This author's no 'Yankee Girl'
Published 3:09 pm Wednesday, August 21, 2002
By By Bonnie Bartel Latino
Atmore native JoAn Watson Martin will be signing copies of "Yankee Girl" at Gerlach's Main Street Grill in Atmore on August 29 at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
To escape the brutality of her existence, Wanda drops her first name, assumes her middle name, and disguises herself as a boy to join the Union Army. Incorporating imagination and skill, the author has "Wayne" befriended by a nurse--one Clara Barton, who as we know, was an actual person of that era. The story of how the girl-soldier survives and thrives in spite of the war is interwoven with other authentic, historical events that make this dreadful period in our nation's history come alive. Though targeted at the juvenile-young adult market, I found the book most interesting.
According to Ellen Wulf, Community Relations Manager at the Pensacola Barnes and Noble Bookstore, Mrs. Martin will also be among eight new print-on-demand authors to be featured in a joint book signing at the Airport Blvd. store on August 31st at 2 p.m. Refreshments will be served and books will be available for purchase at the reception. Other authors scheduled for the Barnes and Noble book signing include: Ellizabeth Bodiford, Patricia Taylor Edmisten, Glenda Finkelstein, Fritz Ferrer, Art Giberson, Jan Pauley and Alice Rose Stefani.
Mrs. Martin will also be signing "Yankee Girl" at Page and Palette Book Shop in Fairhope on Friday afternoon, August 30, from 4 to 6 p.m.
After teaching in public schools for 22 years, Martin is retired, but continues as a reading/writing consultant for Houston area schools. She has taught several years in the Alpha Gifted Talented Program at Clear Creek School District. She also serves as an adjunct instructor in the school of education at the University of Houston/Clear Lake, teaching an undergraduate class, Language Arts in the Elementary School. She has been published in several educational and writer's magazines, such as: "Byline," "Writer's Journal," "Guidepost for Kids," "Stable Kids," as well as the "Houston Chronicle" newspaper.
Mrs. Martin, who also writes book reviews for Linworth Publishing, the "Baytown Sun," newspaper and "Review of Texas Books," has also done presentations for a variety of groups including the Texas State Reading Association, Texas Council of Teachers of English, HISD Literacy Learning Initiative and Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
The mother of four adult children, JoAn Martin lives with her husband in Baytown, Texas.
Readers who wish to purchase an autographed copy of Yankee by mail, may contact JoAn Martin at 2407 Kilgore Rd.; Baytown, Texas 77520. Telephone: (281)427-2713 or electronically at email@example.com. Paperback: $18 plus $2 mailing; hardback: $22 plus $2 mailing.
Atmore native Bonnie Bartel Latino is a free-lance writer and former columnist for the Stars and Stripes newspaper in Europe.