Photo credit Cindy Wilson
Anna Egan Smucker was born in Steubenville, Ohio, and grew up in Weirton, West Virginia. She has a B.A. from Carlow College (now Carlow University) in Pittsburgh, and M.A. from Michigan State University. Anna has been a children's librarian and a teacher as well as a writer. She has served as the Writer-in-Residence for Harrison County Schools, West Virginia, and has taught children's literature at Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi, West Virginia. She has given presentations and conducted writing workshops for over 18,000 students and adults throughout West Virginia and the United States. She is available for presentations in schools, libraries, and at professional meetings.
Anna drew upon her childhood in Weirton, West Virginia, to write her first book for children, No Star Nights. Illustrated with oil paintings by Steve Johnson, No Star Nights is a story about growing up in the steel mill town of Weirton, West Virginia in the 1950s. Play Quia Java Games for No Star Nights at this link, including Matching, Flashcards, Concentration, and Word Search. An interesting Lesson Plan that includes No Star Nights is "A Pittsburgh Memory: A Memoir Study Focusing on Location," by Victoria A. Baumann, Fort Pitt Elementary School.
Anna's second book, Outside The Window, was published by Knopf in 1994. It is a bedtime story illustrated by California artist Stacey Schuett. (See special activities for Outside The Window.)
A History of West Virginia, a book for adult new readers commissioned by the West Virginia Humanities Council, was published in 1997. It is being translated into Japanese. An Online Version of A History of West Virginia for New Readers, including Workbook Chapters, is available through West Virginia Humanities Council, edited and produced by Therese M. Hess for The West Virginia Humanities Council.
Anna's poems have been published in Now and Then, The Best of West Virginia Writers, Wild Sweet Notes, and A Gathering at the Forks, an anthology published in 1993 that featured works by writers who attended the Appalachian Writer's Workshop in Hindman, Kentucky.
Anna has also contributed a letter, "Dear Students," to the audience of Hillchild: A Folklore Chapbook about, for, and by West Virginia Children. Edited by Dr. Judy Byers and Noel W. Tenney, West Virginia Folklife Center, Fairmont State College. Vol. 2, 2003, pp. 24-25.
Anna appears on the Literary Map of West Virginia (2003).
She has authored, or co-authored with her husband, parts of over thirty teacher's editions, workbooks, and student texts in the areas of reading and social studies for the Macmillan/McGraw Hill School Division and has served as a consultant for Houghton Mifflin Company's School Division.
Anna is the recipient of a 2005 West Virginia Arts Commission Artist Fellowship Award in Children’s Literature.
Anna's husband, Kim Smucker, works as a grant writer and German instructor at Alderson-Broaddus College in Philipi, West Virginia. The Smuckers have a daughter, Mary, a son, Ben, and two grandsons, Daniel and Aaron. They live in Bridgeport, West Virginia.
Anna in her study.
She really does
live at the end of a
|Photo credit Linda Kucan|
No Star Nights, a story about growing up in a steel town in the 1950s, published in 1989 by Alfred A. Knopf. Illustrated by Steve Johnson. Fond memories of childhood pleasures overshadow the reality that the mill furnaces polluted the air, blocked out the stars, and left big slag heaps.
1994 West Virginia Library Association Literary Merit Award
1990 International Reading Association Children's Book Award in the Younger Reader's Category
1989 American Library Association Notable Book
1989 Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies
1989 Junior Library Guild Selection
No Star Nights has been a featured selection in both the Macmillan/ McGraw-Hill and Harcourt Brace new reading programs in the Fourth Grade student texts.
Suggestions from Anna Smucker for classes studying this picture book:
Reviews of No Star Nights:
Budd, Mary Lou. "No Star Nights." School Library Journal 35.(Nov 1989): 115.
Dirda, Michael. "Young Bookshelf." The Washington Post 8 Oct. 1989. Book World, p. X11.
Tesich, Steve. "Everyone's Dad Worked There." Review of No Star Nights by Anna Smucker. The New York Times Book Review 12 Nov. 1989. Sec. 7, p. 51. Available online through library services such as LexisNexis.
Lehmann-Haupt, Christopher. "No Star Nights." The New York Times 30 Nov. 1989): B2(N), pC22(L).
Needham, Nancy R. "No Star Nights." NEA Today 8 (Dec 1989): 15.
"No Star Nights." Booklist 86 (Oct 1, 1989): 356.
"No Star Nights." Publishers Weekly 241 (Oct 24, 1994): 63.
"No Star Nights." Smithsonian 22 (Nov 1991): 181.
Roback, Diane. "No Star Nights." Publishers Weekly 236 (Sept 8, 1989): 69.
Zeiger, Hanna B. "No Star Nights." The Horn Book Magazine 66 (March-April 1990): 195 (2).
~ New ~
Reviews of Golden Delicious:
Bock, Lee. "Smucker, Anna Egan. Golden Delicious: A Cinderella Apple Story." School Library Journal 54.10 (Oct 2008): 137(1). Available through library services such as General OneFile. Gale.
Rochman, Hazel. "Golden Delicious: A Cinderella Apple Story." Booklist 104.22 (1 Aug. 2008): 78(1). General OneFile. Gale.
"Smucker, Anna Egan: GOLDEN DELICIOUS." Kirkus Reviews (Sept 1, 2008): NA. General OneFile. Gale.
"This lightly fictionalized story of the golden delicious apple truly reads like a fairy tale....The colors of Kemly's charming watercolor-and-ink illustrations neatly evoke the time period and the agricultural theme. A standout amidst the proliferation of apple books found in elementary classrooms."
Other Books for Children by Anna Smucker
Keep the South Manitou Light is a fast-paced historical novel (ages 8–12) set on
an island in
Suggestions from Anna Smucker for classes studying this novel:
The Life of Saint Brigid retells legends of an early Irish saint, along with an examination of the Celtic goddess Brigid, folk customs, traditional prayers, and the symbolism behind, as well as how to make, a Brigid’s cross. Belfast, UK: Appletree Press, 2007.
To order books and/or to
Photo credit Carl Briggs
Examples of Special Programs Offered
No Star Nights/Outside
the Window Slide Presentations
Classroom Writing Workshops
Emphasis is on writing as a discovery process of drafting and revising. Students are encouraged to write about what they find personally relevant. Poetry; Short Stories; Personal Narratives; Writing the 5-Paragraph Essay using a detailed graphic organizer.
Writing Workshops for Adult
Writing stories using your own life experiences. Writing and publishing stories for children.
Especially for Teachers
Staff Development Workshops: Workshop on using Outside the Window across the curriculum. Classroom-tested writing activities using the 5-Paragraph Essay, Personal Narratives, Poetry, and Story Writing.
Presentation: Using samples of literature by West Virginia authors to teach reading and writing.
This Page Created by Judy A. Teaford: 09/03/2001