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Area Children Again Challenged to "Read a Mountain of Books"

July marks the third annual “Frostburg Reads A Mountain of Books,” a program that encourages children to read throughout the year. Over this past year, students in the area were challenged to read 5,800 books, one book for each foot up one side of Big Savage Mountain and down the other. Area students read more than 5,400 books in the past year; this year's challenge is the same.

Two award-winning authors, who will be in Frostburg to attend the Frostburg State University Summer Children's Author Institute, will participate in the kickoff of this year's challenge on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 13 and 14. The authors, Marc Harshman and Rosalyn Schanzer, will speak to local children in two free presentations at the Frostburg Palace Theatre on Main Street. The presentations will be preceded by read-aloud activities at Main Street Books, Frostburg Library or the Hotel Gunter. The events will be followed by an art activity at City Place.

Admission is free to all activities, but tickets are required. They can be picked up beginning at 3 p.m. at the Palace Theatre each day. Harshman and Schanzer will be available to autograph books during the program. Top Readers will also be recognized.

On Tuesday, July 13, Harshman will be the speaker. A professional writer and storyteller, he regularly travels throughout the eastern United States, telling stories and honing his craft. As an author, he is known primarily for his picture books for children. He has also published a collection of poetry. His stories are set primarily in rural West Virginia and Indiana, the areas where he has lived and worked.

His children's books have been published in Spanish, Danish and Swedish. "Only One" was a Reading Rainbow review title on PBS TV and "The Storm" was a Junior Library Guild selection, a Smithsonian Notable Book for Children, a Children's Book Council Notable Book for Social Studies and a 1995 Parent's Choice Award recipient. His other titles include "Little Excitement," "Snow Company," "Rocks in my Pockets," "All the Way to Morning," "Red are the Apples" and "Roads." Harshman has been honored a number of times, including by the University of Minnesota, which gave him the Ezra Jack Keats/Kerlan Collection Fellowship for research on Scandinavian myth and folklore; by the West Virginia English Language Arts Council, which named him state English teacher of the year; and by the West Virginia Arts Commission, which presented him with its Fellowship in Poetry.

Wednesday, July 14, will feature author/illustrator Rosalyn Schanzer, who has written 13 books about some of history's greatest adventures and tallest tales. A few of her recent offerings include "How Ben Franklin Stole the Lightning" (a 2004 Children’s Choice title), "Davy Crockett Saves the World," "The Old Chisholm Trail: A Cowboy Song" and "How We Crossed the West: The Adventures of Lewis and Clark."

Schanzer has had a few adventures of her own. This nationally ranked master's swimmer, photographer and traveler has swum with sharks in Belize and kayaked with whales in Alaska. She has hiked the Andes and explored ancient Incan ruins in Peru and jewel-bedecked golden temples in Thailand. And she has rafted through the roughest whitewater in the rain forests of Costa Rica, tasted tamarinds in remote dry forests of Ecuador and helped to sail a world-famous racing boat from Bermuda to Boston via the Bermuda Triangle.

Schanzer’s latest creation is set to arrive on Oct. 1. Entitled "George vs. George; The American Revolution as seen from Both Sides," it pits George Washington against King George III.

This event is sponsored in part by the Allegany County Libraries, the FSU Children' s Literature Centre, Friends of the Frostburg Library, Frostburg Palace Theatre Inc., FSU Summer School, the General Art Studio and Main Street Books. For more information, call (301) 687-4420 or e-mail or or call (301) 687-0790.

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call (301) 687-4102, TDD (301) 687-7955.

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589