The Missouri Reader Vol. 43, Issue 2 - Page 6

The Missouri Reader

• Is YOUR teacher magazine

• Is a peer reviewed professional journal

• Has been publishing for over 40 years

• Has articles on the latest literacy issues

Want to submit an article? See the last page for details about submissions. We especially welcome joint articles by teachers & professors collaborating on literacy projects. We try publish articles that will help teachers with their everyday teaching. We want to help you become that teacher we all wish we had had when we were in school.

The Missouri Reader would like to celebrate our own author and poet, David Harrison, who has published books for children for over 50 years. In 1969, David’s first book, The Boy with a Drum, was released and sold over 2,000,000 copies. Since then, he has published over 90 books that have sold millions of copies. His books reflect nature and FUN. His degrees in science and his work as a pharmacologist along with his sense of humor have combined to make books that accurately reflect nature and are fun for children to read.

His books have been recognized with numerous awards for individual books and poems as well as his extensive body of work. Awards include those from the International Literacy Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, Bank Street College, and many state award programs, including several Missouri organizations. Check them out at. http://www.davidlharrison.com/awards.htm

Keep up with David and his newest adventures at

https://davidlharrison.wordpress.com/

We asked David to share a with us about his early years as a writer and he did so with his usual humor and entertaining way of writing.

David Remembers…

The first time I addressed an envelope to a publisher, slipped my story inside, licked the stamps, and dropped my offering into a mailbox, I felt anxious and vulnerable. I was standing at the edge of an unknown universe. What had I just done? Who did I think I was? My wife had encouraged me, but she was my wife. No one else had seen my story. I had two degrees, both in science. I’d taken a single writing class during my senior year of undergraduate work. What did I know about writing stories? Just about nothing. What did I know about getting published? Absolutely nothing. I would have given anything to talk to someone who could tell me if my work was any good, maybe give me some pointers, but the only people I knew were other scientists, my associates at Mead Johnson Pharmaceutical Laboratories in Evansville, Indiana, where I worked as a pharmacologist assigned to the unit that studied the central nervous system in mice, rats, cats, dogs, and monkeys.

I remember writing late at night, after my wife Sandy and our infant daughter Robin were asleep, struggling for the words to say what I wanted to say. I was all knees and elbows, but that didn’t keep me from hoping somehow my work was wonderful and fresh and new and I was about to burst onto the literary world as the next John Updike or Ernest Hemingway.

I remember when the story came back I recognized my handwriting on the self-addressed return envelope I had dutifully enclosed. I could feel my story inside. But maybe there was an acceptance letter. There was no letter; only a slender slip of paper with an unsigned note. “Thank you for thinking of us. We are unable to use your material. We wish you better luck with another publisher.”

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David Harrison: Celebrating 50 Years of

Amazing Books for Children

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By David L. Harrison

The Missouri Reader would like to our own David Harrison who has published books for children for over 50 years. In 1969, David’s first book, The Boy with a Drum, was released and sold over 2,000,000 copies. Since then, he has published over 90 books that have sold millions of copies. His books reflect nature and FUN. His degrees in science and his work as a pharmacologist combined with his sense of humor combined to make books that accurately reflect nature and are fun for children to read.

His books have been recognized with numerous awards for individual books and poems as well as his extensive body of work. Awards include those from ILA, NCTE, Bank Street College, and many state awards programs, including several Missouri organizations. Check them out at. http://www.davidlharrison.com/awards.htm

David is currently on an unusual book tour for his latest book, AFTER DARK. Join his blog book tour to find out about this amazing book at https://davidlharrison.wordpress.com/

We asked David to share a with us about his early years as a writer and he did so with his usual humor and entertaining way of writing.

David Remembers…

The first time I addressed an envelope to a publisher, slipped my story inside, licked the stamps, and dropped my offering into a mailbox, I felt anxious and vulnerable. I was standing at the edge of an unknown universe. What had I just done? Who did I think I was? My wife had encouraged me, but she was my wife. No one else had seen my story. I had two degrees, both in science. I’d taken a single writing class during my senior year of undergrad work. What did I know about writing stories? Just about nothing. What did I know about getting published? Absolutely nothing. I would have given anything to talk to someone who could tell me if my work was any good, maybe give me some pointers, but the only people I knew were other scientists, my associates at Mead Johnson Pharmaceutical Laboratories in Evansville, Indiana, where I worked as a pharmacologist assigned to the unit that studied the central nervous system in mice, rats, cats, dogs, and monkeys.

I remember writing late at night, after Sandy and our infant daughter Robin were asleep, struggling for the words to say what I wanted to say. I was all knees and elbows, but that didn’t keep me from hoping somehow my work was wonderful and fresh and new and I was about to burst onto the literary world as the next John Updike or Earnest Hemmingway.

I remember when the story came back. I recognized my handwriting on the self-addressed return envelope I had dutifully enclosed. I could feel my story inside. But maybe there was an acceptance letter. There was no letter; only a slender slip of paper with an unsigned note. “Thank you for thinking of us. We are unable to use your material. We wish you better luck with another publisher.”

.