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Judith (Bernette) Bloom Fradin (1945-) Biography - Personal, Career, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights

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Born 1945, in Chicago, IL; Education: Northwestern University, B.A., 1967; Northeastern Illinois University, M.A., 1975. Politics: "Local." Religion: Jewish. Hobbies and other interests: Trying to grow dahlias.

Career

High school English and history teacher, 1967-75, 1982-90; Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, writing instructor, 1975-82; photo researcher, 1985—; researcher and writer, 1990—. President, Southwest Evanston Associated Residents (SWEAR).

Writings

"FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA" SERIES; WITH HUSBAND, DENNIS BRINDELL FRADIN

Montana, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1992.

Arkansas, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1994.

Delaware, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1994.

Connecticut, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1994.

Indiana, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1994.

Maryland, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1994.

North Dakota, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1994.

Washington, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1994.

West Virginia, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1994.

Wyoming, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1994.

Minnesota, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1995.

Louisiana, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1995.

Kansas, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1995.

Mississippi, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1995.

Nevada, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1995.

Puerto Rico, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1995.

Judith Bloom Fradin

Oklahoma, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1995.

Oregon, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1995.

Rhode Island, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1995.

South Dakota, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1995.

OTHER

(With Dennis Brindell Fradin) Ida B. Wells: Mother of the Civil Rights Movement, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 2000.

(With Dennis Brindell Fradin) Who Was Sacagawea?, Grosset & Dunlap (New York, NY), 2002.

(With Dennis Brindell Fradin) Fight On!: Mary Church Terrell's Battle for Integration, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 2003.

(With Dennis Brindell Fradin) The Power of One: Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Contributor of articles and photographs to Footsteps magazine and Cobbestone.

Work in Progress

With husband Dennis Brindell Fradin, Five Thousand Miles to Freedom, based on the story of escaped slaves Ellen and William Craft, for National Geographic Children's Books, spring, 2005.

Sidelights

Judith Bloom Fradin has partnered with her husband, writer Dennis Brindell Fradin, to create the informational "From Sea to Shining Sea" series. Focusing on the unique history and geography of many states in the union, the series also presents famous people who hail from each state, and the state's current developments and future trends as well. Fradin once told SATA that when she and her husband began the "From Sea to Shining Sea" series, she did most of the research and he wrote them. "I spent hours each day in local and university libraries seeking information about recent events in each state. I also gathered biographical material for the 'Famous People' section of each book. Dennis and I often disagreed about which people and events should be included. Finally he said, 'If you think you could do better, why don't you write those sections?'" Since 1994 she has contributed a significant portion of the writing of each of their collaborative projects.

Expanding their writing focus in 2000, the Fradins started penning nonfiction biographical accounts of successful female activists. In 2000 Ida B. Wells: Mother of the Civil Rights Movement was published, and was followed in 2003 by Fight On! Mary Church Terrell's Battle for Integration. Drawing on actual diaries, letters, and autobiographical information, as well as other accumulated research, the Fradins convey the passionate crusade of journalist Ida B. Wells as she struggles to fight against the racially segregating Jim Crow laws, which finally came to an end in the 1930s. After her friend was killed by a white mob because his grocery store was apparently too successful, Wells boldly spoke out against the atrocities taking place around her. Because Ida B. Wells contains photographs of actual lynching victims, some reviewers found it to be excessively graphic, while others maintained that such pictures convey the severe reality of a brutal period in U.S. history. "This stellar biography of one of history's most inspiring woman offers an excellent overview of Wells' life and contributions," stated Leah J. Sparks in School Library Journal, while Booklist contributor John Peters wrote: "Of the several recent biographies of this colorful reformer for young readers, this is by far the most moving and complete."

The Fradins made a fresh impact on young readers when they chronicled the fight of integration activist Mary Church Terrell in Fight On! Born prior to emancipation, Terrell attended Oberlin College, was the first black women on the Washington, D.C., Board of Education, and dedicated her life to promoting civil rights. At the age of eighty-nine she won a monumental 1953 U.S. Supreme Court decision to desegregate eating places in Washington, D.C. As with their biography of Wells, the Fradins utilize Terrell's own writings and words to clearly impart the passion behind her crusade, and photographs of the period enhance readers' understanding of the events being discussed. In a School Library Journal review, Jennifer Ralston called Fight On! a "carefully researched" and "inspiring picture of a woman who fought for the rights awarded every American." Carolyn Phelan, in Booklist, noted of Fight On! that, "Very readable and handsomely designed, this biography presents the life of an educated, energetic, and determined African American woman within the context of her times."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 15, 2000, John Peters, review of Ida B. Wells: Mother of the Civil Rights Movement, p. 1105; March 1, 2000, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Ida B. Wells, p. 1248; February 15, 2001, Hazel Rochman, review of Ida B. Wells, p. 1152; June 1, 2003, Carolyn Phelan, review of Fight On! Mary Church Terrell's Battle for Integration, p. 1789.

Horn Book, May, 2000, Anita L. Burkam, review of Ida B. Wells: Mother of the Civil Rights Movement, p. 331; July-August, 2003, Anita L. Burkam, review of Fight On! Mary Church Terrell's Battle for Integration, p. 478.

Publishers Weekly, March 3, 2003, review of Fight On!, p. 77.

School Library Journal, August, 1995, p. 146; April, 2000, Leah J. Sparks, review of Ida B. Wells, p. 148; December, 2000, review of Ida B. Wells, p. 53; May, 2003, Jennifer Ralston, review of Fight On!, p. 169.

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9 months ago

Oh my gosh I love your books and you website has been super helpful for a book review I have to write for school over your book Stolen Into Slavery and I just wondered what lead you to write the story I know you probably get tons of fan mail but this would be super helpful if could please just answer me if you get this please and thankyou
-Ashtyn