Verniero, Joan C. 1949–
Verniero, Joan C. 1949–
Born 1949, in Nutley, NJ. Education: Seton Hall University, B.A.; Bank Street College of Education, M.A.; attended Vassar Institute of Children's Literature. Hobbies and other interests: Ballet.
Home—Monroe, CT. E-mail—[email protected]
Children's book author and educator. Founder of two experimental education programs in New York, NY. Naugatuck Valley Community Technical College, adjunct instructor; Masuk High School, Monroe, CT, language-arts and reading teacher; University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT, graduate-level instructor in education. Member, Bank Street College Writers Lab; member, Project Dream; consultant to Wonder Tots.
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Authors Guild, National League of American Pen Women.
You Can Call Me Willy included in Good Morning America Millenium Time Capsule, 1995.
You Can Call Me Willy: A Story for Children about AIDS, illustrated by Verdon Flory, Magination Press (New York, NY), 1995.
One-hundred-and-one Read-aloud Bible Stories: From the Old and New Testament, Black Dog (New York, NY), 1998.
(With Robin Fitzsimmons) One-hundred-and-one Read-aloud Myths and Legends, Black Dog (New York, NY), 1999.
One-hundred-and-one Read-aloud Celtic Myths and Legends: Ten-Minute Readings from the World's Best-loved Literature, Black Dog (New York, NY), 2000.
One-hundred-and-one Asian Read-aloud Myths and Legends: Ten-Minute Readings from the World's Best-loved Asian Literature, Black Dog (New York, NY), 2001.
(With Doreen Rappaport) Victory or Death!: Stories of the American Revolution, illustrated by Greg Call, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.
(With Robin Fitzsimmons) An Illustrated Treasury of Read-aloud Myths and Legends: The World's Best-loved Myths and Legends for Parent and Child to Share, Black Dog (New York, NY), 2004.
(With Doreen Rappaport) United No More!: Stories of the Civil War, illustrated by Rick Reeves, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor to periodicals, including Education Week and Psychological Perspectives.
As a child, Joan C. Verniero read everything she could get her hands on. "Just as much fun was taking pretend trips from the overgrown garden in front of my apartment building to faraway, imaginary places," the author and educator added on her home page. "I still love those faraway, imaginary places and, now as a writer, I get to take my readers along." Verniero's love of story has inspired her to collect myths and legends from throughout the world in books such as One-hundred-and-one Asian Read-aloud Myths and Legends: Ten-Minute Readings from the World's Best-loved Asian Literature and other titles in the "One-hundred-and-one Read-aloud" series.
Verniero began her writing career with the picture book You Can Call Me Willy: A Story for Children about AIDS. The book introduces Wilhelmina Jones, an eight year old who loves baseball. Willy also has AIDS, and through her narration Verniero helps young readers understand what AIDS patients experience because of others' fear and discrimination. Although the details of the disease are never discussed, Willy's courage is clearly shown in the story. "The simple text, focusing on the ordinary events in a little girl's life, will invite compassion," predicted Virginia E. Jeschlnig in her School Library Journal review of You Can Call Me Willy.
In collaboration with fellow author Doreen Rappaport, Verniero introduces young readers to U.S. history in Victory or Death!: Stories of the American Revolution. In the book's eight tales, readers meet both well-known and lesser-known historical figures, among them James Armistead, a slave who became a spy, and Deborah Samson, a woman who disguised herself as a man in order to fight. "What is often a dry memorizing of facts in history class is given vigorous and original treatment here," wrote a contributor to Kirkus Reviews, noting the book's multicultural focus. Jean Gaffney, reviewing Victory or Death! in School Library Journal, wrote that "historical detail, much of which is drawn from primary resources, is seamlessly integrated" in the coauthors' text.
Verniero and Rappaport continue their focus on U.S. history with United No More!: Stories of the Civil War. Using the same multicultural viewpoint they adopted in Victory or Death!, the coauthors include tales reflecting
the perspectives of North and South, women and men, and various racial backgrounds. "These accounts could be used for read-alouds or to entice students to do further research," wrote Mary Mueller in her School Library Journal review, while a Kirkus Reviews contributor dubbed United No More! "a terrific history for the intended audience." Betty Carter noted in Horn Book that, although the coauthors fictionalize the tales, they do so clearly, "giving fair warning to readers to be critical and thoughtful as they approach these histories."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, December, 1995, review of You Can Call Me Willy: A Story for Children about AIDS, p. 1404.
Booklist, June 1, 2003, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of Victory or Death!: Stories of the American Revolution, p. 1770.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, February, 2006, Elizabeth Bush, review of United No More!: Stories of the Civil War, p. 282.
Horn Book, March-April, 2006, Betty Carter, review of United No More!, p. 208.
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2003, review of Victory or Death!, p. 539; December 1, 2005, review of United No More!, p. 1279.
School Library Journal, September, 1995, Virginia E. Jeschelnig, review of You Can Call Me Willy, p. 197; August, 1999, Cheri Estes, review of One-hundred-and-one Read-aloud Myths and Legends, p. 180; June, 2003, Jean Gaffney, review of Victory or Death!, p. 168; February, 2006, Mary Mueller, review of United No More!, p. 152.
HarperCollins Web site,http://www.harpercollins.com/ (July 5, 2007), "Joan C. Verniero."
Joan C. Verniero Home Page,http://www.jvstory.com (July 2, 2007).
Pen Women Web site,http://www.penwomen.org/ (July 5, 2007), "Joan C. Verniero."