Katharine Lee Bates first wrote the lines to “America the Beautiful” after a stirring visit to Pikes Peak in 1893. But the story behind the song begins with Katharine herself, who pushed beyond conventional expectations of women to become an acclaimed writer, scholar, suffragist, and reformer. Katharine believed in the power of words to make a difference, and in “America the Beautiful,” her vision of the nation as a great family, united from sea to shining sea, continues to uplift and inspire us all.
What Kind of Book is For Spacious Skies: Katharine Lee Bates and the Inspiration for "America the Beautiful"
Nancy Churnin is the award-winning author of eight picture book biographies: The William Hoy Story: How a Deaf Baseball Player Changed the Game; Manjhi Moves a Mountain; Charlie Takes His Shot: How Charlie Sifford Broke the Color Barrier in Golf; Irving Berlin, the Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing; The Queen and the First Christmas Tree: Queen Charlotte’s Gift to England; For Spacious Skies: Katharine Lee Bates and ‘America the Beautiful’ and Beautiful Shades of Brown, How Laura Wheeler Waring Painted Her World. Collectively her books have won a Sydney Taylor Notable, the South Asia Book Award, two Notable Social Studies Books for Young Readers, the Silver Eureka, the ILA-CBC Children’s Choices list, Junior Library Guild and more. A former theater critic for The Dallas Morning News, Nancy is a graduate of Harvard University, with a master’s from Columbia University School of Journalism. She lives in North Texas with her husband and a dog named Dog.
Olga Baumert is an artist, illustrator, and graphic designer. Originally from Poland, she studied fine art and jewelry-making before moving to the UK, where she received her degree in Graphic Design and Illustration at De Montfort University. She lives in England.
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