Powell, E. Sandy 1947-
Powell, E. Sandy 1947-
Born February 12, 1947 in Vancouver, WA; daughter of Ken (a business manager) and Kay (a homemaker and writer) Powell; children: Gisela Powell, Willie Sandry, Elizabeth Powell. Education: Western Washington University, B.A., 1976; City University, master's degree, 1996. Politics: Independent. Religion: "New Age Christian."
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Thomson Delmar Learning, Executive Woods, 5 Maxwell Dr., P.O. Box 8007, Clifton Park, NY 12065-8007.
Writer, editor, and educator. Southwestern Oregon Community College, Gold Beach, OR,
instructor. Has worked as a children's caregiver and a daycare center director.
National Association for Education of Young Children, American Association for Women in Community Colleges, Kalmiopsis Audubon.
Outstanding Trade Book citation, National Council of Social Studies/Children's Book Council, 1991, for Daisy.
FOR YOUNG READERS
Geranium Morning (fiction), illustrations by Renée Graef, Carolrhoda Books (Minneapolis, MN), 1990.
Daisy (fiction), illustrations by Peter J. Thornton, Carolrhoda Books (Minneapolis, MN), 1991.
A Chance to Grow, illustrations by Zulma Davila, Carolrhoda Books (Minneapolis, MN), 1992.
(As E.S. Powell) Washington (nonfiction), Lerner Publications. (Minneapolis, MN), 1993.
Rats (nonfiction), photographs by Jerry Boucher, Lerner Publications (Minneapolis, MN), 1994.
Heart to Heart Caregiving: A Sourcebook of Family Day Care Activities, Projects, and Practical Provider Support, Red Leaf Press (St. Paul, MN), 1990.
(Compiler) Reading Women's Lives, 3rd edition, Pearson (Upper Saddle River, NJ), 2002.
What's Up?: Activities for Responding to Children's Lives, Delmar Learning (Clifton Park, NY), 2003.
(Manuscript Editor) Elmo Williams: A Hollywood Memoir, McFarland (Jefferson, NC), 2006.
Also playwright and lyricist, with composer Mick Terry, of In Our Hands Now! a high school musical script, 2002, and screenplay, 2004.
E. Sandy Powell is a writing educator, editor, and the author of several well-received books for younger readers. She once told CA: "I began to write shortly after I fell in love with reading, which was in the second grade. A dear children's librarian in a public library basement encouraged a friend and I to work our way through the stacks. I'm sure I was also taking after my mom who has always loved to read. ;h3 I found a tremendous comfort in books, so by the light of the sweet-smelling electric blanket control, I read under my covers, late into the night." She produced her first work when she was in the seventh grade. According to the author, this play was her "last serious piece of writing as a child." It was not until many years later, at a friend's funeral, that Powell's love for writing became focused. She had always loved her work with children, but when someone praised her friend's career as a freelance photographer by saying ‘He did what he wanted to do,’ she began to reassess her life. "Soul-rankling months later I finally made a clear decision within myself. I wanted to be a writer," she explained. "My work now," Powell said, "revolves primarily around my twelve-hour writing days. I am very fortunate to have my grown kids' encouragement for my writing life."
Powell is the author of several well-received children's books. Daisy approaches an extremely serious subject in terms appropriate for younger readers. The title character is an eight-year-old girl being raised by her father because her mother left some years earlier. Unknown to anyone else, however, she has been suffering from verbal and physical abuse from her alcoholic father. One day, when volunteer tutor Mrs. Calley notices Daisy's black eye, she convinces the girl to tell the principal about her problems. "Daisy's straightforward, affecting account chronicles her father's appalling cruelty," commented a Publishers Weekly reviewer. With her story revealed, Daisy is sent to live with a kind and nourishing foster family while her father gets counseling help. Powell's narrative makes it clear that abused children have done nothing to deserve such treatment, and that they should immediately tell someone they trust if they are being abused.
In Geranium Morning, Powell explores another emotionally wrenching subject in a book geared for first-to-third-grade readers. Young Timothy does not want to go with his father on their annual shopping trip to buy geraniums, so he pretends to be sick. His disappointed father goes without him. Later, however, comes devastating news: on his way back home from
the flower-buying trip, Timothy's father is killed in an automobile accident. Overwhelmed with grief, Timothy is also wracked with guilt for staying home. As he and his mother struggle with their shattered emotions, Timothy meets a new girl at school, Frannie, whose friendship and courage in her own troubled times will help him learn to deal with his grief and guilt. Powell's story "gently probes the myriad feelings associated with grief," and uncovers the "value of the shared experience as the root of recovery," observed Virginia E. Jeschelnig in School Library Journal.
Powell has also written some nonfiction works for young readers. Rats, for example, offers a collection of photographs, biological details, and other information on the titular rodents. Booklist, reviewer April Judge called the book "informative."
Powell's many years with young people led her into another venue, the musical. Powell wrote In Our Hands Now! and then found Mick Terry to compose the music to the thirteen numbers. She told CA: "When my oldest daughter performed in Grease I was impressed with the director's focus on individual growth and group process while he guided students through a polished production. I wanted to offer drama programs a contemporary alternative to classic teen fare, one in which all students could risk participating in such an empowering experience."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, January 1, 1995, April Judge, review of Rats, p. 824.
Publishers Weekly, November 1, 1991, review of Daisy, p. 81.
School Library Journal, July, 1990, Virginia E. Jeschelnig, review of Geranium Morning, p. 63.
In Our Hands Now! Web site, http://www.mickterry. com/iohn-index2.htm/ (June 19, 2006), biography of E. Sandy Powell.
Southwestern Oregon Community College Web site, http://www.socc.edu/ (June 19, 2006), biography of E. Sandy Powell.