Berglin, Ruth Marie 1970–
Berglin, Ruth Marie 1970–
Born February 28, 1970, in LaPorte, IN; daughter of Robert (a blue-collar worker) and Emily (a teacher) Armstrong; married Joel Berglin (a nurse), December 28, 1993; children: Janinya, Katriana. Education: Bethany Lutheran College, A.A., 1991; Mankato State University, B.S. (elementary education), B.S. (Spanish), both 1993; Minnesota State University, Moorhead, M.A. (reading), 1999. Religion: Lutheran.
Homemaker and writer. English-as-a-Second-Language teacher and Title I communications educator, 1994-99.
Minnesota Book Award finalist, 2006, for Dear Big, Mean, Ugly Monster.
Dear Big, Mean, Ugly Monster, illustrated by Carl DiRocco, Child & Family Press (Washington, DC), 2005.
Contributor to books, including Chapel Talks for Christian Children, Northwestern Publishing House.
Although Ruth Marie Berglin devotes much of her time to raising and home-schooling her two children, the former teacher also became a published writer in 2005. As she explained to SATA, her book Dear Big, Mean, Ugly Monster "had very humble beginnings. I first told the story in our minivan during a long trip. Both of my daughters are impatient and restless travelers. I've spent many hours reading wonderful books to make the miles go by much faster than the speed limits allow. On this particular trip, I finished our book before the girls were done hearing stories, so I made up my own. Thus were born characters Joe and SAM and the letters that make up their story.
"I thought the story was done when we reached our destination, but the girls kept asking to hear it again. During quiet moments, I found myself tweaking the story; it was begging to be written on paper. My husband Joel said I should mail the story off to a publisher. My sister, Rachel, nagged me until I did it. I mailed it to Child & Family Press, but really did not expect to hear from them. So many people mail off stories, but so few are chosen. The day the call came, I hugged my husband and daughters as I laughed in disbelief and cried with joy.
"I have always loved to write, but this was the first time someone I had never met decided one of my stories was worth the time, effort, and expense of turning
it into a book. It has been such a joy to take my story to children in stores, libraries, and schools. They are so eager to listen to stories, ask questions, and tell me about the writing that they have done.
"As I continue to write, my daughters hear the stories first. Sometimes, I am just entertaining them. Other times, the story is a non-threatening way to teach them about something bigger: dealing with sibling rivalry, overcoming fears, controlling tempers. I hope to share these stories, too, with other children. We will see what God has in mind for me!"
Biographical and Critical Sources
Children's Bookwatch, November, 2005, review of Dear Big, Mean, Ugly Monster.
Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2005, review of Dear Big, Mean, Ugly Monster, p. 1229.