Nancy Plain is a four-time Spur Award winner from the Western Writers of America. She has also received the following recognition: YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist, the National Outdoor Book Award, Booklist Editors’ Choice, the Nebraska Book Award, the Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History, the Will Rogers Medallion Award, the Carter G. Woodson Honor award, and First Place in Children’s Nonfiction from the National Federation of Press Women. She has written widely on American history topics, including biographies of the Cowboy Artist Charlie Russell, Chief Joseph and The Nez Perce War, the pioneer photographer Solomon Butcher, and the bird artist John James Audubon. Visit Nancy at www.NancyPlain.com.
This Strange Wilderness, University of Nebraska Press, $19. 95, 978-0-8032-4884-7
Booklist Starred Review: .”…..well researched, meticulously documented, and beautifully written.”
Kirkus Starred Review: “A superb introduction to the life and times of a great American artist and naturalist”
Nancy has written ten histories and biographies for young people. Her biography of the artist Mary Cassatt was selected for the New York Public Library’s 1994 list of “Books for the Teen Age.” Her books Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and the French Revolution and Eleanor of Aquitaine and the High Middle Ages were named by the Children’s Book Council/NCSS as “Notable Social Studies Trade Book…s for Young People,” 2002 and 2007, respectively.
Nancy’s biography of the cowboy artist Charlie Russell, Sagebrush and Paintbrush, won a Spur Award for “Best Western Juvenile Nonfiction,” from the Western Writers of America, in 2008. Her most recent book, With One Sky Above Us, about Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce Indians, won the 2010 Spur Award in the same category. It was named a 2010 Carter G. Woodson Honor Book and won first place in the children’s nonfiction competition sponsored by the New Jersey Press Women. With One Sky Above Us also won first place in the children’s nonfiction competition of the National Federation of Press Women.
Nancy is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in history. She has three daughters and lives in New Jersey with her husband, Alan Goldfeder, and her dachshund, Molly. Her favorite charity is the Humane Society of the United States. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the Wild West History Association, and the Western Writers of America. In keeping with her longtime interest in the American West, she rides a quarter horse named Chip.
Western Writers of America, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Wild West History Association, Humane Society of the United States
Books by Nancy Plain:
Light on the Prairie:
Solomon D. Butcher,
Photographer of Nebraska’s Pioneer Days
“…eloquent, detailed, precise, and evocative…this is a book that belongs in every Nebraska school and the homes of anyone who wants to understand our western homestead legacy….“—Candy Moulton, Executive Director of Western Writers of America“…Nancy Plain adds to the story of pioneer perseverance with her beautifully illustrated examination of Solomon Butcher, the self-described ‘pioneer photographer of the Nebraska prairie’….Light on the Prairie serves as a model of how a book for young readers can educate as well as delight.”– Kate Elliott, The Annals of Iowa
About the book:
Once President Lincoln signed the Homestead Act of 1862, which granted 160 acres of free land to anyone with the grit to farm it for five years, the rush to the Great Plains was on. Solomon D. Butcher was there to document it, amassing more than three thousand photographs and compiling the most complete record of the sod house era ever made.
Butcher (1856–1927) staked his claim on the plains in 1880. He didn’t like farming, but he found another way to thrive. He had learned the art of photography as a teenager, and he began taking pictures of his friends and neighbors. Butcher noticed how fast the vast land was “settling up,” so he formed the plan that would become his life’s work—to record the frontier days in words and images.
Alongside sixty-two of Butcher’s iconic photographs, Light on the Prairie conveys the irrepressible spirit of a man whose passion would give us a firsthand look at the men and women who settled the Great Plains. Like his subjects, Butcher was a pioneer, even though he held a camera more often than a plow.
Praise for Solomon D. Butcher’s photographs:
“[Solomon Butcher’s photographs provide] a compelling and singular view of American pioneers and pioneering spirit.”—American Photographer
“The prairie was Butcher’s stage, and his results ranged from the moving to the hilarious.”—Village Voice
“Butcher’s work reveals the stark and self-contained life of these people, and his sense of order and clarity transforms [his] pictures from mere records into icons of the American spirit.”—Choice
To add this book to your collection, click here: Purchase Light on the Prairie.
Other books by Nancy Plain:
Mary Cassatt, An Artist’s Life (Maxwell Macmillan, 1994)
A New York Public Library selection for “Books for the Teen Age, 1994”
George Catlin, The Man Who Painted Indians (Marshall Cavendish, 1997)
Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and the French Revolution (Marshall Cavendish, 2002)
A “Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People,” 2002
Frederic Remington, Artist of the American West (Enslow Publishers, 2003)
The Diary of Elizabeth Bacon Custer: On the Plains with General Custer
(Marshall Cavendish, 2004)
Eleanor of Aquitaine and the High Middle Ages (Marshall Cavendish, 2006)
A “Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People,” 2007
Sagebrush and Paintbrush: The Story of Charlie Russell, The Cowboy Artist
(Mondo Publishing, 2007)
Winner of the 2008 Spur Award for “Best Western Juvenile Nonfiction”
With One Sky Above Us: The Story of Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce Indians
(Mondo Publishing, 2009)
Winner of the 2010 Spur Award for “Best Western Juvenile Nonfiction”
A Carter G. Woodson/NCSS Honor Book, 2010
First Place in Children’s Nonfiction, New Jersey Press Women
First Place in Children’s Nonfiction, National Federation of Press Women