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Kerry Madden

Kerry Madden is an affiliate faculty member at Antioch University of Los Angeles, and also teaches creative writing at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, where she is also editor of the school’s literary magazine, Poemmemoirstory.   Madden completed her undergraduate studies, as well as her MFA in Playwriting at the University of Tennessee.

Known for books that speak to teens, Madden has received recognition from the New York Public Library and the Chicago Public Library.  Her book,  Up Close:  Harper Lee was listed as one of the Best Kirkus Books of 2009 for Young Adults.

Madden is also the author of Writing Smarts, from the American Girl Library; Gentle’s Hollar, Viking, 2005; Offsides, about growing up the daughter of a college football coach; Jessie’s Mountain, 2008; and Louisiana’s Song, 2007.  In addition, she has written for the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and Salon.

Madden lives in Birmingham with husband Kiffen Lunsford. The couple also has three adult children, Flannery, Norah, and Lucy.  She continues to list her favorite book as To Kill a Mockingbird.  (photo credit: lanierisom.com)

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  1. Up Close: Harper Lee
    $16.99

    Kerry Madden's Up Close: Harper Lee is a very honest and fascinating biography for young adults and teens. This was an especially challenging biography to craft considering its subject, Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird does not grant interviews and shuns the public eye. Although Madden was unable to interview Harper Lee, or Nelle as she's known locally, she was able to glean plenty of facts and information from Ms. Lee's hometown of Monroeville, Al. 

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  2. Jessie's Mountain by Kerry Madden
    $16.99

    Jessie's Song (published in 2008) is the third novel in Kerry Madden's Maggie Valley series. Be sure to also check out Gentle's Holler and Louisiana's Song.

     

    Can something that's so awful wrong have shiny bright bits of right to it?

    It's slowly dawning on twelve-year-old Livy Two Weems that not every decision in life falls neatly into categories of right or wrong--and the harder the decision is, the blurrier the lines get.

    It's winter 1963, and just about every member of the large Weems family has a decision to make. Should Livy Two run off to Nashville to audition for that music man? Is Daddy finally ready to play his banjo again? Should the kids be secretly reading Mam's girlhood diary? And worst of all: will Mama make them move away from their beloved Maggie Valley home?

    Even strong-willed Livy Two is overwhelmed by so many looming choices, but she's as determined as ever to make her family's dreams come true. That stubborn determination inspires everyone in the Weems family--and leads to a tender and satisfying conclusion to Kerry Madden's Maggie Valley stories. 

     

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  3. Gentle's Holler by Kerry Madden
    $17.00

    Gentle's Holler (published in 2005) is the first novel in Kerry Madden's award-winning Maggie Valley trilogy. Be sure to check out the rest of series: Louisiana's Song and Jessie's Mountain.

    Twelve-year-old Livy Two Weems knows there's a whole world to see beyond the North Carolina hills--which is the only place she's ever been. But she also knows family is more important than daydreams. With Mama watching the brand-new baby, Daddy still trying to write that banjo hit, and eight brothers and sisters running around, Livy Two spends most of her time doing chores or watching her siblings, especially her younger sister Gentle. When she has any time alone, she writes songs with her beat-up guitar. Her family has learned to make do with what they have, and when a doctor says little Gentle won't ever see, Livy Two quickly comes up with a plan to help her sister. But when more tragedy strikes, can she remain strong for her family?

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  4. Offsides by Kerry Madden-Lunsford
    $19.95

    Kerry Madden-Lunsford's fresh, often hilarious, debut novel presents a bittersweet and unforgettable tale of adolescence. On the surface, the Donegals seem the picture-perfect norm of a nuclear family in the 1970s. But seen through the eyes of Liz Donegal, her world teeters on the brink of disintegration. Liz's father, an assistant college football coach, uproots his family annually with the motivational compassion of "Get your ass in the car." Her brothers Joe-Sam and Leo, whose first words are "hut, hut, hike," and sister, Peaches, a wannabe cheerleader, pick apart their lives and tentatively pull together in whatever town they land in, whether it's Bobcat Country or Shark Territory. While chaos reigns within the Donegal household, outside the family dog Halfback is busy digging up his predecessor Bear Bryant. At the center of this remarkable cast of characters, Liz creates a world for herself spun out of best friends, books, secret glimpses at sex manuals, and a few adults who actually understand what it means to grow up "offsides." Fostered by the creativity of her aunt Betty and uncle Peter, Liz first glimpses life beyond football games and Catholic school. When she isn't busy rebelling, singing Lou Reed songs, or transforming herself into Helen Keller or Anne Frank, Liz is falling in love, discovering herself, and learning that life also has some painful lessons.

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  5. Nothing Fancy about Kathryn & Charlie by Kerry Madden-Lunsford
    $19.95

    "Utterly charming!" --Hester Bass, author of The Secret World of Walter Anderson

    Nothing Fancy about Kathryn & Charlie is the true story of friendship between unlikely characters. Renowned Alabama journalist, author, and storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham and self-taught folk artist and Tin Man Charlie Lucas found common ground in tomato sandwiches, treasure hunting, and comb playing on the lawn of the Selma Library. Their special bond has been beautifully captured in this tribute by author Kerry Madden-Lunsford and her artist daughter Lucy. In honor of Kathryn and Charlie, proceeds from Nothing Fancy will be donated to Kathryn's beloved Selma-Dallas County Public Library.

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