Becky Mushko, the third generation owner of her family farm in Union Hall, Virginia, loves the history and culture of the Blue Ridge region.
Becky is a 1997 Pushcart Prize nominee, a three-time winner of the Sherwood Anderson Short Story Contest, a five-time winner of the Lonesome Pine Short Story Contest, and a two-time category winner in the Bulwer-Lytton Contest (1996 “Worst Western” and 2008 “Vile Pun”). Her novel, Patches on the Same Quilt, won the 2001 Smith Mountain Arts Council Fiction Award. Collections of her columns and stories include Peevish Advice, More Peevish Advice, The Girl Who Raced Mules & Other Stories, and Where There's A Will.
From 1994 until 2005, she wrote for Blue Ridge Traditions. Her humor column, “Peevish Advice,” ran for ten years, first in Blue Ridge Traditions and later in the Smith Mountain Eagle. Her work appears in A Cup of Comfort for Writers and It Was a Dark and Stormy Night.
For three decades, she taught English at the middle school, high school, and college level. She also served as the 2006-07 writer-in-residence for Roanoke (VA) County Schools. She now travels the state conducting writing workshops for adults and teens, and storytelling for young people at libraries, literary festivals, schools, and writers' conferences.
She holds memberships in the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the League of American Pen Women, the Franklin County Historical Society, the Virginia Writers Club, Valley Writers, and Lake Writers. She also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Franklin County Library.
Becky lives in Penhook with her husband, horses, dogs, and cats. Her hobbies include walking with her dogs, trail riding, blogging, and reading.
Learn more about Becky at her web site: www.beckymushko.com
Read Becky's blog at: http://peevishpen.blogspot.com
Author photos by Linda Layne
MIDDLE GRADE FICTION
with Study & Discussion Guide
Discussion topics: Bullying; Cancer; Death; Grief; Step-Parents; Ghosts
ISBN 978-0-9659419-6-9 5" X 8" 200 Pages $15.00
"For a long time, I was stuck in grief. I missed Mom. I was also stuck with a girl in my class who made fun of my mom and played bad tricks on people. Dad was stuck doing the housework and looking after me. When Dad told me he was marrying Liz, a woman he used to know before he met Mom, I was stuck being angry at him. Then I was stuck with Liz on her farm, and Liz was stuck with me being a real pain. For a while we were both stuck with her pesky nephews. Then I met a ghost who was stuck on earth. This book explains how we all got unstuck."
–Jacie Addison (age 11)
“A bully, the loss of a loved one, a horse, a “wicked” stepmother, a ghost and a dog are all woven by the author into a story that will delight the reader. Stuck is a book any ten-to twelve-year-old girl would enjoy.”
– SALLY ROSEVEARE, Author of Secrets at Spawning Run and Secrets at Sweetwater Cove
“Faced with many changes in her young life, Jacie feels stuck as she copes with loss, new routines, a summer at horse camp, new people in her life, and even a new home and school! Gradually, a helpful thought she embraces, ‘Go forward and believe in it,’ takes her across obstacles from jumps in a show ring, to adjusting to a new life in a very old house in the country near Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia . . . Stuck will stick in your mind and heart long after you finish this book.”
– IBBY GREER, Author of Moving Day: A Season of Letters and Paper Faces: Babyboomer Memoir
NEW CHILDREN'S BOOK
BY BECKY MUSHKO
Illustrated by Bruce Rae
Featuring a Study & Discussion Guide
LITERATURE - GEOGRAPHY - HISTORY - SCIENCE
Suitable for 4th - 6th Grade students
or Storytime selection for 1st-3rd Grades
Paperback 5-1/2 x 8-1/2
56 Pages 32 Illustrations $7.00
Gillie--a skilled spinner of wool--leads a charmed life high in the Blue Ridge Mountains until a hailstorm strikes. With their cash crop destroyed and taxes due, Gillie and her pa risk losing their farm. Then a strange little man gives her the power to spin hay into gold. Years later, when he demands his payment, Gillie doesn't know what to do.
Plugs & Praises
"I want you to know Matt is the child I've always had to push to read books. He loves baseball and football and is not much of a booky type of person, though the rest of my children are avid readers he's always been the foot-dragger . . . As soon as he got into the van when we left your booksigning, he opened the book and started reading. He's reading right now! Without me asking him to! You've no idea . . . this has NEVER happened before. He's 25 pages into and this is a direct quote: 'This is the best book EVER!' I have to make him stop reading to go to baseball practice. This IS a miracle! I can't wait to read your book myself to find out what it is about that has inspired my child to read . . . Thanks again for inspiring my child . . . I'm so glad he's found that 'key' that unlocks the imaginary world of books."
Melanie Huber, parent
"Becky Mushko's retelling of the European folk tale Rumpelstiltskin brings a new world perspective to the old story, illuminating the frontier setting with a wealth of detail: plant names, folk traditions, and regional dialect. If the story had happened here, it would have happened like this."
Sharyn McCrumb, New York Times Best-selling author
"Some places are the natural home of folklore, the lands where trees talk and straw spins to gold. The Blue Ridge Mountains are that kind of place, and Becky Mushko deftly translates the Grimm Brothers' Rumpelstiltskin into an Appalachian fellow, witty and magical, and cleverly at home among the whispering sassafrass and paw-paw."
Amanda Cockrell, Director
Hollins University Graduate Program in Children's Literature
"Ferradiddledumday is a heart-warming story about a young woman who works hard and leads a charmed life. With plants and animals from the Blue Ridge Mountains woven poetically through Gillie's encounters with a mysterious little man, the rhythms of the seasons flow through the story as naturally as the magic of the old fairy tale."
Tina L. Hanlon, Ferrum College
Director of the AppLit Web site
"Ferradiddledumday is pure magic and the wild beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains is a perfect setting for the retelling of "Rumpelstiltskin." Comfortable dialogue and unaffected characters expose our rich Appalachian heritage. The story moves at a leisurely pace, leaving the reader with a sense of having visited somewhere very special. It's a story that I will read again...and again."
Joyce Tukloff, Children's Librarian
Franklin County Library, Rocky Mount, VA
Illustrations from Ferradiddledumday by Bruce Rae
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