St. Anthony, Jane
St. Anthony, Jane
Married; husband's name Louis; children: Emily, Edward. Education: University of Minnesota, B.A. Religion: Roman Catholic.
Home—Minneapolis, MN. E-mail—[email protected]
Children's book writer. Formerly worked in corporate communications; writer for nonprofit organizations, including American Indian Neighborhood Development Corporation, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis Public Schools, and The Minneapolis Foundation. Resident writer, Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, 2001; community volunteer.
National Writers Union (co-chair for Twin Cities Book Division).
The Summer Sherman Loved Me, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 2006.
Grace above All, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 2007.
Jane St. Anthony won her first writing competition before entering high school, and was encouraged to pursue creative writing by her tenth-grade teacher. She has worked in corporate communications, writing materials
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for nonprofit organizations such as the Minneapolis Public Schools. In more recent years, St. Anthony has turned her attention to fiction, penning the middle-grade novels The Summer Sherman Loved Me and Grace above All. Both stories are set in the 1960s and both focus on a young teen grappling with the prospect of growing up. The Summer Sherman Loved Me tells the story of twelve-year-old Margaret and her good-looking next-door neighbor, Sherman, who is thirteen. When Sherman confesses his love for his younger neighbor, she is uncertain as to what to do with that information. Does she love him back? Margaret knows that her mother disapproves of their relationship, but she is too immature to understand why. Meanwhile, her life is also complicated by her three-year-old twin sisters. As Margaret tries to live up to the high expectations she sets for herself and untangle her feelings toward Sherman, she begins the process of growing up and finding her place in a novel that "beautifully captures the texture" of the era in which it is set, according to a Kirkus Reviews contributor. Janis Flint-Ferguson called The Summer Sherman Loved Me "a nostalgic story about simpler summers," and added that while the slow pace of St. Anthony's story might challenge some readers, others will enjoy the rich relationships between characters. According to a Buffalo News writer, "St. Anthony offers an uncannily vivid perspective" on growing up in the 1960s, while Booklist reviewer Gillian Engberg maintained that "Margaret's precise observations, written in an authentic voice, will resonate with today's teens." "The emotions experienced by the well-drawn characters … remain universal," Maria B. Salvadore concluded in School Library Journal, echoing Engberg's impression.
Grace above All is a companion novel to The Summer Sherman Loved Me. Babysitting her younger siblings for the summer does not promise much excitement for Grace, but things change when Grace's sister, Beth, floats too far from shore on an inflatable raft. Grace's only thought is to save the younger girl, and when a boy named Frankie comes to her aid, the two are able to tow Beth back to shore together. As her relationship with the heroic Frankie develops, Grace begins to think that summer will turn out all right after all.
Discussing her work habits on her home page, St. Anthony explained that her personal goal as a writer is "two typed pages a day. Not finished copy, but words on paper." She refuses to succumb to writer's block, or to wait for inspiration; "If I waited for the spirit to move me," she added, "I'm afraid I'd still be sitting on the couch reading."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, August 1, 2006, Gillian Engberg, review of The Summer Sherman Loved Me, p. 79.
Buffalo News, July 30, 2006, review of The Summer Sherman Loved Me, p. G5.
Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2006, review of The Summer Sherman Loved Me, p. 467.
Kliatt, May, 2006, Janis Flint-Ferguson, review of The Summer Sherman Loved Me, p. 15.
School Library Journal, April, 2006, Maria B. Salvadore, review of The Summer Sherman Loved Me, p. 148.
Washington Post Book World, July 9, 2006, Elizabeth Ward, review of The Summer Sherman Loved Me, p. 11.
Jane St. Anthony Home Page,http://www.janestanthony.com (November 26, 2006).