This is the dedication I included at the front of Ox Cart Angel:
For my mom and dad, Colleen and Scott Arnold, and for librarians everywhere, without whom the world would be a much duller place.
My mom and dad were both elementary school librarians, and I spent many summer hours helping them with inventory; sorting books, going through the card catalog file (yes, I’m that old) to see what was there and what was missing. I remember reading my first whole book to myself in a library. I remember getting quarters to walk down to the mysterious teachers’ lounge to retrieve bottles of soda for our breaks. And sometimes, when I grew weary of slowly flipping through the index cards and matching them with books, I’d excuse myself and wander the school’s halls unaccompanied, empty of students and most of the staff. As my footsteps echoed in the emptiness, the classroom doors locked shut, I would let my imagination wander. Perhaps some of the seeds of future stories took root – I really can’t remember. But I do remember always returning to the library, the books calling me back, the pages beckoning, the black ink on creamy white paper promising me comfort.
I would not be who I am today without libraries and librarians.
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If you’re interested in getting a copy (or copies!) of Ox Cart Angel for your library, it is available in most of the usual places, like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Baker & Taylor, Ingrams.
You can also order copies directly through me at $10 each (postage is on me!). I’ll even sign them if you like! Just send an email to:
joelarnold1968 (at) gmail (dot) com
Put ‘Ox Cart Angel’ in the subject line.
Ox Cart Angel is also available in eBook format at most of the usual places, as well as a number of libraries!
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I’d love to come visit your school or library!
I’ve spoken at a number of schools, libraries and historical societies about Ox Cart Angel, the ox
trails of cart/Red
and the Dakotas, and writing in general. Cost depends
mainly on distance. Email or call (952-451-2988) for more information!
If you’re looking for material for your newsletter, let me know, and I’ll be happy to write a guest column.
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Again, my deepest thanks goes out to those of you who share the love of books with the rest of us! Without you, the world would truly be a much duller place.