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Press Release

Thursday, July 8, 2010

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Literacy League Featuring Laurel Snyder Now Available for Download

~ Author answers middle school students’ questions for her book “Any Which Wall” ~

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Education’s Literacy League book club continues to inspire future authors with the second installment of the series now available for download on Florida iTunes U. This quarter, the interactive book club features Atlanta-based author Laurel Snyder, who answers questions from Florida middle school students about her book, “Any Which Wall,” including thoughts about how her childhood prepared her for a career as a writer and author.

“Laurel’s enthusiasm for her work is inspiring to watch, and I am thankful she’s shared her insights with Florida middle school students so they may learn how to pursue a writing career,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “Through the Literacy League book club, and the efforts of skilled authors like Laurel, students have an incredible opportunity to relate to reading and writing in a whole new way.”

In addition to her books for children, Snyder has written two books of poems, “Daphne & Jim: a choose-your-own-adventure biography in verse” and “The Myth of the Simple Machines.” Snyder has also penned the books “Penny Dreadful,” and “Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains.” The Baltimore-native is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a former Michener-Engle Fellow. She has also published work in the Utne Reader, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Revealer, Salon, The Iowa Review and American Letters and Commentary, and is an occasional commentator for National Public Radio's All Things Considered.

"It was not only an honor to be part of the Literacy League, it was also a wonderful learning experience for me as a writer because the kids asked such thoughtful questions,” said Laurel Snyder. “They really challenged me to think in a new way about my own work. I'd like to think that through programs like Literacy League, kids today can access adult writers, and find resources and support for their own literary aspirations. It's really such a wonderful program, and such a great new use of technology.”

Throughout the year, the Department’s Literacy League book club connects prominent authors with Florida students through a podcast question-and-answer session about a featured book. The Literacy League podcast is available on iTunes U, which provides free multimedia content to schools, parents, students, administrators and teachers both in Florida and around the world.

To view the Literacy League program, visit www.floridaitunesu.com. For more information about the Department of Education’s Literacy League, visit www.fldoe.org/literacyleague.