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Riveting, absorbing, fascinating, mesmerizing, powerful, evocative, engaging, engrossing and superb – these are just some of the superlatives used by critics praising two-time Newbery Honor Book-winning author Jim Murphy’s many works. Murphy masterfully makes history come alive in his more than 30 nonfiction books for children and young adults.
Murphy is coming to Tulsa in August to accept the Tulsa Library Trust’s 2013 Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers’ Literature. The award presentation is the culminating event for Tulsa City-County Library’s Summer Reading Program. Murphy will receive the award at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 23 at Gilcrease Museum, 1400 N. Gilcrease Museum Road. Murphy will present awards to winners of the library’s 2013 Young People’s Creative Writing Contest and talk about his experiences writing award-winning books at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24 at Hardesty Regional Library, 8316 E. 93rd St., in Connor’s Cove. He will sign books at both events. The presentations are free and open to the public.
Murphy’s works include “The Long Road to Gettysburg,” which personalizes the horrors of the Civil War while exploring the battles through two vantage points – through the eyes of two actual participants, John Dooley, age 18, a Confederate lieutenant, and Thomas Galway, 15, a Union soldier. “An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793” recreates the fear and panic that swept over Philadelphia during that extremely hot, humid summer when the swamps around the city turned to muddy puddles and swarms of mosquitoes filled the air. This multiple-award winner also explores the political, social, cultural, medical and scientific history of the times. In his book “Blizzard! The Storm That Changed America,” Murphy recounts the massive, unpredicted, raging snowstorm of 1888 that killed 800 people in New York City alone. Murphy’s latest work, “The Giant and How He Humbugged America,” is an entertaining, riveting account of how the 19th-century Cardiff Giant mystery snowballed into one of America’s biggest money-making spectacles – and scams.
During his prestigious career, Murphy has received many awards and honors, including two Newbery Honor Book awards, a National Book Award finalist medal, three Jefferson Cup awards, two Golden Kite awards, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, as well as the 2010 Margaret A. Edwards Award, which is a lifetime achievement honor. His books also appear on innumerable Best Book lists from organizations and journals, including the American Library Association, Publisher’s Weekly, School Library Journal and Booklist.
Murphy’s books are available for checkout through any Tulsa City-County Library branch. Visit the library’s website at TulsaLibrary.org to request a copy or call 918-549-7323 for more information about the Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers’ Literature.