Category: Teachers & Parents

Fort Union National Monument: A Writer’s Journey

Fort Union National Monument stands as a reminder of the cultural clashes that occurred during the westward expansion of the United States. 5 minute read. Kid friendly. A visit to the Monument invites entry into an important part of the history of the Santa Fe Trail. I’m eager to visit as I do research for

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Is Halloween Too Scary for Some Kids?

Is Halloween too scary? In my neighborhood Halloween is a joyful time. But it may not be so joyful for young children as we like to imagine.  4-5 min. read. Families in my neighborhood go all out to decorate. On Halloween we welcome the ghosts, ghouls, Dr. Who’s, Saitamas, Elsas, Charlie Browns, witches, and characters

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Sid Johnson and the Phantom Slave Stealer, a Review

“Sid Johnson and the Phantom Slave Stealer will go down as the best historical novel I have ever read.” Wow! A review like this one means a lot to a writer, even better, it is from Readers’ Favorite, a website that offers reviews by people who enjoy books but make no claim to being professional

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Dealing With Disappointment: Orchids and Ice Lollies

Picking Yourself Up After Disappointment and Failure Orchids are thought to represent love, beauty, strength, luxury, elegance, and uniqueness. These orchids brightened my room when I was away from home a few years ago. What if we were defined by our disappointments and failures rather than by our successes? No, seriously. Our successes are cause

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A Debt to Jonathan Walker, “The Man With the Branded Hand”

Jonathan Walker was an abolitionist known as “The Man With the Branded Hand.” Sid Johnson and the Phantom Slave Stealer, my forthcoming book, owes a debt to the abolitionist for its title. A lot goes into choosing a title for any book. Choosing the title for Sid Johnson’s story was a challenge until I got

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Why Alabaster Caverns?

The Alabaster Caverns near Freedom, OK are one of two places in the world where you can find black alabaster. Not far from the Santa Fe Trail, it is important in The Black Alabaster Box. 3 min. read. Kid Friendly.

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What Do You Know About the Santa Fe Trail?

The Santa Fe Trail recently celebrated its 200th Anniversary. Who were the people who used the trail? Author, Frances Schoonmaker, discusses a fictional family making the trip west and offers resources for discovering more about the Santa Fe Trail. 6 minute read. Kid Friendly.

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The Diverse History of the Trails West

The diverse history of the Great Westward Migration is illustrated in the life of James Pierson Beckwourth. Born in 1798 to slavery, Beckwourth was of mixed race. His larger-than-life story reached from the Crow Nation in Wyoming to the town named for him in California.

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