In this sequel to Aunt Minnie McGranahan, the tidy Kansas spinster takes on a tornado and its effects the same way she earlier took in nine orphaned nieces and nephews with humor, determination, love and top-notch organizational skills. Enlivened by Lewin’s characteristically witty, invigorated pen-and-watercolor art, the story affords an enlightening and entertaining look at 1920s Midwestern farm life. Prigger details the family’s well-structured and chore-filled life (interesting in itself) and sets the stage for the whirlwind storm that arrives one spring day. Lewin does the twister full justice, picturing it moving through a lemon-colored sky, the wind almost palpable as the children, trying to hold on to each other, struggle toward the root cellar. After the family emerges safely, they find their small home unscathed but turned around: “The front was facing the johnny house, and the back was in the front!” Her can-do disposition intact, Minnie simply decides to make a new front to the house and add another room onto the back for her growing charges, “and Aunt Minnie’s kids knew they had a home for as long as they wanted.” This heroine and her brood prove once again that they can weather any storm.
I completed a Baccalaureate Degree at Ohio University and earned a Master’s Degree and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. I was a public school teacher for ten years prior to teaching at the university level. I’m currently a professor and the department chair in the College of Education at California State University, San Bernardino, where I teach courses in reading methods and children’s literature. I began writing stories as an elementary school teacher when I modeled the writing process for my sixth grade students. One of my students challenged me to attempt one of the assignments I had given to them! The students advised me to “include something funny” in my stories, so I always keep that in mind. I also write educational material, but writing for and discussing writing with young people is my greatest joy. I have visited many schools, libraries, and bookstores in California, Texas, and Ohio, where I have had the opportunity to talk with students and teachers about writing and how books get published.