Ziner, Feenie


Children's book author, children's book reviewer for the New York Times, and teacher. http://www.lib.uconn.edu/about/exhibits/ziner/feenie.htm [accessed 31 Oct. 2012]: "Feenie Ziner Born in Brooklyn, New York, Florence Katz was the favored daughter of aspiring, first-generation Americans. Feenie, as she came to be known, was educated in the city's public schools and attended Brooklyn College...Feenie decided to prepare for a career in social work and enrolled at the Columbia University School of Social Work, earning her Master's degree there in 1944...Her first published book, The True Book of Time, aimed to teach children how to tell time. More than half a million copies of the book were eventually printed in several different editions, but Feenie received just $250 for her efforts...The publishers of American Heritage offered her the opportunity to write a book about the Pilgrims for young adults. Pilgrims and the Plymouth Colony told the story of the settlement from the English point of view. Then, feeling that there was yet another story to be told, Feenie returned to her subject and wrote Dark Pilgrim: The Story of Squanto, a biography of the extraordinary Wampanoag who assisted, and then was betrayed by, the English settlers. Although written for young adult readers, it is still the only scholarly work about this most remarkable man...She became the children's book reviewer for the Montreal Star and taught a college course in the contemporary novel. Returning to the United States, she built upon her Canadian experience to become a children's book reviewer for The New York Times and to secure positions teaching the contemporary novel at the New School for Social Research and at SUNY Purchase. Feenie accepted a teaching position with the English Department at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, a 'temporary' part-time appointment that evolved into a twenty-year career as a scholar and teacher. At the University of Connecticut, she taught the graduate course in the classics of children's literature and developed expertise in the field of mythology, writing for the journal Parabola and continuing to review books for the Times. In addition to her work as a scholar, Feenie made a particular effort to build bridges between the classroom and the world of work. She initiated the Connecticut Writing Project, an intern program, and a publishing course whose students wrote and published a book of their own...Feenie retired from the university as professor emerita in 1994."

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