Julie A. Sellers (Atchison), author of Ann of Sunflower Lane and Ruth Maus (Topeka) author of Puzzled: Poems, will make the trip to Billings, Montana, to attend the book award festivities where the winners will be announced on October 7, 2023. Both will be participating in panels: Sellers taking about “Fiction: Better for the Brain?” and Maus participating in a poetry reading and discussion.
Ann of Sunflower Lane is one of three finalists in the young adult category. The novel is about the way books and reading impact readers. “The title character, Ann Alwyn, is an avid reader, and when she comes to live with the grandparents she never knew at Sunflower Lane farm, she discovers a kindred spirit in an old edition of Anne of Green Gables. Her reading of that and other texts frames her experiences as she integrates herself into life on the farm and in the small-town community of Storey, Kansas,” says Sellers.
Puzzled is a finalist in the poetry category. Maus wrote most of the poems in Puzzled during the pandemic, and the 110-page book is filled will her German cousin’s full-color paintings. The poetry and art in Puzzled (Meadowlark Press, 2022) has connections dating back to 1882, when the great-grandfather of Ruth Maus came to the US as a young boy with his parents and siblings. They were Germans who eventually settled on a farm in Holton, Kansas, where a descendent still lives and farms to this day. The ancestral village, which Ruth Maus was able to visit in 1997, is now a part of Poland. Cousins met, including descendent of a brother to Ruth’s great-grandfather who stayed behind. Gertrud Knuth and Ruth have maintained contact since that trip, and Gertrud’s daughter, Katja Weiss, an artist living near Hamburg, Germany, has taken over those communications in this digital age.
Both books are available at meadowlarkbookstore.com and can be ordered wherever books are sold.