Who I am…
You may not know my name because I’ve written many nonfiction educational texts. I earned a doctorate in reading curriculum and instruction and spent my career working as English teacher, reading specialist, and special education administrator with Montgomery County (MD) Public Schools and then teaching reading methods and supervising field experiences for teachers and administrators with Johns Hopkins University. I am now a full-time writer and, in my free time, I knit a lot, travel (especially to visit grandchildren), and, of course, read and write. Here I am with granddaughter Jen, great-granddaughter Olivia, and Hope to the far right. I’m holding my ever-faithful shelter-poodle Apricot.
I belong to the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, DC, actively work with social action projects in my congregation and with Zonta, an organization that works to build “a better future for women and girls through education and economic sustainability,” and also maintain the uusocialjustice.org blog and several Facebook pages. See my own FB page Mary Bowman-Kruhm Writer.
Digging a Well in Oltorotua, Kenya
I believe in helping young people, especially women, in developing countries like Kenya. Visit http://digthiswell.com. With the help of Rotary Clubs in Maryland and the Nakuru-Great Rift Valley Rotary Club in Kenya, we dug a well that serves 1000 villagers in Oltorotua, Kenya. Below you can see the well and I am with Jackson Liaram at the dedication on February 14, 2015.
About some more of my books…
One of my best-known books was my first. I Hate School: How to Hang In & When to Drop Out (Harper & Row, 1987) was named by the American Library Association on its lists “Best Books for Young Adults-1986” and “Recommended Books for Reluctant Young Adult Readers-1987” and by the National Council of Teachers of English in Books for You (recommended under “Self-Help” and “Easy Reading” categories). Over the years I’ve authored over 30 books for children and teens. Two picture books, Busy Fingers and Busy Toes, co-authored with Wendie Old under the pen name C. W. Bowie, are popular with young children in both English and Spanish.
Here I am, holding my model of Zinj, a 1.8 million-year-old skull. Louis and Mary Leakey found Zinj in East Africa in 1959. As I described in The Leakeys: A Biography, Zinj was only one of many fossils found by three Leakey generations. Three more trips to Kenya increased my love for this area of the world, its people and wildlife.
After doing limited writing during my late husband’s illness, I am now on the Board of Directors of the Frederick County (MD) Landmarks Foundation and, with Joan Deacon (pictured below), am authoring a book about 100+ year old homes and other buildings that have earned a plaque for their architectural preservation. Researching and writing about Frederick, MD, is very different from a focus on fossil finds, but all history is fascinating, whether ancient or relatively modern. I’m excited to create a book for owners of these old homes and also for tourists as they walk the city’s streets while juggling children, pets, water bottle, purse or backpack.