Archive for March, 2010

NewSouth Books proud to partner with PJ Library’s Harold Grinspoon

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 by Lisa Harrison

Harold Grinspoon, the dynamic charitable force behind the PJ Library, was profiled in a recent piece by the Boston Globe. The foundation headed by Grinspoon has given away two million free books to Jewish families over the last four years, in an effort to help strengthen Jewish values and an understanding of Jewish culture, especially among those who are the product of mixed marriages or who live outside urban areas with large Jewish populations. The article observes that Mr. Grinspoon had little formal Jewish education and came to realize the importance of Jewish-themed literature later in life.

NewSouth Books is proud to have published three award-winning books selected by the PJ Library for give-away through its program: Alef-Bet and Chicken Man by Michelle Edwards and Shlemiel Crooks by Anna Olswanger.

Thomasville Library’s Big Read participants throw Tom Sawyer party

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 by Lisa Harrison

Participants in the Big Read at Thomasville Library celebrated with an old-fashioned party featuring games, a visit with “Tom” and topped off with a cake reproducing the cover designed for the special Alabama edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer published by NewSouth Books.

Sandy and Jena Newton pose with their Tom Sawyer cake

Pictured are Sandy Newton (L) and Jena Newton (R), both of Thomasville, AL. This mother-daughter team designed a cake for the Thomasville Public Library as the centerpiece for the “Tom Sawyer Birthday Party.” The Newtons estimated that they have about 24 hours each invested in this project. When asked about the inspiration for the design, Jena and Sandy replied “We were inspired by the NewSouth Books’ cover design for Alabama’s Big Read. We included the elements of the fence and the fishing pole to represent Tom’s well known aversion to ‘work’, because that’s the first thought we had about Tom Sawyer.”

Library Director Gina Wilson commented, “The party was a fun reading event for all ages, as children and adults visited with ‘Tom and Becky’ and played old fashioned games like marbles and checkers. The cake was so realistic that I worried someone would actually try to ‘open’ and read it. It was a work of art, and we hated to cut it.”

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is available from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite retail or online bookseller.

Gatewood School sends Yellow Watermelon author Ted Dunagan 70 letters of thanks

Monday, March 8th, 2010 by Lisa Harrison

Ted Dunagan is no stranger to fan mail. But the students of Gatewood School surprised the author of A Yellow Watermelon, winner of the 2009 Georgia Author of the Year in the young adult category, with not five or ten but a whopping 70 letters of thanks for the presentation he recently gave at the school.

Ted read from his award-winning book and talked about the proces of becoming a published author. He shared stories of his own childhood in the rural South of the 1940s, episodes of which form the basis of his semi-autobiographical novels.

Ted Dunagan poses with students from Gatewood School

Ted Dunagan poses with students from Gatewood School

The school’s Gator Tales Newsletter enthused, “In an inspiring and candid discussion, he encouraged the students to overcome their adversities and live up to their potential. Mr. Dunagan’s advice to students who aspire to become writers was to read daily, to read all genres of books, and to set personal goals for themselves.”

Ted savored his time with the “awesome” kids. Clearly the students also enjoyed the visit, as one of the letters reveals:

Dear Mr. D,

Thank you for coming to my school. It was real fun. I was thinking of the secret question but you did not call on me. Also, thank you for giving me your signature. Now you have mine.

Charlie Ruhl

A Yellow Watermelon is available from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite retail or online bookseller.