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Author Study by Sondra Keckley

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1 Author Study by Sondra Keckley
E.B. White Author Study by Sondra Keckley

2 Biographical Information
Born on July 11, 1899, as Elwyn Brooks White in Mount Vernon, New York Son of Jessie Hart and Samuel Tilly White, a prominent piano manufacturer His family was comfortably well off, but not wealthy Youngest child, with two brothers & three sisters Attended local public schools in Mount Vernon, New York Attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, graduating in 1921, with a Bachelor of Arts degree Married New Yorker editor Katharine Sergeant Angell in 1929, and they had one son, Joel White Died of Alzheimer's disease on October 1, 1985, in North Brooklin, Maine

3 Career Timeline Offered a teaching position at the
University of Minnesota, but turned it down because his goal was to become a writer Worked for the United Press International and the American Legion News Service from Reporter for the Seattle Times from Worked for two years with the Frank Seaman advertising agency as a production assistant and copywriter Had poems published in "The Conning Tower" by Franklin P. Adams

4 Career Timeline Turning Point
Published the article "Defense of the Bronx River" in 1925, in the New Yorker magazine. This was his first piece in the New Yorker, which led to his being named a contributing editor in 1927—an association which continued until his death in 1985.

5 Career Timeline Continued
1929: published a collection of poetry, The Lady Is Cold Also that year, partnered with James Thurber to write a parody of the current trend of Freudian psychology books of the 1920s, titled Is Sex Necessary? E.B. White with James Thurber

6 Career Timeline Continued
1931: published Ho Hum 1932: published Another Ho Hum 1934: published Every Day is Saturday 1936: under the pseudonym Lee Strout White, published the essay "Farewell My Lovely!“, in the New Yorker 1938: poetry collection The Fox of Peapack Also that year, began monthly column with Harper’s magazine, called “One Man’s Meat”

7 White Makes a Move 1938: Moved to the country, to a farm in North Brooklin, Maine Continued his writing career without the responsibilities of a regular job The barn near his home was the inspiration for many of his characters he will soon write about in his children’s books

8 Career Timeline Continued
1939: published an essay collection, titled Quo Vadimus? 1941: edited with his wife the book The Subtreasury of American Humor 1942: published the collection of his Harper’s magazine columns in One Man’s Meat

9 White’s Career Enters a New Field: Children’s Literature
Began writing Stuart Little in hopes of amusing his 6-year-old niece, Janice Hart White, but before he finished it she had grown up and was reading Hemingway. Only published 3 children’s books: 1945: Stuart Little 1952: Charlotte’s Web 1970: The Trumpet of the Swan

10 Career Timeline Continued
1946: Published The Wild Flag 1949: Published Here Is New York, in which he eerily wrote: “A single flight of planes no bigger than a wedge of geese can quickly end this island fantasy, burn the towers, crumble the bridges, turn the underground passages into lethal chambers, cremate millions... Of all targets New York has a certain clear priority. In the mind of whatever perverted dreamer might loose the lightning, New York must hold a steady, irresistible charm."

11 Career Timeline Continued
1959: Revised & updated, adding a chapter titled “An Approach to Style”, his Cornell professor, William Strunk, Jr.’s, book The Elements of Style, originally written in This handbook to grammar & style has been republished numerous times, as recent as 2005, and is still being used in colleges & high schools today.

12 Career Timeline Finalized
1962: Published The Points of My Compass 1976: Letters of E.B. White, edited by D.L. Guth 1977: Published Essays of E.B. White 1981: Published Poems and Sketches of E.B. White

13 In the Words of White “Writing is hard work and bad for the health.”
~E.B. White “Mr. White finds writing difficult and bad for one’s health, but he keeps at it even so. He would like, more than anything, to be a poet. The poets, he thinks, are the great ones.” ~back cover of Stuart Little

14 Awards and Accolades Gold Medal for Essays and Criticism from the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1960 Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963 Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal for his children's books in 1970 National Medal for Literature in 1971 Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1973 Sequoyah Award from Oklahoma in 1973 William Allen White Award from Kansas in 1973 Honorary Pulitzer Prize for his work as a whole in 1978 Honorary degrees from seven American colleges and universities

15 White’s Insights and Humor
“I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.” “I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.” “People are, if anything, more touchy about being thought silly than they are about being thought unjust.” ~E.B. White

16 The E.B. White Read Aloud Award
Established in 2004 by the Association of Booksellers for Children Store members nominate books that are their favorite to suggest when asked “Can you suggest something that my family and I can read together?” Books should be “terrific” to read aloud Criteria for nominations include “dynamic writing, engaging themes, and universal appeal. In the case of picture books, the relationship between writing and illustration should be strong, and the structure of the book should build an enjoyable sense of anticipation.” In 2006, “in recognition of the fact that reading aloud is a pleasure at any age, the award was expanded into two categories: Picture Books, and Older Readers”.

17 Why I Chose E.B. White I own original copies of White’s three children’s books, and remember reading them as a kid. I have read Charlotte’s Web to my oldest daughter at least 5 or 6 times, and since the summer we have read The Trumpet of the Swan and Stuart Little. Being a science person, I have always loved the scientific details White infused into Charlotte’s Web and The Trumpet of the Swan. I have learned a lot about spiders and trumpeter swans reading those books. I think kids should learn about their world while enjoying a fun story. I have always loved White’s sense of humor and writing style. His books were just as enjoyable to me as an adult, and my kids would crack up, too. I learned a lot doing this study, too. I didn’t realize those were his only children’s books, I just thought they were the only books of his I owned. I learned just how diverse of a writer White was, and that most of his career was for adults. I find it interesting that although White only wrote the 3 children’s books, there is a Read Aloud Award in his honor.

18 I Must Criticize Stuart Little
White’s first attempt at writing a children’s novel was clearly just that. I felt this book was too episodic in nature, yet the chapters started becoming a little more related at the end. This gave a choppy and confusing feeling to the story. The ending was too abrupt and Stuart just left home to travel the world without telling his parents. Much of the story line had no point and the story wasn’t very cohesive. White also didn’t explain much. There were grammatical errors, and much of the language or phrases were dated or phrased differently than how we would say it today. I did not approve of White’s attitude toward school when Stuart subbed at a school. Children shouldn’t be given such a negative view of school and learning. My daughter and I had to laugh it off, knowing that was not the proper way a teacher should behave.

19 Let’s End on the Note of a Quote
“Old age is a special problem for me because I've never been able to shed the mental image I have of myself - a lad of about 19.” “It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.” “English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street.” ~E.B. White

20 Works Cited “E.B. White”. Encyclopedia of World Biography. 28 Nov < “E.B. White”. Fantastic Fiction. 28 Nov < “E.B. White”. Wikipedia. 28 Nov < “E.B. White (American Writer)”. Britannica Online Encyclopedia. 28 Nov < E.B. White Infosite. 28 Nov < “E.B. White Quotes”. Brainy Quote. 28 Nov < “E.B. White Quotes”. The Quotations Page. 28 Nov <

21 Works Cited Continued Liukkonen, Petri. “E(lwyn) B(rooks) White ( )”. Books and Writers. 28 Nov < “Search Results for E.B. White”. Google Images. 24 Nov < UTF-8&ei=xlYRS_bbJo2mMI-sDM&sa=X&oi=image_result_ group&ct=title&resnum=4&ved=0CCcQsAQwAw>. “The E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards”. The Association of Booksellers for Children. 29 Nov < White, E. B. Stuart Little. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1945.

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