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Rose Blue (1931–) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Adaptations, Sidelights

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Surname originally Bluestone; born 1931, in New York, NY; Education: Brooklyn College (now Brooklyn College of the City University of New York), B.A.; Bank Street College of Education, M.A. Politics: Democrat.

Addresses

Agent—c/o Author Mail, Millbrook Press, Simon & Schuster, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.

Career

Writer. Former teacher in public schools in New York, NY; former teacher for Bedford Stuyvesant Headstart program. Lyricist of songs performed by Damita Jo, Jodie Sands, and the Exciters; member of Broadcast Music, Inc.

Member

Authors Guild, Authors League of America, Mensa, Professional Women's Caucus.

Rose Blue

Honors Awards

Best Books, National Council for the Social Studies/Children's Book Council, 1979, for Cold Rain on the Water; Red Ribbon Award, American Film Festival, 1982, for teleplay Grandma Didn't Wave Back.

Writings

FICTION; FOR CHILDREN

A Quiet Place, illustrated by Tom Feelings, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1969.

Black, Black, Beautiful Black, illustrations by Emmett Wigglesworth, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1969.

How Many Blocks Is the World?, illustrated by Harold James, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1970.

Bed-Stuy Beat, illustrated by Harold James, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1970.

I Am Here—Yo Estoy Aqui, illustrated by Moneta Barnett, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1971.

Grandma Didn't Wave Back, illustrated by Ted Lewin, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1972.

A Month of Sundays, illustrated by Ted Lewin, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1972.

Nikki 108, illustrated by Ted Lewin, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1973.

We Are Chicano, illustrated by Bob Alcorn, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1973.

The Preacher's Kid, illustrated by Ted Lewin, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1975.

Seven Years from Home, illustrated by Barbara Ericksen, Raintree (Austin, TX), 1976.

The Yo-Yo Kid, illustrated by Barbara Ericksen, Raintree (Austin, TX), 1976.

The Thirteenth Year: A Bar Mitzvah Story, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1977.

Cold Rain on the Water, McGraw-Hill, 1979.

Me and Einstein: Breaking through the Reading Barrier, illustrated by Peggy Luks, Human Sciences Press, 1979.

Wishful Lying, illustrated by Laura Hartman, Human Sciences Press, 1980.

My Mother the Witch, illustrated by Ted Lewin, McGraw-Hill, 1981.

Everybody's Evy, Berkley (New York, NY), 1983.

Bring Me a Memory, DIMI Press (Salem, OR), 1995.

Also author of Goodbye Forever Tree, New American Library; Heart to Heart, Tempo; The Secret Papers of Camp Get-Around, New American Library; and "Honey Bear" series books (with recording), Modern Publishing.

"SANDY'S WORLD" SERIES

First Day of School Blues (includes recording), illustrated by Vala Kondo, Caedmon, 1986.

Happy Birthday and All That Jazz (includes recording), illustrated by Vala Kondo, Caedmon, 1986.

Clean up Your Room Rag (includes recording), illustrated by Vala Kondo, Caedmon, 1986.

Rock-a-New Baby Rock (includes recording), illustrated by Vala Kondo, Caedmon, 1986.

TELEPLAYS

Grandma Didn't Wave Back (broadcast on NBC-TV, 1982), Multimedia Entertainment, 1982.

My Mother the Witch, NBC-TV, 1984.

JUVENILE NONFICTION

(With Corinne J. Naden) The U.S. Air Force, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1993.

(With Corinne J. Naden) The U.S. Coast Guard, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1993.

(With Corinne J. Naden) The U.S. Navy, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1993.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Working Together against Hate Groups, Rosen (New York, NY), 1994.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Black Sea, Raintree (Austin, TX), 1995.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Andes Mountains, Raintree (Austin, TX), 1995.

Good Yontif: A Picture Book of the Jewish Year, illustrated by Lynne Feldman, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1997.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Staying out of Trouble in a Troubled Family, Twenty-first Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 1998.

(With Corinne J. Naden) You're the Boss: Positive Attitude and Work Ethics, Peoples Publishing Group (Maywood, NJ), 1999.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Why Fight?: The Causes of the American Civil War, Raintree (Austin, TX), 2000.

(With Corinne J. Naden) The Duty to Rescue, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2000.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Punishment and Rehabilitation, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.

(With Corinne J. Naden) The History of Gospel Music, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.

(With Corinne J. Naden) New York ("States" series), MyReportLinks.com (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2002.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Mississippi ("States" series), MyReportLinks.com (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2003.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Massachusetts ("States" series), MyReportLinks.com (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2003.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Marbury v. Madison: The Court's Foundation ("Supreme Court Milestones" series), Benchmark Books (Tarrytown, NY), 2005.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Dred Scott: Person or Property? ("Supreme Court Milestones" series), Benchmark Books (Tarrytown, NY), 2005.

JUVENILE BIOGRAPHIES

(With Joanne E. Bernstein) Diane Sawyer: Super Newswoman, Enslow (Hillside, NJ), 1990.

(With Joanne E. Bernstein and Alan Jay Gerber) Judith Resnik: Challenger Astronaut, Lodestar Books (New York, NY), 1990.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Christa McAuliffe: Teacher in Space, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1991.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Barbara Bush: First Lady, Enslow (Hillside, NJ), 1991.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Colin Powell: Straight to the Top, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1991.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Barbara Jordan, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 1992.

(With Corinne J. Naden) John Muir: Saving the Wilderness, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1992.

(With Corinne J. Naden) People of Peace, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1994.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Jerry Rice, Chelsea House (New York, NY), 1994.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Whoopi Goldberg: Entertainer, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 1994.

(With Corinne J. Naden) The White House Kids, Mill-brook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1995.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Madeleine Albright: U.S. Secretary of State, Blackbirch Press (Woodbridge, CT), 1999.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Belle Starr and the Wild West, Blackbirch Press (Woodbridge, CT), 2000.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Chris Rock, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2000.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Jonas Salk: Polio Pioneer, Mill-brook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2001.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Benjamin Banneker: Mathematician and Stargazer, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2001.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Cleopatra, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Wesley Snipes, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2002.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Halle Berry, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2002.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Dian Fossey: At Home with the Giant Gorillas, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Monica Seles, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2002.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Harriet Tubman: Riding the Freedom Train, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2003.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Tony Blair, Lucent Books (San Diego, CA), 2003.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Nicholas Cage, Lucent Books (San Diego, CA), 2003.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Mae Jemison: Out of This World, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2003.

(With Corinne J. Naden) John Travolta, Lucent Books (San Diego, CA), 2003.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Wilma Rudolph, Raintree (Chicago, IL), 2004.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Lenin, Lucent Books (San Diego, CA), 2004.

(With Corinne J. Naden) George W. Bush, Lucent Books (San Diego, CA), 2004.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Muammar Qaddafi, Lucent Books (San Diego, CA), 2005.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Maya Angelou, Raintree (Chicago, IL), 2005.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Raintree (Chicago, IL), 2005.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Cornel West, Raintree (Chicago, IL), 2005.

(With Corinne J. Naden) Condoleezza Rice, Raintree (Chicago, IL), 2005.

Also author (with Corinne J. Naden) of Heroes Just Don't Happen, five volumes, 1996.

NONFICTION; "WHO'S THAT IN THE WHITE HOUSE" SERIES; COAUTHOR WITH CORRINE J. NADEN

The Founding Years: 1789 to 1829, Raintree (Austin, TX), 1998.

The Formative Years: 1829 to 1857, Raintree (Austin, TX), 1998.

The Expansive Years: 1857 to 1901, Raintree (Austin, TX), 1998.

The Progressive Years: 1901 to 1933, Raintree (Austin, TX), 1998.

The Turbulent Years: 1933 to 1969, Raintree (Austin, TX), 1998.

The Modern Years: 1969 to 2001, Raintree (Austin, TX), 1998.

NONFICTION; "HOUSE DIVIDED" SERIES; COAUTHOR WITH CORINNE J. NADEN

The Bloodiest Days: The Battles of 1861 and 1862, Raintree (Austin, TX), 2000.

Chancellorsville to Appomattox: The Battles of 1863 to 1865, Raintree (Austin, TX), 2000.

Civil War Ends: Assassination, Reconstruction, and the Aftermath, Raintree (Austin, TX), 2000.

NONFICTION; "GREAT PEOPLES AND THEIR CLAIM TO FAME" SERIES; COAUTHOR WITH CORINNE J. NADEN

The Aztecs and Tenochtitlan, Lake Street (Minneapolis, MN), 2003.

Ancient Romans and the Colosseum, Lake Street (Minneapolis, MN), 2003.

Ancient Maya and Tikal, Lake Street (Minneapolis, MN), 2003.

Ancient Greeks and the Parthenon, Lake Street (Minneapolis, MN), 2003.

Ancient Egyptians and the Pyramids, Lake Street (Minneapolis, MN), 2003.

NONFICTION; "EXPLORING THE AMERICAS" SERIES; COAUTHOR WITH CORINNE J. NADEN

Exploring the Southeastern United States, Raintree (Chicago, IL), 2003.

Exploring the Pacific Northwest, Raintree (Chicago, IL), 2003.

Exploring the Mississippi River Valley, Raintree (Chicago, IL), 2003.

Exploring Northeastern America, Raintree (Chicago, IL), 2003.

Exploring the St. Lawrence River Region, Raintree (Chicago, IL), 2004.

Exploring the Western Mountains, Raintree (Chicago, IL), 2004.

Exploring the Southwestern United States, Raintree (Chicago, IL), 2004.

Exploring the Arctic, Raintree (Chicago, IL), 2004.

Exploring South America, Raintree (Chicago, IL), 2004.

Exploring Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean, Raintree (Chicago, IL), 2004.

OTHER

Author of reading series for Scholastic and reading workbooks and other materials for Brooklyn College School of Education and Communications Skill Builders. Coauthor, with Corinne J. Naden, of "Heroes Don't Just Happen" multicultural biography series. Feature writer for Teacher, Day Care, and Action. Contributor of short stories to Magazine Management and Sterling Group. Contributing editor to Teacher. Author of lyrics for popular songs, including "Drama of Love," "Let's Face It," "My Heartstrings Keep Me Tied to You," "Give Me a Break," and "Homecoming Party."

Adaptations

I Am Here—Yo Estoy Aqui was adapted as a filmstrip, Listening Library, 1980.

Sidelights

A former teacher and Headstart program worker in New York City who began her writing career penning fiction for young readers, Rose Blue has become a prolific author of nonfiction written with collaborator Corinne J. Naden that includes biographies of contemporary newsmakers and U.S. state and regional profiles, as well as books that span American social and political history. Reviewing two of Blue and Naden's books on the U.S. armed services—U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy—Booklist contributor Janice Del Negro called these volumes "well made, high-interest, and filled with easy-to-access information." Other nonfiction titles include Dred Scott: Person or Property?, which discusses the early eighteenth-century U.S. Supreme Court case that upheld slavery, and Mae Jemison: Out of This World, a profile of the first black American woman in space that Booklist contributor Carolyn Phelan dubbed "inviting" as well as "readable and colorful."

Blue and Naden's biographies examine the lives of individuals prominent in a wide spectrum of human endeavors: scientist Jonah Salk, First Lady Barbara Bush, politicians George W. Bush, Vladimir Lenin, Tony Blair, and Muammar Qaadafi, environmentalist John Muir, athletes Wilma Rudolph and Jerry Rice, and actors Nicholas Cage, Halle Berry, and Whoopi Goldberg are among the many individuals profiled for young report-writers. Reviewing Lenin, Booklist reviewer Gillian Engberg praised the coauthors' "clear, accessible language" and efforts to provide the background information necessary to a full understanding of the Soviet leader's life and communist ideology. In addition to profiling a sitting U.S. president and his wife, the collaborators also offer a unique view of day-to-day life at the White House, describing it from the perspective of the children who have lived in that historic building. The White House Kids, according to School Library Journal contributor Melissa Gross, features a "readable, chronological text [that] allows youngsters to contemplate antics such as roller skating down the halls of the White House or star gazing from the roof, as well as the realities of waiting to get an appointment to see the president and dating under the surveillance of the Secret Service." Booklist reviewer Carolyn Phelan called The White House Kids "an intriguing sidelight on presidential history."

In addition to biographies, Naden and Blue provide an overview of regional U.S. history in their contributions to the "Exploring the Americas" series, which provides young armchair travelers with maps, histories, descriptions, and a who's who inhabiting various regions of the Americas. Titles in the series include Exploring the Western Mountains, which describes the harsh terrain encountered by the explorers who traveled in the Rocky Mountain region of North America, and Exploring South America, Exploring the Mississippi River Valley, and Exploring the Arctic. Praising Exploring the Arctic in School Library Journal, Eldon Younce noted that the coauthors present a resource that is "serviceable" and "accurate."

Often featuring young protagonists growing up in the inner city, Blue's many works of fiction focus on "children burdened by difficulties they can't understand," ac-Blue and coauthor Corine J. Naden put the life of a well-known Wild West outlaw into its historic context in their nonfiction title Belle Star.cording to a Publishers Weekly contributor. Her stories—most published during the 1970s and 1980s–cover a wide range of topics—from illiteracy, gang violence, and racial intolerance to interfamily issues of divorce and dealing with elderly relatives' senility. Blue's 1979 novel Cold Rain on the Water, a story of Russian immigrants, was selected a best book of the year by the National Council for the Social Studies.

"I knew I wanted to be a writer since Miss Higgens called on me to read my stories to the first grade while she marked papers," Blue once told SATA. "I attended Bank Street College of Education in order to earn a master's degree and teaching license—after all, the rent must be paid. One instructor, a well-known scholar, gave a wonderful course in children's literature. After diligently reading an assignment, I said, 'When do we get to read the really good, realistic children's books?' She replied, 'We've read nearly everything ever written.' I said, 'I can do better than that.' I wrote A Quiet Place, and 'the rest is history.'"

A Quiet Place focuses on an African-American boy who loves to read. When the library in Matthew's ghetto neighborhood is replaced by a book mobile, the boy must search for a new quiet place to read. Reading is also central to Me and Einstein: Breaking through the Reading Barrier, about a boy named Bobby who has dyslexia. Bobby is taunted by his school friends and put in a class for mentally handicapped and emotionally disturbed students until the boy's problem is diagnosed and his educational needs are met.

Dealing with family problems, A Month of Sundays follows Jeffrey, a boy whose parents have recently divorced, as he moves to a new home in the city. His mother now works and has little time for him, and Jeffrey sees his father only on Sundays. Making new friends and talking things over with his father, Jeffrey eventually learns to adjust to his new situation. Parental problems can also lead to more serious troubles for children, as Blue shows in her story, The Yo-Yo Kid, about teenager Jim, whose alcoholic mother keeps moving the family from home to home. In an attempt to gain stability, Jim joins a gang and is ultimately pushed to commit violence. Zena Sutherland, reviewing A Month of Sundays for the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, called the work "sensible and realistic in its evaluation of adjustment to change," while Lael Scott wrote in the New York Times Book Review that Jeffrey is "a believable child with whom most children can easily identify."

In Grandma Didn't Wave Back a girl named Debbie tries to cope with the fact that her grandmother is becoming senile. Debbie remembers fondly how her grandmother would always wave to her from the window whenever she returned from school and would give her and her friends treats. But now Grandma stares off into space more and more and doesn't seem to be herself. Debbie's parents talk about putting Grandma in an assisted living home, and her friends start calling the woman a crazy old lady. In the end, it is Grandma who is able to explain best what is happening to her and help Debbie accept and understand what sometimes happens when people age. A Booklist contributor called Grandma Didn't Wave Back a "moving story," one that treats its subject "with honesty and understanding," and a reviewer for Publishers Weekly deemed the novel a "well-told" tale about "believable people."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Appraisal: Science Books for Young People, spring-summer, 1995, pp. 83-84.

Booklist, March 15, 1973, review of Grandma Didn't Wave Back, p. 711; June 1, 1995, Carolyn Phelan, review of The White House Kids, p. 1755, and Janice Del Negro, review of The U.S. Air Force and The U.S. Navy, p. 1817; December 15, 1994, p. 747; April 15, 1995, pp. 1488-1489; December 1, 1998, Ilene Cooper, review of Madeleine Albright: U.S. Secretary of State, p. 663; June 1, 2004, Gillian Engberg, review of Lenin, p. 1751; February 1, 2005, John Peters, review of Dred Scott: Person or Property?, p. 976.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, September, 1972, Zena Sutherland, review of A Month of Sundays, p. 3; March, 1974, Zena Sutherland, review of We Are Chicano, p. 106; October, 1975, Zena Sutherland, review of The Preacher's Kid, p. 22; December, 1976, Zena Sutherland, review of The Yo-Yo Kid, p. 54.

Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 1973, review of We Are Chicano, p. 1094; June 1, 1991, p. 727; December 15, 1991, p. 1588.

Kliatt, January, 2002, review of Wesley Snipes, p. 23.

New York Times Book Review, September 3, 1972, Lael Scott, "Divorce Juvenile-Style," p. 8.

Publishers Weekly, September 4, 1972, review of Grandma Didn't Wave Back, p. 51; December 27, 1976, review of The Yo-Yo Kid, p. 60; July 5, 1985, p. 68; January 13, 1997, review of Good Yontif: A Picture Book of the New Year, p. 71.

School Library Journal, September, 1979, p. 152; January, 1986, p. 30; December, 1991, p. 139; May, 1992, p. 97; July, 1993, Rick Moesch, review of The U.S. Air Force and The U.S. Navy, p. 88; August, 1995, Melissa Gross, review of The White House Kids, p. 146; January, 1995, p. 112; February, 1995, p. 104; June, 1995, p. 116; January, 1998, Marilyn Fairbanks, review of Colin Powell, p. 119; June, 1999, Sylvia V. Meisner, review of Staying out of Trouble in a Troubled Family, p. 140; January, 2000, Mary Mueller, review of "House Divided" series, p. 150; January, 2001, Patricia Ann Owens, review of Belle Starr and the Wild West, p. 152; September, 2001, Edith Ching, review of Banjamin Banneker, p. 239; January, 2002, Sue Sherif, review of Jonas Salk, p. 162; June, 2003, Shauna Yusko, review of Harriet Tubman, p. 124; November, 2004, Deanna Romriell, review of Mormonism, p. 170; February, 2005, reviewing Exploring the Arctic and Exploring the Western Mountains, p. 145; May, 2005, review of Muammar Qaddafi, p. 154.

[back] Joan W(insor) Blos (1928-) - Personal, Sidelights - Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress, Autobiography Feature

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