Farrell, Mary Cronk
Farrell, Mary Cronk
PERSONAL: Married; husband's name Mike; children: three. Education: Gonzaga University, B.A. Religion: Roman Catholic.
ADDRESSES: Home—Spokane, WA. Agent—c/o Author Mail, St. Anthony Messenger Press, Franciscan Communications, 28 West Liberty St., Cincinnati, OH 45202-6498.
CAREER: Journalist and writer. WABC-TV Eyewitness News, New York, NY, former intern; freelance journalist; reporter and anchor for television stations, including KXLY-TV, Spokane, WA; KSTW-TV, Tacoma, WA; and KIRO-TV, Seattle, WA.
AWARDS, HONORS: Emmy Award nomination, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, for coverage of Gulf War protestors; multiple Awards of Excellence, Society of Professional Journalist, for feature and general news reports; Missionary Servant in the World Award, Catholic Life Ministries, 2002; SPUR Award for best Western juvenile fiction, Western Writers of America, Notable Children's Trade Book in Social Studies citation, Children's Book Council/National Council for the Social Studies, and Best Children's Books of the Year citation, Bank Street College, all 2005, all for Fire in the Hole!
Fire in the Hole! (young-adult novel), Clarion Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Celebrating Faith: Year-Round Activities for Catholic Families, St. Anthony Messenger Press (Cincinnati, OH), 2005.
Coauthor of book Daughters of the Desert: Stories of Remarkable Women from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Traditions. Contributor to periodicals, including Pockets, Wild Outdoor World, and Catholic Parent. Author of syndicated newspaper column "Everyday Grace."
SIDELIGHTS: Mary Cronk Farrell had been a freelance journalist for many years before she published her first book, the young-adult novel Fire in the Hole! This award-winning novel is set in 1899, in the mining community of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The main character is fourteen-year-old Mick O'Shea, who has always refused to work in the mines like his father does; instead, he dreams of going to college and becoming a newspaper reporter. When his mother dies in childbirth and his father is sent to jail for being part of the striking miners' union, Mick has no choice but to cross the picket lines and become a silver miner to support what remains of his family. The story is set during an actual period of labor unrest in Coeur d'Alene, where striking miners blew up the mining company's ore concentrating mill. Federal government troops were sent to maintain the peace and reacted to the bombing by carrying out mass arrests. Building on these historical events, Fire in the Hole! "fairly brims with details and mining history," Kay Weisman declared in Booklist. A Kirkus Reviews critic added, "Fictional newspaper articles … and a good author's note contribute historical and legal context." Fire in the Hole! is "a gripping tale of survival that uses its historical background to add depth and drama," concluded School Library Journal contributor Carol A. Edwards.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 1, 2004, Kay Weisman, review of Fire in the Hole!, p. 484.
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2004, review of Fire in the Hole!, p. 60.
School Library Journal, January, 2005, Carol A. Edwards, review of Fire in the Hole!, p. 128.
Mary Cronk Farrell Home Page, http://www.marycronkfarrell.com (August 10, 2005).