by Cheryl Ware
Seventh grader Venola Mae Cutright, the saucy heroine of the popular Venola series, entertains us again in Venola the Vegetarian. In the fourth book of the series, Venola is dealing with Miss Wilma's illness and the birth of a sixth sibling, when all of a sudden a simple science experiment makes her take a flying leap into vegetarianism. Discouraged and teased by family and friends, Venola perseveres, even creating a few converts.ï¾ When one of these converts is the cafeteria lady who hasn't smiled in two years, the laughs begin.
Stay tuned and find out how Venola fares in becoming a vegetarian in a world where hot dog eating contests are the norm. See whether she can stand up to her family at dinner, avoid detention while trading her dubious meatloaf on the school lunch black market, or survive a vegetarian pizza called "Flame." Venola is as fresh, honest, funny, and endearing as ever.ï¾
Charleston, WV - Quarrier Press will be releasing the new book by author Cheryl Ware, Venola the Vegetarian on August 14th. The fourth in Ware's popular Venola series, Venola the Vegetarian is told by the spunky and saucy voice of twelve-year-old Venola Mae Cartwright.
Venola's initially rash swing to vegetarianism begins after she is grossed-out by seeing her own saliva cells under the microscope during her seventh grade science class. Her authentic and winning personality keeps the reader entertained while she tries to win over the food tastes of her family, friends, and the school cafeteria lady!
Venola always entertains with her wise and witty diary entries. While our feisty heroine resolutely fights to become a vegetarian, she also learns to accept the pending birth of her sixth sibling, and learns about cancer with her 84-year-old friend Miss Wilma.
ï¾ ï¾ I told Mama I am now a vegetarian, and she put down her fork and took a break from talking about how sleepy being pregnant is making her.ï¾ She said, "Oh no, you are not, Young Lady."ï¾ Does she think I am three?ï¾ If I hadn't made my announcement, would she even have noticed my eating habits have changed?ï¾ How many times can one woman mention a baby that's not even here yet?ï¾ Sometimes it's all I can do to keep from plugging my ears with my fingers when she starts one of the "B-A-B-Y" stories. Luckily, I didn't announce my decision until supper was almost over, and all the sloppy joes had been gobbled up by my four older brothers.ï¾ ï¾ My supper consisted of cornbread, brown beans, boiled potatoes, and chocolate pudding.ï¾ Not bad for my first day as a vegetarian.ï¾
Author Cheryl Ware travels the state conducting workshops with students and teachers to improve the writing skills of West Virginia children, and still has some spots available for the 2008-2009 school year.
Ware says that she hopes to encourage West Virginia children to preserve their own stories. "When I was growing up, I thought all writers were dead or lived in Europe.ï¾ When I started reading West Virginia writers, such as Cynthia Rylant and Anna Smucker, I realized that my heritage was also worth writing about.ï¾ I want children to know that their stories are important."
Much of what Ware writes about is at least somewhat autobiographical. "Our teacher, Mr. Bookout, had an odd sense of humor. . . and we always dissected worms on spaghetti days." She became a vegetarian for a few years after Mr. Bookout had them look at hamburger under a microscope.
But Ware says "I was probably not the healthiest vegetarian. I ate a lot of french fries because I didn't know any better. Thanks to Venola's knack for research, Venola the Vegetarian contains much healthier choices."
Ware, her books and her heroine Venola Mae are all popular with teachers, students and parents. Kids learn a love of reading and writing while they giggle and smirk at Venola's sometimes outrageous comments and hilarious antics.