2016-10-19 01:01:06 UTC
Aka Joan Rawlins Biggar Husby, and Joan Rawlins-Husby, her name is pronounced "Joanne."
In an interview, she said:
"...In each of my eight books Concordia has published, the story starts with an interesting setting somewhere in the Pacific Northwest (except for Trapped in Haunted Canyon, which is set in Arizona). Mostly these are areas where my husband's jobs took us. Because plot and settings are closely woven together, readers pick up information about history, geography, natural science, and ways of living.
"In the 'Megan Parnell' series, the challenges of today are treated in a sensitive fashion. Sixteen-year-old Megan and her stepbrother Peter struggle to get along in their newly blended family. All of the stories deal with multiculturalism in some form. In some stories, racial prejudice and peer relationships are issues. In others, Megan and her friends learn about caring for the ecology, dealing with sexual misconduct, and handling philosophies that contradict what the Bible teaches. While being entertained and informed, readers also learn that Christian faith is a practical necessity for successfully navigating the shoals of adolescence..."
(a few book covers)
(long essay by Biggar from 2008: "History, History Everywhere: A Remembrance of Growing Up in Snohomish County's Robe Valley" - that's in Washington State)
(article by Biggar on snow geese)
(high school reunion in maybe 2011 - she's the one in the black skirt, third from right)
(includes a picture of her at age 6)
(about visiting Arizona)
(more on Biggar, written by a friend)
(2014 article about a teacher of Biggar's)
Most of the second half:
...V.G., a loyal alumnus of the University of Washington, knew a lot about our local history. “Have you ever found fossils around here?” someone once asked at the beginning of Latin class. V.G. forgot the lesson plan and spent most of the class period telling us about the summer he helped lay out a road for the Forest Service and his discovery of rocks containing fossilized seashells on a nearby mountain. I was hooked on geology!
This proof that the very mountains where I lived were once part of an ancient ocean bed perhaps didn’t have much to do with learning a fossilized language. But as V.G. helped us uncover the Latin foundations of words we use every day, I learned that words had beauty, precision and power…concepts basic to my budding interest in writing.
Another day a student in geometry class winked at the rest of us. Then cleverly, (he thought) he distracted V.G. from the lesson at hand by asking if he’d ever met any of the Indians who once traveled the nearby rivers. V.G., allowing us to think he’d swallowed the bait, launched into a story about old Pilchuck Julia, nearly blind, who still lived near town when he was a young man. She wove beautiful baskets by touch. As my imagination reconstructed Pilchuck Julia’s lost culture, my interest in history and anthropology took root.
Often V.G. told tales of his pranks as an underclassman at the university in Seattle. He described the beautiful campus and the exciting mix of learning and fun. For most of us, college was not even a dream. But V.G.’s portrayal of college life opened up the world beyond our little logging town. Doing extra class work at home seemed an even exchange for his stories.
“Joan, where do you plan to go to college?” V.G. asked one day after geometry class.
“College?” I stammered. My parents struggled to feed and clothe us. College was out of the question.
“Yes,” V.G. replied. “You’re a good student. You can go far. You should be making plans for your future.”
That conversation started me dreaming. Maybe I could pursue an education. Maybe God would make a way. In many further conversations, V.G. lobbied hard for me to attend his beloved University of Washington. I chose a smaller, church-sponsored college instead. Nevertheless, he encouraged me to pursue my dreams and was pleased when I followed in his footsteps by graduating with my teaching degree.
V.G. lived by Galileo’s premise: “You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.” I’ve forgotten most of what I knew of math and Latin, but by V.G.’s story telling, he taught us the power of story to spur accomplishment, to further cultural understanding, and to communicate ideas...
Under the name Joan Rawlins Husby, she wrote her memoir in 2008:
"Logger's Daughter: Growing Up in Washington's Woods"
"Joan Rawlins was born just months before her parents, Delbert and Marie Rawlins', moved from North Dakota to Washington's Robe Valley, at the foot of Mt. Pilchuck. The Rawlins lived in a tiny cabin until Joan's father could build a larger cabin of scrounged material. Eventually, the Rawlins had five children who played in the great outdoors with other loggers' children.
"Husby shares with readers a life of growing up in Washington's forests, the daughter of a logger. Although her parents didn't have a lot of ready cash and worked hard for every advantage they had, there was always food on the table and love to spare. The family was years in getting electricity and running water. Their "bathroom" was a two-holer a distance from the house. Heating fuel was wood, hand-cut and split. They raised chickens for eggs and meat, and rabbits for meat and skins to sell to Sears, Roebuck and Company..."
(more on the same book)
(from 2016 - her posts on microbursts, hummingbirds, a summer camp in Kako, Alaska, and romance in old age)
"ADVENTURE QUEST" SERIES; WITH TEACHER'S GUIDES
Treasure at Morning Gulch, illustrated by Kay Salem, Concordia (St. Louis, MO), 1991.
Danger at Half Moon Lake, illustrated by Salem, Concordia, 1991.
Shipwreck on the Lights, illustrated by Salem, Concordia, 1992.
High Desert Secrets, illustrated by Salem, Concordia, 1992.
"MEGAN PARNELL" MYSTERY SERIES; WITH TEACHER'S GUIDES
Missing on Castaway Island, Concordia, 1997.
Mystery at Camp Galena, Concordia, 1997.
Trouble in Yakima Valley, Concordia, 1998.
Trapped at Haunted Canyon, Concordia, 1998.