Gravitybread presents Tanya Lee Stone

Tanya Stone

women doctors

I am excited to present Tanya Lee Stone, the author of Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? I asked Tanya some questions about Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? and how she got the inspiration to empower children through literature. I hope that you will find her responses helpful in inspiring your own children at home through children’s literature.

Tanya Lee Stone is an award-winning author has written nearly 100 books for young readers. Her titles include the young adult novel, A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl (Wendy Lamb/Random House), Up Close: Ella Fitzgerald (Viking),  picture books Elizabeth Leads the Way (Holt 08), Sandy’s Circus (Viking 08), and Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? (Holt 2013) and narrative nonfiction Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream (Candlewick 09), The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie (Viking 2010) and Courage Has No Color (Candlewick). A new picture book about Jane Addams called The House that Jane Built (Holt 2014) is forthcoming.

To learn more about Tanya Lee Stone, check out her website here.

1. What gave you the idea to write a picture book about Elizabeth Blackwell?
Blackwell had been on my mind a long time. There were longer bios about her for kids, but no one had yet done what I try to accomplish in my picture books–to capture enough of the essence of someone cool and extraordinary that a seed will be planted and kids will remember the person later and go on to learn more about them when they’re older. It’s my own little “trickle up” theory I have created for myself.
2. When and how did you get inspired to empower children and women through literature?
Oh gosh, I don’t know, I think it’s a myriad of influences, beginning with my roots of growing up in a house of books with a professor father and an elementary school librarian mother, to being an Oberlin college student surrounded by a history of racial and gender equality, to loving our field and wanting to explore what I was passionate about as a writer.
3. What would you like children to learn most from Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell?
If they are jazzed about Blackwell–both her accomplishments and her tenacity, perseverance, and overall drive to find meaning in the world for herself and accomplish her dreams, I will be one happy writer.
4. Can you discuss your new book, The House That Jane Built?
Sure! The House the Jane Built is the story of how Jane Addams started Hull House, which was basically the first community center in America. She brought the idea of a settlement house to America from England and dramatically altered the tenor and shape of her area of Chicago in the process. And as we well know, the idea spread like wildfire throughout the nation. I also give readers a tate of just how incredible this woman was in the Author’s Note, after the time period I cover in the story itself. After all, in 1900, Jane Addams was more famous than Oprah Winfrey is today!

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