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For many years now, Vivian Owens has sought to bring African American children’s literature to a distinctive place among all children’s and young adult books. Vivian says, “We need diversity in children’s literature. Children of all ethnic groups should have the pleasure of getting to know each other through shared stories. They need books that show pictures of varied lives lived.” Ms. Owens goes on to say, “I encourage parents and family to seriously look for ethnic books published by independent publishers such as Eschar Publications.”
Whether she is telling stories or balancing equations, Vivian Owens feels comfortable connecting with people. This former chemistry teacher started writing children's/young adult novels when she couldn't find existing books that properly complimented the interests of her own three children. Over the years, Vivian has spoken to varied audiences as a guest of corporate conferences, The Virginia Festival of the Book, The Virginia Association of Independent Schools, The AAUW Authors' Brunch, reading conferences, university groups, teacher conferences, schools and others. Recently, her latest book, Parenting for Education (Revised Edition), won a Mom's Choice Award and a FAPA Award. Her book, Nadanda The Wordmaker, received a Writer's Digest Best Book Award the year it was published.
One book, How Oswa Came to Own All Music, that clearly expresses Vivian's love of language in rocking between storytelling and poetry, recently converted to e-book but can still be obtained in hardback copy.
With a long history of community volunteerism, Vivian currently serves as a Board Member of the Lake County Historical Society and as a Board Member of Young Families Health Initiatives. Vivian is the wife of an engineer and the mother of three adult children. On any given day, you will find her strolling around the lake for an early morning walk, before she takes up her pen to write or takes the stage to speak. In her spare time, Vivian likes to cook and to take care of roses.
Now living in Florida, Vivian Owens taught math and high school chemistry in the public and private schools of Virginia. You may reach Vivian through email at email@example.com. She would be happy to hear from you.
Awards and Honors
Nadanda the Wordmaker won a Writer’s Digest Best Book Award
Parenting for Education received the Mom’s Choice Award
Vivian offers a diverse array of programs during her author visits, including writing workshops, book readings and workshops that stimulate analytical minds.
Writing Workshops for Children:
Vivian is happy to present a writing workshop for any age level; and the writing can be fiction or non-fiction. Writing workshops will focus on imagination and creativity while implementing elements of language usage, grammar and reading how-to skills. Students will produce a first draft document.
• Grade Levels: K-5 or 6-8
• Group Size: 15 or less
• Time length for each workshop: 1 ½ hrs (Author will accommodate 3 workshops in 1 day.)
Favorite Black Poetry Read by Vivian Owens
Vivian will read favorite poems from the works of Margaret Walker, Langston Hughes, James Weldon Johnson and Countee Cullen. Discussion will follow readings.
• Grade Levels: K-12
• Group Size: 50-100
• Time Length: 1 hour. (Author will accommodate 3 groups in one day.)
Author Talks About Her Own Books
The author will discuss character development, plot and pacing in the development of works of fiction, such as Nadanda The Wordmaker, I Met A Great Man or The Rosebush Witch. Students' questions and comments will follow.
• Grade Levels: K-12
• Group Size: 15-30. (Author will accommodate several sessions.)
• Time Length: 1 hour for each session
Fees for school programs offered by Vivian Owens are negotiable. Please email or telephone for discussion.
THE MAN WHO HID CHRISTMAS IN A SHOEBOX
Vivian Owens (Author), Richard J. Watson (Illustrator) Reading level: 8 and up Hardcover 56 pages Publisher: Eschar Publications (2016) ISBN-10: 1929221037 ISBN-13: 978-1929221035
Bound to become a classic, The Man Who Hid Christmas in a Shoebox celebrates family and community ties. A rich man fears he has perpetuated a false meaning to Christmas and chooses to bring deep understanding to his small village by hiding Christmas in a shoebox. How does anyone hide Christmas? Art for this book was created by renowned fine artist, Richard J. Watson, who is artist in-residence of The African American Museum of Philadelphia.
The Man Who Hid Christmas in a Shoebox tells a holiday story of a wealthy man who goes against a village tradition as he tries to bring back the deep meaning of Christmas. He figured out a way to hide Christmas in a shoebox. This is a family story that will surely delight children and adults. Published by Eschar Publications, comes in hardback with a beautifully designed jacket.
All art work for this wonderful book was painted by renowned artist, Richard J. Watson. Watson manages to bring to life people of a village where we could live. He said that he enjoyed illustrating pictures for characters who intrigued him. His collaboration with Owens began during the mid-90s, when he created the jacket design for the award-winning Nadanda the Wordmaker. Please go to the Eschar Publications’ website, www.escharpublications.com, to get more information and to place your order.
This book is also available as an eBook in the Amazon Kindle Bookstore (see link at left).
Nadanda the Wordmaker
Vivian Owens (Author), Reading level: 8 and up Hardcover 243 pages Publisher: Eschar Publications (1994) ISBN-10: 0962383937 ISBN-13: 978-0962383939
At fourteen, Nadanda found a way to acceptance into almost any clique in her school. She creates words no one has ever heard. Unfortunately, she has not found a way to be accepted by her mother. Then, one day, her art dealer mother brings home an ancient African doll, which leads them on a hectic trail of suspense and adventure, for it seems that Nadanda's made-up words do have meaning after all.
From The News Virginian– "...NADANDA has an appeal that will capture the hearts of both adolescents and adults, regardless of race or class. And while the story has a fanciful touch, like a modern fairytale, some have described it as allegorical..."
From the Daily News Leader– "...it's easy reading for the younger, yet suspenseful enough to hold adults' attention...Words contain power–even words that seemingly have no meaning. That's the message in the new book."
From the Daily New-Record– "...NADANDA'S fast paced story sticks to the same rules (as Nancy Drew), yet manages to keep a reader who can be bored by Clint Eastwood films turning pages eagerly...Owens succeeds in providing an upbeat, multicultural role model without letting a message overpower a good story..."
CREATE A MATH ENVIRONMENT: REVISED EDITION
Vivian Owens (Author), Reading level: 8 and up Hardcover 192 pages Publisher: Eschar Publications (2016) ISBN-10: 1929221029 ISBN-13: 978-1929221028
A parent-helper book that empowers children and parents. Shows you what to do and how to do it to make math easy and fun learning. Each activity in Create a Math Environment gives age-specific directions that you can use in a short period of time. Hands-on lessons invite learners to “touch math” in a fun, easy way. When busy parents want to help their children understand math concepts, it becomes a real confidence builder for all.
Recommended by US Review.
This book is also available as an eBook in the Amazon Kindle Bookstore (see link at left).
Parenting for Education
Vivian Owens (Author) Hardcover 223 pages Publisher: Eschar Publications (September 2013) ISBN-10: 1929221010 ISBN-13: 978-1929221011
This book offers suggestions to parents and other child care providers on ways to improve learning performance. How-to ideas on developing language skills and math intuition. Guidelines to head learners in the right direction are written simply and can be easily followed. Parents are motivated to raise the chances of their children's academic success, as they consider reading activities and math activities. Help the child according to his own needs and move him forward, regardless of age. With parent involvement, starting in the home, children have a better opportunity to experience greater academic success. The book takes a look at underachievement and some of the more common problems that cause dysfunction in the classroom. This book is a parent-helper.
How Oswa Came to Own All Music
Vivian Owens (Author), John D. Owens (Illustrator) Reading level: 8 and up Hardcover 84 pages Publisher: Eschar Publications (December 2003) ISBN-10: 0962383996 ISBN-13: 978-0962383991
Oswa, a handsome giant with a loving heart, lived long ago when the earth was still young. Legend says that he healed wounded animals and made friends with all creatures. On a journey across the universe he listened to luminous songs of nature and realized he had to own all music. The Queen sent him on several dangerous missions to earn all music. This is a character building book as well as an entertaining treasure of poetic pleasure.
I Met a Great Man
Vivian Owens (Author), Richard J. Watson (Illustrator) Reading level: 9 and up Hardcover 64 pages Publisher: Eschar Publications (June 1998) ISBN-10: 0962383961 ISBN-13: 978-0962383960
World War II starts and young John Senegal is forced to go South to live with his grandparents. Unhappy that his father is at war and that he must separate from his mother, also, John sees a bleak future. On the train, traveling to his grandparents, he meets Dr. George Washington Carver. Now, John is challenged to view life through different windows.
I Met a Great Lady
Vivian Owens (Author), Richard J. Watson (Illustrator) Reading level: 9 and up Paperback 80 pages Publisher: Eschar Publications (June 1998) ISBN-10: 0962383953 ISBN-13: 978-0962383953
Poor Ivy seems to stand alone as the only untalented child in her very large family, but then the ladies of the NCNW take her underwing and introduce her to one of the most important women of the 20th Century–Mary McLeod Bethune. How this affects Ivy unravels in a story of dynamic family relationships, as the family comes up against the challenges of race relations.
The Rosebush Witch
Vivian Owens (Author), John D. Owens (Illustrator) Reading level: 7 and up Paperback 107 pages Publisher: Eschar Publications (June 1996) ISBN-10: 0962383945 ISBN-13: 978-0962383946
How many of us have been frightened by things that go bump in the night? Parents sometimes tend to dismiss children's fear as "imagination." Lona Davis struggles to convince her parents that a witch rides by her window every night. A visit from her storytelling grandmother complicates matters. A multicultural story of family relationships seen through a child's fears of things that go bump in the night. Do parents and other adults listen earnestly to their children's concerns? What is the reality of things that you see?
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