readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Art Saves: Sarah Miller

In December 2007, we featured the book Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller by Sarah Miller. Today, Sarah's our guest blogger.

In celebration of Cecil Castellucci & Jim Rugg's The Plain Janes, Little Willow invited me to take part in the readergirlz Art Saves! project -- to create or display an image of how art affects us. Here's my booksy-artsy story...

Once upon a time, I shelved books five nights a week at the little library down the street. Down in the children's room where I spent most of my time, there was a book called Jon O.: A Special Boy. I'm not sure why its spine ever caught my eye, except that it was so euphemistic and dated. And also, so rarely checked out that it was something of a landmark on the shelves -- to the extent that I remember my co-worker, Alisha, making a Vanna White-style presentation of shelving it one day.

But the cover had this irresistible picture of Jon O. himself flashing a look-at-me grin. The book's since been discarded and I can't find an image of the cover online, which is a shame, because if you could see that, you'd understand why this face, smiling down at me from the art showcase stopped me dead in the middle of the hallway one day at school:

"You painted Jon O!" I gushed to Alisha the next time I saw her at work.

"You saw him!"

You bet I did. And somehow I hinted and wheedled so effectively that before Alisha left for college the next year, she gave me Jon O. He grins from just inside my bedroom doorway to this day. Look at me, Jon O's face says. And how can I resist?

(Oh, and Alisha? Nowadays, Alisha's designing her own line of clothing in New York.)

- Sarah Miller

Visit Sarah's website and blog.
Read Little Willow's interview with Sarah.
Read Little Willow's review of Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller.


readergirlz said...

What a cool story, Sarah! Thanks for sharing the art with us this month!

Little Willow said...

Go Sarah! :)

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