A brief history of the art of storytelling in modern day Oklahoma. It scans evidence of storytelling in schools, libraries, churches, homes and public spaces and special events from the early 20th century and includes short biographies of artists who served as pioneers and some of those who actively shared stories using oral storytelling art forms from 1900 to present day.
Marilyn A. Hudson blends her degrees in history and library services to craft works both informative and imaginative.
She is the author of several works of non-fiction, often historic in nature: 'One Night Club and A Mulebarn" (Co-author, Tate 2006) ; 'When Death Rode the Rails' (WHORL 2009); 'Halloween: Oklahoma Tricks and Treats" ; 'Those Pesky Verses of Paul' (WHORL 2009) and "Murderous Marriages (2013).
She has also written several fiction works: "Elephant Hips are Expensive" (HHP, 2005/2014) ; "The Bones of Summer" ; 'The Mound", and "Madame Delaine" and "Sword of Anath" (2015).
Hudson has traveled Oklahoma for over ten years as a storyteller, workshop presenter, and speaker. A professional in library and information studies, Hudson has been a librarian in public schools, public libraries, and an administrator in an academic library.
|Elephant Hips are Expensive! (2014 rev. ed.)|
Publisher: WHORL BOOKS
ISBN: : 0692300465 ;ISBN-13: 978-0692300466
Cost: $ 12.50 PRINT
Description: 60 p.
Available from: Amazon.com
|Molly Lemmons, Illus.|
“...Marilyn has taken an Oklahoman story and brought it to life for children in this book. She has told the story of the purchase of Judy the elephant for the Oklahoma City Zoo in 1949 in clear readable text. In the author’s note, she has given the background of how the children of Oklahoma gathered their pennies and dimes to bring a new elephant to the Zoo. .... This is a wonderful addition to materials for children on Oklahoma during this centennial year. Teachers will find it an excellent book to read aloud for older elementary age children and a good starting or concluding to a unit on zoos, wildlife protection, Oklahoma, and other curriculum subjects. Storytellers, once they have gotten the author’s permission, will find it a wonderful Oklahoma story to tell all ages. The older adult audiences will be able to “remember when” and the younger adult audiences will find it a wonderful story of the Oklahoma spirit. I recommend this book to all schoolteachers and people looking for easily read stories about Oklahoma."
Reviewed by: Marilyn A. Hudson, MLIS
Rating: 9 out of 10
Cost: $ 15.00 (approx.)
Description: Softbound, illus., 448 p.
Available from: Amazon.com
Publisher: Whorl Books/CreateSpace
Cost: $18.00 Description: 350 pg.
Available from: Amazon.com
Reviewed by: Ann Brown
Rating: 8 out of 10
Comments: A collection of twenty stories with a chilling theme throughout. Some stories fall into the 'cozy chiller' category, such as the romantic "Our Dance" or the melancholy, "Homecoming". Others, have a sharper edge to them and horrific elements of death and gore. A few are downright spooky. One is there, obviously, for sheer tongue-in-cheek fun. The titles alone are intriguing: Dancing in the Moonlight, Night Lights, Erebus, When Shadows Move, It Came One Night, Runestone, The Fungus, When I'm Stronger, and The Bones of Summer...
Recommend it for older teens to adult readers with a taste for short stories, suspense, paranormal and the macabre. Good high interest title to motivate readers.
Of note are the endorsements on the cover :
" Marilyn uses a darkly poetic writing style to create atmospheric, character driven stories. The result: chills and a need to read the next." Keith Pyeatt, author of Struck and Dark Knowledge.
"[She] has a way of captivating your senses and making you feel the emotions of her characters. The BONES OF SUMMER demands your attention and leaves you wanting more." Terri French White, author of Tulsa's Haunted Memories.
Cost: $ 15.00
Description: Perfect bound, p.195
Available from: Amazon.com
ISBN: /Description: 70 pg. ;Perfect bound / Cost: $11.99 / Order : Cafe Press
“Marilyn is…a skilled writer and storyteller…It’s so refreshing to have a balanced view of the role of women in the Bible – especially one that is written by a woman!" – Megan Miles
“For the first time I was able to read a woman’s perspective on these most perplexing of scriptures, Marilyn raises the questions that have puzzled, and disturbed me for years. She brings much needed sense and sensibility to the text. She handles them with a strong spiritual depth that preserves Paul’s place in the canon while bringing some much needed fresh air to the murky, bias layered texts…” Mary Brown, Educator
Can the caring doctor help the young girl in his care? Can he make sense of her troubling dreams before something happens to her? More importantly, can he really believe what her dreams seem to mean about the nature of reality and of life and death?
Strongly recommended as a welcome addition to the collection of all lovers of suspense, the paranormal, crime stories, and a good read. Perfect addition to library collections of the same as well.
Reviewed by: Ann Brown Rating: 8 out of 10
Comments: Sherilyn Powell debuts well with this winning tale of a smart woman who suddenly finds her self challenged and feeling anything but smart as two men pull on her heart strings. Strong characters and vibrant emotional scenes bring the story to life. The main character is fiesty and strong figure who is soon waging an inner struggle as she is torn between desire and love. A must read for romance lovers and readers looking for strong, yet compassionate female characters. Highly recommeded for library romance and general fiction collections.
ISBN: Cost: $ 16.95 (pb) Description: Perfect boundm, 243 p.
Available from: Amazon.com and iUniverse.com
Reviewed by: REVIEW IT! Rating: 8 out of 10
"Dream Share" is a book for older elementary and middle school readers. It's the story of a twelve year old who accidentally enters the comatose state of his elder brother and the two begin exploring the mystical realms between life and death. Fun soon turns to fear the boys find themselves fighting for their lives in a place where your worst nightmares come true, and each is forced to confront their own demons in order to survive.
The book is an engaging and very human story told with energy, understanding of human nature, and sympathy for the real anxieties and fears youth face. The theme of the paralyzing influence of fear is predominant and as the protagonist of the story, Sam, learns to "see more deeply", the boys begin to understand that reality is often what you perceive it to be. This truth is what will lead them safely home.
A bonus section at the back of deals with the the "story behind the story" as the author discusses the real life and real science inspiration for the books paranormal themes: what happens when a person is in a coma? What are "out-of-body" experiences? Do alternate realities truly exist? A special glossary to understanding dreams and a "Dream Journaling" section is included.
Description: Permabound, p.119 (86 pages of story + bonus material)
Reviewed by: "REVIEW IT!"team member, Ann Brown Rating: 8 out of 10
Publisher: Blurb, www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/574431
Available from: see above or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Reviewed by: "REVIEW IT!", Ann Brown, with Marilyn A. Hudson Rating: 9 out of 10
Comments: There are times – special and rare – when you pick up a book and just reading the first line is such a pleasure you are hooked. “Eric carved, Susan watched, and the rock didn’t care.” From that first sentence, Rickey Bray, proceeds to lead the reader into a rich wonderland of the imagination. While on vacation in the mountains, Eric encounters an unusual and captivating girl with emerald eyes whose destiny is fraught with both magic and mystery. Eric and the girl are plunged into an odyssey where both delight and danger lurk around nearly every corner. Using the rich potential of the language the author develops characters, situations, and ideas that are satisfying on a multitude of levels. The rich, vibrant, often poetic use of the English language is a delight that immediately sets the work apart. The characters are real, well developed, and likable. The situations are constructed to be – even when dealing with the fantastic – immensely believable. A highly recommended addition to any reading collection, especially those who enjoy fantasy, adventure, and romance.
Publisher: Robert D. Reed Publishers, Bandon, OR
ISBN: 978-1-934759-25-7 Cost: $ 19.95 Description: Permabound, p. 430
Available from: Amazon.com or www.rdrpublishers.com
Reviewed by: Ann Brown Rating: 8 out of 10
Rough Road Books
What happens when life gives you lemons? When you find that your best laid plans have taken a wrong turn? What happens when your life has gone where you never dreamed it would go and how do you make your way back? When the door of the cell slams behind you how do you find yourself? In a collection of finely crafted essays Armstrong explores all of those questions and in the process finds that flowers of humanity can bloom in strange places and that in even the loneliest of times there can be friends. Part personal reflection and part observational essays "Reluctant Guest" shares in sketches of life so real and so insightful that it can take the breath away. Along the way a cast of memorable souls are revealed who demonstrate that there are angels everywhere.
Reviewed by: Ann Brown and Marilyn A. Hudson, Rating: 8 out of 10
Comments: SEVEN-FOLD LIGHT. John F. McAllister has produced a book that looks at seven "foundational truths" for readers interested in maturity in their Christian life. Contents include: First things first!; Fifty Reasons for Speaking in Tongues; The First and the Last: First Principles - Foundational Truths; As He Is - So Are We; Paul's Apostleship - A Pattern; Present Truth. An ordained minister, McAlister has a Masters in Divinity from Western Seminary in Portland, OR. He currently lives in Yukon, Ok.
Description: 110 pgs.; perfect bound; ISBN: 978-1593524142
Publisher: Christian Services Network, http://csnbooks.com/ $19.95
Rough Road Books $14.95
Reviewed by: Ann Brown & Marilyn A. Hudson; Rating: 8 out of 10
Comments: Oklahoma author Kenneth Shelby Armstrong presents a story of lyrical beauty, deeply felt emotion, thought provoking actions, and lasting inspiration. It often soars to lofty heights as it presents a love story and a story of sacrifice. With an increasingly deft hand the author pulls the reader into a story filled with all too human figures as they struggle through war, life, and all that they find in between. Highly recommend this book for all library collections and for readers who enjoy romance fiction and inspiring stories. "Robin" is tale that begins in WW2. "On the shores of Lake Biwa near Kyoto, Japan a distinguished bishop laid his head in the lap of a lovely Japanese woman and died. His death opened a secret that he had held since he was a young soldier exploring the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In some ways the secret was more destructive and dangerous than the atomic bombs that he knew so well."
Comments: Gloria Teague's book offers up delectable morsels of human comedy as smooth and rich as the convection of the title. With a keen skill she draws the reader into a world that is slightly odd but also warmly familiar. The process opens a dam of memories for anyone who grew up in the past fifty years. Touching, funny, and often mystically insightful, Teague's book is one to enjoy in liesure and a sense of indulgance. It is a story of the world of strong women and the way that they contribute, enrich, and challenge each other and those around them. Each chapter is a sweet dessert of its own to be savored, contemplated, enjoyed and revisited. All in all this is a well written book that balances nostalgia with humor and is sure to be enjoyed by anyone who craves a good read...Saturday night or any night of the week.
Comments: "Oklahoma Hearts Online.com", is a charming and natural story populated by people so real that you just know you have met them yourself. They fill the streets of many Oklahoma towns and cities. In this novel, McCauley begins the journey by leading a group of people from the normal and even mundane everyday world into one of suspense, romance, and friendship. Woven into the tale of one woman's heroic response to a terrifying situation are the struggles, questions, and achievements that fill every life. This is romance in the true sense of the word with deep adventure, virtue, and values. Themes of personal effort, adaptation, and growth are woven throughout the story. McCauley shows promise in fashioning strong character driven tales that are rich in dialogue and in creating situations that ring true to the soul. A perfect addition to any Oklahoma, romance, or light suspense collections. It is especially useful in satisfying the reading needs of customers who desire entertaining romance without excessive sensuality.
Reviewed by: Ann Brown Rating: 8 out of 10
Comments: This delightful biography escapes being narcissistic - as so many autobiographies can sometimes come across to readers - because the author's tongue is firmly planted in his cheek. He is almost an "everyman" sharing insights and experiences that cross time and place to expose the common human experience. Setting the tone are statements such as : "I didn't come along until 1927, but my parents chose an auspicious place for my birth. They chose Skedee, Oklahoma." He strings together with skill and a light touch episodes of life dramatic, silly, and deeply moving. All of which serve to engage and retain the reader's interest. In 1909 his grandfather shot a man in a bar in Kentucky motivating the move into the new state of Oklahoma. That is the starting place as he explores events of life as a pastor-farmer's son, as a person trying to live a life of meaning in a changing world. An excellent and interesting addition to any adult, Oklahoma biography, or general biography collection.
Publisher: Rough Roads Press (Box 7, Fort Towson, OK 74735)
Available from: www.KennethWrites@me.com
Reviewed by: Ann Brown Rating: 8 out of 10 Comments: "Shows great promise".
Publisher: ISBN: Cost Approx.: $ 26.95 Description: Perfectbound, 356p.
Available from: Amazon.com
Author: V. Gilbert Zabel (www.viviangilbertzabel.com)
ISBN: 978-1-84728-220-0 Cost: ?? Reviewer: Mary Ennis Available: Amazon.com
One difficulty that parents, teachers, and librarians face is finding books that can appeal to the older male adolescent reader. During that period from 4th-9th grade when reading problems become apparent ,and fear of peer pressures become a paramount influence, it is often hard to get boys to read. V. Gilbert Zabel has created an engaging story that should appeal to the sports, as well as the mystery, fan. It should also be useful for use with older boys who might be in need of what is often labeled "low skill-high interest" books.
The story should appeal to those boys needing a "quick read" (it is 137 pages). The writing style is simple and casual enough to keep them reading out of sheer enjoyment. The storyline focuses on a team facing some important games, but also become victims of theft, and must solve that mystery in addition to winning heir game series. Hidden in the storyline of a small team with big dreams lurk subtexts, delivered with a subtle touch, about loyalty, believing in yourself, courage, doing the right thing, honesty, and forgiveness. All in all, a good read with a strong, positive message for boys in the age group.
Although an experienced writer and teacher, with past publishing experience, this is Zabel's first young adult novel. Minor problems in characterization and voice in no way detract from the over enjoyment of the book. As this author continues to hone skills and reflect more naturalistic elements, many more enjoyable books are sure to result.
The illustrations, by Zabel and designed by L.K. Polly, are based on photographs of boys in the age range of the reader in a variety of team settings and they are very good with a contemporary look. They are also general enough to appeal to sports fans for a long time and should not date too easily. The cover is rich turf green with a color photo of a team huddle. Perfect bound, the book is about 8x5 inches in size, and appears more than moderately durable for a paperback. Patrons will enjoy the easy to handle size and the type font used is easy on the eye.
This book would make an excellent addition to any school or public library collection for books in upper elementary and middle school, for children who love baseball, or for any parent looking for a book to tempt their upper elementary or middle school son to read.
Title: Code Name: Pretty Kitty
Author: Kathryn Thurman and Ravenna Alexander.
Publisher: Raven Guard Press, Del City, OK, 2003.
Description: 45 p.; paper.
The copy reviewed was a test run exploring the potential in a series about a fashion conscience orphaned cat who becomes a spy. The story would appeal to any 2-4th grader who was crazy about cats, fashion, or spies. It could also be enjoyed by younger children as a read-to-me tale. Pretty Kitty was lost in a tornado while traveling through Oklahoma and was taken in by her current family. Through a chance encounter she learns that there is a wide spread and well organized rat conspiracy of world domination. She bravely, and with a fine fashion flair, responds to the call of duty. The character is unusual and there is action with some suggestion of violence. Pretty Kitty is a fun read that, hopefully, will lead to further adventures of this winsome and aware little cat. Construction is simple staple with color cover and images so would not withstand library or classroom use but for personal libraries it will serve very well.
Author/Responsible party: Marilyn A. Hudson ; illus. Haley Fulco Publisher: Hudson House Publications, 5658 NW Pioneer Circle, Norman, OK 73072
Date: Release date April 2007 ISBN: 978-0-9778850-2-2 Cost: $8.00 srp
Description: 64 pages, paperback, center staple; an early chapter book
By Marilyn A. Hudson c. 2007 Illustrated by Haley Fulco
Published by Hudson House Publications,
5658 NW Pioneer Circle, Norman OK 73072 email email@example.com
Review by Rosemary Czarski, Territory Tattler (review Issue) FALL 2007
“Even the smallest things can realize the biggest dreams” is printed in small letters at the top of the cover of this book. This sentence gives one a clue to the wonderful story inside. Marilyn has taken an Oklahoman story and brought it to life for children in this book. She has told the story of the purchase of Judy the elephant for the Oklahoma City Zoo in 1949 in clear readable text. In the author’s note, she has given the background of how the children of Oklahoma gathered their pennies and dimes to bring a new elephant to the Zoo. Marilyn has given sources for further reading, included language arts, mathematics, social studies activities and fun songs and art activities for most ages through sixth grade. This is a wonderful addition to materials for children on Oklahoma during this centennial year. Teachers will find it an excellent book to read aloud for older elementary age children and a good starting or concluding to a unit on zoos, wildlife protection, Oklahoma, and other curriculum subjects. Storytellers, once they have gotten the author’s permission, will find it a wonderful Oklahoma story to tell all ages. The older adult audiences will be able to “remember when” and the younger adult audiences will find it a wonderful story of the Oklahoma spirit. I recommend this book to all schoolteachers and people looking for easily read stories about Oklahoma.
The first edition of this work was launched at the "Red Dirt Book Festival" in 2005. I first saw it then and was impressed by the scope of the contents. It was encyclopedic in nature and, more importantly, it revealed an inquiring mind. No wide-eyed fanatic of the paranormal. Just someone willing to explore the unknown. He was also willing to discard what could not stand up to examination and consider all possibilities in a reasonable way. Now, in this Centennial edition he has refined the work, and added more detail updating many of the previous stories. He has even added some that may not have been seen since the early 1900's! The result is a strong work that explores all the strangeness in Oklahoma with reason, imagination, and wit. A must for every public library collection. The cover art is edgy and vivid and reveals the background of the author as a contemporary graphic artist as well as a writer. Available: Strangestate Blog (Paypal)
Strange State: Mysteries and Legends of Oklahoma
Written by Cullan Hudson
Copyright 2005, Hudson House Publishing
2nd Review: "I was born and raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Many of my friends, however, are scattered across the country. I am always getting interesting e-mails about exciting and rather spooky happenings going on everywhere but here in Oklahoma. I never had anything interesting to tell them about this state, until I read Strange State: Mysteries and Legends of Oklahoma by Cullan Hudson.
For instance, did you know that Oklahoma had its own mummy? How about those half-dozen lost treasures located throughout the state? Let’s not forget the ghost of Belle Starr or the mysterious lights seen in the skies over several areas of Oklahoma? Did you know that we actually have our own Dead Man’s Gulch and Bigfootville? Interested yet? How about those mysterious tales of Oklahoma’s past?
Strange State details a great many stories and a number of strange places in an easy-to-read format with a few points to ponder scattered through out the book. Cullan Hudson does an amazing job of finding obscure myths and legends (Downtown’s Chinese Tunnels, Edmond’s misplaced Bodies, and the town of Bethsheba) as well as some that are more widely known (The Stone Lion Inn, University of Oklahoma’s Cate Center, and the Skirvin Hotel). The truly interesting point of the book is the scope of it. It ranges from ghostly sightings and hauntings to UFOs and Big Foot. There is even a mention of a unicorn. Yes, I did say unicorn.
Curious about this strange state called Oklahoma, then be sure to check out Cullan Hudson’s Strange State: Mysteries and Legends of Oklahoma. You’ll find a wealth of information gathered by Cullan, as he sought out the truth behind the stories and legends passed down from generation to generation. You won’t be disappointed. Freaked out, maybe, but not disappointed. " ----- Reviewed by Ravanne Alexander