Monday, November 14, 2011

14th November Miska Miles (1899 - 1986)

Miska Miles, a pseudonym for Patricia Miles Martin, is the author of that classic, Annie and the Old One. This story was a Newbery Honor Book in 1972 and then made into a film. She began her working life as an elementary school teacher but after accidentally taking part in a creative writing course became a published author. She particularly liked animals and wrote many novels about horses. She was also inspired to write about things that happened to her while living on a farm in Kansas and a Navajo reservation.

While the illustrations by Peter Parnell inaccurately depict many aspects of the Navajo Indians life, the sentiments expressed in the story and the relationship between Annie and her grandmother provide much that is realistic and well worth discussing. Annie refuses to believe that her grandmother, the Old One will die, but she learns that she cannot change the course of life and in doing so grows in understanding and empathy.

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