Author Feature-Jennifer Archer

 


Spirit of Texas Reading Program

Middle School

Featured Author

Jennifer Archer

Jennifer Archer

Through Her Eyes

Jennifer Archer was born in a small town in North Central Texas the same year Humphrey Bogart died, the same year "Beatnik" becomes a commonly used word in the American vocabulary and the first living being...a dog...orbits outer space on Sputnik II. What is the year of her birth? She'll let you figure it out.

When she's a year old, her dad changes jobs and the family moves west to California. Over the next ten years, two more sisters are born into the family and they move twenty-two times as her dad's work takes them to locations in six different states, all more than once. They live in Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Arizona and California. During Jennifer's second grade and fifth grade years, she changed schools four times.  Not only does she learn adaptability, the travels enrich her life with new and ever-changing experiences creating great fodder for the imagination of a writer-in-the-making.

The challenges of this gypsy life aren't easy and Jennifer finds familiarity in books. She loves their solid weight in her hands, the promise of discovery and safe adventure between the covers. She loves the rhythm of words and the comforting crackle of turned pages. Most of all, she loves the fact that, no matter how many challenges, opening a book helps her friends in the stories' protagonists. Friends that she will care about and root for and spend time with, someone that she doesn't have to impress or win over, someone who will always be there waiting between the covers.



 

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Book Quiz

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  • What kind of writer is Tansy's mom?
    • Humor
    • Political
    • Horror.
    • Science Fiction
  • What town did Tansy, her mom, and Papa Dan move to?
    • Cedar Canyon, Texas
    • Cedar Creek, Texas
    • Cedar Hill, Texas
    • Cedar Crest, Texas
  • For what reason did Tansy's family move to Texas?
    • For a fresh start
    • For Papa Dan's job
    • For research for Tansy's mom's book
    • To be closer to family
  • What has afflicted Papa Dan?
    • Cancer
    • Dementia
    • Arthritis
    • Diabetes
  • Where did Tansy find the box containing Henry's journal, watch, and crystal pendant?
    • Cellar
    • Attic
    • Turret
    • Tree
  • How did Tansy transport into Henry's world?
    • A secret door
    • Through the cellar
    • The light from the crystal
    • When she crossed the bridge
  • What was Papa Dan's relationship with Henry?
    • Enemies
    • Brothers
    • Best Friends
    • Grandfather
  • Who wrote 'Henry's' journal?
    • Henry
    • Papa Dan
    • Tate
    • Tansy
  • How did Henry die?
    • Suicide
    • Daniel pushed him
    • Gunshot to his foot
    • Accidentally pushed by Isabel
  • Why is Papa Dan's death a peaceful one?
    • It happened in his sleep
    • He realized that Henry didn't blame him for his death
    • Isabel thanked him for saving her
    • All of the above

 

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Academic Program

Family History/Decade Research

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Additional Documents

Book: Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer 

Introduction

In Jennifer Archer's Through Her Eyes we meet 16 year old Tansy Piper. Tansy's mother is a writer of horror novels, moving their little family with each new book she writes. When they end up in the small West Texas town where Tansy's beloved grandfather grew up, Tansy stumbles across a few old relics from the past and soon realizes that by looking through the lens of her camera, she not only can see the past as it happened, but in fact becomes an important figure in a mystery surrounding the house where she now lives. Tansy's grandfather is a very important character in this novel. Not only does Tansy have a special relationship with her grandfather, but secrets from his youth play a very important part of the story.

In this program, students will interview a relative or friend about their youth and use the interviewee's experiences to highlight recorded historical information of that time period.

Program Related Books to Display

Teachers and Librarians might find the following professional book helpful for extensions to this project:

  • Links to the past through genealogy : curriculum activities for the classroom by Midge Frazel

Decade Book Series:

  • Picture history of the 20th century from Sea to Sea Publications
  • Decades of the 20th century in color from Enslow Publishers
  • Twentieth-century American culture from Edinburgh University Press
  • American popular culture through history from Greenwood Press
  • Fabulous fashions of the decades from Enslow Publishers
  • Dates of a decade from Arcturus
  • Amazing decades in photos from Enslow Publishers

Bulletin Board

Now and Then: Reflecting on the Past

Collect pictures of teachers and staff members from their middle school years, especially pictures showing fads of the time. Arrange them on the bulletin board by decade represented. Have students guess which teacher is in each picture. You could include statements from the teachers of their favorite memory from that decade - "I really loved my lace fingerless gloves. I felt like a teenage Madonna."

TEKS

6th Grade:

  • 12 (B)
  • 13 (A)
  • 14 (A, B, C, D, E)
  • 19 (A, B, C)
  • 20 (A, B)
  • 21 (A, B, C)
  • 23 (A, B, C, D, E)
  • 25 (A, B, C, D)

7th Grade:

  • 13 (A, B, C, D)
  • 14 (A, B, C, D, E)
  • 19 (A, B, C)
  • 20 (A, B)
  • 21
  • 23 (A, B, C, D, E)
  • 25 (A, B, C, D)

8th Grade:

  • 13 (A, B, C, D)
  • 14 (A, B, C, D, E)
  • 19 (A, B, C)
  • 20 (A, B)
  • 21
  • 23 (A, B, C, D, E)
  • 25 (A, B, C, D)

Activities

After reading Through Her Eyes, choose a relative or other person from an earlier generation that is important to you and complete the following project. Interview your chosen person about his/her youth. What music was popular? What movies? What are the biggest changes between then and now in their opinion? (see Interview Sheet)

Students will then research the time period of their interviewee's youth. How does the interviewee's recollections match with the historical information? Students will create a timeline of historical information with at least 8 events for a decade from the interviewee's youth and include specific recollections from the interviewee. Timelines can be physical or digital. (see Archer-Decade-Rubric for specifics.)

Guest Speakers

Depending upon your location you will have access to different experts; also a panel of the interviewees could be fun in a discussion of decades.

DVDs/Videos/Films

  • The Back to the Future series

Websites

Decades Websites

Timeline Websites


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Create Your Own Journal Project

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Purpose of Program

In Through Her Eyes, Tansy finds "Henry's" journal under a stair in the cellar. Henry's journal is a key ingredient to Tansy's belief that she is "in" Henry's world and going back in time to live as Isabel. Tansy believes the journal tells of Henry's true feelings about what is happening in his life, love, and the pain he is experiencing. The revelation at the end of the novel, that the journal is actually Tate's thoughts and feelings, allows the reader and Tansy to understand the thoughts and feelings of people in any situation can help to explore and heal pain. Here patrons will construct their own journals, aging the paper, constructing the journal, and then utilizing them for several weeks. Patrons will learn how through writing down their feelings daily, they can express thoughts, feelings, emotions, grievances, joys, sorrow, or humor, or suffering. At the end of the month, a share time could be organized where readers can share a piece, as Tansy did in her English class, expressing themselves and something important about themselves.

Program Related Books to Book Talk/Display

  • Brien, Robert C. Z for Zachariah. [1st ed. New York: Atheneum, 1975. Print.
  • Filipović, Zlata. Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo. New York: Viking, 1994. Print.
  • Frank, Anne, and B. M. Doubleday. Anne Frank: the Diary of a Young Girl. New York: Washington Square Press :, 1972. Print.
  • Anonymous. Go Ask Alice. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1971. Print.
  • Kinney, Jeff. Diary of Wimpy Kid. London: Puffin, 2008. Print.
  • Myers, Walter Dean, and Christopher Myers. Monster. New York, N.Y.: HarperCollins Publishers, 1999. Print.
  • Rennison, Louise. Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson. New York: HarperTempest, 2001. Print.

List of Supplies

  • heavy paper (cardstock to dye) cut to 5 1/2 x 8 inches
  • cold coffee in cups
  • reusable, disposable cookie sheets
  • large paint brushes in a jar
  • old newspapers
  • trashbags
  • 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 pieces of leather to make a cover
  • twine for closure for journal, cut into 12" pieces

Detailed Description of the Program

Patrons will construct their own journal similar to the one used by Tate/'Henry' in Through Her Eyes.

The cardstock should be cut into 8" x 5 1/2" pieces.

Each patron should choose 7 pieces of cardstock.

They will follow the instructions from this video to age their papers.

Once dry, they will choose an 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" piece of leather as the cover.

The leather and pages should be folded in half, and twine laid between all pages and cover and then tied around the outside of the journal to ensure all pages stay together.

Patrons may choose a spot in the library to write their first journal entry.

Resources


 

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Pixel Party

Download printable copy of program

This program is designed to:

In Jennifer Archer’s Through Her Eyes, we meet 16 year old Tansy Piper. Tansy’s mother is a writer of horror novels, moving their little family with each new book she writes. When they end up in the small West Texas town where Tansy’s beloved grandfather grew up, Tansy stumbles across a few old relics from the past and soon realizes that by looking through the lens of her camera, she not only can see the past as it happened, but in fact becomes an important figure in a mystery surrounding the house where she now lives.

Length of Program: flexible

Preparation:

Photography is a very important part of the storyline in Through Her Eyes.  After reading the book (perhaps as a book club selection?) invite a local professional photographer (or find a teacher, etc. whose avocation is photography who would be willing to share information) for a photography mini-lesson.  Pull in technology by utilizing a variety of photo editing programs and particularly discuss black and white and sepia toned photography in keeping with the storyline.

You will need to invite a local photographer to speak to the group, have students either bring digital cameras with them or possibly borrow them from the Yearbook staff, etc.  In case of camera emergency, students could use a cell phone with camera capabilities.

Books to Share:

Non-Fiction work on photography would be excellent to display and share.

Bulletin Board:

Picture It@ your library!, or Caught Reading!  Have students take and edit photos to create a fantastic display of people reading in a variety of places, or use black and white photos to spell out READ (see websites below for more information.)

Activities:

  • Photography mini-lesson
  • Brainstorm “photo shoot” ideas/form teams if desired
  • Practice taking photos
  • Edit photos
  • Creating Bulletin Boards and other displays, etc. (ALA READ posters would be fantastic to show students for ideas)
  • You could easily create a themed photo contest to run in conjunction with this lesson (i.e. showcasing through your photo what literature, reading, the library, etc. means to you)
  • Have a Pixel Party showing off student photos

Refreshments:

During the mini-lessons and working meetings, any snack is fine.  If you choose to hold a photo exhibit, punch and cookies or easy crudité would be lovely.

Guest Speakers:

Local photographer or teacher, etc. with photography experience (could even use Yearbook students, etc. if you are at a school library depending upon your school)

Websites:

Martha Stewart Picture party ideas (would make a great bulletin board display spelling out READ)

If Photoshop is available for your use that is wonderful!  Most up-to-date desktops and laptops already have some type of photo editor already installed for use, as well.  Otherwise, here are some possible photo editors options:

Read-a-likes:

  • Curveball : the year I lost my grip by Jordan Sonnenblick
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • Sources of light by Margaret McMullan


If you have questions or comments for the Young Adult Round Table, contact yart.historian+webmaster@gmail.com

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Created on Oct 5, 2012 | Last updated November 30, 2012