Luane Roche (1937–) Biography
Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights
Born 1937, in Wilkes Barre, PA; Education: Sacred Heart Junior College, A.A., 1958; Mercy School of Nursing, graduated, 1958. Politics: Republican. Religion: Roman Catholic. Hobbies and other interests: Baking, cooking, canning, puzzling, gardening, crocheting, reading.
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Liguori Publications, One Liguori Dr., Liguori, MO 63057-9999.
St. Anne's Hospital, Chicago, IL, surgical floor nurse, 1958–59; Swedish Covenant Hospital, Chicago, IL, assistant supervisor, 1959–66; St. Thomas Hospital School of Nursing, Akron, OH, operating room and clinical instructor, 1962–63; St. Hubert Elementary School, Hoffman Estates, IL, fifth-grade teacher, 1967; Churchill Elementary School, Schaumburg, IL, fourth through sixth-grade S.T.E.P. teacher's aide, 1981–83; writer.
Bishop Walter's Medal for Religion, American Poetry Society, 1955, for poem "The Beloved Master"; Angel Award, 1980, for The Proud Tree.
The Proud Tree, illustrated by Jim Corbett, Liguori Publications (Liguori, MO), 1981.
The Promise, illustrated by Chris Sharp, Liguori Publications (Liguori, MO), 1996.
Luane Roche told SATA: "One day, in the 1970s I was busy washing clothes in the laundry room and talking to the Lord about the fact that there were no religious children's books that told the story of the passion of Christ. I thought about the cross especially. It was once a beautiful tree—what a humiliating ending. The story played out in my mind. I wrote it down. The name of the story had to be The Proud Tree.
"Eventually, the book, winner of an Angel Award, took off and became an English and Spanish video. I always felt a less-expensive Spanish soft-cover edition would have sold much better. Later a colored edition in a trade book came out also.
"Although The Proud Tree is geared for young school children, I learned a good story has no age limits: a four year old refused to go to sleep until the story was read; an 81-year-old woman used it to get into the spirit of Lent, as did a church community of adults in Wisconsin; and a fourth-grade class used the book as a script to put on a Lenten play with costumes, posters, and music.
"My goal was to convey a message, to teach children in a way they could relate to without their being frightened. I hoped they might be open to incorporating into their young lives some of the values and lessons they learned from the story. I believe I did that with The Proud Tree and The Promise, the sequel that was published in 1995. It has been a fun and rewarding experience."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Ligouri Speakers Bureau Web site, http://mission.liguori.org/ (April 11, 2006).
St. Veronica Catholic Church and School Bulletin Online, http://www.stveronica.net/ (June 15, 2006), review of The Proud Tree.