Here’s where I’ll be this summer to celebrate the release of PAPA PUT A MAN ON THE MOON. Please join me if you can!
My family has a long history in a little mill village in Slater, SC. My mama grew up there with her two sisters, Kathy and Elizabeth. My grandparents, Kathryn and Oscar, lived there in a little house on Webster Street where we celebrated many Easters, Thanksgivings, Christmases, birthdays, and regular days, somehow fitting family and extended family and friends into a five-room house.
I remember walking to the general store to buy penny candy. If someone happened to be sitting on their porch as I passed by, they knew me, even though I had never lived on that hill.
The families that lived on that hill mostly lived there for generations. Many of them worked at the J.P Stevens textile mill that had given birth to the community back when companies built housing for their employees and owned all the stores in town too. My own grandparents, aunts, uncles, and parents all worked in the textile mill at one time or another. I remember visiting my grandmother Kathryn when she worked as a switchboard operator, right inside the entrance of the mill. Yes, an actual manual switchboard at which she pulled corded plugs and inserted them into the appropriate jacks to connect the caller to the correct extension. It seems like something that should have been before my lifetime, but no, I remember it clear as day. My papa had several different stints at the mill too, in between other jobs. The mill and the community center provided by the company were the center of this community.
In the late 1950s, as cotton mills moved to Asia, the Slater mill turned toward production of fiberglass fabric, a move that would eventually provide them with a government contract to produce Beta-cloth, a special fabric engineered by Dr. Frederick Dawn of NASA. The Beta-cloth would be used as one layer in the spacesuits of the astronauts who would land on the moon. This was a secret project and only a few workers at the mill were chosen for it. Those that did were grateful for the work and for the ability to continue making a living at what they knew and what they did best.
It wasn’t until Neil Armstrong actually stepped onto the moon that Slater, SC even began to consider its role in this monumental American achievement. And even then, some of the impact on this community was lost to history until recently.
This is the story of the legacy of one community, written to honor the hundreds of thousands of hands in many factories across the United States that “touched the face of the moon” through their work ethic in weaving, building, and fabricating the pieces and parts that were required to put a man on the moon.
I feel privileged to have the opportunity to share this story with the world.
Coming from Dial Books for Young Readers in May 2019, written by Kristy Dempsey, illustrated by Sarah Green.
These big and little superheroes made my day celebrating the release of Superhero Instruction Manual. We chose our superhero names (favorite color + favorite animal — Mine is “Red Lion”) and decided on our superpowers. (After all, “superheroes don’t just wake up one day with superpowers. You must work hard to discover your inner BAM-BOOM-POW!”)
Here are a few images from this Zoom-Vroom-SUPER day!
From almost 200 entries for the free school visit giveaway for Greenville, SC elementary schools, THE WINNER IS:
Samantha is a teacher at Mitchell Road Elementary School. Congratulations, Samantha! I sent you an email and will be in touch to schedule with your school!
Just as Superhero Instruction Manual gives you the power to turn yourself super in seven easy steps, these super books give teachers and their students the power to turn the summer (or the whole school year!) super in just a few pages. These are some of my own favorites, both brand-new on the scene and time-honored in the superhero tradition.
Boom . . . Smash . . . Kazam! Get reading, heroes!
CALLING ALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL EMPLOYEES
OF GREENVILLE COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA!!!
Your school could win a free school visit!
Did you hear me?
A FREE FULL-DAY SCHOOL VISIT
Greenville County teachers, principals, assistants, librarians, maintenance workers, lunchroom workers, ANYONE who works for an elementary school (public or private) in Greenville County, South Carolina, you are all eligible to enter!
Sound the word, let the masses know, coordinate a collective effort from your school employees to submit entries. Contest runs through May 17, 2016.
There are two ways to enter, one of which is preordering Superhero Instruction Manual at this link:
(See contest rules below for specifics.)
1) NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.
2) This giveaway is for one (1) full-day school visit (up to 6 presentations in the same location on the same date) conducted by Kristy Dempsey at any elementary school (public or private) of the prize winner’s choice in Greenville County, South Carolina.
3) VALUE OF PRIZE: Service is valued at $1000.00; prize may not be exchanged for equivalent monetary value. No cash alternative to prize is offered and no substitutions are allowed.
4) TERM OF CONTEST: Contest runs from April 17, 2016 to May 17, 2016. Drawing will take place on May 18, 2016 and winner will be notified by telephone and/or by email on that same day. School visit must be scheduled and completed by May 17, 2017 on a date mutually agreed upon by Sponsor and prize winner.
5) ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning depend on the number of entries.
6) ELIGIBILITY: Contest is open to any employee of any elementary school (public or private) in Greenville County, South Carolina.
7) FORMS OF ENTRY:
There are two ways to enter:
- Pre-order SUPERHERO INSTRUCTION MANUAL by 5:30 pm EST on 5/17/2016 from Fiction Addiction Bookstore, 1175 Woods Crossing Rd., St. 5, Greenville, SC, tel.: (864) 675-0540. You can also preorder here: http://www.fiction-addiction.com/si/9780385755344N.html For each book purchased, you will receive one entry in the contest. To complete entry, email copy of receipt to email@example.com by 11:59 pm on May 17, 2016, with a subject line of SUPERHERO SCHOOL VISIT, with name, address, and telephone number in the body of the email.
- No purchase is necessary! You may print the entry form below and deliver to Fiction Addiction Bookstore, 1175 Woods Crossing Rd., St. 5, Greenville, SC, 29607. Entries must be received by 5:30 pm EST on 5/17/2016. There is no limit to the number of entry forms you may submit. Each completed entry form will count as one entry into the contest.
8) TAXES: All taxes on prizes (if applicable) are the sole responsibility of the winner. Prizes are not transferable/assignable.
9) SPONSOR: The official sponsor of this contest is author Kristy Dempsey, whose decisions will be considered final and binding on all matters related to this promotion. Fiction Addiction Bookstore shall not be held responsible for matters related to the execution or the final decision of this contest.