Sacred Heart Academy hosted an award-winning, nationally-known author as part of its month-long National Reading Month activities. The visit of children’s author Janie Panagopoulos was funded by donations from the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation, the Mt. Pleasant Jaycees, Optimist Club of Mt. Pleasant, the Kiwanis Club of Mt. Pleasant, the Mt. Pleasant Rotary, Baymont Inn and Suites, and local financial professional Bryan Wieferich.
Ms. Panagopouloswill met individually with each grade level of students at SHA over a two-day visit. She is well-known for her book readings, acting out her novels, and promoting a love of reading and writing among youngsters.
A native of Michigan, author Janie Lynn Panagopoulos is noted for the authentic historical fiction she has written about Michigan and the surrounding area. She is the author of several books for young readers, which include such topics as the Underground Railroad (Train to Midnight), Michigan’s fur trade (Traders in Time), and life in a lumberjack camp (Journey Back to Lumberjack Camp). She puts extensive effort into making sure that the historical details in her books are accurate, and has actually canoed the Grand River in a birch bark vessel while wearing a period costume. She has traveled the entire length of the Erie Canal, slept in snow shelters, and experienced historical modes of transportation such as dogsleds, a wagon train, and snowshoes.
Mrs. Panagopoulos was a recipient of a National Historical Grant in 1989, as well as the GEM Award (Geographic Excellence in Media) given in 2008 by the National Council for Geographic Education, Washington D.C. (the first time a work of fiction received this award), as well as the Michigan Authors Award in 2000, and the Read Michigan Award in 2001, presented by Isabella County’s own Governor John Engler.
She truly brings reading alive for youngsters and instills a love of books which will last a lifetime.