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Viewing Blog: Rachelle Burk: Children's Writer and Entertainer, Most Recent at Top
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Click here to learn about Rachelle's SCHOOL VISITS

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As part of the East Brunswick Education Foundation annual book sale fundraiser, I will be signing my book, Tree House in a Storm, on Saturday June 19 from 4-6pm, at the East Brunswick Barnes and Noble on Rt. 18.

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Click here for a treasure trove of help--26 categories of RESOURCES!Articles, Workshops & Courses, Publishers, Critique &Editing Help, Agents, Rhyming/ Poetry, Editors, Legal Advice, Query Letters, Teacher’s Guides, Websites, Book Reviewers, Newsletters & E-zines, Illustrators, Forums &Newsgroups, Self-Publishing, Contests & Awards, POD Printers, Author Visits, Book Marketing &Promotion, Nonfiction Writing, Books, Reference Sources, Recommended Blogs, Work-For-Hire & Freelance Work, Resources for Kids

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6. New Book! Tree House in a Storm

My first children's book, TREE HOUSE IN A STORM (illustrated by Rex Schneider), will be released by Stemmer House Publishers this September. Set in my hometown of New Orleans, two children build a tree house where they play and imagine all summer long. But then Hurricane Betsy blows into New Orleans in 1965, and their beloved tree house becomes one of its victims.

This story of loss, hope, and renewal was inspired by actual events from my childhood. It
explores universal themes of natural disaster and rebuilding. In the classroom, this book serves as an effective discussion tool. A free Teacher's Guide and book-related activities are available through a link on this site.

A portion of the proceeds will go to Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans, as well as the American Red Cross of Central New Jersey.

The book is now available through Amazon!

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7. New manuscript complete! Children's biography of a blind painter

After 18 months of research, interviews, writing and revising, I have completed my children's biography about a remarkable blind painter. I am currently in the process of seeking a publisher.

Who is Esref Armagan?
Esref Armagan is a 54-year-old contemporary Turkish painter who has been completely blind since birth. He grew up poor and uneducated, and never had an art lesson, yet he paints detailed pictures in bright colors and 3-point perspective without assistance. For decades, Armagan was the subject of curiosity, awe, and skepticism in his native Turkey. Then in 2004, he became the subject of scientific brain studies in the United States. The astonishing results have been published in science journals and magazines, and aired worldwide in a Discovery Channel documentary called The Real Superhumans.

I think Armagan's fascinating story would be a valuable addition to both science and art curricula, and an inspiration to children with disabilities and those who care for them. To learn more, or to see a sample of his paintings, log onto my blog, Esref Armagan, Blind Painter

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8. Watching My Book Come To Life!

One of the many nice things about working with a smaller publishing house is that they are often willing to allow contact between author and illustrator. This is the case with Stemmer House Publishers. My talented illustrator is Rex Schneider, who has been working diligently on the illustrations for our upcoming book. He's sent me some of his preliminary sketches. Wow! Watching my story come to life is an enormous thrill.

It's also a privilege to assist him in the process. The story is set in New Orleans in 1965, during Hurricane Betsy. Finding historically accurate photos to work from was no easy task. I contacted the Corps of Engineers office in New Orleans and was able to acquire archived photos of the city after Hurricane Betsy, including flooded streets and evacuation shelters. (That sure brought back a "flood" of memories!)

Rex and I discovered a mutual love for frogs. Our inside joke will be little frogs hidden in illustrations throughout the book. Shhh. Don't tell our editor.

Check out Rex's website: http://www.bluemousestudio.com/

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9. New editor position

I am excited to now be a part of a wonderful kids' newspaper, which is distributed free to elementary schools around the country. In my position as Local Editorial Director of Kidsville News, Middlesex County (New Jersey) edition, I have created an interactive page called "The Write Stuff." The monthly themes and prompts encourage kids to write creatively and see their work published. The newspaper is a FREE, quality alternative to classroom mags such as Weekly Reader or Scholastic. Check it out! www.KidsvilleNews.com

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