Project image
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$2,390
pledged of $12,500pledged of $12,500 goal
35
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, June 6 2016 2:00 AM UTC +00:00
Last updated June 6, 2016

Middle Grade Biography of John G. Fee

Middle grade bio of John G. Fee, 19th century anti-racist, anti-sexist, abolitionist, educator, and Founding Father of Berea, KY.

Middle Grade Biography of John G. Fee

Middle grade bio of John G. Fee, 19th century anti-racist, anti-sexist, abolitionist, educator, and Founding Father of Berea, KY.

$2,390
pledged of $12,500pledged of $12,500 goal
35
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, June 6 2016 2:00 AM UTC +00:00
Last updated June 6, 2016

About

Reverend John G. Fee is a big name in Berea, Kentucky, a town which came into being largely because of him and his work. (That's him in the project image--well, a bronze sculpture of him, anyway, created by Stan Watts of Salt Lake City, Utah. He is surrounded by some kids who attend Union Church, one of the churches Fee founded here in Berea.) However, if you're "not from around here" you may have heard little or nothing about him. There are many materials available on his life and work, including hundreds of sermons and letters and his autobiography. Imagine my surprise to learn there is no children's biography of Fee! Since I am an experienced children's author, and since I wholeheartedly agree with Fee's iconic motto (from the Bible) that "God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth," and want to help spread that ideal far and wide, I decided to create one. The issues Fee fought for--racial and gender equality and respect--still resound today.

Fee was an astonishing man for his time. In the 1850s, when race and slavery issues were heating to the boiling point that would set off the American Civil War, Fee was working hard to educate both black and white students, and both male and female (another taboo of his time) together. He was a staunch abolitionist, anti-racist, and anti-sexist--and he lived below the Mason-Dixon line that separated slave states from free states. He started a school and a church on a wooded ridge in central Kentucky, which have grown into world-famous Berea College, the Church of Christ, Union, nicknamed Union Church, a second church called First Christian Church, and ultimately, Berea, Kentucky, itself.  

In a time when issues of race, gender, and self-respect are boiling over again, I think it's essential that children and young people have access to the story of this remarkable man.

I will research, write, and illustrate a middle grade biography of Fee. I hope to be able to finish in about nine months--two months for research, six for writing and illustrating, and one for creating, designing, and publishing the book through CreateSpace*. However, I have enough experience to know that timing rarely works out as you plan, so I am allowing a full year. 

*I have done three books through CreateSpace already, painting my own covers and doing my own design. You can decide what you think of my abilities by looking up my books on my website or any of the sites listed on this page.

I don't have a specific page goal--the needs of the story will determine that--but I expect the book to be around 130-150 pages, with at least six illustrations. If I raise more money than my goal, that will go to more illustrations. I would love to have at least a dozen, or even more. Those illustrations will also be gathered into a much shorter coloring book with a mini bio of Fee for young children, which will be one of the donor rewards. I may not paint the cover in this instance; most likely, I will use image(s) of Fee that already exist. 

Risks and challenges

Since this is an individual project, I don't anticipate risks and challenges other than simply completing the work and doing it well. All of the kinds of work included are things I have done well before. The only thing that would jeopardize my goal would be if I were somehow catastrophically injured or ill--God forbid!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1

    Every single person, even if "all" you do is share this project with all your friends and networks, will receive heartfelt thanks and the satisfaction of having contributed to a project you believe in. On top of that, donors who give anything, even one dollar, will receive by email a bookmark I've designed with Fee's picture, basic facts, dates, and iconic "one blood" motto, with reference. Print it onto your own cardstock and enjoy!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    During Fee's lifetime in the 19th century, thread and yarn were often still made on spinning wheels--like mine. Give $15 and besides your emailed Fee bookmark, you will receive by mail a special handspun bookmark made of four shades of natural browns and beiges plied together to represent the one family of humanity in which Fee so strongly believed. The fibers used also represent different continents, and your bookmark will come with a card of description and explanation. Note: This can also be used as a friendship bracelet, which might be even more appropriate!

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    If you can, this should be the level you give, because here is where you get your free autographed book! Of course, that also includes both bookmarks above.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Along with all prizes above, you will receive a downloadable copy of all the illustrations, of which you can make as many copies as you need, to staple together into coloring books. This reward is especially good for families or teachers who only want one biography, but want more coloring books for individual children. Each coloring page will also contain a line or two of text, thus making this booklet (once you print it) not only a coloring book but also a good introduction to Fee's life and work for smaller children.

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    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    Along with all above rewards, backers at this level will receive a downloadable curriculum guide with discussion questions and activities. The book itself will include some thought/discussion questions, but this guide will be more in-depth, suitable for classes or families.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    At this level, along with all above gifts, I will make you a handwoven 19th century-style muffler (scarf) in the same blend of browns and beiges as the handspun bookmark, from commercial yarn.

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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    Donors at this level will be treated to an authentic dinner at Boone Tavern, with Rev. and Mrs. Fee and Elizabeth Rogers! Come in 19th century costume if you wish; in any case, come prepared to be entertained! Your other gifts will be individually presented to you at the dinner, with a handshake photo op. Specific date to be determined.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    If you are so devoted to this project that you decide to give at this or any higher level, you deserve something special! We will discuss by email or phone (or at the dinner) something you would like.

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Funding period

- (33 days)