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View Karen Cushman's Web Event

On Tuesday, May 4, 2010, Karen Cushman discussed her new novel, Alchemy and Meggy Swann, at the TOPS K-8 School in Seattle, WA. Schools, bookstores, libraries and individuals took part, submitting questions from across the country. One lucky viewer won a complete signed set of Karen Cushman's books!

Watch the webcast here.
Alchemy and Meggy Swann
Karen Cushman

Fans of Karen Cushman's witty, satisfying novels and strong-willed heroines will welcome Meggy Swann, newly come to London with her only friend, a goose named Louise. Meggy is appalled by the city, dirty and noisy, full of rogues and thieves, and difficult to get around in—not that getting around is ever easy for someone who walks with the help of two sticks. Yet London proves to be a catalyst for the girl and soon, just as her alchemist father works to transform base metal into gold, Meggy finds herself pursuing her own transformation. Earthy and colorful, Elizabethan London has its dark side, but it also has gifts in store for Meggy Swann.

A discussion guide is available.

About the Author

Karen Cushman Karen Cushman was born in Chicago and grew up there and in Southern California. She received an M.A. in human behavior and another in museum studies from Stanford University, and served as an assistant director and adjunct professor in the Museum Studies department of John F. Kennedy University in San Francisco.

Ms. Cushman began writing full-time when she was forty-nine years old, and published her first book, Catherine, Called Birdy, when she was fifty-three. It received a Newbery Honor award. Her second novel, The Midwife's Apprentice, won the prestigious Newbery Medal.

Ms. Cushman has a long-standing interest in history. She says, "I grew tired of hearing about kings, princes, generals, presidents. I wanted to know what life was like for ordinary young people in other times." Her seven novels, all published by Clarion Books to wide acclaim, have helped historical fiction take a prominent place in children's literature.

Karen Cushman lives on Vashon Island in Washington State with her husband, Philip, a professor, psychotherapist, and author. Their daughter, Leah, is a bookseller. You can learn more about Ms. Cushman at www.karencushman.com.

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