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Charles J. Shields

Jen Fariello
Charles J. Shields
 
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About This Author

Charles J. Shields is the author of And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life, Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee, the highly acclaimed, bestselling biography of Harper Lee, and I Am Scout: The Biography of Harper Lee (Henry Holt Books for Young Readers). He grew up in the Midwest and taught in a rural school in central Illinois for several years. He has been a reporter for public radio, a journalist, and the author of nonfiction books for young people. He and his wife live near Charlottesville, Virginia.

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Charles J. Shields is the author of And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life, Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee, the highly acclaimed, bestselling biography of Harper Lee, and I Am Scout: The Biography of Harper Lee (Henry Holt Books for Young Readers). He grew up in the Midwest and taught in a rural school in central Illinois for several years. He has been a reporter for public radio, a journalist, and the author of nonfiction books for young people. He and his wife live near Charlottesville, Virginia.

Books by thisAuthor
  • Vladimir Putin

    Vladimir Putin
    The Russian democratic experiment continues under its third president, Vladimir Putin. Now in his second term, Putin was an unknown when he was handpicked by Boris Yeltsin to succeed him. The reserved Putin seemed the exact opposite of the loud, large

    Mockingbird

    Mockingbird
    A Portrait of Harper Lee
    "A fine, well-rounded portrait of Harper Lee. Mockingbird is good reading."—Star-Tribune (Minneapolis) To Kill a Mockingbird—the twentieth century's most widely read American novel—has sold thirty million copies and still sells a million yearly. Yet despite her book's perennial popularity, its creator, Harper Lee, has become a somewhat mysterious figure. Now, after years of research, Charles J. Shields brings to life the warmhearted, high-spirited, and occasionally hardheaded woman who gave us two of American literature's most unforgettable characters—Atticus Finch and his daughter, Scout. At the center of Shields's evocative, lively book is the story of Lee's struggle to create her famous novel, but her colorful life contains many highlights—her girlhood as a tomboy in overalls in tiny Monroeville, Alabama; the murder trial that made her beloved father's reputation and inspired her great work; her journey to Kansas as Truman Capote's ally and research assistant to help report the story of In Cold Blood. Mockingbird—unique, highly entertaining, filled with humor and heart—is a wide-ranging, idiosyncratic portrait of a writer, her dream, and the place and people whom she made immortal.

    Central America

    Central America
    Facts and Figures
    Central America, a 12,000-mile land bridge connecting North and South America, was once home to the Mayan civilization. Today, 41 million people live in Central America-blacks, whites, and mestizos of mixed white and Amerindian heritage-a blend of many cultures and beliefs created by the winds of history. In this comprehensive guide, find out about:

    Guatemala

    Guatemala
    Guatemala is known to many as the Country of Eternal Spring, where the ruins of ancient temples poke above jungle vegetation, where volcanoes cast a red glow at night, and where handsome examples of colonial Spanish buildings contrast with modern architecture in the capital, Guatemala City. Find out:

  • El Salvador

    El Salvador
    The smallest and most densely populated of the seven Central American countries, El Salvador means "the Savior" in English. A mild climate, rich soil, and hardworking people remain El Salvador's greatest assets. Find out:

    Costa Rica

    Costa Rica
    Costa Rica has mountains, white beaches, plunging waterfalls, tropical islands, and cool green jungles where monkeys will lope right up to within camera range. In this land of breathtaking natural beauty, a colorful culture that blends the old and new has taken root. Find out:

    And So It Goes

    And So It Goes
    Kurt Vonnegut: A Life
    A New York Times Notable Book for 2011 A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book for 2011 The first authoritative biography of Kurt Vonnegut Jr., a writer who changed the conversation of American literature. In 2006, Charles Shields reached out to Kurt Vonnegut in a letter, asking for his endorsement for a planned biography. The first response was no ("A most respectful demurring by me for the excellent writer Charles J. Shields, who offered to be my biographer"). Unwilling to take no for an answer, propelled by a passion for his subject, and already deep into his research, Shields wrote again and this time, to his delight, the answer came back: "O.K." For the next year—a year that ended up being Vonnegut's last—Shields had access to Vonnegut and his letters. And So It Goes is the culmination of five years of research and writing—the first-ever biography of the life of Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut resonates with readers of all generations from the baby boomers who grew up with him to high-school and college students who are discovering his work for the first time. Vonnegut's concise collection of personal essays, Man Without a Country, published in 2006, spent fifteen weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and has sold more than 300,000 copies to date. The twenty-first century has seen interest in and scholarship about Vonnegut's works grow even stronger, and this is the first book to examine in full the life of one of the most influential iconoclasts of his time.

    Honduras

    Honduras
    Honduras is located in the heart of Central America. It is bordered to the south by Nicaragua and El Salvador, and on the west by Guatemala. Although this land has been battered by hurricanes and troubled by human-made problems such as deforestation, it still boasts ancient ruins, lovely islands, bustling towns, and abundant wildlife. Find out:

  • Panama

    Panama
    This narrow strip of land-only 30 miles wide at its narrowest point, and rarely wider than 75 miles anywhere-contains one of the great engineering marvels of the last century: the Panama Canal, known to the world as "the path between the seas." Find out:

    Brazil

    Brazil
    Brazil is the fifth-largest nation in the world. The largest country in Latin America, it covers almost half of South America. Discovered by Portuguese settlers in the early 16th century, Brazil today boasts a culture that blends native, Portuguese, African, Japanese, and other influences.

    Belize

    Belize
    Belize became independent in 1981. The country possesses deep forests, a beautiful coastline, and a lifestyle that appeals to vacationers. Read this book to find out:

    Nicaragua

    Nicaragua
    Nicaragua is a land of beaches lapped by sparkling seawater, deep forests, long winding rivers, colonial cities, ancient sites thousands of years old, and a huge freshwater lake-the only lake in the world with sharks in it! Find out:

  • Saddam Hussein

    Saddam Hussein
    - Accounts of the leaders whose ideas and actions have changed the course of history- Examines each person's life in the context of the politics of the time

    I Am Scout

    I Am Scout
    The Biography of Harper Lee
    To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most widely read novels in American literature. It’s also a perennial favorite in highschool English classrooms across the nation. Yet onetime author Harper Lee is a mysterious figure who leads a very private life in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, refusing to give interviews or talk about the novel that made her a household name. Lee’s life is as rich as her fiction, from her girlhood as a rebellious tomboy to her days at the University of Alabama and early years as a struggling writer in New York City.  Charles J. Shields is the author of the New York Times bestseller Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee, which he has adapted here for younger readers.What emerges in this riveting portrait is the story of an unconventional, high-spirited woman who drew on her love of writing and her Southern home to create a book that continues to speak to new generations of readers. Anyone who has enjoyed To Kill a Mockingbird will appreciate this glimpse into the life of its fascinating author. I Am Scout is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

    Annie Oakley

    Annie Oakley
    After meeting and outshooting a marksman named Frank Butler, Phoebe Ann Moses married him, and changed her name to Annie Oakley. Together they entertained audiences around the world.

    Martha Stewart

    Martha Stewart
    A biography of the popular talk show host who rose from a childhood of poverty to become one of the most visible women in the nation.

  • Sexual Disorders

    Sexual Disorders
    -- A ground-breaking series that provides up-to-date information on the history, causes and effects of, and treatment and therapies for problems affecting the human mind-- Each volume is written specifically for young adults-- Developed in consultation with the American Psychiatric Press (APP)-- Includes the APP's diagnostic criteria for each disorder, a glossary of technical terms used in the book, and an index-- This informative series enhances the young adult's comprehension of what a mental illness is and the conditions it entailsThis book discusses the behaviors that psychiatrists have labeled "sexual disorders": exhibitionism, fetishism, pedophilia, masochism, sadism, cross-dressing, and voyeurism.

    Mental Illness and Its Effect on School and Work Environments

    Mental Illness and Its Effect on School and Work Environments
    -- A ground-breaking series that provides up-to-date information on the history, causes and effects of, and treatment and therapies for problems affecting the human mind-- Each volume is written specifically for young adults-- Developed in consultation with the American Psychiatric Press (APP)-- Includes the APP's diagnostic criteria for each disorder, a glossary of technical terms used in the book, and an index-- This informative series enhances the young adult's comprehension of what a mental illness is and the conditions it entailsThis carefully researched account details the ways society has viewed people with mental disorders over the years.

    Roald Dahl

    Roald Dahl
    The Cat in the Hat; Little Women; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. You know the stories, you love the characters, but do you know "who wrote that?" Find out about the people behind your favorite tales and why they felt compelled to write for children. This series lets the reader explore the minds behind the fantasy.Lovers of his whimsical stories about secretive chocolate factories and giant peaches will enjoy learning about the brain behind these inventions.

    Amy Tan

    Amy Tan
    -- Profiles the lives and careers of women whose accomplishments have contributed to our society-- Fully illustrated with photographs and paintings

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