Today is John James Audubon's 226th birthday, so says Google and its bird mural. I've spent the past several years teaching a bird unit as part of an English research project, and over the last couple years I threw myself into a birder's life (more research) to write my middle grade novel BIRD NERD. (This novel is currently in Submission Land.) I never thought I'd appreciate birds like I do now, nor did it ever occur to write a book featuring a 12 year-old nerd (Eddie Waymire) who's obssessed with them.
But as our immediate "worlds" change, so do we. And as writers, we're constantly drawing from our "worlds." John James Audubon dedicated his life to birds. Birds were his world. He watched them, studied them, drew them, and experienced every part of birding life. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't be teaching a bird research unit and I definitely would not have written BIRD NERD.
So, to John James Audubon - Happy 226th! That's a lot of candles!
Yo, birders! Check out these books:
Okay for Now, by Gary D. Schmidt
Birds, by Kevin Henkes & Laura Dronzek
About Birds, by Cathryn and John Sill
Owl Moon, by Jane Yolen
Dark Emporer, by Joyce Sidman
Bird Boy, by Elizabeth Star Hill
The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon, by Jacqueline Davies