Sharon Creech is the only author to receive both the Newbery Medal and the Carnegie Medal. Sharon Creech: The Words We Choose to Say is a biocritical text focusing on the young adult novels of this author. The text provides background on Creech's family, education, and careers-all of which have impacted her role as a prize-winning author-and summarizes her talent as a storyteller and skill as an author. It then goes on to discuss her novels, which are separated into three categories. The first group category consists of novels set in the real world where the protagonists face the typical challenges of growing up (i.e. dating, rivalries, school problems, and family dilemmas), and eventually learn to cope successfully and emerge as mature young adults. The second group features heroines, who must complete a literal journey that is paralleled by an interior journey of self-discovery as they learn to accept their past and to face the future with courage. The last group tackles Creech's novels that include subtle hints of the world of fantasy, in which the protagonists cannot rely on magic to solve their problems, but instead must learn to accept responsibility for their actions.
There is also a section devoted to Creech's other writings: two picture books, four books for young readers, two novels marketed for an adult audience, and her drama, The Center of the Universe: Waiting for the Girl, which was performed off-Broadway. These works possess many of the same themes that appear in Creech's young adult novels: the importance of family, becoming independent, and the power of language to heal and enlighten. A list of all Creech's awards, a complete bibliography, and an index are also included.
Mary Ann Tighe is a professor of English and directs the graduate and undergraduate programs in English Language Arts Education at Troy University in Alabama.
Part 1 Preface Part 2 Acknowledgments Part 3 Chronology Chapter 4 1. The Author: Life Experiences and the Writer Chapter 5 2. A Reflection of Reality: Absolutely Normal Chaos and Bloomability Chapter 6 3. The Journey: Walk Two Moons and The Wanderer Chapter 7 4. A Touch of Fantasy: Chasing Redbird and Ruby Holler Chapter 8 5. Books for All Ages: Children, Young Readers, and Adults Chapter 9 6. Sharon Creech: The Stories, the Issues, the Author Part 10 Awards Part 11 Bibliography Part 12 Index Part 13 About the Author