Vicki Grove grew up in a converted one-room schoolhouse that was nestled like a lost toy among thousands of acres of clover and corn and soybeans on the Illinois prairie. Her grandparents and great-grandparents lived nearby in two huge white farmhouses built in the nineteenth century. Family get-togethers were always times for story-telling– stories of the adventures and misadventures of great-great grandfathers in the Civil War, great-uncles who were pioneer doctors, great-aunts who’d said tearful good-byes to “settled” lives in the East to carve new lives in the prairie wilderness. From these family stories she learned to cherish the layers of dreams and wishes and sorrows attached so tightly to the land. And she learned, through the power of storytelling, to connect people with their own pasts and futures. When Vicki Grove was in junior high school, the family moved to Oklahoma, and after high school she moved to Missouri, where she received B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from Central Missouri State University. In college, she met her husband, Mike, a music teacher. They live in an old white farmhouse on a few acres of land outside the tiny town of Ionia, Missouri, with their two college-age children, Jennifer and Mike Jr. They have a goldfish pond, a huge strawberry patch, various animals, and so many trees the house is invisible from the road. Vicki works in a tiny “playhouse” office which her father and husband built for her in her hayfield. She also enjoys reading and writing in her hayloft, beside the fish pond, or in the woods behind her house.”Writing is about connection,” Vicki says. “Writing constantly teaches me to better appreciate my own connections to the land, the seasons, and my family. When I write for young people I try to convey how connected we all are to one another, and how important it is to respect and honor those connections. There’s no bigger thrill for me than receiving a letter from a young reader, especially when it’s signed ‘your friend’ — the ultimate connection!”
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