Ss. Simon & Jude School

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SS. Simon & Jude Cathedral School Welcomes Award-Winning Author Barbara Gowan

SS. Simon & Jude Cathedral School Library hosted award-winning children’s author Barbara Gowan on December 3, 2013.   Barbara Gowan’s awards include the Southwest Children’s Book of the Year in 2002 for her first book G Is for Grand CanyonDesert Digits was nominated for the Grand Canyon Reader Award in the nonfiction category in 2007.  Her most recent book D Is for Desert is a National Science Teachers Association Outstanding Science Trade Book.  Students also had the opportunity to purchase an autographed book during her visit to the school.


Gowan presented her Writer’s Workshop to the fifth and sixth graders in support of the school’s Language Arts curriculum, including sharing her writing process, many visuals, and using scientific vocabulary.  Gowan shared her “writer’s toolbox” and “wonder” book where she generates ideas for writing.


The Pre-Kindergarten through fourth grade students enjoyed Gowan’s reading of her newest story and creating their own “Desert Dictionary.”  Students participated in creating a monsoon storm and observed many desert artifacts such as cacti skeletons and fossils along with photos.  After reading, she answered students’ questions such as:  “Why did you want to become an author?”  “How long does it take you to write a book?”  “Since you have three jobs – a naturalist, a photographer, and an author – which job do you like the best?”  “When did you realize that you wanted to write books?”

Every child and teacher came away with a new appreciation for writing and authors, especially one of our own Arizona authors, Barbara Gowan.


Barbara Gowan, author of D is for Desert: A World Desert Alphabet Book, is working with SSJ students to complete her newest book, R is for Rosary: A Catholic Family Alphabet Book.  The book will be published by Tau Publishing, a Catholic publisher located in Phoenix.  Gowan was inspired to complete this unfinished  book after her school visit on December 3, 2013.  Gowan will include selected  SSJ student prayers with the letters and is dedicating the book to SSJ students.  This exciting new book will be available in early 2014.  Watch for the publication news.  (Gowan, a graduate of Notre Dame and member of the Our Lady of Joy parish is an award-winning Arizona author.)


Posted January 25th, 2014