Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Author Judy Fradin to discuss impact of non-fiction children’s books

Author Judy Fradin will lead a discussion on the charm of non-fiction children’s books at 1 p.m. on Oct. 15 in Bennett Hall room 134. The event, which is sponsored by OU-C’s Culture Committee, is free and open to the public.

Fradin, along with her late husband, Dennis Brindell Fradin, wrote a number of children’s books that deal with actual historical events and individuals. They won a number of awards, including the Smithsonian Book of the Year designation in 2001 for Ida B. Wells: Mother of the Civil Rights Movement. They also won the American Library Association award in 2005 for The Power of One: Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine.

The Fradins have often examined the lives of actual individuals who have played prominent roles in shaping history.

The book on Ida Wells drew on actual diaries and letters to tell the story of the journalist in her quest to fight against the segregationist Jim Crow laws, which were abolished in the 1930s. Wells boldly spoke out against atrocities after her friend was killed by a white mob because his grocery story was apparently too successful.

The Power of One explores the life of Daisy Bates, who co-founded the Arkansas State Press, an African-American newspaper and helped counsel the “Little Rock Nine,” a group of students who braved threats and insults to integrate Central High School in 1957.

They also collaborated on the “From Sea to Shining Sea” series, which focused on the unique history and geography of many states, including famous individuals, current developments and future trends.

Judy Fradin, a native of Chicago, earned her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and her master’s degree from Northeastern Illinois University. She is a former high school English and history teacher.

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