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There's A Book

Shutta CrumToday, I’m fortunate to bring to you the author of one of the most delightful books (Thomas and the Dragon Queen) I’ve read recently, Shutta Crum. Her new book was recently released and I am so excited to have had the opportunity to read it. Make sure to stick around for the end of the post for an opportunity to win a copy of Thomas and the Dragon Queen! Without further hesitation on my part, Shutta:

First, I have to say that my dad had the gift of a silver tongue as many Kentuckians’ do. Growing up, my siblings and I heard wild stories of the rough and tumble life in the hollers. In addition, my relatives often vied to see who could tell the most hair-raising tale. I loved it! I always looked forward to going “down home” to Kentucky from Michigan in the summertime. There, in the warmth of my large extended family, I could hear more stories. And as I got older I contributed some of my own. I couldn’t wait to learn to read, because then I would have access to even more stories.

It wasn’t easy, at first. There were not many books in our house. My father had only a spotty education and was essentially illiterate. He was the youngest of twelve and he was often pulled out of school to work the farm. My mother loved to read. But times were tight, especially when Dad was laid-off or the auto factory was closed for changeover. Yet, perhaps, it was just because of these very things that books—though scarce—were highly prized by my family.

One of the most important books in my life I rescued from an incinerator.

We lived next door to the elementary school. Every summer, when our school was cleaned out, trash was carried to a cinderblock incinerator. My friends and I would wait in the small field nearby for the custodian to return to the building to get another load. Then we’d dart through the one open side and root around for treasure—before he returned to set it ablaze.

One summer I dug down into the pile and came up with a battered copy of a Webster’s dictionary. Its cover was gone, as well as part of the “A” section. I didn’t care; it had hundreds of gossamer-thin pages with the finest black lettering. It was perfect for playing school or library. The dictionary came in handy for all of us—unless we needed to look up “aberrant,” or “afflatus.” That book occupied a place of honor in our family for many many years.

“Aardvark,” though not in the dictionary, I could find in our set of the Golden Book Encyclopedias. My mom bought one a week as volumes became available at the grocery store. That set boasted of “Sixteen Accurate Fact-filled Volumes; Dramatically Illustrated with more than 6000 Color Pictures. The Only Encyclopedia for Young

Grade School Children ~ Accurate and Authoritative ~ Entertainingly Written and Illustrated to Make Learning an Adventure.”

I couldn’t wait to read each accurate fact-filled volume cover to cover—even wishing there was more to the alphabet so they would not end. But still, those dramatically illustrated articles could not compete with the lure of the dictionary. After all, there are a lot of entertaining words in the dictionary that also make learning an adventure—starting with “aphrodisiac.”

Years later, I discovered the thrill of thesauri. To this day I travel with a gentlemanly companion, my aged Soule’s Dictionary of English Synonyms which was “Designed as a Guide to Apt and Varied Diction” by Richard Soule in 1871. Mine was published in 1961. It comforts me when I fly, and keeps me company in hotel rooms. My husband completely understands; for I am head-over-heels love-addled by Soule my bosom companion, my compeer, my champion . . . It never fails to serve up the apt word.

Thus began my love of stories, and words on paper.*

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*Note: Some of this information will also appear in the winter issue of Language Arts Magazine, 2010, in an article titled: “Lexical Lust.”

“I love that so much of her reading and writing were influenced by the words that fill the pages. It’s incredible how powerful they can be, even to the point of rescuing them from a fiery fate!

“Thank you so much, Shutta, for stopping by There’s A Book and sharing your incredible story. You can truly understand that words have influenced your life for good and it’s evident in your book as well.”

Read my review of Thomas and the Dragon Queen

Giveaway!

Thomas and the Dragon Queen by Shutta CrumAs I mentioned earlier, I have the wonderful opportunity of giving away a SIGNED copy of Thomas and the Dragon Queen thanks to Shutta Crum! In addition to that I have some fantastic swag to give to the runner up in the contest. Two winners total!

Details: Two winners will be chosen at random after the contest closes. One winner will win one Signed copy of Thomas and the Dragon Queen and the second place winner will win book swag. You MUST fill out the form below, comments will not count as entries. Only one entry per household. Giveaway is open Worldwide. The giveaway will run from September 23, 2010 until October 15, 2010 midnight EST.

This book was provided for review and giveaway by the author, Shutta Crum. Thank you!
Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post will provide us a modest commission through our affiliate relationship with IndieBound.

This giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all who entered! Please check back often for more opportunities to win!

9 Responses to Guest Post and Giveaway: Shutta Crum Author of Thomas and the Dragon Queen

  1. Jodi Webb says:

    My son is a dragon fanatic so anything remotely involving dragons is on his list.

  2. Patsy Hagen says:

    My grandson would love this.
    mom1248(at)att(dot)net

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  6. […] There’s a Book website I talk a bit about the love of words and one of the most important books to come into my […]

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