Today I checked my email from a motel in Michigan City, IN–we’re on a ten-day research road trip–and found a response from Jan Kristo, professor, Reading and Language Arts, the University of Maine, who just received the extraordinary honor of being named the Distinguished Maine Professor! She is the author of important books about using nonfiction in classrooms. Jan and I and Sandip Wilson co-authored a chapter,”Bold New Perspectives in Selecting and Using Nonfiction” in Shattering the Looking Class:Challenge, Risk & Controversy in Children’s Literature edited by Susan Lehr (Christopher-Gordon, 2008). On page 111, of Thanksgiving, I quoted Jan’s descriptions of the foods tied to her cultural identity–“Lithuanian (Full Blood)”– that were included in her family’s Thanksgiving menu: “headcheese . . . horseradish and herring and ‘potato fudge’ and ausakes.”
Here is Jan Kristo’s response after reading Thanksgiving: The True Story: Thanks for the galley of Thanksgiving. I’ve started it and can’t put it down. I love the writing and feel your voice come through the pages. . . .Your book is going to be required reading for my students and has all the makings of being a landmark text!!!