Monday, April 15, 2013

Interview with Children’s Author Shirley Raye Redmond


An award-winning writer and frequent conference speaker, Shirley Raye Redmond has written 27 books and over 400 magazine and newspaper articles. She comes from a military family—her father won a Bronze Star in WWII, her husband was a chaplain in the Army reserves, and her daughter was an Arabic linguist for the Army. Shirley Raye even dedicated the book to her sister, who was born in an Army hospital overseas!



Welcome back to my blog, Shirley Raye. Your nonfiction children’s book is about a real American hero…a World War II messenger pigeon that saved many lives. Please tell us about your book.

Pigeon Hero! (Simon & Schuster) tells the true story of one of the Army Signal Corps messenger pigeons named G.I. Joe. This bird is credited with saving the lives of over 1,000 of our British allies in Italy. Following the war, he was presented with a medal by the Lord Mayor of London before being retired to the cushy “pigeon hall of fame” at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. The title won an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Book Award in 2004. Recently, Simon & Schuster re-released the title, making it available in hard cover, paperback and as an ebook—just in time for Memorial Day in May!

This is so interesting. Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

My father was a Marine in WWII, so I’ve always been fascinated by that time period in American history. While watching a program on the History Channel one night, I learned about the Army Signal Corps using pigeons during the war. I wanted to learn more. About that same time, youngsters all over the United States were involved in class projects to raise funds to help pay for the World War II Memorial. Celebrities, such as actor Tom Hanks and Senator Bob Dole, were actively supporting the project as well. I guessed that teachers, school librarians, parents and grandparents would be looking for WWII stories appropriate for children. My book Pigeon Hero! fits the bill!

What kind of research did you do for this book?

Of course, I started by Googling everything I could find on messenger pigeons and G.I. Joe in particular. There are several military reference books that cover the subject, and I also found an old National Geographic article on pigeons that served in both World War I and II. The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Museum at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey was a big help too.

Thanks for the interview, Shirley Raye. I love learning about American history. It fascinates me. This book should be fun for parents to read to their children. For a free Pigeon Hero! bookmark, readers can contact Shirley Raye through her website at http://www.shirleyrayeredmond.com.

35 comments:

Lori Mortensen said...

Thanks for this great interview with Shirley Raye Redmond. It was great to hear the story behind the story.

ktwag said...

I also come from a military family. Both my parents, my brother and myself, and then my daughter were all in the Army. I do like true-life, inspiring stories -- and (I'm embarrased to say) animal hero stories always make me cry. This sounds like a great one to share with my granddaughter. Thanks for giving us a chance to win a copy. ktwag@msn.com

Brenda Rumsey said...

Interesting interview. Thanks for sharing with us Shirley. My father-in-law also served in WWII and was at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed. I've tried to pass on stories to my grandsons about the war and this book sounds so interesting to share with them.
grandmabkr at yahoo dot com

Christine said...

Hi Shirley and Linda,

Thanks for writing what sounds to be a very interesting read for children and adults. I'd love to read your story. My Dad was in the Army when he was young and my husband loves learning about history, particularly WW11. I'd love to share this book with the children in my family. Both the aspect of G.I Joe and how the Pigeon relates to history will be a great learning tool and maybe make young children more interested in history.

I thank all who serve in the military!

Thank you, Christine
chirth7@yahoo.com

teena3940 said...

Great interview!! Thanks for sharing with us!!

teena3940 said...

Forgot to put my email adgali at ymail dot com Thank You!

Ratri Anugrah said...

Hey, this book sounds interesting! Shirley's family background is unique too :) I like the way she got the inspiration. I'm currently taking American History class and I think this book will help me so much.

*greeting from indonesia*
email: ratrianugrah@ymail.com

Library Lady said...

I would love to win the book by Shirley Redmond to give to my church library.
Thanks for the giveaway.
Janet E.
von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

Mary Preston said...

What a remarkable story. I do love the history from the era. The research would have been fascinating I dare say.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Beth said...

There is a beautiful song called "King of Rome" about carrier pigeons that you might like to hear. As a daughter of a WWII vet, I'd love a copy of this book. Thanks for the chance to enter.

Alenette Ballesteros said...

I read an old article during warships when they started using carrier pigeons and how they should be treated because they are very helpful in times of war. This sounds like a good read. Great interview and thank you for the chance to win this giveaway!
balenette@gmail.com

daysease said...

OH!!! My kids would LOVE this story. We love animal, adventure, history stories, and this one sounds like a winner for our family. Thank you ever so much for making this giveaway international. So exciting!!

Celita
mrsdayseye at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Great interview and wonderful book to engage children in learning about history
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

Heidi Grange said...

Children and adults, including myself, seem to be fascinated with stories about animals who accomplish amazing fleets. Combine that with WWII and you've got a surefire winner.

hg195 at yahoo dot com

Sarah said...

I think this sounds like a story definitely worth reading. Thanks for such a wonderful giveaway!
oddball2003 at hotmail dot com

Shirley Corder said...

Sounds like a great story. I'd love to get a free copy to pass on to my grandson, who is an avid junior bookworm here in South Africa. He's only getting it after I post a review though!

Blessings from another Shirley!

shirley@shirleycorder.com

Susan J Tweit said...

What a fascinating story, Shirley Rae. I had no idea that G.I. Joe was a carrier pigeon and that he played such a crucial role in WW II. I'm glad S&S decided to reissue the book!

apple blossom said...

thanks for the chance to win

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Marion said...

We first learned about the carrier pigeons used in WWI. Shirley Raye Redmond was a discovery via a book she wrote about the horses that helped build the transcontinental railroad. I'll bet this book is as well written creatively and historically as the other. I would love to win a copy to include in my library.

Anonymous said...

What a great idea for a book, Shirley Raye! I love reading your books with my nephew and my grandkids are now getting to the age where they will also be enjoying your wonderful stories. Can't wait to read this one with them all.

Debi Perce
perce84@reagan.com

LAWonder said...

I had heard of the messenger pigeons but that it about all. I would love to read more. Thanks for the giveaway

Darlene said...

I love inspirational children's books, like this one! Thanks for the giveaway!

darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

Dena BooksforKids said...

What a great inspiration for the book! reviewkidsbooks(at)gmail(dot)com

bn100 said...

Nice inspiration for the book

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Dorothy Teel said...

I also greq up in a military family , my dad was in teh Navy. I like why you wrote this book and I think it would be very inswpirationial and reqarding for my granddaughters to read it,. "Pigeon Hero.. Thank you for offering it to the giveaway

Sherry said...

This sounds like a book that would be a great read.
sstrode at scrtc dot com

H.D. Worley said...

This sounds like a wonderful book for our family to share.
Thank both of you for the giveaway.
You are both awesome ladies

dusty katt said...

This would be a wonderful story to share with my grandchildren. Thanks for the introduction.

Suzanne Coates said...

This is a book we could read and share with our sons. It sounds very nice.
Thanks for the giveaway.

Angela Holland said...

Thank you for the chance to win, I have some a niece and a couple of nephews who would enjoy this book.

griperang at embarqmail dot com

Dinda_SI said...

The story sounds great. It's an interesting way to learn about American history. Thanks for sharing with us!

dl9dot)love(dot)freedom(at)gmail(dot0com

Lisa And Randy said...

I have always had an interest in WWII, especially since my grandfather was a Navy Photographer in the Pacific region. I enjoyed the interview with Shirley Raye Raymond, and would love to add this book to my collection.

Justin Melter said...

I love this type of history and so does my son. jmelter at gmail

Renee G said...

This sounds like it would be interesting to read with my boys.
rsgrandinetti@yahoo(DOT)com

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations, Heidi Grange. You are the winner of this wonderful children's book. I know you'll enjoy it.