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Home > Author > Cristina Kessler
Cristina Kessler

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Member Since: Aug, 2000

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  Cristina Kessler

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Any trip, anywhere, any time is my philosophy in life. This gives me plenty to write about, and hopefully after 19 years in Africa, credibility. I try to take my readers, from 4 years and up, on a trip to Africa.

Background Information

I left the U.S. in 1973 as a Peace Corps volunteer, and never looked back. My husband and I have been working and traveling in Asia, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean for 29 years. Africa is my favorite continent, where we have spent 19 years, and all 6 of my kids books are set there. I love writing books about Africa, and hope that by doing so my readers will get some good news about the continent for a change.

Birth Place

The last few years have been very exciting for me. My last three books all got recognition from a variety of organizations that are listed below.

JUBELA has received the following:

The ASPCA “Henry Bergh Honor Award” 2002
“Gold Medal Award” Oppenheimer Portfolio 2001
“Pick of the Lists” American Booksellers Spring 01
Junior Library Guild Selection
Nest Literary Classics Selection
Finalist for the Children’s Choice Picture Book Award, Washington State, for 2003

MY GREAT-GRANDMOTHER’S GOURD has received the following:
"Africana Honor Book Award” African Studies Association, 2001
“Best Books of 2000” Bank Street College
“Lasting Connections” 2000, Book Links
Nest Literary Classic Selection

NO CONDITION IS PERMANENT has received the following:
“Popular Paperbacks for Teenagers” YALSA selection, 2002
“Best Books for Young Adults” ALA 2000
“Lasting Connections 2000” Book Links
“Best Books for the Teen Age” NY Public Libraries, 2000
“Best Books of 2000” Bank Street College

Additional Information

The past year has been busy and exciting with visits to schools,libraries, award ceremonies and conferences in Europe, Africa and around the U.S. I was very honored to do two readings of my book, MY GREAT-GRANDMOTHER'S GOURD at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art last spring. A magazine I helped start called, "La Parole aux Femmes" (Women Speak Out!) came out in 2002,in Mali. It's modeled after "Women to Women" which started publication in Ethiopia in 1999. Both magazines are written by local women for local women and are free, providing access to information on things they need to know. Each issue of the magazines cover health, education, finances, professional women, harmful traditional practices,and debate topics. Our motto for both magazines is "Infromation and Inspiration - Giving Women a Voice." These two magazines are what I am most proud of in my writing career. In 2003, my next YA novel, called SIRI AANG, will be published by Philomel. It is set in Kenya in Maasailand and is about a changing culture, rhino poaching, and bush survival. In 2004 Holiday House will be publishing my next picture book, THE BEST BEEKEEPER OF LALIBELA, set in Ethiopia. It will be illustrated by Len Jenkins. I am also proud to be the "Writer in Residence" at Julius E. Sprauve School in St. John. I am currently working with the kids as a writer and organizer, helping them to raise money for a school we have adopted in Maasailand. We hope to raise enough money to build a well for the Merrueshi Primary School in Kenya.

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