This will be an interesting week, or at least Wednesday will. That morning I’ll join eleven other children’s authors for a virtual literature festival hosted by Park University in Parkville, Missouri, not far from Kansas City. The event is called “Pirates Read.” Too bad I didn’t think to pack a copy of PIRATES.
Wednesday afternoon I’ll meet by Zoom with LAURA ROBB, TIM RASINSKI, and our editor at Teacher Created Material, CATHY HERNANDEZ, for a creative meeting about the book we’re doing.
Otherwise, you’ll find me in the cage if you need me.
A PLACE TO START A FAMILY (Charlesbridge, 2018) — about structures animals create in which to start their families — has been chosen for the 2019 NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books list. This is my second partnership with Giles Laroche, who also illustrated 2017’s NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T, also Charlesbridge. Both were edited by Karen Boss who told me that this year five Charlesbridge titles made it on the list.
I’m delighted to see A PLACE TO START A FAMILY recognized by science teachers. PIRATES was honored by VOYA, NOW YOU SEE THEM was voted best children’s nonfiction book of 2017 by Society of Midland Authors, and now A PLACE TO START is being honored. All three books are science-based poetry so I’m especially happy about that.
I’m looking down the list of titles that Boyds Mills just took out of their line. I’m going to miss PIRATES and those wonderful paintings by Dan Burr. Its recognitions included: Kansas State Reading Circle List, 2009; NCTE Notable Poetry Books, 2008; nominated for Cybils Award; VOYA’s Nonfiction Honor List, 2009; Texas Bluebonnet Master Reading List, 2010-2011; Indiana Young Hoosier Book Award Master Reading List, 2011-2012; selected by Missouri Center for the Book to represent Missouri at the National Book Fair in Washington D.C., 2013.
Dan and I introduced PIRATES at Texas Library Association in 2008. We had no idea who the guy dressed like a pirate was. He just appeared and stood in behind us for the picture. The Center for the Book held a reception in Warrensburg for Dan and me. Here’s the link. What a great party that was! http://books.missouri.org/content/david-harrison-and-dan-burr-book-signing I didn’t attend the National Book Fair in Washington, D.C. Sandy said I should have gone. Cheryl Harness did you go the year your book was chosen? I think I heard that more than 100,000 people go to those affairs. Here's a poem from PIRATES, published by Wordsong, 2008, (c) by David L. Harrison, all rights reserved.
WHAT’LL THE KING SAY, CAP’N?
Nice and easy, Cap’n.
Do nothing you’ll regret.
We’re helping ourselves to all your gold
And we’re not finished yet.
I’ll have your pistol, Cap’n.
Your knife will also do.
Ah, those rings are pretty things!
Hand them over too.
What’ll the king say, Cap’n?
Seems you lost his loot!
Seems you lost your pistol, Sir,
Your knife and rings to boot.
What’ll the king say, Cap’n?
Your kindness can’t be matched!
Let’s hope the king’s as kind as you
And leaves your head attached.
I’m happy to report that Boyds Mills Press, my publisher of PIRATES, has reached an agreement with Cynthia Gonzales, associate professor of music theory at Texas State University, that will allow her to set “Signing on a Crew” as lyrics for a men’s choir piece. I’ve already seen the first few pages of the score. At one time in my youth I was assistant choir director for Grace Methodist Church in Springfield (got married there too) but these days it’s a stretch for me to read sheet music and hear all the sounds in my head.
Dr. Gonzales has earned three degrees in Music Theory: the Ph.D and A.M. from Harvard University and the M.M. from the University of North Texas. She has been a professional singer for over 20 years, company manager for four seasons with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and has performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.
In 2013 PIRATES was selected by Missouri Center for the Book to represent Missouri at the National Book Fair in Washington, DC. Other recognitions include Kansas State Reading Circle List, 2009; NCTE Notable Poetry Books, 2008; nominated for Cybils Award; VOYA’s Nonfiction Honor List, 2009; Texas Bluebonnet Master Reading List, 2010-2011; and Indiana Young Hoosier Book Award Master Reading List, 2011-2012. I’m delighted to see a poem from the book transformed into song, sung like no pirates could ever hope to match!