On Thursday, October 7th, she gave a reading of her children's books, The Good Luck Cat and For a Girl Becoming. She read to a group of about 20 children and a larger group of adults. When reading The Good Luck Cat, she cued us when to make a purring sound as she read.
While here, she gave a concert at the student union. A few days later, we learned that she had won Best Female Artist at the 2009 Native American Music Awards.
While reading For a Girl Becoming, she sang to us. Before reading For a Girl Becoming, Joy told us about moments of becoming, how they are powerful and dangerous, and that good words in those moments can help by providing a path. As she read For a Girl Becoming I thought of my own daughter and her moments of becoming.
Both of her children's books are rooted in her own life, in the experiences of her own family. Each one speaks to a different moment, a different need.
I'm taking a signed copy of For a Girl Becoming with me to the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in early November, to give away there at an event hosted by the American Indian Curriculum Services.
If you're available, please attend! Thursday, November 5, 2009, at 3:00 in the afternoon. Janice Rice and I will talk with you about children's books about American Indians. My talk will include both of Joy Harjo's picture books.