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Ruth Ashby Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights

review library world york

Female.

Addresses

Agent—c/o Author Mail, William B. Eerdmans, Publishing, 255 Jefferson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

Career

Writer of children's books.

Honors Awards

Outstanding Science Trade Book selection, National Science Teachers Association/Children's Book Council, 2004, for Rocket Man.

Writings

Quest for King Arthur, illustrated by Scott Caple, Bantam (New York, NY), 1988.

Sea Otters, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1990.

Tigers, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1990.

The Orangutan, Dillon Press (New York, NY), 1994.

(Editor, with Deborah Gore Ohrn) Herstory: Women Who Changed the World, Viking (New York, NY), 1995.

Elizabethan England, Benchmark Books (New York, NY), 1999.

T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2000.

Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall, Blackbirch Press (San Diego, CA), 2002.

Steve Case: America Online Pioneer, Twenty-first Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

Lincoln, Smart Apple Media (North Mankato, MN), 2003.

Lee vs. Grant: Great Battles of the Civil War, Smart Apple Media (North Mankato, MN), 2003.

The Outer Planets, Smart Apple Media (North Mankato, MN), 2003.

1800, Benchmark Books (New York, NY), 2003.

How the Solar System Was Formed, Smart Apple Media (North Mankato, MN), 2003.

Gettysburg, Smart Apple Media (North Mankato, MN), 2003.

Victorian England, Benchmark Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Fury on Horseback, Smart Apple Media (North Mankato, MN), 2003.

The Underground Railroad, Smart Apple Media (North Mankato, MN), 2003.

Extraordinary People, Smart Apple Media (North Mankato, MN), 2003.

The Earth and Its Moon, Smart Apple Media (North Mankato, MN), 2003.

(Editor) The Letters of Elinore Pruitt Stewart, Woman Homesteader, illustrated by Laszlo Kubinyi, Benchmark Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Rocket Man: The Mercury Adventure of John Glenn, Peachtree (Atlanta, GA), 2004.

The Diary of Sam Watkins, a Confederate Soldier, illustrated by Laszlo Kubinyi, Benchmark Books (New York, NY), 2004.

The Amazing Mr. Franklin; or, The Boy Who Read Everything, Peachtree (Atlanta, GA), 2004.

Pteranodon: The Life Story of a Pterosaur, illustrated by Phil Wilson, Abrams (New York, NY), 2005.

John and Abigail Adams, World Almanac Library (Milwaukee, WI), 2005.

James and Dolly Madison, World Almanac Library (Milwaukee, WI), 2005.

Ronald and Nancy Reagan, World Almanac Library (Milwaukee, WI), 2005.

George W. and Laura Bush, World Almanac Library (Milwaukee, WI), 2005.

George and Martha Washington, World Almanac Library (Milwaukee, WI), 2005.

Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, World Almanac Library (Milwaukee, WI), 2005.

John and Jacqueline Kennedy, World Almanac Library (Milwaukee, WI), 2005.

Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton, World Almanac Library (Milwaukee, WI), 2005.

Woodrow and Edith Wilson, World Almanac Library (Milwaukee, WI), 2005.

Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, World Almanac Library (Milwaukee, WI), 2005.

Anne Frank: Young Diarist, Aladdin (New York, NY), 2005.

My Favorite Dinosaurs, illustrated by John Sibbick, Milk & Cookies, 2005.

Caedmon's Song, illustrated by Bill Slavin, W.B. Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 2006.

Sidelights

Ruth Ashby is a children's writer who focuses on nonfiction topics ranging from biology and paleontology to history and biography. She has also edited such volumes as Herstory: Women Who Changed the World and The Letters of Elinore Pruitt Stewart, Woman Homesteader. Herstory features short biographies of 120 of history's prominent women rulers, scientists, and athletes. According to a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, the "highly readable thumbnail sketches cover areas from literature to politics, fashion to aviation, music to science." A Booklist contributor noted that "women of all times, places, and professions are treated," and felt that the coeditors "admirably do justice to the topic and audience." Kristen Oravec, reviewing The Letters of Elinore Pruitt Stewart along with another title for School Library Journal, commented that "the past comes strikingly to light in these first-person accounts."

Several of Ashby's original titles for young readers discuss dinosaurs. T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous, a tie-in for the IMAX film of the same name, follows the characters from the film while also providing trivia on Tyrannosaurus rex. "The author has constructed a book to appeal to dinophiles," wrote Patricia Manning in her School Library Journal review. My Favorite Dinosaurs, which covers various dinosaurs from different prehistoric eras, was considered "a browsing delight for dinosaur fans" by Todd Morning in Booklist. Pteranodon: The Life Story of a Pterosaur is an imagined day in the life of a pterosaur that is based on scientific field studies of the albatross; scientists theorize that the furry, flying dinosaur had similar habits to the modern-day bird. "Dinosaur lovers will enjoy this handsomely illustrated picture book full of drama and speculation," wrote a contributor to Kirkus Reviews. Patricia Manning, writing for School Library Journal, noted that "the simple text includes … dramatic moments," and that the work is "an attractive and rewarding look at the possibilities in a long-lost life history."

Ashby has written a number of biographies on notable figures in U.S. history, including astronaut John Glenn, inventor and politician Benjamin Franklin, and several U.S. presidents and their wives. In The Amazing Mr. Franklin; or, The Boy Who Read Everything, she offers a "lively narrative account," in the words of Carolyn Phelan in Booklist, describing Ashby's take on Franklin's varied career as a scientist, writer, politician, and inventor. Rebecca Sheridan, writing in School Library Journal, noted that "Ashby's clearly written narrative … flows smoothly and will hold the interest of children." Rocket Man: The Mercury Adventure of John Glenn recounts Glenn's childhood and the career that led to his becoming an astronaut and returning to space at age seventy-seven. "This book describes Glenn's life in a highly readable style," wrote Lana Miles in School Library Journal.

Ashby's series of titles about U.S. presidents and their first ladies includes short biographies that "are well designed and neatly tie together the lives of presidential couples," wrote Ilene Cooper in her Booklist review of Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton. School Library Journal reviewer Janet Gillen, considering other titles in the series, deemed the books "readable, interesting, and accurate."

Along with biographies of famous Americans, Ashby has also penned fictionalized biographies of Anne Frank, whose diary has helped many young people to learn about the Holocaust, and Caedmon, the seventh-century monk who is considered by many to be the first English poet. Caedmon's Song fills in imagined details of how a tongue-tied, disgruntled cowherd who hated poetry dreamed a hymn, leading him to become a monk so he could continue to create songs of praise. Ashby "creates a sympathetic protagonist, a man who is not ambitious but who, when the time is right, answers his calling," wrote Kara Schaff Dean in School Library Journal. "The episode is a significant one in our cultural history, and it's been many a year since any other version of it has been offered for young readers," noted a contributor to Kirkus Reviews. A Publishers Weekly critic considered the book an "accessible tale," and commented that Cover of Ruth Ashby's Rocket Man, illustrated by Robert Hunt. (Text copyright © 2004 by Ruth Ashby. Illustrations copyright © 2004 by Robert Hunt. Published by Peachtree. Reproduced by permission.)"young readers will likely find the brief profile of a little-known figure intriguing."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, October 1, 1995, review of Herstory: Women Who Changed the World, p. 349; July, 2004, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Amazing Mr. Franklin; or, The Boy Who Read Everything, p. 1838; March 1, 2005, Ilene Cooper, review of Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton, p. 1188; April 1, 2005, Todd Morning, review of My Favorite Dinosaurs, p. 1361.

Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2005, review of My Favorite Dinosaurs, p. 347; June 1, 2005, review of Pteranodon: The Life Story of a Pterosaur, p. 632; December 15, 2005, review of Caedmon's Song, p. 1317.

Publishers Weekly, June 19, 1995, review of Herstory, p. 62; January 30, 2006, review of Caedmon's Song, p. 72.

School Library Journal, July, 1990, Ruth S. Vose, review of Tigers, p. 80; August, 1994, Helen Rosenberg, review of The Orangutan, p. 160; November, 1995, Maureen Connelly, review of Herstory, p. 133; January, 2001, Patricia Manning, review of T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous, p. 113; February, 2003, Deborah Rothaug, review of Extraordinary People, p. 151; March, 2004, review of The Letters of Elinore Pruitt Stewart, Woman Homesteader, p. 224; November, 2004, Rebecca Sheridan, review of The Amazing Mr. Franklin, p. 121; December, 2004, Lana Miles, review of Rocket Man: The Mercury Adventure of John Glenn, p. 156; April, 2005, Patricia Manning, review of My Favorite Dinosaurs, and Rita Soltan, review of Anne Frank: Young Diarist, p. 118; July, 2005, Patricia Manning, review of Pteranodon, p. 86; August, 2005, Janet Gillen, review of Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton and others, p. 140; October, 2005, review of My Favorite Dinosaurs, p. S31; March, 2006, Kara Schaff Dean, review of Caedmon's Song, p. 206.

Voice of Youth Advocates, August, 1996, review of Her-story, p. 148; April, 2003, review of Fury on Horseback, p. 75.

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9 months ago

I loved ruth ashby wrtings i want to write a biography about her so i need information please help!!!!!

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over 1 year ago

Hi - My family loved Ruth Ashby's Great Documents graphic novel. It is called Vol.1 - is there going to be a Vol. 2? If so, when?

: )

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