Love, D. Anne 1949-
Love, D. Anne 1949-
Born January 12, 1949, in Selmer, TN; daughter of Oscar W. and Elsie M. Catlett; married Ronald W. Love, June 8, 1974. Education: Lamar University, B.S., 1972; University of North Texas, M.Ed., 1976, Ph.D., 1984. Politics: "Independent." Religion: Protestant. Hobbies and other interests: Jazz music, travel.
Educator and writer. School administrator in Richardson, TX, 1974-88; University of North Texas, Denton, professor, 1989-91; full-time writer, 1989—. Western Hills Area Education Agency, Sioux City, IA, consultant, 1994-96; speaker at schools.
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
Prize for Juvenile Fiction, Friends of American Writers, 1997, for My Lone Star Summer; American Library Association Amelia Bloomer listee, International Reading Association Notable Book in Language Arts designation, William Allen White Award nomination, Children's Book Award, Writers League of Texas, and several other state book award nominations, all 2003, all for The Puppeteer's Apprentice; New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age selection, 2007, for Semiprecious; nominations for several state reading awards.
Bess's Log Cabin Quilt, illustrated by Ronald Himler, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1995.
Dakota Spring, illustrated by Ronald Himler, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1995.
My Lone Star Summer, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1996.
Three against the Tide, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1998.
I Remember the Alamo, Dell Yearling (New York, NY), 1999.
A Year without Rain, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2000.
The Puppeteer's Apprentice, Margaret K. McElderry Books (New York, NY), 2003.
The Secret Prince, Margaret K. McElderry Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Semiprecious, Margaret K. McElderry Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Of Numbers and Stars: The Story of Hypatia, illustrated by Pam Papparone, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2006.
Picture Perfect, Margaret K. McElderry Books (New York, NY), 2007.
Contributor to magazines, newspapers, and educational journals.
A former educator, D. Anne Love writes novels in which resourceful young adults rise to the occasion when faced with severe challenges. While her novels Bess's LogCabin Quilt, Dakota Spring, and Three against the Tide draw readers into the past, Love deals with modern life in novels such as My Lone Star Summer and Semiprecious. In addition to coming-of-age tales, Love is also the author of the award-winning historical novel The Puppeteer's Apprentice and well as the fantasy novel The Secret Prince and the picture-book biography Of Numbers and Stars: The Story of Hypatia. In the last, a story about the fourth-century Alexandrian mathematician and scholar that School Library Journal reviewer Julie R. Ranelli dubbed a "fascinating read" due to its "clear and captivating text," Love introduces the brillian young woman whose unconventional life was cut tragically short by a murderous mob. Praised by a Kirkus Reviews writer as "an attractive and engaging" work, Of Numbers and Stars presents young readers with "a worthy contribution to women's history," according to the critic.
Love's first book for younger readers, Bess's Log Cabin Quilt, tells the story of a ten-year-old girl who single-handedly comes to the rescue of her pioneer family. When her father fails to return from his work on the Oregon Trail and her mother falls ill, Bess must handle the incursions of local Indians and the visits of a money-lender who threatens to seize the family farm. Melissa McPherson, a contributor to Voice of Youth Advocates, applauded Love's detailed description of frontier life, going on to claim that "readers of historical fiction will definitely enjoy this."
In Dakota Spring, Caroline and her brother rely on the help of a neighbor to manage their family's Dakota farm after their father breaks his leg. When their straitlaced grandmother arrives to help out, the children must learn to deal with the elderly woman's cold personality while also coming to terms with their own mother's untimely death. Comparing Dakota Spring to Patricia MacLachlan's classic children's story Sarah, Plain and Tall in her review for Voice of Youth Advocates, Susan Steinfirst maintained that Love's novel "should appeal to kids who love these tame wild west sagas." Booklist contributor Carolyn Phelan also recommended Dakota Spring, praising the author's "well drawn and intriguing" characters, consistent point of view, and ability to create a strong sense of place and historical period. "This book will please youngsters looking for good historical fiction," Phelan concluded.
The U.S. Civil War sets the stage for Three against the Tide, which finds twelve-year-old Susannah caring for her younger brothers after her father leaves their South Carolina island home to join the war effort. As the war continues and the family's slaves and neighbors depart, the children struggle to survive on their own, then make a perilous journey down river to Charleston, where they hope to find their father. Charleston offers no shelter, however, after the town is burnt to the ground by Union troops, and the children once again set off in search of their father. Along the way, tomboyish Susannah learns the value of some of the womanly arts she had earlier spurned. She also finds her unthinking support for the Confederate war effort weakened when she encounters her family's former slaves on their quest for freedom, a quest Susannah can now understand. Although some critics found Three against the Tide occasionally marred by sentimentality, Kathleen Squires wrote in Booklist that "the fast pace, historical detail, and well-drawn heroine … will help readers overlook" the novel's flaws. A contributor to Publishers Weekly reached a similar conclusion, predicting that despite Love's nostalgic portrayal of "Southern gentility," "readers will revel in the three protagonists' bravery and spirit."
Love turns to a pivotal moment in Texas history in I Remember the Alamo. The novel centers on the McCann family, recently arrived in Texas from Kentucky. Soon Jessie McCann's father and older brother become caught up in the escalating battle that will culminate in the bloody siege and final rout at the Alamo Mission, leaving the region's women and children to seek a brief refuge at the doomed and battered building. "The strength of the novel … lies in its setting and sense of history," observed a contributor to Horn Book. Although the realism of Love's period piece is aided by the appearance of several historical figures, an important theme—the relationship between the Mexican residents of San Antonio and the recent North American settlers— is symbolized by Jessie's tempestuous friendship with a Mexican girl named Angelina. While noting that the novel's "ending is pretty pat after so much blood and tragedy," John Peters concluded in Booklist that fans of historical novels "will enjoy [Love's] … perceptive view of this American turning point." Likewise, a contributor to Kirkus Reviews cited the novel's implausible characterizations, yet nevertheless concluded of I Remember the Alamo that "the pacing is fast, and the historical details [are] captivating."
A drought-stricken South Dakota provides the setting for Love's young-adult historical novel A Year without Rain. It is the late 1800s, and twelve-year-old Rachel lives on the prairie with her widowed father and her younger brother, her mother having passed away four years earlier. When a drought extends through the long, hot summer, Rachel's father sends the children to the home of their aunt's sister in Savannah, Georgia. There the two siblings reminisce with family and servants who remember their mother, and read through the late woman's letters. When Rachel's father arrives to bring his children back home, he announces that he plans to marry Rachel's teacher. Rachel now hatches a scheme to foil the nuptials that has disastrous results. All is forgiven in the end, however, as the girl accepts that change is inevitable. A contributor to Horn Book concluded that preteens who "enjoy this kind of ‘touched by an angel’ comfort … will find the book a pleasing diversion." In School Library Journal Valerie Diamond called A Year without Rain "simply yet artfully told with characters both realistic and endearing."
In her first work of contemporary fiction, My Lone Star Summer, Love focuses on twelve-year-old Jill. Each
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summer, Jill visits her grandmother's Texas ranch, where she enjoys spending time with good friend B.J. This year, B.J. insists on being called Belinda; no longer a tomboy, she has also started wearing make-up and flirting with boys, leaving little time for Jill. My Lone Star Summer "is a fairly standard girl-coming-of-age novel for the youngest of YAs," Alice F. Stern remarked in a review for Voice of Youth Advocates. While admitting that Love's "story's a bit formulaic," Deborah Stevenson wrote in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books that the protagonist's "narration is unforced, honest, and touching in its examination of the gains and losses of growing up."
Readers are introduced to life in 1960s Oklahoma in Semiprecious, which finds twelve-year-old Texans Garnet Hubbard and her older sister Opal dealing with a difficult school year. Their father has been hospitalized following a disfiguring work-related accident and their mom is more focused on her singing career in Nashville than her family. Now the sisters are sent to live with an aunt in rural Oklahoma, where they must deal with their sense of abandonment while building independent lives for themselves. In Booklist, Carolyn Phelan called Semiprecious "an involving novel of hurt, healing, and adjustment," while in School Library Journal Catherine Ensley maintained that "the intriguing questions [Love] … poses … make her an author to watch." "Tugging at the heart with painful truths" and featuring a resilient narrator, Semiprecious "is Love's best yet," concluded a Kirkus Reviews writer.
Another case of parental abandonment is at the core of Picture Perfect. Things for fourteen-year-old Phoebe Trask have been tricky enough due to typical adolescent concerns. When her mother's a dream job with a cosmetic company requires that she relocate to Las Vegas, the teen must navigate her difficult year as a high school freshman solo. When a lonely widowed neighbor begins to insinuate herself into the family as a motherly caretaker, Phoebe becomes resentful, and her anger soon turns on her own mom. As Phoebe learns to deal with peer pressure as well as a budding romance, she grows emotionally, and a tragedy ultimately forges stronger relationships among family members. Writing that Love "has a knack for capturing the essence of what it's like to be young and burdened by life," a Publishers Weekly contributor wrote of Picture Perfect that the author's "rendition of family trauma is ultimately both uplifting and realistic." A Kirkus Reviews critic also praised the novel, dubbing it "a rewarding read, despite a vaguely soap-ish plot," and Voice of Youth Advocates critic Kathleen Beck deemed Picture Perfect "a refreshing book" in which, through its upbeat message, "Love demonstrates that characters coping successfully with challenges can make a good story too."
In The Puppeteer's Apprentice Love departs from her usual American setting and takes readers back in time to medieval England. Her heroine, Mouse, is a girl so downtrodden that she lacks even a formal name. Drawing on her strength, determination, and perseverance, Mouse overcomes being brutalized by the manor cook for whom she works as a scullery maid and strikes out on her own. Coming to a fair, she is mesmerized by the puppet show and volunteers to serve as the puppet master's apprentice. Tension builds as Mouse becomes aware of the mysteries surrounding the puppet master's identity and finally forges her own identity, along with a proper name. "Love sketches an eclectic cast and packs in plenty of historical details as she portrays the freedoms and perils of the puppeteer's vagabond life," explained a Publishers Weekly contributor in a review of The Puppeteer's Apprentice. Calling the book a "wonderfully written tale," Kit Vaughan added in School Library Journal that the novel focuses on "mystery, suspense, and the realism that comes with a battle fought and won." Describing Mouse as a likable character whose heart, ingenuity, and spunk will win readers' hearts, some critics also found Love writing in top form, offering a tight, suspenseful plot and many realistic period details. As a contributor to Kirkus Reviews concluded of The Puppeteer's Apprentice, "colorful, lively, rhythmic language and a strong sense of medieval England make this a great read-aloud."
History merges with fantasy in The Secret Prince, which introduces a world evocative of the age of King Arthur. In Love's novel, a foundling born under a blood-red sunset is raised by Morwid, an exiled warrior who follows the prophecies set down in the Book of the Ancients. The child, Thorn, is actually of royal birth, and as he grows up he is trained in the ways of battle and diplomacy. When Thorn comes of age he follows his destiny: to locate the lost amulet of the kingdom of Kelhadden. This token will help Thorn free his people from the rule of his own father, Ranulf, whose lust for power prompted him to steal the throne from his son years before. Although Saleena L. Davidson described Love's plot as somewhat "predictable," she added in her School Library Journal review of the novel that the "twist at the end comes as a complete surprise." "Readers looking for adventure in a medieval fantasy world will find it here," predicted Phelan, while Kliatt reviewer Michele Winship wrote that The Secret Prince yields "all of the requisite elements of the quest fantasy, including fantastic creatures, surprising twists, and a variety of roadblocks along the way."
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Discussing her career as a writer, Love once commented: "I left public school administration in order to devote more time to writing and teaching at the university level. For me, the writing process usually begins with visualizing the last scene and working backward. I am a collector of information and often find that a postcard, brochure, or photograph collected somewhere along the way can spark story ideas. Inspiration flows from my love of history and a strong sense of place."
"As life grows more complicated," Love more recently noted to SATA, "future novels will examine topics of interest to modern teens, including bullying and obsessive relationships. As with Semiprecious and Picture Perfect, I hope to show teens confronting real situations in ways that are uplifting and realistic."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, February 15, 1995, Kay Weisman, review of Bess's Log Cabin Quilt, p. 1085; November 15, 1995, Carolyn Phelan, review of Dakota Spring, p. 559; May 1, 1996, Susan DeRonne, review of My Lone Star Summer, p. 1506; December 1, 1998, Kathleen Squires, review of Three against the Tide, p. 667; January 1, 2000, John Peters, review of I Remember the Alamo, p. 926; April 1, 2000, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of A Year without Rain, p. 1477; March 15, 2003, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Puppeteer's Apprentice, p. 1327; January 1, 2005, review of The Secret Prince, p. 859; April 15, 2006, Carolyn Phelan, review of Of Numbers and Stars: The Story of Hypatia, p. 49; July 1, 2006, Carolyn Phelan, review of Semiprecious, p. 55.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July, 1996, Deborah Stevenson, review of My Lone Star Summer, pp. 378-379; May, 2003, review of The Puppeteer's Apprentice, p. 367; February, 2005, Timnah Card, review of The Secret Prince, p. 257; October, 2006, Karen Coats, review of Semiprecious, p. 81.
Childhood Education, fall, 2000, Jeanie Burnett, review of I Remember the Alamo, p. 45.
Horn Book, March, 2000, review of I Remember the Alamo, p. 197; July, 2000, review of A Year without Rain, p. 461.
Florida Times-Union, May 11, 2004, Brandy Hilboldt Allport, "Read Lots, Get a Life, and Stay Focused" (interview), p. C1.
Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 1998, review of Three against the Tide, p. 1601; November 15, 1999, review of I Remember the Alamo, p. 1812; March 15, 2003, review of The Puppeteer's Apprentice, p. 472; February, 2005, Timnah Card, review of Of Numbers and Stars, p. 235; June 15, 2006, review of Semiprecious, p. 635; March 1, 2007, review of Picture Perfect, p. 226.
Kliatt, March, 2005, Michelle Winship, review of The Secret Prince, p. 13.
Publishers Weekly, April 17, 1995, review of Bess's Log Cabin Quilt, p. 60; December 7, 1998, review of Three against the Tide, p. 60; April 10, 2000, review of A Year without Rain, p. 99; March 17, 2003, review of The Puppeteer's Apprentice, p. 77; February 26, 2007, review of Picture Perfect, p. 91.
School Library Journal, June, 1995, Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, review of Bess's Log Cabin Quilt, p. 111; November, 1995, Rita Soltan, review of Dakota Spring, p. 103; March, 1996, Susan Oliver, review of My Lone Star Summer, p. 196; January, 1999, Cindy Darling Codell, review of Three against the Tide, p. 128; January, 2000, Coop Renner, review of I Remember the Alamo, p. 134; September, 2000, Valerie Diamond, review of A Year without Rain, p. 233; May, 2003, Kit Vaughan, review of The Puppeteer's Apprentice, p. 156; June, 2005, Saleena L. Davidson, review of The Secret Prince, p. 162; May, 2006, Julie R. Ranelli, review of Of Numbers and Stars, p. 114; September, 2006, Catherine Ensley, review of Semiprecious, p. 211.
Voice of Youth Advocates, October, 1995, Melissa McPherson, review of Bess's Log Cabin Quilt, p. 220; April, 1996, Susan Steinfirst, review of Dakota Spring, p. 27; October, 1996, Alice F. Stern, review of My Lone Star Summer, pp. 211-212; April, 2005, Karen Sykeny, review of The Secret Prince, p. 58; June, 2007, Kathleen Beck, review of Picture Perfect, p. 146.
D. Anne Love Home Page,http://www.dannelove.com (June 1, 2007).