Presentation on theme: "My Louisiana Sky By Kimberly Willis Holt. About the Author Kimberly Willis Holt was born on a Navy base in Pensacola, Florida. Although as a child she."— Presentation transcript:
About the Author Kimberly Willis Holt was born on a Navy base in Pensacola, Florida. Although as a child she lived in many different places (including Paris and Guam), she says that Forest Hill, Louisiana, was the only one that ever felt like home. Looking back to her teen years, the author describes herself as a loner who usually had one or two friends. This is a trait shared by many of the characters of her books.
As a child, Mrs. Holt enjoyed reading books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Beverly Cleary as well as the story Little Women, which she read again and again. However, the novel that inspired her to become a writer herself was Carson McCuller’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, which she describes as the first book in which the characters seemed real to her. Laura Ingalls Wilder Beverly Cleary Carson McCuller
At the University of New Orleans and Louisiana State University, Mrs. Holt majored in Broadcast Journalism. However, she quit college as a senior and worked full time at a radio station, first in news and then in the sales department. Her final job before becoming a writer was interior decorating. University of Louisiana
It was when Mrs. Holt moved to Amarillo, Texas, with her husband, Jerry, and daughter, Shannon, in 1994 that she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. Her first book, My Louisiana Sky, was published in 1998. The idea for the novel came from an experience that she had at the age of nine. She was driving down a country road in Louisiana with her mother and commented on a woman walking by the roadside who had a strange look. Her mother explained that both the woman and her husband were mentally retarded and that they had several children. The memory stayed with Holt and became the seed for her novel.
Kimberly Willis Holt has gained much recognition in a short period of time, as evidenced by the number of best-book lists on which her works have appeared, including the American Library Association’s Notable Children’s Books and Best Books for Young Adults. Holt’s third novel, When Zachary Beaver Came to Town (Holt, 1999), earned her the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.
Book Summary This coming-of-age story is set in a small town in Louisiana during the 1950s. Tiger Ann is a straight A student whose parents are considered “slow” by the people of Saitter. This is an embarrassment, as she recognizes the fact that her parents are often a source of amusement to the other members of their community. Tiger is grateful for the loving, practical guidance of her grandmother, with whom the family lives, as she faces these new feelings of shame and attempts to sort them out.
To further complicate matters, Aunt Dorie Kay, who lives in the larger city of Baton Rouge, is very different from Tiger’s mother, Corrina. Tiger views her aunt as the epitome of sophistication and idolizes her. Tiger must deal with other issues common to adolescence,as well. She is a star batter and loves to play baseball with her best friend, Jessie Wade, and the other boys. However, she longs to be part of the clique that surrounds Abbie Lynn Anders, the prettiest and wealthiest girl in town. Abbie and her friends reject Tiger. To add to the discomfort and confusion, Jessie Wade suggests that he would like to be more than just friends.
Later, shaken by death and confusion, Tiger considers her Aunt Dorie Kay’s offer to live with her in Baton Rouge. On a visit to her aunt’s apartment, she enjoys the luxury and excitement of the city. She is attracted to the idea of leaving her problems behind and “reinventing” herself. While in Baton Rouge, Tiger discovers secrets of the past that uncover some of the mystery surrounding her family.
Upon returning home for the remainder of the summer, Tiger is able to reach an understanding with Jessie Wade. She begins to sort out her conflicting emotions. When an unexpected hurricane hits the town, Tiger recognizes the love her family shares and realizes Saitter is her true home.
As the summer ends, Tiger discovers that Abbie Lynn has fears of her own. This understanding changes their once-difficult relationship. She is filled with pride for her father, whose quick thinking during the hurricane has made him a local hero. Tiger recognizes the fact that there are many different forms of intelligence, and that all forms deserve respect. My Louisiana Sky
Credits Matlack, Maria. "About the Author." A Guide for Using My Louisiana Sky in the Classroom: Based on the Novel Written by Kimberly Willis Holt. Westminster, CA: Teacher Created Materials, 2002. 6. Print. Matlack, Maria. "My Louisiana Sky." A Guide for Using My Louisiana Sky in the Classroom: Based on the Novel Written by Kimberly Willis Holt. Westminster, CA: Teacher Created Materials, 2002. 7. Print.