Paula Fox (born April 22, 1923) is an American author of novels for adults and children and two memoirs. Her novel
The Slave Dancer (1973) received the Newbery Medal in 1974; and in 1978, she was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal. More recently, A
Portrait of Ivan won the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis in 2008.
Paula Fox was born in New York City, New York, the daughter of Cuban-born screenwriter Elsie Fox (nee "De
Sola") and novelist Paul Hervey Fox. She was given up for adoption as an infant and was passed among various relatives and friends. In her 2001 memoir Borrowed
Finery, Fox recalled that at her first meeting with her mother, at age five, "I sensed that if she could have hidden the act she would have killed me." Not long after, another visit with Paul
and Elsie ended when her mother threw a glass at her.
A teenage marriage produced a daughter, Linda, in 1944. However, given the tumultuous relationship with her own biological parents, she gave the child up for adoption. Fox later attended
Columbia University, married the literary critic and translator Martin Greenberg, raised two sons, taught, and began to write.
The daughter Fox gave up for adoption, Linda Carroll, is the mother of controversial musician Courtney Love; making her Love's grandmother
A few days after her birth, Paula Fox's parents left her at a Manhattan foundling home where she remained until her maternal grandmother inquired
about her new granddaughter's whereabouts. Reunited with her family, Fox was eventually sent away again, this time to live with a Congregational minster (a former journalist) who first sparked her
love for reading and writing. Throughout her childhood, Fox was reunited with and abandoned by her birth parents on several occasions--one time after her mother reportedly told her father, "Either
she goes or I go." During this time, Fox lived with several families but most consistently with her maternal grandmother. Before becoming a full-time author for both adults and children, Fox worked
at numerous jobs, including as a sales person, a model, an elementary school teacher, and a lathe operator at Bethlehem Steel. In 1972 she won a Guggenheim
Fellowship and a National Institute of Arts and Letters Award. She won the Newbery Medal in 1974 for her young adult novel THE SLAVE DANCER. In 1978 she was honored with the Hans Christian Anderson
Medal for her body of work--an award many consider the most prestigious in the field of children's literature.
1967 Poor George
1970 Desperate Characters
1972 The WesternCoast
1976 The Widow’s Children
1984 A Servant’s Tale
1990 The God of Nightmares
 Children's Fiction
1966 Maurice's Room (pictures by Ingrid Fetz)
1967 How Many Miles to Babylon? (illustrated by Paul Giovanopoulos)
1967 A Likely Place (illustrated by Edward Ardizzone)
1968 Dear Prosper (illustrated by Steve McLachlin)
1968 The Stone-Faced Boy (illustrated by Donald A. Mackay)
1969 Hungry Fred (illustrated by Rosemary Wells)
1969 The King's Falcon (illustrated by Eros Keith)
1969 Portrait of Ivan (illustrated by Saul Lambert)
1970 Blowfish Live in the Sea
1973 Good Ethan (illustrated by Arnold Lobel)
1974 The Slave Dancer (illustrated by Eros Keith)
1978 The Little Swineherd and Other Tales (1996 edition illustrated by Robert Byrd)
1980 A Place Apart
1984 One-Eyed Cat
1986 The Moonlight Man ISBN 0-02-735480-6
1987 Lily and the Lost Boy (also published as The Lost Boy) ISBN 0-531-08320-9
1988 The Village by the Sea (also published as In a Place of Darkness)
1993 Western Wind
1995 The Eagle Kite (also published as The Gathering Darkness)
1997 Radiance Descending
1999 Amzat and His Brothers: Three Italian Tales
2001 Borrowed Finery
2005 The Coldest Winter: A Stringer in Liberated Europe
The child arrives like a mystery box...
with puzzle pieces inside
some of the pieces are broken or missing...
and others just seem to hide
But the HEART of a teacher can sort them out...
and help the child to see
the potential for greatness he has within...
a picture of what he can be
Her goal isn't just to teach knowledge...
by filling the box with more parts
it's putting the pieces together...
and creating a work of art
The process is painfully slow at times...
some need more help than others
each child is a work in progress...
with assorted shapes and colors
First she creates a classroom...
where the child can feel safe in school
where he never feels threatened or afraid to try...
and kindness is always the rule
She knows that a child
can achieve much more
when he feels secure inside
when he's valued and loved...
and believes in himself
...and he has a sense of pride
She models and teaches good character...
and respect for one another
how to focus on strengths...not weaknesses
and how to encourage each other
She gives the child the freedom he needs...
to make choices on his own
so he learns to become more responsible...
and is able to stand alone
He's taught to be strong and think for himself...
as his soul and spirit heal
and the puzzle that's taking shape inside...
has a much more positive feel
The child discovers the joy that comes...
from learning something new...
and his vision grows as he begins
to see all the things that he can do
A picture is formed as more pieces fit...
an image of the child within
with greater strength and confidence...
and a belief that he can win!
All because a hero was there...
in the HEART of a teacher who cared
enabling the child to become much more...
than he ever imagined...or dared
A teacher with a HEART for her children...
knows what teaching is all about
she may not have all the answers...
but on this...she has no doubt
When asked which subjects she loved to teach,
she answered this way and smiled...
"It's not the subjects that matter...
It's all about teaching the CHILD."
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