Marie Fritz Perry Biography
Personal, Addresses, Career, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights
Born 1992; Dominican University, M.A. (library and information science), 1999. Hobbies and other interests: English and Western horseback riding.
Agent—Elizabeth Child, Buttonweed Press, 7625 110th St. East, Northfield, MN 55057.
Author, artist, educator, and librarian.
(Self-illustrated) A Gift for Sadia, Buttonweed Press (Northfield, MN), 2005.
Contributor, with Henry E. Fritz, to Encyclopedia of the American West.
Work in Progress
A series of picture books about the immigrant experience in America.
Minnesota-based author, artist, librarian, and educator Marie Fritz Perry was inspired to write A Gift for Sadia while working with seven English-as-a-second-language (ESL) students in 1998. Although her new students came from drastically different backgrounds and had arrived in Minnesota from different countries, Perry soon realized that their experiences assimilating into the culture of the United States were fairly similar, and equally difficult.
Following her experiences with these seven special students, Perry began to weave a story, drawing upon her own childhood memories of feeding Canadian geese as well as on the immigrant stories her students had shared. A Gift for Sadia focuses on a young Somali girl who finds herself in the United States after losing much of her family. Lonely, cold, and feeling like an outcast, Sadia has difficulty communicating with the people who try to help her. Ultimately, however, she makes a connection while caring for an injured Canadian goose that helps her accept her new life yet honor her family's memory by being proud of her cultural heritage. In the opinion of a reviewer for Small Press Bookwatch, Perry's self-illustrated picture book is "beautifully drawn and deftly told," while a Kirkus Reviews critic stated that because Perry's artwork "captures Sadia's low spirits" at the beginning of the story, young listeners will "come away from the episode … happy that, by the end, she's feeling at least a bit more at home."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2005, review of A Gift for Sadia, p. 293.
Rochester Post-Bulletin (Rochester, MN), February 8, 2005, Dawn Schuett, "Somali Woman Inspires Children's Book."
Small Press Bookwatch, May, 2005, review of A Gift for Sadia.
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