All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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A video interview with

Rosemary Wells

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Born in New York City, Rosemary Wells grew up in a house "filled with books, dogs, and nineteenth-century music." "When I was two years old I began to draw and they saw right away the career that lay ahead of me and encouraged me every day of my life. As far back as I can remember, I did nothing but draw."

Rosemary Wells's career as an author and illustrator spans more than 30 years and 60 books, ranging from board books to young adult literature. She has won numerous awards, and has given young adult readers vivid historical fiction like Red Moon at Sharpsburg and Mary on Horseback: Three Mountain Stories, as well as great mysteries like The Man in the Woods and When No One Was Looking.

Her writing career has been a "pure delight," she says. "I regret only that I cannot live other lives parallel to my own. Writing is a lonely profession and I am a gregarious sort of person. I would like someday to work for the FBI. A part of me was never satisfied with years of tennis. I still yearned to play basketball."

Selected Books

from Rosemary Wells

Red Moon at Sharpsburg

Age Level: 12-14

A girl from the Shenandoah Mountains witnesses the devastation of war as a daughter and emerging scientist.

Buy Red Moon at Sharpsburg

Lincoln and His Boys

Age Level: 9-12

The voices of Abraham Lincoln's sons, Willie and Tad, are used effectively to reveal their father as both a man and as a leader during very difficult times.

Buy Lincoln and His Boys

Mary on Horseback: Three Mountain Stories

Age Level: 9-12

Three fictionalized narratives create a biography of Mary Breckenridge, the founder of the Frontier Nursing Service in Appalachia, and vividly detail the hardship of mountain life.

Buy Mary on Horseback: Three Mountain Stories

The Man in the Woods

Age Level: 9-12

After witnessing a car accident, Helen follows a suspect into the woods. Did the suspect spot her? Did the police arrest the right person? Helen and her friend Pinky are going to find out.

Buy The Man in the Woods

When No One Was Looking

Age Level: 14-16

Kathy is a promising young tennis star, but would she really kill to make it to the top?

Buy When No One Was Looking

On the Blue Comet

Age Level: 9-12

The Great Depression changed everything for 11-year-old Oscar and his widowed dad. Oscar's prized model trains are sold, his dad leaves Illinois to find work in California, and Oscar begins an adventure through time and places after he jumps onto a model train.

Buy On the Blue Comet

My Havana

Age Level: 9-12

Product Description: "You're always drawing in that notebook of yours," Dino's friend teases. To the small boy, 1950s Havana is alive with color, music, and glamour, and he itches to capture it on paper. When Fidel Castro and the Communist Party take over the Cuban government, Dino's family must move to New York, where the lonely boy pours his heart into making a model of Havana's archways and balconies, buildings and streets. Rosemary Wells composes a tender ode to an immigrant boy who grew up to be a U.S. architect, while Peter Ferguson's atmospheric paintings evoke two vibrant cities as they were half a century ago.

Buy My Havana