Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: E(mily) R. Frank (1967-) Biography - Personal to Martha Graham (1893–1991) Biography » Ann Goldring (1937-) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights

Ann Goldring Biography (1937-) - Sidelights

spitfire april kathryn children

Long-time poet and writing teacher Ann Goldring published her first book, the children's tale Spitfire, in 2001. Spitfire is about Kathryn Lockhart, an eleven-year-old girl living in a small town in Ontario, Canada, during World War II. Kathryn's choices in life are constrained by the prejudices of her time, particularly sexism and classism, but she decides to fight against them to do as she likes. For her, this means entering a car into the formerly all-boys soapbox derby and becoming friends with several of the town's outcasts. Two of these friends include April, an unpopular girl from a coarser part of town who is the first female to enter the derby, and Taxi-Jo Toppings, the town's eccentric barber, who offers Kathryn the back room of the barber shop to use as a workshop for constructing her soapbox racer. Kathryn is motivated in part to become friends with April because she feels guilty about not doing anything to prevent her from being bullied by their classmates, making Spitfire "a succinct look at both the horror of bullying and the horror of being the quiet but disapproving onlooker," as Zoe Johnstone Guha explained in Resource Links. Spitfire is also useful for teaching children about life on the "home front" during World War II, noted Canadian Materials contributor Kristin Butcher. "Today's young readers might not pick up on all the allusions and nuances," she explained, but "sharing it with their elders may result in even more fascinating Overcoming gossip, threats, and her family's prejudices in World War II-era Ontario, eleven-year-old Kathryn joins a girl from the wrong side of town in entering a boys-only soapbox derby. (Cover illustration by Ljuba Levstek.) stories." Calling the story "short and satisfying," Booklist's Carolyn Phelan found that Goldring "paints a believable picture of life" as it existed for children growing up during the Second World War.

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, May 15, 2002, Carolyn Phelan, review of Spitfire, p. 1607.

Canadian Materials, April 26, 2002, Kristin Butcher, review of Spitfire.

Resource Links, April, 2002, Zoe Johnstone Guha, review of Spitfire, pp. 21-23.

School Library Journal, April, 2002, Mary Mueller, review of Spitfire, p. 149.

ONLINE

Canadian Children's Book Camp Web Site, http://www.bookcamp.ca/ (October 6, 2003), "Ann Goldring."

Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators, and

Performers Web Site, http://www.canscaip.org/ (October 6, 2003), "CANSCAIP Members: Ann Goldring."

Transatlantic Literary Agency Web Site, http://www.tla1.com/ (November 11, 2003), "Ann Goldring."*

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