Originally Published: March 30, 2005 10:38 a.m.
What if all of Arizona read the same book? That is the premise of the One Book Arizona program, sponsored in part by the Arizona State Library. This year two books for adults and one for children were chosen. The hope is that people will read the books in April and various local activities will bring people together to discuss them. Locally, Lisa Michaels and Brad Dimock will be appearing at Sharlot Hall Museum, 6 to 9 p.m., Friday, April 15. They will discuss and sign their books, then chili, Dutch oven biscuits, and cowboy coffee will be served while Brad Newman entertains with musical selections around the campfire.
A dramatization of Frindle by Phoenix Theatre Academy children will be presented on May 7 at 11 a.m. at the Prescott Valley Public Library and at 2:30 p.m. at the Prescott Public Library. Performances are 40 minutes and are followed by a discussion.
Sunk Without a Sound by Brad Dimock:
In October 1928, the Hydes a bright, attractive and talented young couple built their own boat and launched on a honeymoon voyage through the Grand Canyon. Bessie was the first woman to ever attempt the river. Halfway through the Grand Canyon they talked to the press, then disappeared into the depths of the gorge and were never seen again. Glens father instigated a search that lasted several months. Only their boat was found, upright, intact, fully loaded, and snagged in calm water. A woman appeared on a river trip in 1971 claiming to be Bessie, having murdered Glen and hiked out. In 1976 a skeleton was found at Grand Canyon with a bullet through the skull. Size, age and circumstance suggested that it was the body of Glen Hyde. In 1985 a woman surfaced with a tale of her father, Glen Hyde, who had disappeared in 1928, but reappeared seven years later with tales of having rafted rivers. He said he had attempted the Colorado through Grand Canyon but it didnt work out. He carried a scar on his back from a knife wound, delivered by a woman named Bessie.
In 1992, when Georgie Clark, a famous river runner, died, it was discovered she had been born Bessie, she had a marriage record for Glen, and Bessie Hyde and a pistol.
Brad Dimock tracked down each detail of the story, and recreated the Hydes archaic scow for a journey through Grand Canyon with his own bride.
A Grand Ambition by Lisa Michaels:
This is a part romance, part mystery novelized version of the Glen and Bessie Hyde story. As the two set off in their homemade scow, Bessie recalls a past that includes a brief marriage, an abortion, a year studying art in San Francisco, and then her meeting with Glen. Initially, they easily overcome the rapids, but when Glen falls overboard and nearly drowns during one especially dangerous passage, Bessie becomes increasingly fearful. When the two fail to meet at a certain rendezvous, Glens father is alarmed and starts tracking them. Michaels divides the story between an account of the Hydes adventure and the tale of Glens father.
Frindle by Andrew Clements:
Nicholas Allen, a sharp, independent thinker, starts fifth grade looking for a way to sabotage his language arts class. Mrs. Granger is a legend and he believes her when she states that it is the people who decide what words go into the dictionary. Just to get under her skin he invents the word frindle and convinces the whole school to use it instead of the word pen. Frindle catches on and Nick finds himself on the Late Show and Good Morning America explaining his new word. Fast-forward 10 years and frindle has made it into the dictionary. Nick gets a big surprise that Mrs. Granger was rooting for frindle all along.