Mitchell Woman Finds Success With Children's Books
by Tom Hanson, Anchor
March 27, 2012 12:17 PM
A Mitchell woman has combined her love of writing with a lot of hard work. The result-- 11 books to her name.
With titles like, The Girl Who Struck Out Babe Ruth
and If I Had A Dump Truck
, Jean Patrick is a successful children's author. Her writing is meant to entertain, but it also teaches.
"If I had a dump truck you know what I'd do? I'd ---- --- just for you," reads Patrick from one of her books.
Patrick loves writing, and watching her in the classroom it's clear that she has a way with kids.
"I thought someday I would be an English professor," she remembers.
But, she just couldn't shake her first dream of being a children's author.
"Words make me laugh, I love to play with words, I also loved books growing up," Patrick explains.
With nearly a dozen books to her credit, Patrick has spent countless hours in solitude putting words on paper. While being an author sounds like a lonely job, once the book is written, for her, it is a different story.
“I started doing classroom visits in the year 2000. I've been doing it for quite a few years now, countless presentations. I have definitely had presentations that have flopped,” laughs Patrick.
But, flops are now rare for this veteran of the classroom. When Patrick finds something that connects with the kids, she remembers it for the next visit.
Patrick has gained a reputation among educators, as an author who inspires kids to read and write. A recent visit took her from her home in Mitchell to Ireton, Iowa.
Before success, Patrick was busy raising a family, and she found joy in reading to her own kids.
“What we would do is just read and read and read,” said Patrick. “That was probably the best preparation I had for listening to that sound, the lilt of the language, these poetic dimensions, even if you're not writing poetry, words still need to sing.”
Patrick has found success on one level, now she's challenging herself once again. Her first novel, for older kids, is already underway. She wouldn't share what it's about, but you can bet she will make us feel like it was written just for you.
Patrick's first book, The Girl Who Struck Out Babe Ruth, is based on a true story. She was struggling to get published when she pitched the idea of a children's book based on a real life event in 1931. During an exhibition game with the New York Yankees, 17-year-old Jackie Mitchell struck out Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
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