that readers of Maia of Thebes "will want to follow" Turner's brave heroine "to the end."

Praised by Booklist contributor Anne O'Malley as "a solid tale about interesting characters," Love Thy Neighbor transports readers to Massachusetts and the years leading up to the American Revolution as Prudence and her family side with the British against those agitating for independence. Moving closer to the present, Grasshopper Summer follows twelve-year-old Sam who, along with his younger brother and parents, makes the move from his grandfather's orderly Kentucky farm to the undeveloped Dakota prairie. "Both a family story and an account of pioneer living, the book is accessible as well as informative," noted Mary M. Burns in a Horn Book review of Love Thy Neighbor.

Another historical novel by Turner, Third Girl from the Left, finds eighteen-year-old Sarah becoming a mail-order bride as a way of escaping the boring Maine community where she was raised. After a move to Montana, the young woman learns, too late, that there are things worse than boredom. A Kirkus Reviews contributor called Third Girl from the Left a "compelling story about a strong-willed 19th-century woman forging her own life without conventional expectations of love and happiness." Turner also presents the fictionalized biography of one of America's most beloved presidents in Abe Lincoln Remembers, an "insightful" work that features "stately, lifelike" oil paintings by acclaimed New England artist Wendell Minor, according to a Publishers Weekly critic.

Mixing the past with the present, Rosemary's Witch follows nine-year-old Rosemary as she discovers a 150-year-old witch named Mathilda hiding in the woods near the old New England house her parents have just bought. The witch was unloved as a child and was driven away by villagers. Longing for affection, she now plays pranks on Rosemary, even stealing the girl's bike to gain attention. Eventually, Rosemary comes to empathize with this childish, lonely, and sometimes malevolent creature. In his review for the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Roger Sutton noted that Turner's technique of alternating "Rosemary's and Mathilda's point of view" is "intensely effective." Also reviewing the book, a Kirkus Reviews contributor wrote that "Turner thoughtfully explores the idea of home and how it can be shared" in Rosemary's Witch, calling the work "skillfully written" and "entertaining."

Turner incorporates a heavy dose of magic into Elfsong. In this novel, ten-year-old Maddy Trevor spends her annual summer vacation at the home of her grandfather. When the resident cat, Sabrina, goes missing, the girl searches for her in the nearby woods. There Maddy discovers a magical world when she finds an elf riding on her cat. Soon Maddy and her grandfather are enlisted to help the Eastern Clan of elves battle an evil creature called the Horned One. Sutton remarked in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books that Elfsong serves as "an easy entree into a lyrically drawn landscape of nature and magic."

A lighter magical touch is also apparent in Turner's intergenerational novel Finding Walter, in which nine-year-old Emily and her sister Rose are visiting their grandmother. Somehow, the two sisters are able to sense the thoughts of the dolls at their grandmother's house, and they agree to join in the dolls' search for Walter, a doll baby who has been missing for some time. "Turner does a particularly good job of integrating the world of dolls and the world of children," noted Booklist reviewer Ilene Cooper, the critic adding that "the dolls' ability to communicate their thoughts never seems forced."

In addition to prose fiction, Turner has also created numerous works of verse, both collections of individual poems such as Grass Songs, Mississippi Mud, and A Lion's Hunger: Poems of First Love and the verse novels Learning to Swim and Hard Hit. Grass Songs collects seventeen poems inspired by the correspondence and diaries of pioneer women, treating subjects such as marriage, childbirth, Indian raids, and death. A Kirkus Reviews contributor found the work "even more vivid and personalized" than Turner's other historical work, while Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books reviewer Betsy Hearne maintained that "Turner has matched the intensity" of the womens' "struggle with a poetic intensity of her own, spare and plainspoken." Mississippi Mud features a series of poems based on the journals of three pioneer children on their family's journey from Kentucky to Oregon, while A Lion's Hunger brings to life the pangs of a young woman's first crush, "captur[ing] … the emotions, insecurities, and rituals that define first love and its powerful impact," according to Booklist reviewer Shelle Rosenfeld.

In Hard Hit readers meet popular high school sophomore Mark Warren, who seems to have the best of everything: the prettiest girlfriend, close friends, and a promising career as a baseball pitcher. When his father is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, however, Mark watches as his family falls apart and his own disillusionment and grief cause him to question all he had once trusted and relied on. In what School Library Journal writer Kathryn Childs dubbed a "profound novel," Turner poignantly "conveys the absence of all the family has known and its emptiness" without Mark's father at its core, explained Booklist reviewer Frances Bradburn. The use of verse to describe dying and its aftermath "is a powerful means of conveying the intensity of feelings," Claire Rosser maintained in Kliatt, the critic going on to cite Hard Hit as "a helpful resource" for teens coping with the death of a loved one.

Geared for younger, elementary-aged readers, Dakota Dugout finds a grandmother sharing her memories of life with her husband in a sod house on the Dakota prairie in the late nineteenth century. The woman's recollections, shared with her granddaughter, bring to life the loneliness, the slow spring, the heat of a summer drought, and finally a successful crop and the building of a clapboard house. Turner's "spare text, like poetry pruned of any excess words but rich in emotional impact, is perfectly attuned to the splendid black-and-white drawings" by Ronald Himler, wrote Mary M. Burns in a review of the work for Horn Book, while New York Times Book Review contributor Mark Jonathan Harris noted of Dakota Dugout that "the impressionistic pictures combine with the vivid prose to create a moving memoir."

Noting that writing poetry is her "first love," Turner once admitted: "I like writing silly poems, such as the ones in Tickle a Pickle." As its title implies, Tickle a Pickle is a collection of mostly nonsense poems in which, as a Kirkus Reviews critic wrote, "the images and rhythms are energetic and unusual, and the sheer nonsensical and offbeat aspects will delight some readers." Among Turner's other poetry volumes is Street Talk, a collection of free verse, and The Christmas House, thirteen poems expressing the spirit of Christmas through the varying perspectives of several members of a family. A Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books contributor wrote of Street Talk that "what [Turner] sees, the way she sees it, and the way she makes readers see it are full of fresh flashes." Another verse collection for younger readers, Secrets from the Dollhouse, describes the lives of a family of dolls and their servants as they share the dollhouse in a young girl's bedroom.

Turner is especially well known for her many picture books, which range widely in subject. In Katie's Trunk and Nettie's Trip South she draws on personal anecdotes from her own family history. Echoing the theme of Love Thy Neighbor, Katie's Trunk finds a girl in a staunchly loyal Tory family confused by the enmity of her former friends and neighbors as the American colonies begin their war for independence. Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books reviewer Deborah Stevenson explained that Katie's Trunk "hints at the complexities of rebellion and dissent in a way that should provoke thought and discussion." Nettie's Trip South was inspired by the author's great-grandmother's diary entries about a journey made in 1859 and describes a ten-year-old northern girl's encounter with slavery. School Library Journal contributor Elizabeth M. Reardon called the "compelling and thought-provoking" picture book "sure to arouse readers' sympathies."

History also figures in Red Flower Goes West, in which a family heads west with a red geranium that reminds them of their old home, while a darker history is the focus of Drummer Boy: Marching to the Civil War. The story of a thirteen-year-old boy who comes of age during the bloody battles of the U.S. Civil War, Drummer Boy recounts what a Kirkus Reviews writer called "an unforgettably sad story, of youth wasted," as the teen marches into a bloody battle and experiences the grim realities of war. Another Kirkus Reviews writer noted of Red Flower Goes West that "Turner makes a red flower … a symbol of a young boy's journey to California that, in turn, becomes a testimony to the pioneers of westward expansion."

Another picture book for young readers, Heron Street charts the changes in a New England marsh from the colonial era to the present. "Unlike other books on the topic, this implies an appreciation of progress—a refreshing change—as well as dismay over the loss of nature," commented Cooper in Booklist. In Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies Turner focuses on the cross-cultural adoption by an American family of a young Asian boy. The boy retells the story of his adoption and his fear at first of what he encounters before the love of his new family gradually draws him in. Horn Book contributor Ellen Fader found that the story "illuminates in a lyrical and compassionate way" the process of adapting faced by a child from a faraway country.

Domestic matters fill the pages of several picture books by Turner. Stars for Sarah concerns a young child's fears of moving to a new house, while Apple ValleyYear chronicles a year in the life of an apple farm, from winter pruning to spring pollination and fall harvest. A child's-eye view of her cozy neighborhood is brought to life in the pages of Turner's In the Heart, a "sweetly sentimental" work that features what Booklist critic John Peters described as highly detailed illustrations by Salley Mavor. "The seasons in the Clark family orchard turn poetically in Turner's competent hands," commented Lee Bock in a School Library Journal review of Apple Valley Year. Featuring a poetic text, Angel Hide and Seek imagines the possible angels that may be found in the oddest places: the faces of sunflowers, for instance, or in the pattern of old wood in a barn. A Kirkus Reviews writer remarked that Turner's "words are simple and limpidly clear as they trace angels through the seasons," while a Publishers Weekly writer dubbed Angel Hide and Seek an "imagination-stretching look at nature."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, May 15, 1989, Ilene Cooper, review of Heron Street, p. 1657; January 1, 1995, review of Rosemary's Witch, p. 831; October 15, 1997, Ilene Cooper, review of Finding Walter, pp. 406-407; September 15, 1998, Carolyn Phelan, review of Drummer Boy: Marching to the Civil War, p. 232; March 1, 1999, Shelle Rosenfeld, review of A Lion's Hunger: Poems of First Love, p. 1202; November 15, 1999, Karen Hutt, review of The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow: The Diary of Sarah Nita, a Navajo Girl, p. 629; January 1, 2000, Ilene Cooper, review of Secrets from the Dollhouse, p. 913; October 1, 2000, John Peters, review of Learning to Swim: A Memoir, p. 329; January 1, 2001, Carolyn Phelan, review of Abe Lincoln Remembers, p. 964; August, 2001, John Peters, review of In the Heart, p. 2133; July, 2003, Anne O'Malley, review of Love Thy Neighbor: The Tory Diary of Prudence Emerson, p. 1892; August, 2004, Ilene Cooper, review of Pumpkin Cat, p. 1946; June 1, 2005, Carolyn Phelan, review of Maia of Thebes, p. 1814; February 1, 2006, Frances Bradburn, review of Hard Hit, p. 46.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, February, 1983, review of The Way Home, p. 118; June, 1986, review of Street Talk, p. 197; May, 1991, Roger Sutton, review of Rosemary's Witch, p. 230; December, 1992, Deborah Stevenson, review of Katie's Trunk, p. 123; June, 1993, Betsy Hearne, review of Grass Songs, p. 331; July, 1995, review of One Brave Summer, p. 399; September, 1995, review of Dust for Dinner, p. 31; December, 1995, Roger Sutton, review of Elfsong, pp. 141-142; July, 1999, review of Red Flower Goes West, p. 404; November, 2000, review of Learning to Swim, p. 123; September, 2004, Deborah Sullivan, review of Pumpkin Cat, p. 42; March, 2006, Loretta Gaffney, review of Hard Hit, p. 329.

Horn Book, October, 1980, Virginia Haviland, review of A Hunter Comes Home, p. 529; January, 1986, Mary M. Burns, review of Dakota Dugout, p. 52; September, 1989, Mary M. Burns, review of Grasshopper Summer, p. 624; May 6, 1990, Ellen Fader, review of Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies, p. 330; June, 1999, Martha A. Brabander, review of Red Flower Goes West, p. 602.

Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 1980, review of A Hunter Comes Home, p. 1237; March 15, 1986, review of Tickle a Pickle; June 1, 1986, review of Third Girl from the Left, p. 872; March 15, 1991, review of Rosemary's Witch, p. 400; February 15, 1993, review of Grass Songs, p. 235; May 15, 1998, review of Angel Hide and Seek, p. 745; June 15, 1999, review of Red Flower Goes West, p. 971; December 15, 2003, review of When Mr. Jefferson Came to Philadelphia: What I Learned of Freedom, 1776, p. 1455; July 1, 2004, review of Pumpkin Cat, p. 639; February 1, 2006, review of Hard Hit, p. 138.

Kliatt, January, 2006, Claire Rosser, review of Hard Hit, p. 13.

New York Times Book Review, January 12, 1986, Mark Jonathan Harris, review of Dakota Dugout, p. 25.

Publishers Weekly, September 19, 1994, review of The Christmas House, p. 31; June 15, 1998, review of Angel Hide and Seek, p. 59; August 17, 1998, review of Drummer Boy, p. 71; June 14, 1999, review of Red Flower Goes West, p. 69; January 24, 2000, review of Secrets from the Dollhouse, p. 311; October 30, 2000, review of Learning to Swim, p. 77; December 4, 2000, review of Abe Lincoln Remembers, p. 73; June 4, 2001, review of In the Heart, p. 80; November 11, 2002, review of Abe Lincoln Remembers, p. 67.

School Library Journal, July-August, 1987, Elizabeth M. Reardon, review of Nettie's Trip South, p. 88; February, 1992, Jane Marino, review of Stars for Sarah, p. 79; November, 1993, Lee Bock, review of Apple Valley Year, p. 95; September, 1998, Patricia Lothrop-Green, review of Angel Hide and Seek, p. 184; June, 1999, Steven Engelfried, review of Red Flower Goes West, p. 108; November, 2000, Sharon Korbeck, review of Learning to Swim, p. 177; February, 2001, Mary Ann Carich, review of Abe Lincoln Remembers, p. 116; August, 2003, Kristen Oravec, review of Love Thy Neighbor, p. 168; February, 2004, Beth Tegart, review of When Mr. Jefferson Came to Philadelphia, p. 124; August, 2004, Catherine Threadgill, review of Pumpkin Cat, p. 97; February, 2006, Kathryn Childs, review of Hard Hit, p. 138.

Voice of Youth Advocates, February, 1999, review of A Lion's Hunger, p. 460; December, 2000, review of Learning to Swim, p. 372; April, 2006, Nancy Zachary, review of Hard Hit, p. 54.

Washington Post Book World, March 14, 2004, Elizabeth Ward, review of When Mr. Jefferson Came to Philadelphia, p. 11.

ONLINE

Ann Turner Home Page,http://www.annturnerbooks.com (April 15, 2007).

OTHER

Turner, Ann, Macmillan publicity brochure, 1989.

Autobiography Feature

Ann Turner

Ann Turner contributed the following autobiographical essay to SATA:

I was born into a family that loved books. In A Hole Is to Dig, by Ruth Krauss, which Dad read to us as children, there is picture of a boy kneeling on a book, nose pressed to its pages, inhaling its smell. I was like that. My entire extended family on both sides was passionate about books as well. One story was told of my aunt Lucy, who used to return from school and sink into a chair in the hallway to read her book, not even taking off her coat.

With such a background, how could I not become a writer? My dad was a printer and ran a business housed in a long, low brick building, with a shed attached out back. Entering his business was like entering the gates of heaven. The sharp almost greasy smell of ink—the sounds of the presses shunting back and forth with a deafening sound, the stacks of colored paper on the shelves in the shed—all of these spoke of a world that revered books: how they were written, how they were printed, and even the paper they were printed on.

My mother was an artist and taught us to draw and paint at an early age. We were always doing some project at the dining room table: cutting out linoleum blocks, making collages out of the colored paper brought home from my dad's shop, gluing yarn into the shape of a cat, and painting horses over and over. For, along with being crazy about books, I was also crazy about horses. But more about that later. For now we are going to look at the early years of my growing up: what happened, how did it effect me, who shaped me, and when did I begin to think that becoming a writer would be a seriously wonderful thing to do?

My family was also devoted to libraries, which is no surprise, because when you are as passionate about books as we all were, libraries are where the goods are. It's like the story about someone asking a famous bank robber, "Why do you rob banks?" "Because that's where the money is!" the man replied. Anyone could see that, couldn't they?

In the town where I spent my earliest years, Northampton, Massachusetts, we would travel to the library in my dad's big black Dodge car. In those days (the end of the 1940s-early 1950s) cars were big and roomy and smelled like living-room couches. The roofs were high and domed so there would be enough room for men and women to wear their hats. And, of course, there were no such things as seat belts in those days. We just racketed about happily in the back, sitting on the sometimes scratchy material of the seat, eager to get to the library.

And when we did, I—along with my two brothers (one older, Nick, and one younger, Peter) would swarm up the long stairway to the Children's Room. Clearly the Children's Room was the best place in the library. It had books by Margaret Wise Brown—Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny—which my dad read to us when we were quite young. I strongly suspect that the musi-

cal repetition of hearing "goodnight" to the room and the moon in Goodnight Moon was part of my formation as poet.

We would load up on books and take them back to our big brick house on the hill where we lived with my comfortable, plump grandmother and my scholarly, plump grandfather. Each night Dad would sit us down on the rug and read to us. I sometimes thought of him as a daddy bird, plucking out a new book each day and popping it into the gaping beaks of his children—me, Nick, and Peter.

What do I remember of the books he read to us? I remember hearing The Moffats, and being delighted by the messiness of Rufus. How I loved their family—the bravery of the mother in bringing them up alone, the comfy chaos of their family life, and the security of the world they lived in where everyone down the street was known to them, and each child was known by every adult nearby. Sadly, that world has been lost to children now.

I can recall my father reading the "Homer Price" books by Robert McClosky to us; the one where he keeps a skunk in a basket ("How could he do that, Dad? Wouldn't it stink up his house?" we'd shriek), and the picture book Lentil, where a cranky man sits on the roof of a building, sucking a lemon to confound the band down below in the square, while they try to play a rousing tune for some famous person coming in on the train.

I loved it that this guy could totally disrupt the band's self-important rhum-pahing by sucking this lemon, thus making every musician down below pucker up his lips and be unable to play. I liked mischievous people, being one myself, and you can see that in an early book of poetry I wrote for children, called Tickle a Pickle. In this collection—as in real life in my grandmother's house—we kids would make "toilet soup" in the toilet, pouring in talcum powder, a sprinkle of Mom's perfume, and the last finishing touch, one of Dad's shoes. We were very young—that is my only excuse!

When I was seven years old, my family moved from the big brick house in Northampton to a yellow clapboard house in Williamsburg, about ten miles away. Although I missed my grandparents, I was excited to be out in the country. We had meadows. Two of them! We had an old, fallen-down apple orchard with bright blossoms in the spring and twisted branches which were perfect for climbing and perching on. There were several acres of woods stretching out back, with dense stands of pines and more open land with green myrtle on the ground running down to a stream.

Grapevines hung in thick, tangled clusters from some of the trees, and I remember how we would pull on them, swinging back and forth, bellowing out, "Aia—yahhhh!" the way Johnny Weismuller did in his incarnation as Tarzan in the movies.

Once my older brother sharpened a set of sticks along the stream, perhaps to represent some wartime scene? Peter and I had to swing over the stream and not wound ourselves on the vicious stakes below. Childhood was a continual series of surviving things that were almost fatal, as I remember, or at least limb-threatening.

There was a magnificent, slightly tilted red barn behind the house, with actual hay in the loft and a huge wooden machine downstairs that had once held chicken eggs—for our old 1756 house had at one time been a chicken farm.

There were little shallow trays inset in the big round drum, which I gather someone could rotate around under the warmth of some lights so the eggs would hatch. We took the trays out, of course, and, wedging ourselves into the big drum, would shout to one of our siblings, "Turn, turn the drum!"

And round and round we would rocket, our hair hanging down, knees bent, all enveloped in this delightful, dangerous racket. I don't know if my parents, especially my mom, ever quite knew what we got up to in that barn. In the days when I was growing up, children had more freedom. We simply exited the kitchen door at a certain sunny time of the morning, went out to play (while Mom did her thing inside), and didn't come inside until it was either time to eat or the light was going.

On that same barn was a wonderful slate roof, covered with thin slate shingles. We would go up to the top floor in the barn and hoist ourselves out of one window onto the roof, scrabbling up to the top, using our fingers to steady ourselves. You had to have sneakers on for this, and shorts were okay to wear too.

Then, at the very top ridge of the roof, we'd launch ourselves downwards, screaming mightily, to the bottom of the roof, which ended in a low shed roofed with tar paper. It felt as if we were going to fall off the edge, but, actually, was probably not all that dangerous. But it felt dangerous. And foolhardy. And we loved it. I went through a lot of pairs of jeans and shorts that way, and it is a testimony to my mom that she never fussed about our clothes. This early love of danger and pushing the limits can be seen in many of the kids in my books: Rosemary in Rosemary's Witch, Prudence in Love Thy Neighbor, and the boy who goes off to war in Drummer Boy.

At the end of a day of adventuring, sliding down roofs and being rotated in the wooden incubator, the three of us children would come inside to be read to. I particularly remember my mom reading Laura Ingalls Wilder to me on the bed in my parents' bedroom, curled up on the pink-and-green quilt. When I listened to The Long Winter, both my mom and I had to snuggle under the quilt, even in July, for Laura's descriptions were so strong and visual that we felt we were there in the tiny house on the prairie, blizzard winds howling outside and scouring the roof. Even then layers were being laid down for me inside: Wouldn't it be wonderful to make people feel this way, too? To describe things with such power that your world would come alive for your readers?

Laura Ingalls Wilder was also a favorite role model for me. I wanted to be like her: resourceful, brave, able to withstand terrible blizzards without complaining, a good friend, a loyal family member, and not above leading the loathsome Nellie into the dark creek waters where the leeches lived.

I had already learned to read by the time we moved to Williamsburg and the wonderful old house with the meadows, grapevines, shambling barns, and dangerous play things. But my younger brother, Peter, was learning to read soon after we made this move, and I was moved to pity for him because he was stuck with the "Dick and Jane" books. I know it is fashionable now to look back on those books fondly: that snotty little dog, the little girl in her dreadfully pressed dress, the little boy so horribly clean that he certainly would never climb into a chicken-hatching machine and have his brothers whirl him round and round until he was so dizzy he could not walk. None of these children—none of the animals or the people in those books—looked as if they ever got dirty, said a bad word, or misbehaved, and they certainly did not suck lemons on top of a roof to mess up the town band!

And those slow little words, measured as a funeral cadence—one after another—I thought Peter would die of boredom trying to learn to read from them. Look, Jane, look. At what, I'd want to scream wildly? Go, Spot, go. Go where, you foolish dog?

Dad continued to read to us in our new, old house, where we three children would get into our pajamas and sit on the flowered rug to listen. He read Pippi Longstocking to us, and I adored how naughty Pippi was. I wished I could have a horse on my porch and a monkey for a friend. He also read all of the Edgar Eager books to us. I particularly liked the humor in Half Magic, how the magic coin the four children found on the pavement never quite got them what they wished for. When they wished to be on a desert island, they got the desert; when they asked for their cat to talk, it could—but only sometimes, and often with a whole lot of xxxxyyymmmm's mixed up in the words.

I was beginning to think that writing was something that I wanted to do for myself. In my mind I held onto that image of the little boy kneeling on the book, sniffing its heavenly smell; I had embedded in me images from Laura Ingalls Wilder's books, and I began to write my own stories. At the age of eight I wrote my first short story, called "The Puckity." It had all the elements of a classic short story: a main character, tension and conflict, a wish line (what the character most wants to happen), a beginning, a middle, and an end. It even had spelling errors.

Once upon a time there lived a little man and his name was Puckity. He lived in a little house in the woods. Well this little man however wanted adventure and he got it. Well one day a dragon was walking and thinking how tasty a dwarf would taste. Well then puckity got his wish. Just then the dragon saw puckity and puckity didn't see him! The dragon kept on coming and puckity kept on cleaning his house and the dragon said, "What's going on here? He's supposed to see me and run away from me but puckity kept on cleaning his house." Well puckity at last saw the dragon and the dragon roared and said, "I'm going to eat you up!" Puckity was so afraid and neves that he didn't mean to say it but he did say it and he said, "Oh go away I'm too busy cleaning my house!" The dragon was never in his life so surprised that he made a funny sound like this erglupplup. The nois sounded so funny that Puckity laughed and laughed. The dragon was so ashamed that he went away and hid in his cave and nevercame out again. The forest once again was in peace. The end.

Perhaps the mechanical parts of the story are a bit weak—such as spelling and punctuation and non-repetition of words—but it is a story, nonetheless. And for me, at that young age, it felt like a triumph. I had put words down on paper that created images, told about some actions, and had an ending and a resolution. I was hooked. Writing was the thing for me!

My second experience with the exhilaration of writing came in fifth grade, several years after writing my first story. We were studying the Civil War with a marvelous teacher of rather strict demeanor, of Scots origin. She had a delightfully different accent, rolling her r's in such a way that we were always impressed by the im- portance of her words. When we studied the U.S. Civil War, Mrs. Breckenridge asked us to write a little essay or piece about the time.

At home, my parents had a book of photographs of the U.S. Civil War by a photographer called Matthew Brady, some of the earliest war photography in history. (Brady actually had a group of photographers who went out onto the battlefields, and he supervised them.) The scenes of the battles were eerily still—dead men lying in heaps on the meadows of the South; some with their arms flung out, others with their hats slung over their eyes. Some of the scenes showed battle lines massed against each other, soldiers standing still with their rifles at the ready.

These grim and graphic photographs sent a message to me—of the horror of battle, the smoke covering the battlefield, the sound of voices and horses neighing, and of utter chaos. They affected me deeply.

In my fifth-grade essay I wrote as if I were a bystander on a hill, looking over the battle—much as the photographer himself was. I talked about the smoke and noise and confusion of battle as if I had experienced it myself, as if I actually knew what I was talking about. And, in a sense, I did.

I was not a true bystander, but because I could imagine being there, my words had a kind of authenticity and truth to them. I was much taken with my story, as were my parents. I can still remember my mom's delighted grin, "Annie, you did this?" In a family where achievement was honored and education was worshipped, I felt I had accomplished something wonderful. And I learned another lesson about writing: words have the power to move people, words have the power to take your readers on time travel to other places and eras. I was doubly hooked.

This was my first "you are there" story, and it is a style of writing I have used often when crafting historical narratives from a child's point of view, as I did with the girl, Katy, in Katie's Trunk and the boy in Drummer Boy, about the U.S. Civil War. In fact that story can be traced directly back to that essay written in the fifth-grade so many years ago.

While I was being hooked by the idea of writing my own stories—inspired by the wonderful books my parents read to me—I was also living in a household with people who had many stories to tell. Indeed, I come from a family of storytellers. It is no accident that I grew up to be a writer—it was as if some "writer gene" (a tiny, tiny little piece of genetic material, holding a tiny, tiny pen) had been born with me.

My great-grandmother, Henrietta Chapin, lived in Albany, New York, in the mid-1800s and was an abolitionist, meaning she was a person who favored the freeing of the slaves in the South and in the North. (Let us not forget that people were slave-owners up North as well as in the South, and in New York State there were quite a number of slaves.) In 1859 she and some of her family went down South to visit relatives who lived in Virginia. She kept a journal of her travels, a meticulous recording of each day's events: how she felt about them, what the weather was like, and other musings.

With her older brother and cousin, she visited a slave auction one day, to see how it actually happened. There was a red flag outside the slave auction, notifying people of the "prime gang" within. Nettie and her companions went in to take their seats, and the sale began. The auctioneer was drunk and "disgusting," she wrote in her diary, and she painfully recorded what it was like to see a young woman jump and run and show her muscles up on the platform, while someone held her six-month-old baby.

Henrietta noted that often babies that young were separated from their mothers during such a sale. But all the while she was getting angrier and more disturbed, finding it impossible to sit still. Back at the hotel they talked together about the horrors they had seen and resolved to work harder once they were home to help free the slaves.

I took my great-grandmother's firsthand account of a real slave auction and made it into a story, an illustrated historical picture book called Nettie's Trip South. First written on the backs of old envelopes as I sat one night on the couch—riveted by her account of this auction and knowing I must write about it somehow—the story took me twenty separate revisions until I finally got it "right."

I tried different narrative voices; I tried different ways of telling the story; and it wasn't until I made Henrietta into a ten-year-old child—with all the innocence and wide eyes of a girl that age—that I finally had a story that worked. My friend Jane Yolen (Jane and I have been members of the same writer's group for over thiry years) suggested that I write the story as if it were a letter home. This was a fine idea, and I took her advice, also putting in several other "true" things in the writing of this poetic narrative.

I included my great-grandmother's real-life cousin Addie, who lived in Oneida, New York, making her the recipient of the fictional letter Nettie wrote home about her visit to the South just before the war. I wove in the kind of response to evil that I still have to this day—it makes me physically ill. I also included a piece of real history from my own childhood, when Nettie tells Addie, "When you come in June / we will climb the apple tree to our perch / and I will tell you all I saw."

For at my grandmother's summer house—where all of the cousins, aunts, and uncles used to gather—there was a tangled, tall apple tree on which some uncle had nailed a series of small boards as footholds up the trunk.

Out on separate limbs were little wooden platforms nailed down, perfect for perching and reading or for having a secret conversation with a cousin.

In the wonderful way of picture books, the illustrator—Ronald Himler—sketched a young Addie and Nettie sitting up in the apple tree, reading a book together. It is always one of the delights of writing a picture book, to see how your words, your story, and your characters are drawn and made real by an artist. I send off the words and they come back with astonishing and beautiful pictures! How wonderful is that?

But there were other people in my family who contributed to our collection of stories and who gave me a sense of the magic of history. My grandfather, William D. Gray, who married the second Henrietta—daughter of my great-grandmother of the trip South—was a professor of classics at Smith College and traveled abroad with his family, acquiring several interesting objects as he did so. Some found their way onto the top of the green-painted bookcase in my childhood home in Williamsburg.

There was a flaked stone knife that may have been from the Neolithic period or even older. I used to run my finger gingerly along its edge, wondering who had made it, how it had been used, and where it really came from. You can see right here that I asked a lot of questions, and indeed, it is one of the things that makes a writer a writer—insatiable curiosity and asking unending questions.

I also had a golden Greek coin made into a necklace on a black ribbon which my mother gave me. A rather musty box held some treasures from abroad: a series of Roman coins, dense and heavy and ancient-looking, an Egyptian scarab, and a small statue of some goddess, probably one that protected women in childbirth.

The reason for mentioning these treasures is that they affected me; they gave me a key to other cultures and times and a desire to learn more about them. Did writing Maia of Thebes, about a girl who wished to be a scribe in the time of Hatshepsut in Egypt, grow from those two Egyptian treasures at home? Possibly. Just knowing that I could hold an authentic scarab made in ancient Egypt made that land come closer to me and seem more real. A human being, long ago, had actually held that scarab in his or her hand!

Other stories came from different family members, one important one from my dear and sometimes eccentric aunt Lucy, my mom's middle sister. Aunt Lucy had married a brilliant mathematician from Arkansas whose voice engaged me when I was young. It definitely was not a Massachusetts voice, but something sharp and twangy, with an abrupt and yet slower cadence which I could listen to all day. And it was my aunt Lou, as we called her, who one day asked me, "Annie, what ever happened to that big black trunk that used to be in the Northampton house?"

I had no idea and, in fact, no recollection of it, but Lou did, and proceeded to tell me two stories about this high-domed trunk: one, that some of our ancestors hid from the Native Americans in it; and two, that some of our ancestors hid from the Patriots in it.

I was aghast. "You mean, we had Tories in our family?" Those were the people who were loyal to King George and who did not want the colonies to set up on their own but to stay linked to British government and control. From this conversation Katie's Trunk was born. (I was later to write a novel called Love Thy Neighbor, for the "Dear America" series, telling the story of the beginning of the American Revolution through the eyes of a Tory girl called Prudence, who never was prudent.)

I wanted to experience what it felt like to be on the wrong side of a war, to be inside a Tory girl, and to see friends falling away from their family. What was it like to endure insults and persecution from the Patriots, as many Tories did before and during the Revolution? We seldom read of this in our history classes in school, but when I found an account of one dignified Tory man being "smoked" out of his house by angry Patriots (they set fire to his house, waiting for him to escape), I began to get a sense of how people felt, being on the wrong side of that war.

In the beginning of Katie's Trunk, the ten-year-old girl is not sure what is wrong, but she senses the coming

war and conflict: "I couldn't tell it with a name / though I felt it inside / the way a horse knows a storm is near." I wanted to write this story as a child experiencing a civil war—for that is what the American Revolution was in many ways; it tore families apart, separated neighbors, and set one part of a town against another.

In this book, as in so many others, I imagined myself as "other." This is a theme that runs throughout my work—what it is like to be on the outside, to feel that you are different and set apart in some way. This comes directly from my childhood experience of growing up in a family that was quite, quite different from the other families in our small New England village in the safe and sedate 1950s.

My clothes were different. I remember being teased for some argyle socks I wore in fourth grade. I played the violin and everyone in my family played an instrument so that we sometimes had small, rather badly played concerts at night: Mom on the piano, Dad and Nick on cellos, Pete on the flute, and I on my violin.

I was not the only one who was different in my family. My mother was an artist. She wore jeans, flat shoes, and tied her hair back in a day when women tended to curl their hair, wear dresses, stockings, and heels. She wandered into our meadows with an easel and a set of pens, sketching dried weeds and old apple trees leaning against the fields. She saw beauty in things others often did not—dead birds, dried weeds, tangles of briars and bittersweet. Once she kept a dead starling in our freezer for a week so that she could draw him more perfectly. I thought all moms were like this and was greatly surprised to discover that this was not so.

My dad was a printer, as I mentioned earlier, who smoked a pipe and was definitely a liberal. In those days it was not considered a terrible thing to be a "liberal." It meant, for us, that you looked out for disadvantaged people; that you wanted a fair wage for workers; that in, general, you did not support war unless no other course was left open to you; that you worked for world peace; and that you took care of creation.

These are all good values and ones which permeate my writing and my life. So being different informs most of my books, as well as my love for stories which comes from my family. But it wasn't just my family who had stories to tell—which enriched my life and got knitted up in me so that I could never separate myself from them. I also lived in a house built in 1756 that was full of tales.

Dad told us our house had once been part of the Underground Railroad, where escaped slaves made their way North, staying at safe places.

"Ours was one of them," he told us. "And our neighbor told me there used to be a tunnel going between this house and his on the other side of the meadow."

We wondered greatly about that tunnel: was it still there under the grass? Had people really used it to escape detection, crouching low as they hurried from one safe hiding place to another? My brother Peter decided it was up to him to discover the truth about this tunnel and started digging in the lawn. We never found it, and the hole my brother dug became a fort covered with boards where he took a hurricane lantern and books to escape the family.

But we three children continued searching for where the slaves might have been hidden, swarming upstairs to the attic, poking into every nook and cranny.

One day we found an old bundle of rolled up cloth tacked above a small entrance. A little room with no real floor in it, just cross beams above the ceiling below, was on the other side of this dark entrance. "It must be it!" we exclaimed.

Was it the real secret place? I rather doubt it, as the room was part of the house which had been added on later. But the sense that we lived in a house where history had happened—where injustice had been thwarted—excited me. It still does.

It also gave me a feeling that the whole world was soaked in history, soaked in stories, and if only I looked hard enough, I could discover secrets and tales.

I used my childhood house in my novel Rosemary's Witch, written in 1990. In it, the father is based somewhat on the writer Patricia MacLachlan's husband, Bob, a retired professor, mixed in with my own dad. In one passage Rosemary is describing to her mother how she sees her father, who is a professor of history: "He has, you know, categories for everything, like signs in a supermarket. Pet food—soda—gum. Dad has names for them, like Kindness to Older People, and Being Nice to New Babies, and Never Kicking Your Dog."

In this house I finally found what I had been looking for—a true home. My home. Not my grandparents', much as I loved it, but something belonging just to us, just for us. In Rosemary's Witch, when the family (Mom, Dad, Nicholas, and Rosemary) first sees the house, each one has a dream of what a real home should be.

From the open porch Mother wants to "watch thunderstorms … and shooting stars. We can catch fireflies in the meadow and make up ghost stories in the dark."

Except Rosemary (who is me) does not want to make up ghost stories, as she hates scary things. Rosemary likes it that the house "felt like a favorite armchair in a corner waiting for someone to curl up in it. Beyond the porch a lawn ran down to the road, shaded by a huge maple."

Nicholas wants a room for all of his fossils, and Dad wants a place to store all of his Abraham Lincoln books, a man whom he admires and almost worships. Dad lives by the famous words of Abe: "We cannot escape history!"

You will see when you read my historical books how much this theme is woven through. It is actually a foundation for my books, a bedrock for them.

But this wonderful, very old house had more than stories in it. It was a place that cradled my soul. A ways beyond the house the woods began, and near the entrance to the woods stood a giant pine. When I was about ten years old, I would climb steadily up the rough bark of that tree, then scrooge out along a long, massive branch to the very end. Where the branch turned into smaller branches and the thick weavings of pine needles, I would lie face down. When the wind blew, I would ride the branch up and down, up and down, as if riding an ocean of wind in my pine boat. I didn't even particularly dream in this special place of mine, I just was. I felt myself to be part of something larger and wider and more beautiful than anything I knew or could imagine.

What I learned from the pines and the rich, dense woods, and the tangles of grapevines was that beauty is throughout the world and that it upholds us, just as the pine branch held my weight when the wind blew. It is one of the reasons that my books have so much description in them.

Once a child reader asked me, "Why do you describe so many things in your books?" And I my answer was, "Because that is how I see the world—full of beauty, full of detail, and deeply interesting."

One of the other big influences in my life when a child was the camps I went to in the summer. It amazes me now to think that my mother and dad sent us off to an eight-week camp soon after school was let out, and we didn't return until almost the end of August. Heaven for them and heaven for us.

At the first camp I went to, Camp Windigo (of course they all had those dreadful names which are disrespectful to Native Americans, but people were just not aware of that then), most of our time was spent outdoors—riding horses (my passion), canoeing, swimming, camping out, picking blueberries, and only coming inside when it rained or it was time to sleep.

Our counselor read to us each and every night, sometimes with rain drumming on the tin roof overhead. I remember listening to The Secret Garden, a book by Frances Hodges Burnett that is full of mystery and a secret, of course, and a sense that children have the power to change each others' lives. I liked stories where children are powerful and go off on their own without adults to help them.

When we camped out at night, we would set up our sleeping bags on mounds of soft moss and go to sleep with the stars shining overhead. In the morning, once, I awoke before anyone else to see a light so golden it was almost unbelievable. It was a light that surrounded everything—every twig, every leaf on the bushes nearby, every bird in the trees. It was a light composed of birdsong and music, wonder and awe, and I guess its name was God, although I did not know that at the time.

In my books the characters I create tend to be strong-minded, as I was, although sometimes shy, as I was. They solve problems—as Rose and Emily do in Finding Walter, searching for the missing doll in the dollhouse family. That search reunites the fighting sisters in a way nothing else could. The way those sisters quarreled is reminiscent of the way in which my older brother, Nick, and I fought when children—often and hard.

In Rosemary's Witch, Rosemary must learn how to deal with the witch, Matilda, who lives in their woods, finding out what she likes and cares about so that she—Rosemary—can persuade the witch to leave the woods and their house alone. It is only at the end, through an act of loving generosity, that Rosemary succeeds, when she gives the witch a knapsack full of presents: a sweater for warmth, a ceramic cat (the witch loves cats, although the girl does not know that), a bar of chocolate—which the witch devours, wrapper and all—a book, and the ultimate sacrifice, Freddy, her old stuffed bear.

Like all writers, I use events from my past, my children's lives, and the lives of people I love, The bear, Freddy, came from my husband's childhood when Rick had accidentally dropped his teddy bear into a grubby stream by the side of the road. His mother decided it had gotten too dirty to save and threw the bear away. Rick's anguish at the loss of his beloved bear features in my novel, for Rosemary is still devoted to this stuffed animal, even though she is ten years old.

Of course, none of my children held onto their stuffed animals into their teens. No sir!

But, like the gentle wind moving the feathery pine branch up and down, time flowed past our family, and I began to leave the world of childhood. I entered seventh grade in the brick schoolhouse of our small village in 1957. It was a cozy, undemanding sort of school; even now I have lists of spelling words from that grade with the reassuring C's marking my words correct. How I loved to get things right! Our teacher, Mrs. Milanesi, read Mr. Popper's Penguins to us sometimes during class, and that is a mark of how things have changed. We eagerly looked forward to each day's reading, but such a book would be considered far beneath any seventh grader today; it would be more appropriate for second graders.

I made the leap from reading children's books to investigating adult books; back then, we didn't have a category called "young adult." I had a great liking for the long novels of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen, my favorites at the time. I remember visiting my cousin at her rugged camp on Squam Lake in New Hampshire, sleeping in the bottom bunk of the narrow room. My cousin Jean and I would share the books we were reading and tell each other stories, always stories, like the air we breathed.

Eighth grade was unremarkable in most ways, except for a gorgeous dress I had for my first dance and my first kiss from a boy. Truly, that is all I can recall of that year. I expect we did things in school, but they have left no lasting mark on my brain. Life continued its secure and cozy round of family, school, and friends. It was almost like a life out of time, for during those years I knew no one who was divorced, no girl who was on a diet, no one who had an eating disorder. Drugs were unheard of in our town, although some of the older high school kids might drink, as the gossip told us.

In high school I discovered boys and the delights of flirting. I spent incredible amounts of time on my hair, which, to my great despair, curled wildly and frizzed when I was out on a date on a humid night. I used that hair—and my hatred of its willful independence—in Rosemary's Witch when Matilda, the witch, "patted her hair and it sprang off to one side. ‘Quiet!’ she shouted. The hair lay flat for a moment and then hissed behind her."

I joined the choir of our local church, partly because I liked to sing and partly because the boys I liked were also members of the choir. Whatever the reasons, it proved to be a good place to be. We had a wonderful new minister who formed a youth group, then called Pilgrim Fellowship, and we did a number of interesting things, one of which was visiting the state hospital, whose inmates suffered from various mental disorders.

Now, of course, you would not be allowed to do that, as it violates the laws of privacy, but things were different in 1960. A group of us, along with our minister, would drive down to the state hospital (now vacant, all its inmates gone, either released onto the streets or into the inadequate community homes) and be let inside one of the wards by an attendant who unlocked the doors.

With a mixture of fear and anticipation, I would walk in a huddle with my friends into the blasting heat of the ward, where women sat dully on beds or walked about. I think they were happy to see us, happy for a break in the routine, and eager to accept the cigarettes we brought, which they stuffed inside their sweaters. We would talk a little to the people on the wards, and it was an important learning experience for me.

I learned an invaluable lesson from these visits, at first thinking that the folks in the hospital were "not like us" and were "different." But after a time, I realized they were not "other" but could be our relatives, our sisters, our brothers, or our cousins. I call this an education for an understanding heart, something that we writers need if we are to create sympathetic characters who may be very different indeed from the people we think ourselves to be.

I couldn't create a fourteen-year-old boy in Drummer Boy who flees his harsh father to join the Union Army if I didn't already have practice in imagining myself inside the lives of others. I couldn't create a girl called Sarah Nita in my book about the Long Walk (The Girl Who Chased away Sorrow), where Navajos were cruelly marched across the entire state of Arizona in wintertime, without the practice of imagining myself inside another's life, another's body.

A part of this education for an understanding heart continued with the books I read in high school. I read widely and deeply: many novels by Thomas Hardy, books by Emile Zola, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and others. In my sophomore year I had a marvelous English teacher who had us read The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane. Being the good little grind that I was, I read the introduction, which told me that the initials for the main character, J.C., were the same as those for Jesus Christ. I waved my hand madly in class, eager to share my knowledge, and I well remember how dampened I felt when the teacher squashed my enthusiastic contribution about the significance of the character's name. Apparently, I had leapt ahead to something we weren't meant to talk about for another few days or so. This is one reason why I can identify with Hermione Granger in the "Harry Potter" books and movies. I, too, studied overly hard; I, too, always had my hand in the

air in class; I, too, was determined to do well in school and get good grades. I even had bushy hair, like her, but my teeth did not, thankfully, stick out.

I was always jumping ahead in English class, reading towards the back in the anthology when the class sometimes seemed to move too slowly for me. Actually, it often felt far too slow for me. As my own daughter said to us once when we were sauntering through the woods, running back to us, "Pick up the pace, guys, pick up the pace!"

On one occasion when I read past where our class was in the anthology, I discovered a poet who has remained a favorite of mine through my adult years—Walt Whitman. His way of writing was completely fresh to me, modern, and I could sense the breezes blowing through his poems when I read "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking." I didn't always understand his words, but their power and rhythm took me far away from the over-heated classroom.

I was beginning to experiment with writing poetry by this time as well, even as I was learning to love reading poetry. My English teacher for sophomore year encouraged me to enter a high-school writing contest, which I did.

It was very odd being the only student in the library writing away while she stayed as monitor, probably to make sure I didn't cheat, although I would no more have cheated than I would have cut off my index finger. At any rate, I wrote a number of poems that day, one of them being about the cold war between the United States and the USSR and how governments were more interested in sending up missiles instead of talking about

peace. I was much impressed with this early poetic effort, and became hooked on writing words in short lines which sometimes rhymed but more often did not. I was encouraged that another adult in my life—this marvelous English teacher—paid attention to the words I wrote and thought that I had some talent.

When I went to Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, I majored in English, to my great delight. One of my professors was quite famous in the college, a rather wizened, elderly man who would point a knobby finger at our class saying, "Messy notebook, messy mind!" I did not agree with that, of course, and have never been known for my neat notebooks. Patty MacLachlan declares that my handwriting is "unreadable!"

Another English professor taught both American and British novels brilliantly, and was so passionate about the meaning of these novels that one day he actually thrust his leg into the wastebasket as he strode about the room! I liked the idea of people being passionate about books—it spoke to me.

I had the great good fortune to spend my junior year abroad in Oxford, England, studying and staying at a tiny place called Manchester College. We could take any of the lectures British students took at the various colleges, and I soaked up learning about early English writers like Chaucer and Spencer. We were close enough to London to hop on a train and go in to the theater, returning to our college after midnight. I thought this all very dashing and romantic and adored the plays, music, and dance that we could see.

On spring vacation, I rode by train with a friend all the way to Athens, Greece, and promptly fell in love with that country and its citizens. The temples still surviving from ancient Greece, the old theater at Epidaurus, the temple at Delphi, the Greek Islands, including Crete and the ruins of the Minoan palace where, legend said, the minotaur lived—all this fed my imagination. And when I returned to college at the end of my year abroad, I wrote an essay called "Athenai" for an Atlantic Monthly writing contest, which won first prize nationwide. In it I wrote of my love for the sharp air of Greece, the men dancing with their arms over each other's shoulders, the wonderful food and wine, and the turquoise sea lapping against the sides of a boat.

I remember calling my mother to tell her I had won this contest and her astonished response: "Annie? You won out of all the seniors in the country?" It was gratifying in some ways but her surprise also made me wonder about her faith in me.

I wondered what winning this contest might mean for me: did it mean I was meant to be a writer? Should I go on to train as a teacher, as planned, with my husband-to-be, or should I go to the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference as part of the prize? I chose to take the money instead of going to the conference, as it came at a time when I was to be married. But winning that contest planted a strong seed in me that perhaps I had a small measure of talent—and that others recognized it. This was a happy thought, even if it was tucked away for awhile.

After graduation, my husband and I attended the University of Massachusetts in 1967, studying to get our Master's of Art in Education, which would allow us to teach.

When we were done with graduate studies, we both taught English at a regional high school in Great Barrington for a year, but while there were parts of teaching I really liked, I loathed the routine and following a clock. I was not a terrific disciplinarian, but enjoyed teaching Les Miserables, Catcher in the Rye, and "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." As an admirer of the Beatles, I used some of their songs to teach poetry in my classes. Teaching gave me enormous respect for the job of teachers—how diligently they work, how they struggle to be creative and engage their students, and how what looks like "time off" is usually filled with correcting papers and planning classes for weeks to come. I believe teachers are some of America's heroes and heroines and are neither appreciated the way they should be nor paid enough for their important work.

The idea of being a writer tugged at me, becoming stronger and stronger as I went through my first year of teaching. I wanted to write books, not discuss them. Sometime in early spring I read a magazine that had a glorious two-page spread on the Aran Islands, off the west coast of Ireland, a place I had visited during my year abroad, and a place important in the great Irish literary revival in the early twentieth century. I asked Rick, "Why couldn't we go there, honey? Let's be writers and live abroad for a year!"

With the reckless abandon of youth and the courage to do things differently, we began to save much of our paychecks and prepared to live abroad for a year. Through friends we rented a small cottage in Devon, England, near the sea, having decided that the Aran Islands were a bit too remote for us.

With great excitement we shipped our goods abroad, thinking then that we would even become British citizens. In that small cottage where roses bloomed into December and where cows grazed and lowed in the green meadows nearby, I began my first fantasy novel, along with my husband. It was an odd and engaging way to write; we would sit in chairs near the coal fire (for there was no central heating then in 1969), notebooks open on our lap, talking about plot and character and what would happen next. I'd write some lines, read them out loud, and Rick would write some lines and read them out loud. Somehow chapters got written and a plot developed, over lots of creamy hot chocolate and Cadbury biscuits.

Although the novel was never completed, it was my first attempt at writing something that "big," and gave me good training in figuring out a plot line and the wishes of the characters. When we weren't writing, we would drive down to the shore and watch birds, hike on the Devon land, and visit old manor houses. It was a marvelous life.

When we returned to the United States, our funds depleted, my husband went back to teaching while I settled down to truly become a writer, or so I thought. I sat at my desk from eight in the morning until three in the afternoon, either reading poetry, writing it, or revising it. It was very arduous and a wonderful discipline. But it was also lonely. I didn't know any other writers at the time and did not have the support of a writer's group as I do now. At the end of two years writing, I actually had one poem published in the Christian Science Monitor! I was ecstatic, and promptly went out to spend the princely sum of twenty-five dollars on fabric to make clothes for my husband and me.

We also experimented with communal living, joining a small commune in a village in the hills of Ashfield, Massachusetts, in 1970. The rambling white farmhouse sat on what had been a dairy farm, with a huge three-storied red barn, over two hundred acres of woods and meadows, and a chilly pond where we swam in summer.

I continued to write mostly poetry at the time, sitting at a desk overlooking a meadow stretching to the woods, where crashing thunderstorms would pound the grass in the field, rain slamming against my window. And here I wrote my first published book called Vultures, illustrated by my mother, Marion Gray Warren.

It was a natural-history book—nonfiction—about vultures, who, it turns out, are nature's custodians. They clean up road kill, take care of animal corpses in the woods, and while we joke about moving so the vultures won't circle us, I found them fascinating. My husband and I traveled to Florida with my parents, where Rick took scores of pictures of vultures for my mother to draw.

We would get a package of suet at a Piggly-Wiggly store, take it out to some parking lot where we had seen vultures, and put down the bait on the tar as we waited in the car. Rick's camera would click away madly, taking shot after shot of the vultures landing, taking off, and squabbling with each other.

For the book I researched old myths about vultures and folktales about them, along with scientific facts. It was wonderful to work on a book with my mother who was a fine graphic artist. This book was her memorial, as she died of cancer before its actual publication, but she did manage to finish all of the fine pen-and-ink drawings. She even used my father as a model for a Greek man in one of the pictures, showing a vulture dropping a turtle on this man's head. Illustrators, like writers, also use their family in their work.

My husband and I settled into a small white clapboard house with green shutters in the village of Haydenville,

not far from my childhood home. While my husband taught in an alternative school, I focused on becoming a real writer—sitting at my desk in a small study, researching and writing. There I wrote my second book, Houses for the Dead, a survey of burial and mourning customs across time and cultures. I loved doing the research and taking facts and presenting them in story form—almost a kind of fictionalized nonfiction. I would read so many books about a period and take down so many notes, that the time period became "mine" in my imagination. I could imagine myself a character in it and write stories about a different age as if I lived there.

When I was not writing, I was learning building skills as we restored this house: blow-torching wood, sanding floors, putting up Sheetrock, painting, and more. I just liked making things, whether they were books, clothes, or a house.

We began building a passive solar house on a ridge not far away, up in the woods on a dirt road. This is where I live now and where we had our family—two children, Ben (now in college) and Charlotte (now in high school). My study has large glass windows up above the tree line, overlooking a beaver pond down the road. Hawks fly by my window; bears come padding out of the woods; and once two turkey vultures even landed on a huge glacial rock outside the house, spreading their wings in the sun.

In my journal I wrote, "The beauty of the world upholds me," and it is true. As a writer, I am fed and nourished by this landscape—the trees, pond, birds, and animals.

Perhaps because my husband and I did a form of homesteading, I wrote a book called Dakota Dugout, about a man who went West, built a sod dugout, and invited his bride to join him. In the book I expressed my belief that "sometimes the things we start with are best," that a simple life, well lived, has much to give us. I still believe that.

The research was fascinating: how settlers used a special plough to cut a long strip of sod from the land, then cut it into "bricks" to use in building; how they fashioned roofs out of willow boughs and straw, then put more sod over the top. Remember how the runaway oxen plunged his hoof through the roof of the dugout in Laura Ingalls Wilder's On the Banks of Plum Creek? I'm sure that all of this became part of my historical picture book, honoring the settlers in our country—their courage and stamina.

In our solar house on the ridge I also wrote Nettie's Trip South, based on my great-grandmother's diary of her trip South in 1859. I've spoken of that earlier in this essay. In fact, most of the books I'm known for have been created at this desk near the big window, overlooking the trees and the pond shimmering through the trees.

I continued to love doing research for my historical picture books, writing one called Abe Lincoln Remembers, where I looked at the early, formative years of that great president. I was surprised to learn how shy he was, especially with women; how he sometimes suffered from deep depression, particularly during the war. He grieved over the deaths of the soldiers and kept a joke book in the drawer of his desk to take out and try and cheer himself. In so many ways, he was a tragic figure—losing two of his sons whom he adored. Yet, somehow, he managed to lead this country through the terrible and bloody Civil War, almost to the end.

I was struck by Lincon's compassion for deserters. He made one comment that expressed his sympathy—it's not their fault they have "cowardly legs." Although he was not the true radical many portray him to be, he was a man of integrity and courage who still stands head and shoulders over many other presidents.

I also researched another president I admire, Thomas Jefferson, for my book When Mr. Jefferson Came to Philadelphia. (Originally it was called, "What Did I Know of Freedom?" but that title sadly did not survive the editing process.) He was, far more than Abe, a true radical. When I write one of these historical picture books, which wind up being about four-and-a-half typewritten pages, I have to read scores of books. I probably spend over four to five months just reading books and doing research, taking copious notes and scribbling things in the margins of the books I read.

I search for telling details, things that reveal character. For example, with Thomas Jefferson (whom I named T.J.), he always sang or hummed to himself when driving his carriage or curricle. He was passionate about horses, riding them up until his death. He loved once—his wife Martha—and probably never quite loved again, although we now know that he had a slave mistress, Sally Hemmings, with whom he had a number of children. This fact has been shocking to many and is part of the complexity and contradictions of Thomas Jefferson. He thought the slaves should be freed, and yet he refused to free his own slaves.

And at the end of this process of researching and investigating? I receive the gift of understanding important historical figures; somehow, through the process of reading and writing, they become "mine" in a way, part of an inner family as if they were my ancestors.

My most recent historical picture book is called Sitting Bull Remembers, the third in a study of great leaders—Abe Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and now Sitting Bull, the powerful leader of the Hunkpapa Sioux at the end of the nineteenth century. Using that format, of a historical figure remembering back, allows me to pick and choose events from his or her life, central events that show character or that have influenced the course of our country.

In this book you see the inevitable and deadly conflict between white settlers and Native Americans coming to a head in the famous Battle of Little Bighorn, where General George Custer and his soldiers were horribly outnumbered by the large force of Sioux and other tribes gathered by the river. It is a lesson in arrogance, for Custer thought he could surprise the Native Americans and beat them, small though his force was. Sadly, the decisive victory over Custer and his soldiers became a death knell for Sitting Bull and many other tribes and their leaders. Soon, they would be captured and herded and imprisoned on reservations, their way of life gone, their freedom finished. It is a sad and bloody story.

Two more historical picture books, this time about great women leaders, will be coming out in the future: one, "My Name Is Truth," is about the charismatic ex-slave Sojourner Truth, her journey to freedom and to finding her own voice; the other is about the visionary leader for women's suffrage, Susan B. Anthony. It is tentatively called "Stir up the World!"

But I haven't written books just about history and great leaders. Recently I have been branching out into writing what we call books for young adults, or YA books. In 1999 I started writing poetry and in a blast of creative energy, wrote twenty-two poems over two days, which became the core of the collection Learning to Swim, about the sexual abuse I suffered as a young girl from a neighboring teenage boy. It was excruciating to write, more painful than anything I've ever done, but it was like lancing a boil—it hurt at first but it let out all the bad stuff that was hiding inside. In other words, it was cathartic.

I used the real-time, real Annie of six years old, as I was then, trying to learn to swim in Dresser's Pond up the road from our summer house—recalling how the swimming ring would help, how my daddy held me up. But once the abuse started, any courage I had in the water disappeared. This became one of those wonderful, unlooked-for metaphors which carried the book—something that came out of the creative process and was also part of a dialogue with my wonderful editor at Scholastic, Tracy Mack.

When the abuse finally stops, Annie finds it possible to go on with her life and to actually learn to swim—which I remember. Here is Annie with her dad beside her, helping her, but she has to do this on her own.

… I let go of his hand.
"I am learning to swim."
I chanted
and when the bottom
fell away
I bobbed on the top,
my face like a white flower
before me.

If we are lucky, a writer will find one or two editors in her lifetime who help bring out the best in her—and in her works. Certainly, Charlotte Zolotow did that for me with my early picture book Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies, about adopting an Asian boy. She cherished her writers and nurtured them through a relationship based on dialogue, asking gentle questions to push them towards their best writing. Toni Markiet did that for me with so many of my historical picture books at HarperCollins, talking to me on the phone, asking questions like, "Yes, but what makes Sitting Bull great?" And later, Tracy Mack at Scholastic pushed me harder than probably any other editor has done to look at my poems, to rewrite them and rewrite them and rewrite them until I sometimes wanted to set fire to the book in my driveway.

"Now, are you sure about the ending here, Ann?" she would ask of a poem in Learning to Swim or Hard Hit. "Does it really say what you mean it to say? Could we have some more about the dad's relationship with Mark before Dad gets sick?"

Then I'd go back to the computer, sipping a cup of tea, saying a few prayers to the patron saint of writers, trying to get to the meat of the poem in a way that would speak to me but also satisfy my editor. It is a complicated relationship but a necessary one. Editors ask for our best, but they also support their writers, encouraging them—"I know you can do this! You can do it!" And we need that, for, as I have said before, writing is a lonely profession.

With Tracy, I worked on Hard Hit, my most recent book of poems that tells a story—we now like to call it a "novel in poems." It is about a sixteen-year-old boy, Mark, a star pitcher on his high school's team, whose dad (an amateur astronomer) suddenly falls ill with deadly, rapidly spreading pancreatic cancer. How Mark deals with this news, how his mom and sister face this crisis, how Dad faces his coming death are all part of the story.

One poem is based on my ten year-old son's response to his grandpa's impending death. Ben spent hours on the porch playing video games, killing raiders and crossing the River of Fire, announcing at the end, "I feel like I helped Baba." So, too, Mark plays video games and feels that he is keeping evil at bay.

It is probably my most religious book, reflecting my own deep faith; there is a priest who appears at various times in some of the poems, helping the family and Mark to survive this great loss, and Mark prays and attends church with his family. All of this helps, but in the end, it is the strength in Mark and the warmth of his family and friendships (with Eddie and Diane, his girlfriend) that carry him through.

I used my own recent experience of my father's death when I began writing this collection: the stages of grief, the anger and denial, the wish to turn back the clock, the hope that somehow we can heal our ill parent, all of that comes from my own life.

When I write a "novel in poems" I create characters, just as I would in a prose novel. I fashion what are called "wish lines" for each person in the story: what that person most wants from his or her life. How does he plan on getting it? How do these wish lines cross and conflict or reinforce each other?

For example, Mom wishes Dad to live, as does Dad and Josie and Mark. But Dad wants Mark to be a star pitcher. Mark wants this too, but not in the same way his father does. When Dad falls ill, Mark makes a sort of bargain with God, that if he can pitch a no-hitter—when no one on the opposing team scores, extremely hard to do—that will somehow help his dad to get better.

But no one's efforts can keep Dad from dying, and Mark has to accept the inevitable with all the pain he'd wished to avoid. After his dad dies, he looks up at the sky and sees stars shining overhead.

One star gleamed
and sparked
like Dad's eyes
it seemed he was
there
loving me
his dust his bones his voice
part of a star.

What's ahead of me as I write this essay? I think we writers are changed by the books we write, and sometimes, after one is finished, we know we'll never quite write the same kind of book again. We are different. So, after completing these two collections of poems, I am changed, and my writing has changed—to something deeper, harder, and probably darker.

The book I am currently working on is called The Father of Lies, about an unusual girl, Libby, who was alive during the time of the Salem Witch trials in 1692. Her experiences and the way she sees the fear and horror are radically different from other stories written about this gruesome time. Only she knows the accusing girls are lying, for only Libby has her own internal demon.

What is true for me is also true for you; I am as surprised by what comes out of my fingers flying over the keyboard as you may be reading it. I want to know how the story turns out just as you, my reader, do. I never know the ending to my stories when I begin. I have to figure it out, step by step, as I move through the writing process. There is a wonderful poem by Theodore Roetke called "Waking to Sleep," which perfectly describes my writing process: I only learn where I am going by taking one step forward at a time until I reach the end of the book.

What I know about my writing is that it comes from many deep places within me and my life: my childhood, its joys and its wounds; the strengths of my family and the love that surrounded us and surrounds us still; the deep faith I have in God and how that has changed me and the way I view the world (as full of meaning, as not ultimately tragic).

My work also is influenced deeply by: having my own children and watching them grow up, which has brought me more joy and sorrow than I thought possible; my profound interest in the history of this country, who shaped it, and how past events inform the present; my own sense of humor: I love to laugh and see the humor in most situations; my love of animals (you will see dogs and cats in many of my books, twining their way around the family); my desire for a home and searching for a secure home, a theme that winds throughout my work; my belief that in the end love brings us home, no matter who we are, no matter our situation (it is Rosemary's compassion toward the witch that frees the family from her awful presence).

Finally, my writing springs from a profound gratefulness that I get to sit down at my computer, turn it on, and let the musings of my mind and heart flow out onto the page. I know I will work on those pages until I sweat, but it is still a blessing. How lucky I am.

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Turner, Ann 1945–

Turner, Ann 1945–

(Ann Warren Turner)

Personal

Born December 10, 1945, in Northampton, MA; son of Richard (a printer) and Marion (an artist) Warren; married Richard E. Turner, June 3, 1967; children: Benjamin, Charlotte. Education: Bates College, B.A., 1967; attended Oxford University, received certificate of study; University of Massachusetts, M.A.T., 1968. Politics: "Liberal Democrat." Religion: Protestant. Hobbies and other interests: Gardening, tennis, cooking, sailing, reading.

Addresses

Home and office—60 Briar Hill Rd., Williamsburg, MA 01096. Agent—Marilyn E. Marlow, Curtis Brown Ltd., 10 Astor Place, New York, NY 10003. E-mail—Annwturner@aol.com.

Career

High school English teacher in Great Barrington, MA, 1968-69; writer, 1971—; Antioch University, Northampton, MA, assistant director, 1978-80. Affiliated with Friends of Meekins Library, 1986-87; instructor of writing at University of Massachusetts.

Member

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Awards, Honors

First prize, Atlantic Monthly college creative writing contest, 1967; New York Academy of Sciences honor book citation, 1976, for Vultures; American Library Association Notable Children's Book citations, 1980, for A Hunter Comes Home, and 1985, for Dakota Dugout; International Reading Association/Children's Book Council (IRA/CBC) Children's Choice, 1988, for Nettie's Trip South; National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Notable Book citations, 1989, for Heron Street and Grasshopper Summer, 1990, for Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies, and 1991, for Stars for Sarah; School Library Journal Best Books selection, 1991, for Rosemary's Witch; Books for the Teen Age designation, New York Public Library, 1994, for Grass Songs; Pick of the List choice, American Booksellers Association, 1996, for Shaker Hearts; Smithsonian magazine Notable Books for Children designation, 1997, for Finding Walter; Best Books for Young Adults and Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers designations, Young Adult Library Service Association, both 1999, both for A Lion's Hunger.

Writings

FOR CHILDREN

Vultures (nonfiction), illustrated by Marion Gray Warren, McKay (New York, NY), 1976.

Houses for the Dead (nonfiction), McKay (New York, NY), 1976.

Rituals of Birth: From Prehistory to the Present (nonfiction) McKay (New York, NY), 1978.

A Hunter Comes Home (young-adult novel), Crown (New York, NY), 1980.

The Way Home (historical fiction), Crown (New York, NY), 1982.

Dakota Dugout (historical poem), illustrated by Ronald Himler, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1985.

Tickle a Pickle (poems), illustrated by Karen Ann Weinhaus, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1986.

Street Talk (poems), illustrated by Catherine Stock, Houghton, Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1986.

Third Girl from the Left (young-adult novel), Macmillan (New York, NY), 1986.

Nettie's Trip South (historical poem), illustrated by Ronald Himler, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1987.

Time of the Bison (fiction), illustrated by Beth Peck, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1987.

Grasshopper Summer (young-adult novel), Macmillan (New York, NY), 1989.

Hedgehog for Breakfast (picture book), illustrated by Lisa McCue, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1989.

Heron Street (picture book), illustrated by Lisa Desimini, Harper (New York, NY), 1989.

Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies (picture book), illustrated by James Graham Hale, Harper (New York, NY), 1990.

Stars for Sarah (picture book), illustrated by Mary Teichman, Harper (New York, NY), 1991.

Rosemary's Witch (fiction), Harper (New York, NY), 1991.

Rainflowers (picture book), illustrated by Robert J. Blake, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1992.

Katie's Trunk, illustrated by Ron Himler, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1992.

Grass Songs: Poems, illustrated by Barry Moser, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1993.

Apple Valley Year, illustrated by Sandi Wickersham Resnick, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1993.

Swing Quilts (picture book), illustrated by Thomas B. Allen, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1994.

A Moon for Seasons (picture book), illustrated by Robert Noreika, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1994.

The Christmas House (picture book), illustrated by Nancy Edwards Calder, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1994.

Dust for Dinner (fiction), illustrated by Robert Barrett, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1995.

One Brave Summer (novel), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1995.

Elfsong (novel), Harcourt (New York, NY), 1995.

Mississippi Mud: Three Prairie Journals (historical poems), illustrated by Robert J. Blake, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1997.

Shaker Hearts (picture book), illustrated by Wendell Minor, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1997.

Finding Walter (novel), Harcourt (New York, NY), 1997.

Drummer Boy: Marching to the Civil War (picture book), illustrated by Mark Hess, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1998.

Angel Hide and Seek (picture book), illustrated by Lois Ehlert, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1998.

Let's Be Animals (picture book), illustrated by Rick Brown, HarperFestival (New York, NY), 1998.

Secrets from the Dollhouse (picture book), illustrated by Raúl Colon, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1999.

A Lion's Hunger (poetry), Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 1999.

Red Flower Goes West (picture book), illustrated by Dennis Nolan, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1999.

The Girl Who Chased away Sorrow: The Diary of Sara Nita, a Navajo Girl, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1999.

What Did I Know of Freedom?, illustrated by Mark Hess, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.

Learning to Swim: A Memoir (verse), Scholastic (New York, NY), 2000.

Secrets from the Dollhouse, illustrated by Raúl Colón, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.

In the Heart (picture book), illustrated by Salley Mavor, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2001.

Abe Lincoln Remembers, illustrated by Wendell Minor, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2001.

Shaker Hearts, illustrated by Wendell Minor, David R. Godine (Boston, MA), 2002.

When Mr. Jefferson Came to Philadelphia: What I Learned of Freedom, 1776, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.

Love Thy Neighbor: The Tory Diary of Prudence Emerson, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2003.

Pumpkin Cat (picture book), illustrated by Amy June Bates, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2004.

Maia of Thebes: 1463 B.C., Scholastic (New York, NY), 2005.

Hard Hit (young-adult novel), Scholastic (New York, NY), 2006.

Sitting Bull Remembers, illustrated by Wendell Minor, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2007.

Sidelights

The books of Ann Turner reflect her wide-ranging interests as well as her talent; her treatment of historical material in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for children and young adults has earned her a special reputation along with many awards. A versatile writer, Turner has penned works ranging from picture books such as Pumpkin Cat, In the Heart, and Angel Hide and Seek to middle-grade and young-adult novels such as Hard Hit. Often working in verse, Turner draws a variety of themes into her work, from U.S. Civil War history to a teen's first love to sexual abuse to the challenge of international adoption. "My upbringing influenced my writing," Turner once commented. "Possibly because my liberal family was somewhat ‘different’ from the New Englanders of our town, I grew up being interested in different people and cultures. Living in the country and having an artist for a mother gave me a certain way of seeing, an eye for beauty and interest in what others might think ugly or dull."

Turner's first book was a family collaboration: Vultures features illustrations by Turner's mother, artist Marion Gray Warren. The book, published in 1976, is a scien- tific yet accessible study of a species of bird that has gained a bad reputation. She continues in the nonfiction vein with Houses for the Dead, a book that employs fictional dialogues in detailing burial rites across cultures and through the centuries, and Rituals of Birth: From Prehistory to the Present, which examines the other end of the life continuum. Turner has more recently turned to another form of nonfiction—her own life—in Learning to Swim: A Memoir, which softens her recollections of being sexually abused at age six through the filter of free verse. The purpose of sharing her experiences is made plain at the book's end, as Turner encourages readers not to be afraid of telling caring adults about similar experiences. Calling Turner's text "spare, direct, and … laced with strong, immediate feelings," John Peters wrote in Booklist that Learning to Swim is "a courageous, moving acknowledgment as well as a call to action for readers nursing secrets of their own."

Turner's first work of fiction, the young-adult novel A Hunter Comes Home, introduces Jonas, a fifteen-year-old Inuit who returns to his village after a year away at a boarding school. Jonas has had his fill of white culture; now, he wants to go hunting with his grandfather and learn the ways of the Inuit. Making the transition from modern to traditional does not come easily to the young man, however. In the novel, Turner "shows extraordinary sensitivity in revealing the feelings of schoolboys surrounded by a totally unfamiliar atmosphere," according to Horn Book contributor Virginia Haviland. By the end of the story, "Jonas has come to terms with himself by coming to terms with his imposing, demanding grandfather," concluded a Kirkus Reviews writer, the critic adding that Jonas's decision to "not … flatly reject … the new for the old" prevents A Hunter Comes Home "… from being still another polemical exercise."

The theme of survival emerges in several of Turner's historical novels, among them The Way Home, Grasshopper Summer, Third Girl from the Left, Maia of Thebes, and The Girl Who Chased away Sorrow: The Diary of Sarah Nita, a Navajo Girl, and Love Thy Neighbor: The Tory Diary of Prudence Emerson, the last two part of the "Dear America" series for middle-grade readers. In The Way Home Turner focuses on Anne, a teen living in fourteenth-century England who is forced to flee from her village after publicly cursing a local tyrant. After hiding in a marsh and living off the land for a summer, Ann returns, only to find that everyone in her village has died from the Black Plague. A thirteen year old, the niece of a temple priest in ancient Egypt, risks her safety to tell the truth in Maia of Thebes, a middle-grade novel that is rich with information on everyday life in a fascinating place and time. According to a reviewer for the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, The Way Home features "vivid details …, good dialogue and adequate characterization, a focused development, and a strong sense of narrative,"

while Booklist reviewer Carolyn Phelan predicted that readers of Maia of Thebes "will want to follow" Turner's brave heroine "to the end."

Praised by Booklist contributor Anne O'Malley as "a solid tale about interesting characters," Love Thy Neighbor transports readers to Massachusetts and the years leading up to the American Revolution as Prudence and her family side with the British against those agitating for independence. Moving closer to the present, Grasshopper Summer follows twelve-year-old Sam who, along with his younger brother and parents, make the move from his grandfather's orderly Kentucky farm to the undeveloped Dakota prairie. "Both a family story and an account of pioneer living, the book is accessible as well as informative," noted Mary M. Burns in a Horn Book review of Love Thy Neighbor. Another historical novel by Turner, Third Girl from the Left, finds eighteen-year-old Sarah becoming a mail-order bride as a way of escaping the boring Maine community where she was raised. After a move to Montana, the young woman learns, too late, that there are things worse than boredom. A Kirkus Reviews contributor called the novel a "compelling story about a strong-willed 19th-century woman forging her own life without conventional expectations of love and happiness." Turner also presents the fictionalized biography of one of America's most beloved presidents in Abe Lincoln Remembers, an "insightful" work that features "stately, lifelike" oil paintings by acclaimed New England artist Wendell Minor, according to a Publishers Weekly critic.

Mixing the past with the present, Rosemary's Witch follows nine-year-old Rosemary as she discovers a 150-year-old witch named Mathilda hiding in the woods near the old New England house her parents have just bought. The witch was unloved as a child and was driven away by villagers. Longing for affection, she now plays pranks on Rosemary, even stealing her bike to gain attention. Eventually, Rosemary comes to empathize with the childish and lonely creature. In his review for the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Roger Sutton noted that Turner's technique of alternating "Rosemary's and Mathilda's point of view" is "intensely effective." Also reviewing the book, a Kirkus Reviews contributor wrote that "Turner thoughtfully explores the idea of home and how it can be shared" in Rosemary's Witch, calling the work "skillfully written" and "entertaining."

Turner incorporates a heavy dose of magic into Elfsong. In the novel, ten-year-old Maddy Trevor spends her annual summer vacation at the home of her grandfather. When the resident cat, Sabrina, goes missing, the girl searches for her in the nearby woods. There Maddy discovers a magical world when she finds an elf riding on her cat. Soon Maddy and her grandfather are enlisted to help the Eastern Clan of elves battle an evil creature called the Horned One. Sutton remarked in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books that Elfsong serves as "an easy entree into a lyrically drawn landscape of nature and magic."

A lighter touch of magic is also apparent in Turner's intergenerational novel Finding Walter, in which eight-year-old Emily and her sister Rose are visiting their grandmother. Somehow, the two sisters are able to sense the thoughts of the dolls at their grandmother's house, and they agree to join in the dolls' search for Walter, a doll baby who has been missing for some time. "Turner does a particularly good job of integrating the world of dolls and the world of children," noted Booklist reviewer Ilene Cooper, the critic adding that "the dolls' ability to communicate their thoughts never seems forced."

In addition to prose fiction, Turner has also created numerous works of verse, both collections of individual poems such as Grass Songs, Mississippi Mud, and A Lion's Hunger: Poems of First Love and the verse novel Hard Hit. Grass Songs collects seventeen poems inspired by the correspondence and diaries of pioneer women, treating subjects such as marriage, childbirth, Indian raids, and death. A Kirkus Reviews contributor found the work "even more vivid and personalized" than Turner's other historical work, while Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books reviewer Betsy Hearne maintained that "Turner has matched the intensity" of the womens' "struggle with a poetic intensity of her own, spare and plainspoken." Mississippi Mud features a series of poems built out of the journals of three pioneer children on their family's journey from Kentucky to Oregon, while A Lion's Hunger brings to life the pangs of a young woman's first crush, "captur[ing] … the emotions, insecurities, and rituals that define first love and its powerful impact," according to Booklist reviewer Shelle Rosenfeld.

In Hard Hit readers meet popular high school sophomore Mark Warren, who seems to have the best of everything: the prettiest girlfriend, close friends, and a promising career as a baseball pitcher. When his father is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, however, Mark watches as his family falls apart and his own disillusionment and grief cause him to question all he had once trusted and relied on. In what School Library Journal writer Kathryn Childs dubbed a "profound novel," Turner poignantly "conveys the absence of all the family has known and its emptiness" without Mark's father at its core, explained Booklist reviewer Frances Bradburn. The use of verse to describe dying and its aftermath "

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is a powerful means of conveying the intensity of feelings," Claire Rosser maintained in Kliatt, the critic going on to cite Hard Hit as "a helpful resource" for teens coping with the death of a loved one.

Geared for younger, elementary-aged readers, Dakota Dugout finds a grandmother sharing her memories of life with her husband in a sod house on the Dakota prairie in the late nineteenth century. The woman's recollections, shared with her granddaughter, bring to life the loneliness, the slow spring, the heat of a summer drought, and finally a successful crop and the building of a clapboard house. Turner's "spare text, like poetry pruned of any excess words but rich in emotional impact, is perfectly attuned to the splendid black-and-white drawings" by Ronald Himler, wrote Mary M. Burns in a review of the work for Horn Book, while New York Times Book Review contributor Mark Jonathan Harris wrote of Dakota Dugout that "the impressionistic pictures combine with the vivid prose to create a moving memoir."

Noting that writing poetry is her "first love," Turner once admitted: "I like writing silly poems, such as the ones in Tickle a Pickle. As its title implies, Tickle a Pickle is a collection of mostly nonsense poems in which, as a Kirkus Reviews critic wrote, "the images and rhythms are energetic and unusual, and the sheer nonsensical and offbeat aspects will delight some readers." Among Turner's other poetry volumes is Street Talk, a collection of free verse, and The Christmas House, thirteen poems expressing the spirit of Christmas through the varying perspectives of several members of a family. A Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books contributor wrote of Street Talk that "what [Turner] sees, the way she sees it, and the way she makes readers see it are full of fresh flashes." Another verse collection for younger readers, Secrets from the Dollhouse, describes the lives of a family of dolls and their servants as they share the dollhouse in a young girl's bedroom.

Turner is especially well known for her many picture books, which range widely in subject. In Katie's Trunk and Nettie's Trip South she draws on personal anecdotes from her own family history. Echoing the theme of Love Thy Neighbor, Katie's Trunk finds a girl in a staunchly loyal Tory family confused by the enmity of her former friends and neighbors as the American colonies begin their war for independence. Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books reviewer Deborah Stevenson found that Katie's Trunk "hints at the complexities of rebellion and dissent in a way that should provoke thought and discussion." Nettie's Trip South was inspired by the author's great-grandmother's diary of a journey made in 1859 and describes a ten-year-old northern girl's encounter with slavery. School Library Journal contributor Elizabeth M. Reardon called the "compelling and thought-provoking" novel "sure to arouse readers' sympathies."

History also figures in Red Flower Goes West, as a family heads west with a red geranium that reminds them of their old home, while a darker history is the focus of Drummer Boy: Marching to the Civil War. The story of a thirteen-year-old boy who comes of age during the bloody battles of the U.S. Civil War, Drummer Boy recounts what a Kirkus Reviews writer called "an unforgettably sad story, of youth wasted," as the teen marches into a bloody battle and experiences the grim realities of war. Another Kirkus Reviews writer noted of Red Flower Goes West that "Turner makes a red flower … a symbol of a young boy's journey to California that, in turn, becomes a testimony to the pioneers of westward expansion."

Another picture book for young readers, Heron Street, charts the changes in a New England marsh from the colonial era to the present. "Unlike other books on the topic, this implies an appreciation of progress—a refreshing change—as well as dismay over the loss of nature," commented Cooper in Booklist. In Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies Turner focuses on the cross-cultural adoption by an American family of a young Asian boy. The boy retells the story of his adoption and his fear at first of what he encounters before the love of his new family gradually draws him in. Horn Book contributor Ellen Fader found that the story "illuminates in a lyrical and compassionate way" the process of adapting faced by a child from a faraway country.

Domestic matters fill the pages of several picture books by Turner. Stars for Sarah concerns a young child's fears of moving to a new house, while Apple Valley Year chronicles a year in the life of an apple farm, from winter pruning to spring pollination and fall harvest. A child's-eye view of her cozy neighborhood is brought to life in Turner's In the Heart, a "sweetly sentimental" work that features what Booklist critic John Peters described as highly detailed illustrations by Salley Mavor. "The seasons in the Clark family orchard turn poetically in Turner's competent hands," commented Lee Bock in a School Library Journal review of Apple Valley Year. Featuring a poetic text, Angel Hide and Seek is a flight of fancy that ponders on the possible angels that may be found in the oddest places: the faces of sunflowers, for instance, or in the pattern of old wood in a barn. A Kirkus Reviews writer remarked that Turner's "words are simple and limpidly clear as they trace angels through the seasons," while a Publishers Weekly writer dubbed Angels Hide and Seek a "imagination-stretching look at nature."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, May 15, 1989, Ilene Cooper, review of Heron Street, p. 1657; May 15, 1990, p. 1801; April 1, 1991; December 15, 1992, p. 749; September 1, 1993, p. 72; February 15, 1997, p. 1205; January 1, 1995, review of Rosemary's Witch, p. 831; October 15, 1997, Ilene Cooper, review of Finding Walter, pp. 406-407; May 15, 1998, p. 1633; September 15, 1998, Carolyn Phelan, review of Drummer Boy: Marching to the Civil War, p. 232; March 1, 1999, Shelle Rosenfeld, review of A Lion's Hunger: Poems of First Love, p. 1202; November 15, 1999, Karen Hutt, review of The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow: The Diary of Sarah Nita, a Navajo Girl, p. 629; January 1, 2000, Ilene Cooper, review of Secrets from the Dollhouse, p. 913; October 1, 2000, John Peters, review of Learning to Swim: A Memoir, p. 329; January 1, 2001, Carolyn Phelan, review of Abe Lincoln Remembers, p. 964; August, 2001 John Peters, review of In the Heart, p. 2133; July, 2003, Anne O'Malley, review of Love Thy Neighbor: The Tory Diary of Prudence Emerson, p. 1892; August, 2004, Ilene Cooper, review of Pumpkin Cat, p. 1946; June 1, 2005, Carolyn Phelan, review of Maia of Thebes, p. 1814; February 1, 2006, Frances Bradburn, review of Hard Hit, p. 46.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, February, 1983, review of The Way Home, p. 118; June, 1986, review of Street Talk, p. 197; May, 1991, Roger Sutton, review of Rosemary's Witch, p. 230; September, 1991, p. 24; December, 1992, Deborah Stevenson, review of Katie's Trunk, p. 123; June, 1993, Betsy Hearne, review of Grass Songs, p. 331; July, 1995, review of One Brave Summer, p. 399; September, 1995, review of Dust for Dinner, p. 31; December, 1995, Roger Sutton, review of Elfsong, pp. 141-142; October, 1997, p. 69; July, 1999, review of Red Flower Goes West, p. 404; November, 2000, review of Learning to Swim, p. 123; September, 2004, Deborah Sullivan, review of Pumpkin Cat, p. 42; March, 2006, Loretta Gaffney, review of Hard Hit, p. 329.

Horn Book, October, 1980, Virginia Haviland, review of A Hunter Comes Home, p. 529; January, 1986, Mary M. Burns, review of Dakota Dugout, p. 52; September, 1989, Mary M. Burns, review of Grasshopper Summer, p. 624; May 6, 1990, Ellen Fader, review of Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies, p. 330; January-February, 1998, p. 82; June, 1999, Martha A. Brabander, review of Red Flower Goes West, p. 602.

Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 1980, review of A Hunter Comes Home, p. 1237; March 15, 1986, review of Tickle a Pickle; June 1, 1986, review of Third Girl from the Left, p. 872; March 15, 1991, review of Rosemary's Witch, p. 400; September 1, 1991, p. 1170; September 1, 1992, p. 1136; November 1, 1992, p. 1385; February 15, 1993, review of Grass Songs, p. 235; November 15, 1994, p. 1549; May 15, 1998, review of Angel Hide and Seek, p. 745; June 15, 1999, review of Red Flower Goes West, p. 971; December 15, 2003, review of When Mr. Jefferson Came to Philadelphia: What I Learned of Freedom, 1776, p. 1455; July 1, 2004, review of Pumpkin Cat, p. 639; February 1, 2006, review of Hard Hit, p. 138.

Kliatt, January, 2006, Claire Rosser, review of Hard Hit, p. 13.

New York Times Book Review, January 12, 1986, Mark Jonathan Harris, review of Dakota Dugout, p. 25.

Publishers Weekly, September 19, 1994, review of The Christmas House, p. 31; June 15, 1998, review of Angel Hide and Seek, p. 59; August 17, 1998, review of Drummer Boy, p. 71; June 14, 1999, review of Red Flower Goes West, p. 69; January 24, 2000, review of Secrets from the Dollhouse, p. 311; October 30, 2000, review of Learning to Swim, p. 77; December 4, 2000, review of Abe Lincoln Remembers, p. 73; June 4, 2001, review of In the Heart, p. 80; November 11, 2002, review of Abe Lincoln Remembers, p. 67.

School Library Journal, July-August, 1987, Elizabeth M. Reardon, review of Nettie's Trip South, p. 88; February, 1992, Jane Marino, review of Stars for Sarah, p. 79; May, 1992, pp. 95-96; November, 1993, Lee Bock, review of Apple Valley Year, p. 95; October, 1995, p. 140; June, 1997, p. 113; September, 1998, Patricia Lothrop-Green, review of Angel Hide and Seek, p. 184; June, 1999, Steven Engelfried, review of Red Flower Goes West, p. 108; November, 2000, Sharon Korbeck, review of Learning to Swim, p. 177; February, 2001, Mary Ann Carich, review of Abe Lincoln Remembers, p. 116; August, 2003, Kristen Oravec, review of Love Thy Neighbor, p. 168; February, 2004, Beth Tegart, review of When Mr. Jefferson Came to Philadelphia, p. 124; August, 2004, Catherine Threadgill, review of Pumpkin Cat, p. 97; February, 2006, Kathryn Childs, review of Hard Hit, p. 138.

Voice of Youth Advocates, February, 1999, review of A Lion's Hunger, p. 460; December, 2000, review of Learning to Swim, p. 372; April, 2006, Nancy Zachary, review of Hard Hit, p. 54.

Washington Post Book World, March 14, 2004, Elizabeth Ward, review of When Mr. Jefferson Came to Philadelphia, p. 11.

ONLINE

Ann Turner Home Page,http://www.annturnerbooks.com (April 15, 2007).

OTHER

Turner, Ann, Macmillan publicity brochure, 1989.

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Turner, Ann

Turner, Ann

A nineteenth-century English reputed witch.

(See also England )

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