OU Press was a key partner in the very first Ohioana Book Festival, held in 2007. The event was built around their award-winning anthology Good Roots: Writers Reflect on Growing Up in Ohio. Ten of the collection’s twenty authors came to Columbus for a day of panels and readings that set the pattern for each festival that has followed.
The press has also published books by many Ohio authors over the years, including P.L. Gaus (writer of Amish mysteries), Ellen Bromfield Geld (novelist and daughter of Louis Bromfield), Marilou K. Suszko (food writer), Andrew Welsh-Huggins (Associated Press reporter and novelist), and many more.
You can visit OU Press online here. Some of their new and upcoming releases will be featured at this year’s Ohioana Book Festival!
Throughout the month of October we’ll be highlighting archival items in the Ohioana Library’s collection–including scrapbooks, postcards, correspondence and other personal papers, photos, and manuscripts. Stop back often to see images of these rare and one-of-a-kind items!
Click here to learn more about archives and archival materials.
Ohioan Dav Pilkey appears twice on the American Library Association’s list of Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009: at #13 for his Captain Underpants series, and again at #47 for The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby. Captain Underpants is also listed at #1 on the ALA’s Top Ten Challenged Books of 2012.
Pilkey was born and raised near Cleveland, Ohio. In elementary school he was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia; he first created the Captain Underpants character during “time outs” in the school hallway. Although Pilkey’s teachers throughout elementary and high school discouraged his drawing, one of his college professors saw his work and encouraged him to try writing children’s books. His first book was published in 1987.
Pilkey’s book The Paperboy was a Caldecott Honor book; The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. He was recently selected to illustrate a picture book version of “One Today,” a poem written by Richard Blanco and read at President Obama’s 2013 inauguration.
Ohio native Toni Morrison has three books on the American Library Association’s list of Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009: #15 The Bluest Eye, #26 Beloved, and #72 Song of Solomon. Beloved is also #10 on the ALA’s Top Ten Challenged Books of 2012.
Morrison was born and raised in Lorain, Ohio. After receiving degrees in English from Howard University and Cornell University, she worked as a university professor and book editor. She began writing fiction as part of an informal group that met to discuss and critique each other’s work. She went to one meeting with a short story about an African American girl who wished for blue eyes; this later became her first novel, The Bluest Eye. To date Morrison has written ten novels as well as children’s books, nonfiction, plays, and a libretto.
The president of the Ohio Board of Education recently criticized The Bluest Eye and questioned its inclusion on the recommended reading list for high school juniors. You can hear Morrison’s response and comments by Ohioana Library Executive Director David Weaver here.
Morrison won the 1977 National Book Critics Circle Award for Song of Solomon, a 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Beloved, and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993 for her body of work.
Ohioan Chris Crutcher has three books on the American Library Association’s list of Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009: #41 Whale Talk, #44 Athletic Shorts, and #85 Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes.
Crutcher was born in Dayton, Ohio, but grew up in a small town in Idaho. After graduating from college, he taught primary and secondary school and spent nearly a decade as the director of an alternative school for at-risk students. He spent the next 30 years working as a child protection advocate and as a child and family therapist. Crutcher’s experience working with at-risk children shows in his books, which tackle difficult subjects with a mixture of gritty realism and sharp humor.
The second Ohio author to appear on the American Library Association’s list of Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009 is Mildred Taylor. Her award-winning book Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry appears at #66.
Taylor was born in Jackson, Mississippi, but spent her childhood in Toledo and graduated from college there. After spending two years in the Peace Corps and earning a master’s degree, she began writing. Taylor’s books are based on family stories told during childhood gatherings and therefore strongly reflect her own family history. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry was only her second novel. In addition to winning the 1977 Newbery Medal, it was a National Book Award nominee, an ALA Notable Book, and a Kirkus Choice and was listed as a New York Times Book Review Best Children’s Book 1970-1980.
Every year the American Library Association collects information on challenged and banned books in schools and libraries across the country. Five Ohio authors appear on the ALA’s list of Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009. Two of those authors also appear on the ALA’s Top Ten Challenged Books of 2012.
Coming in at #94 on the list of “Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009” is the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine. Stine grew up in Bexley, Ohio and graduated from Ohio State University. He began his career by writing humor books for children and created the humor magazine Bananas. Stine wrote his first horror novel for young people in 1986, and went on to create the Fear Street series in 1989 and Goosebumps in 1992. His books have sold more than 350 million copies, and the Goosebumps series has been translated into 32 languages. Stine created an endowment fund for creative writing in his hometown of Bexley, received the Ohioana Career Award in 1999, and was a featured author at the 2009 Ohioana Book Festival.
Amplify your gift by donating to the Ohioana Library during this special online giving event! For a 24-hour period beginning at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 17, all donations of $20 or more made to the Ohioana Library via The Big Give will be augmented by part of a $1 million bonus pool provided by the Columbus Foundation, its family of donors, and community partners. 100% of your donation goes to the Ohioana Library! Click here for more information.
And, as a special “thank you” for donating, you can receive free goodies from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Homage, and Piada! Click here to find out how.
Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us provide activities that connect Ohio writers and readers throughout the state, including the annual Ohioana Book Festival, “On the Road with Ohioana” tours, and much more. THANK YOU in advance!