Growing up as an avid reader, D. Anne Love developed a love of words early in her life. Born in western Tennessee she was an active out door person but she always loved reading, following the example of her book loving father. The eldest of four children she began to read even before she went to school. In high school and college she wrote and worked for the newspaper-which helped pay for her education. Having been a teacher, a principal, and a college professor she has an extensive background in education which gives her writing depth and the voices of her characters authenticity. Writing is her full time career, but she does spend time visiting schools and working with students and teachers on her favorite subjects: books and reading. Currently living in central Ohio with her husband Ron, she still considers Austin, Texas to be her true home.
D. Anne Love
As Phoebe Trask looks forward to freshman year, her world seems perfect: Her mother Beth is a successful representative for Bee Beautiful cosmetics; siblings Shyla and Zane are shining stars of the college and high school scenes; and her father is a respected judge. Then seemingly out of the blue, her mother accepts a position as traveling spokesperson for her company, and everything changes. With her mother gone indefinitely, who will guide Phoebe through her transition to high school? Who will support her father through a difficult trial that threatens to split the community? Could it be Beverly, their glamorous new neighbor? Not if Phoebe has anything to say about it! Love writes a “typical teenage angst” novel without the angst. Touchy situations abound, including her mother’s seeming abandonment; father Sumner’s attraction to another woman; brother Zane’s dabbling in vandalism; and Beth’s diagnosis with cancer. Phoebe struggles to make friends, falls in first love, and copes with threats to her family as her father attempts to deal impartially with a touchy case involving flag burning. Somehow a positive outcome is never in doubt; the reader knows all will be successfully resolved. That said, it is a refreshing book. The siblings love and support each other. They respect their father even though they worry about him. Phoebe is resilient and resourceful. Love demonstrates that characters coping successfully with challenges can make a good story too. Fans of light, contemporary fiction will find this offering picture perfect. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2007, Margaret K. McEderry/Simon & Schuster, 304p., $16.99. Ages 11 to 15. Reviewer: Kathleen Beck (VOYA, June 2007 (Vol. 30, No. 2).
The Puppeteer’s Apprentice
D. Anne Love
Mouse is a young girl working in the scullery of a manor house in Medieval England who gets fed up with constantly being punished for her incompetence and her curiosity. When Mouse takes another serious beating, she runs away from the manor thinking that any life would be better than this one. On the road she encounters a puppet show and decides that becoming a puppeteer is the only thing she wants in the world. The puppeteer eventually agrees to apprentice her, but the arrangement is not always smooth sailing. When the puppeteer is attacked by rogues, Mouse realizes that there is more to the puppeteer’s story then she is letting on. This story is reminiscent of “The Midwife’s Apprentice” in both setting and the growth of the character. Even given the similarities, this book stands on its own for the 7-10 reader. The characterization is strong and Mouse’s coming of age is well told and has some nice mysterious elements. I read it a few weeks back and Mouse’s character has stayed with me. 2003, Simon & Schuster, $16.95 Ages 7 to 10. Reviewer: Joan Kindig, Ph.D. (Children’s Literature).
D. Anne Love
In an authentic Texan voice, 14-year-old Garnet Hubbard describes the year she and her beautiful, popular older sister spent living with an aunt in a small town in Oklahoma, after their mother decided to pursue her dreams of stardom in Nashville. It is the school year 1960-61 and there are changes in society as disturbing as the changes in Garnet’s family. Her father is hospitalized. The school is unwelcoming. The disability checks do not come for months, and the family is embarrassingly poor. Two adults help Garnet through this difficult time: a “bohemian” art teacher who recognizes and encourages her talent and introduces her to radical Mexican painters, and her aunt’s elderly Cherokee friend who provides worry dolls and a ride to scene painting after school, which involves her more in the school community. Over the course of the year, Garnet comes to realize that her mother really will not return, but that they can function as a family without her. The author gets the details of the early 1960s right, down to the atmosphere in the school and the societal unrest. Garnet is an engaging character, a child of the time, with appropriate attitudes and values. Her conflicted feelings about her mother and her dawning political sensibilities are realistic. An afterword explains a bit more about the political climate of the times and the radical Mexican painters. A positive look at family difficulties set in a believable historical background. This is an enjoyable read. 2006, Margaret K. McElderry/Simon & Schuster, $16.95. Ages 10 to 14. Reviewer: Kathleen Isaacs (Children’s Literature).
Programs are tailored to enhance school curriculum (she has a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction) and she is at ease and confident with audiences of all ages. She has served as a visiting author, and spoken at library and writers’ conferences across the nation. She does general programs as well as presentations on specific writing skills designed for each audience:
- For schools and libraries: programs for students in grades 3-8 with a maximum of four presentations per day
- For general presentations about her work: she speaks to groups of up to 100 students at a time (preferably ages 10 up)
- For hands-on workshops: She uses her POWER writing system
- For writers’ workshops and conferences: She offers program formats on various aspects of writing the novel including “Building Believable Characters, Developing Plot Structure, and Writing Historical Fiction”
Class size is limited to 40 students per session in grades 3-5 and 50 students per session in grades 6-8. The smaller group size allows me to give more individual attention to students and more feedback at the end of the writing exercises.
Fee: Full day’s program is $1200 plus travel expenses.
To learn more about Danne and her publication please visit www.dannelove.com.