Site Map | Contact | Directory
Course & Scheduling Information
Key SU Academic Policies
Professional Conduct Expectations for COE Programs
Center for Change in Transition Services
College of Education Brochure (pdf)
September 22 Northwest Bookfest panel discussion on middle grade fiction, Kirkland, WA
October 13 Wordstock Literary Festival presentation "History for Young Readers" Portland, OR
October 29-30 Writing workshop with 6th graders at Dimmitt Middle School, Renton, WA
November 16-17 National Council for the Social Studies Annual Convention featured presentation, Seattle, WA
Something to Hold is a 2012 Washington State Book Award winner! Read More at the Seattle Times
"Based on the author's own experiences, this novel fills a gap in the historical fiction genre. Great for classroom discussion as well as independent reading." --School Library Journal
Kitty has moved a lot in her eleven years, but this time it’s different. Her father’s work as a government forester takes the family to the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in Oregon. Kitty is one of only two white kids in her class, and the Indian kids are keeping their distance. With time, Kitty becomes
increasingly aware of the tensions and prejudices between Indians and whites, and of the past injustice and pain still very much alive on the reservation. Time also brings friendships and opportunities to make a difference.
Kitty’s life is similar to that of Katherine Schlick Noe, Director of the Literacy For Special Needs Program and a member of the Master in Teaching faculty. Schlick Noe’s father was a forester with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and she spent much of her childhood living on Indian reservations, including Warm Springs in central Oregon, the setting for her middle grade novel, Something to Hold, coming in December from Clarion Books. The book explores universal issues of injustice, bullying, belonging, and friendship. Learn more at http://katherineschlicknoe.com.
Q. How much of the book was based on your childhood experiences?
A. This is a work of fiction that is inspired by my life. My dad was a forester with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. We moved between Indian reservations in Washington and Oregon and outside of Washington, DC. I lived at Warm Springs for most of elementary school. Even though I was one of only 17 non-Indian students in a school of 300, I always felt welcomed and accepted. But my eyes were also opened to the prejudice, both subtle and overt, that my classmates faced.Q. What prompted you to write this book?
A. Something to Hold is partially an answer to this question: “What was it like living on Indian reservations?” My writing started with one memory: In the fifth grade at Warm Springs, a classmate I both feared and admired refused to read out loud, and our teacher took her out into the hall, shook her hard, and left her there. That had a profound impact on me and has shaped my life as a teacher and writer. Although that event appears in the story only in spirit, it was an important catalyst for the book.
Q. Why now?
A. I’ve been an educator for over 35 years, always guided by this mission question: How can we help children live with courage and hope in an imperfect world? I believe that children who can read, want to read. And, if they have good books in their hands, they have a better chance of dealing with whatever they face, and ultimately changing the world for themselves and others. I want to write books for those readers.
Q. What do you hope young readers take away from the book?
A. Most important is that they discover an engaging story that touches them in some way. This book is grounded in universals: We all have times when we have to start over, learn to fit in, find a way to make friends. Children develop strength, resiliency, and empathy. They overcome adversity and learn to reach out to others. I want to create characters that manage to find their own place and also to make the world better for others – especially when it’s a struggle to do so. And I want young readers to connect with characters I’ve created. Q. Can this book defuse stereotypes of American Indians?
A. There are many great books for children written by Native authors, and their numbers are growing. My favorites tell powerful, authentic stories that challenge stereotypes rooted in the past and distorted by movies and television. My book tries to show a non-Indian outsider’s growing awareness of prejudice, including her own. I think that connecting with people on a personal level is the best way to fight stereotypes – and that’s what Kitty learns to do. Q. Though it takes place in the ’60s, the topic of bullying is timely. What message do you want to send to today’s adolescents? A. My characters have taught me that bullying comes from fear, a powerful force that has been with us always. I knew from the beginning that Raymond, a major character, was a bully. But it wasn’t until deep into the writing that I realized why. Raymond’s a bully because he is being bullied – and he is driven by fear. His way out opens when he is shown empathy. Good stories offer compelling ways to combat challenges such as bullying. I hope Raymond helps readers see what’s possible in their own lives. Q. This is your first novel. What has the writing experience has been like?
A. I think of my process as walking backward through the snow -- you can't see where you're going, just where you've been. I also learned that you don’t have to believe in yourself as much as you have to believe in the story. Dogged persistence helps, too. I went through three major revisions before I was offered a contract – each time my editor said, “It’s not there yet, but I’ll read more if you want to revise.” By February 2010, the fourth revision had been on the publisher’s desk for several weeks, and I expected to hear another “not there yet” any day. I was teaching the MIT elementary methods class when I checked my email during lunch, and my editor’s name popped up. The students begged me to open it, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to teach the rest of the afternoon if I did. When class was over, I read the email out loud, and my students and I learned at the same time that she was offering me a contract for the book. Throughout this entire journey, I have read aloud excerpts from the book when we talk about writing in the elementary and secondary MIT methods courses. So it was an especially meaningful experience to share that news with the students right then!
2013 Banner Magazine Released
Dr. Deanna Sands Named Dean of the College of Education
College of Education to Offer ELL Endorsement and Certificate Program
SU CONTACT | PUBLIC SAFETY | CAREERS | RSS
Copyright College of Education, Seattle University.