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Author Showcase

Fall 2005 Featured Author Marguerite Arnold

RT: The premise for your two children’s books, Most Mommies Are and Some Daddies Are, is that some parents live with us and some parents live in heaven. Was there a particular situation or life experience that drew you to write these two books?

Marguerite : After my brother passed away, I was surprised that children addressed my niece and nephew as not having a father. We needed, but could not find, tools to express that they have a Daddy but he is away in heaven.

RT: Explaining death to a child is probably viewed as one of the most difficult things we have to do as adults. What do you hope the books offer readers, both young and old?

Marguerite : I hope the books offer children and adults the opportunity to open the topic for discussion so children do not feel marked or different.

RT: In promoting your book, you’ve no doubt had lots of interesting exchanges with children. Have they given you ideas about additional topics to write about? Do you think you will write any additional children’s books?

Marguerite : As the children I interact with grow and change, so does the opportunity to meet their needs. I see a need for geography that is lacking in children’s literature which my next project will fulfill.

RT: In your biography, you note that you volunteer with the Literacy Advocates of America. How did you get involved with this organization? Could you tell us about your work with them, and how others can become involved in their communities?

Marguerite : I have always spent a lot of time working on my parents’ volunteer activities. When I saw the Literacy Advocates training schedule in my local paper, I realized I had not done any volunteer work since my parents had passed away. Contact information for your local office can be found at http://www.proliteracy.org. In this new millennium, there are still adults who cannot read well enough to meet their own basic needs in our own communities.

RT: Given the experiences you’ve had working in the field of literacy, what do you see as the biggest challenge(s) to breaking the cycle of illiteracy?

Marguerite : Time and transportation are tough, but eventually solvable, thanks to the dedication of the volunteers. The biggest challenge lies within cultures that do not make it a priority for women to have a minimum amount of education before becoming heads of households and raising the next generation.

Website: http://www.quigleycottage.com


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