Mona Kerby grew up in Fort Worth, Texas. She graduated from Richland High School and went on to college where she then became a kindergarten teacher in Arlington, Texas. After that, she was the library teacher at Little Elementary School in Arlington. Then she and her husband moved to the east coast of the United States to the state of Maryland where she now teaches at McDaniel College. Her students are mostly teachers who want to become school librarians.
Owney, the Mail Pouch-Pooch
Four-legged heroes abound in stories about dramatic rescues. The heroism of the watchful and loyal friend is less well known. Owney, a real dog, is such a faithful friend, committed to his self-appointed job of guarding the mail. Owney arrives unbidden one October night in 1888 at the Albany, NY, post office. He adopts the postmen, takes on the job of guarding the mail pouches, and is soon accepted into the routine of the post office. But he is also a traveler and begins to ride the rails on the mail cars. Soon, he is wearing depot tags from all across the country on a special strap his post office friends fashioned for him. Owney’s fame spreads and he participates in conventions and events across the country. When he gets older his friends at the post office give him a trip around the world by mail boat. On his return, one hundred and thirty-two days later, he wears two hundred new tags, trinkets, and ribbons. Owney is recognized at the San Francisco dog show in 1896 and attends the National Association of Railway Clerks in 1897. He retires shortly thereafter and spends his final days in peace and quiet at the Albany post office where his mail career began. The story of Owney is told with charm and supported by research into his life and career. The loose, impressionistic illustrations integrate well with the fluid, movement-filled events of his life. This book would be a good addition to an early elementary study of nineteenth century life in the United States. 2008, Frances Foster Books/Farrar Straus and Giroux, $16.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Hazel Buys (Children’s Literature).
Mona’s overall goals are to: encourage students to read, excite them about learning, and help the students and teachers make real world connections. Her specific objectives for the presentation are to: talk about Owney and some of the other books she has written, discuss the researching, writing, and editing process, and answer student questions. Her presentations are designed for students in grades 1-4 and run 45-44 minutes.
Fee: $500 for one-half day of 2 presentations. Mona is also currently offering Skype visits free of charge.
To learn more about Mona Kerby and her publications please visit www.monakerby.com.