Hi Ink Splot Readers,
One of my favorite Scholastic authors is Pam Muñoz Ryan. She is an incredible writer who has written over 30 books! I met Mrs. Ryan at an event at Columbia University. She was part of an Authors Readers Theatre group, along with some of Scholastic's best authors: Brian Selznick, Sarah Weeks, and Avi. Each of the authors selected an excerpt from their books to perform, then had their fellow authors help them in reenacting the scene. It was amazing to hear the story from the author's own voice. Mrs. Ryan chose a scene from her book Paint the Wind.
The book is about a girl named Maya who lost her parents when she was five and has to live with her extremely stifling paternal grandmother. Her grandmother is so strict that she doesn't let Maya run, shout, or play in the house. Bringing friends over is out of the question. Her grandmother even refuses to talk about Maya's mother. Maya is basically a prisoner . . . until her grandmother dies. After her grandmother's death, Maya goes to Wyoming to live with her grandfather on her mother's side. In Wyoming, there is a horse named Artemisia who runs free. Artemisia holds the key to Maya's memories about her mother.
We are fortunate enough to have an interview with Pam Muñoz Ryan about Paint the Wind. My favorite question is about the horses' names. Pam says that they were all named after famous painters, mostly from the American West, where the story is set. I love when character names have some significance beyond the story.
If you want to read more about the horses' names and other behind-the-scenes trivia, read her interview! And leave me a comment letting me know which question is your favorite!
— Nick, STACKS Staffer