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Rupp, Rebecca

Personal

Married; husband's name Randy; children: Josh, Ethan, Caleb. Education: Ph.D. (cell biology).

Addresses

Home—Shaftsbury, VT. E-mail—[email protected]

Career

Freelance writer. Producer and host of homeschool television program.

Awards, Honors

Book Sense Picks for Children, 2006, for Journey to the Blue Moon.

Writings

JUVENILE FICTION

The Dragon of Lonely Island, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 1998.

The Waterstone, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2002.

The Return of the Dragon, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2005.

Journey to the Blue Moon: In Which Time Is Lost and Then Found Again, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2006.

NONFICTION

Blue Corn and Square Tomatoes: Unusual Facts about Common Vegetables, Storey Communications (Pownal, VT), 1987.

Red Oaks and Black Birches: The Science and Lore of Trees, Storey Communications (Pownal, VT), 1990.

Good Stuff: Learning Tools for All Ages, Home Education Press (Tonasket, WA), 1993, revised edition, Holt/CWS (Cambridge, MA), 1997.

Everything You Never Learned about Birds, illustrated by Jeffrey C. Domm, Storey Communications (Pownal, VT), 1995.

Committed to Memory: How We Remember and Why We Forget, Crown (New York, NY), 1998, published as How We Remember and Why We Forget, Three Rivers Press (New York, NY), 1998.

The Complete Home Learning Sourcebook: The Essential Resource Guide for Homeschoolers, Parents, and Educators Covering Every Subject from Arithmetic to Zoology, Three Rivers Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Getting Started on Home Learning: How and Why to Teach Your Kids at Home, Three Rivers Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Home Learning Year by Year: How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool through High School, Three Rivers Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Weather!: Watch How Weather Works, illustrated by Melissa Sweet and Dug Nap, Storey Kids (North Adams, MA), 2003.

Rocks, Storey Kids (North Adams, MA), 2004.

Author of monthly column for Home Education magazine. Contributor to periodicals.

Sidelights

Rebecca Rupp, a nationally recognized advocate for homemeschooling, is also the author of several fantasy novels for middle-grade readers, including The Dragon of Lonely Island and The Waterstone. Rupp, who has a Ph.D. in cell biology, has also written books on natural history and numerous journal articles on education.

Rupp published her debut work of fiction, The Dragon of Lonely Island, in 1998. The fantasy centers on the adventures of twelve-year-old Hannah, ten-year-old Zachary, and eight-year-old Sarah Emily, who venture to their great-aunt Mehitabel's house on Lonely Island, a remote isle off the coast of Maine. A cryptic message from Mehitabel leads the trio to Fafnyr, a golden-scaled, three-headed dragon with a penchant for telling stories. Over the summer, the siblings learn how the tridrake saved a Chinese girl from invading Mongols, rescued a London orphan from pirates, and helped a timid youngster find strength after she became marooned on a desert island. Although a Publishers Weekly reviewer felt that Rupp's "narrative frame, which strives for a classic timelessness, can feel overly tame or quaint," Booklist contributors Chris Sherman and Jack Helbig praised the "rich, sensory images" in the novel and called The Dragon of Lonely Island "an entertaining fantasy for preteen readers."

In a sequel, The Return of the Dragon, Hannah, Zachary, and Sarah Emily join forces to protect Fafnyr from an unscrupulous billionaire. When the children suspect that J.P. King plans to capture the tridrake and use the creature for financial gain, they seek Fafnyr's wisdom. The dragon shares three tales about a Greek shepherd, a young squire, and a slave child that, together, help the children learn the meaning of freedom. The Return of the Dragon "is a quick, easy read that goes down like warm milk," noted School Library Journal critic Walter Minkel, and a Kirkus Reviews critic remarked that Rupp's "fluent prose and savvy, lightly presented life advice make this as readable and thought provoking" as her earlier novel.

A young man attempts to save his dying world in The Waterstone, a book that takes readers on "an amazing journey of surprising proportions," according to a critic in Kirkus Reviews. As twelve-year-old Tad, a member of the Fisher tribe, notices that the water from a nearby pond is drying up, he begins having strange "rememberings": thoughts featuring people, places, and events that the boy does not recognize. Together with his father, Pondleweed, and younger sister, Birdie, Tad journeys beyond the pond to visit the other tribes living nearby, such as the Hunters and the Diggers. During his journey, Tad discovers that he holds the memories and powers of past Sagamores, beings charged with protecting an energy source called the Waterstone, which may be able to restore balance to the forest where Tad lives. The Waterstone "deceptively starts out as an adventure story and ends on a somewhat epic note," commented School Library Journal reviewer Lisa Prolman.

In Journey to the Blue Moon: In Which Time Is Lost and Then Found Again Rupp examines themes of loyalty and integrity. After eleven-year-old Alex loses his grandfather's antique pocket watch, he finds himself mysteriously losing track of time. During a chance meeting with an elderly woman, the boy learns that lost belongings can be found on a blue moon, Determined to go there, Alex and his dog, Zeke, set off in a rickety spaceship belonging to the Moon Rats. Upon arrival on the blue moon, Alex encounters a host of misplaced individuals people, including a woman who lost her heart in a failed romance and a medieval scholar who lost his train of thought. Alex also faces down Urd, a powerful wizard-like creature, as well as the terrifying Time Eaters. A Kirkus Reviews critic described Journey to the Blue Moon as a "fast-paced fantasy, dusted with humor, rife with danger and bulging with bizarre characters," and Todd Morning wrote in Booklist that Rupp "holds the reader's interest … with humor and some well-placed excitement."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

American Forests, September-October, 1992, Wallace Kaufman, review of Red Oaks and Black Birches: The Science and Lore of Trees, p. 57.

Booklist, December 15, 1997, William Beatty, review of Committed to Memory: How We Remember and Why We Forget, p. 668; February 1, 1999, Chris Sherman and Jack Helbig, review of The Dragon of Lonely Island, p. 975; September 1, 2005, Kay Weisman, review of The Return of the Dragon, p. 135; December 1, 2006, Todd Morning, review of Journey to the Blue Moon: In Which Time Is Lost and Then Found Again, p. 48.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, December, 1998, review of The Dragon of Lonely Island, p. 145.

Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2002, review of The Waterstone, p. 962; July 1, 2005, review of The Return of the Dragon, p. 743; September 15, 2006, review of Journey to the Blue Moon, p. 965.

Library Journal, November 15, 1998, Terry Christner, review of The Complete Home Learning Sourcebook: The Essential Resource Guide for Homeschoolers, Parents, and Educators Covering Every Subject from Arithmetic to Zoology, p. 76.

Publishers Weekly, November 10, 1997, review of How We Remember and Why We Forget, p. 60; November 16, 1998, review of The Dragon of Lonely Island, p. 75.

School Library Journal, November, 2002, Lisa Prolman, review of The Waterstone, p. 174; May, 2004, Kathryn Kosiorek, review of Weather!: Watch How Weather Works, p. 173; December, 2005, Walter Minkel, review of The Return of the Dragon, p. 154; October, 2006, Walter Minkel, review of Journey to the Blue Moon, p. 168.

Smithsonian, June, 1991, Joe Sherman, review of Red Oaks and Black Birches, p. 137.

ONLINE

Candlewick Press Web site,http://www.candlewick.com/ (November 20, 2007), "Rebecca Rupp."

Homeschool Zone Web site,http://www.homeschoolzone.com/ (November 20, 2007), "Rebecca Rupp."

Rupp, Rebecca

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