Author Lindsey McDivitt
For educators and writers:
Lindsey McDivitt writes fiction and non-fiction for children and her picture book Nature’s Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story was published by Sleeping Bear Press (2018). A second picture book biography will debut in 2019-20. Lindsey is passionate about tackling ageism in books for children. She began writing children’s books after many years in health education when she co-edited a book of true stories of hope and healing by stroke survivors. Find Lindsey at www.lindseymcdivitt.com where she reviews picture books with accurate and diverse images of aging and older adults on her blog “A is for Aging.”
Lindsey McDivitt writes books for children. She has spent most of her life near the Mississippi River or the Great Lakes. She loves searching the shore for shells or stones, especially agates, and gazing up into tall trees, especially white pines. After eight years exploring marvelous Michigan, she now lives in Minnesota. You can find Lindsey at www.lindseymcdivitt.com where she reviews picture books with interesting older characters like Gwen Frostic. She also shares ways we can all help our earth.
Who am I? (The long version)
This website and “A is for Aging blog” bring together my favorite things—picture books, older role models, and gardening. Gardening you ask? Well I believe whole heartedly that we must plant the seeds for positive images of aging starting young—in childhood. As a writer I’m passionate about tackling the issue of ageism, even in books for kids.
Unfortunately (and often unknowingly) we are teaching negative stereotypes about older adults to young children. Kids need realistic, positive images of old. We all do. Personally I’ve made important decisions by drawing on positive images of role models who faced down challenges at various life stages and joyfully embraced a different life.
In my 50’s I made a major career change to write picture books—fiction and non-fiction. My first book Nature’s Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story debuted in July 2018 from Sleeping Bear Press. Another picture book bio will be published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers soon. Both books shine spotlights on the lives of those who lived long—real people who made a difference to the world in the last third of their life.
After earning a Speech and Hearing Science degree from the University of Minnesota, my first career began in healthcare with older adults. Like many, I gave little thought to growing old until in my 20’s I heard the famous Betty Friedan present—soon after her book The Fountain of Age was published.
She was followed by Maggie Kuhn, the founder of the Gray Panthers—an advocacy group for older citizens. I realized then that most of what I believed about growing older was merely myth. Years later I participated in the birth of the Vital Aging Network at the University of Minnesota.
Before long I was steeped in the lives of stroke survivors—so many amazing older role models. Writing program materials and teaching workshops for stroke survivors and healthcare professionals made me realize the importance of highlighting hidden strengths through stories. I had the good fortune to co-edit a collection of true tales. Climbing the Mountain: Stories of Hope, Healing and Humor after Stroke and Brain Injury was published by Fairview Press (2008, 2014).
After many years in Minnesota and stints in Michigan and Kansas, I currently I live in Minnesota.
I’m thrilled to collaborate with Dr. Sandra L. McGuire on the resources at this website. She has long devoted her energies to showcasing picture books that avoid stereotypes of aging. (***Read more about Dr. McGuire below.)
Please join us in our efforts to nip ageism in the bud. You can access the picture book list she compiles here. Like the resources at this website it is a compilation of carefully selected children’s literature with meaningful portrayals of older adults. (See Resources for more information and blog page for reviewed books.)
More about Lindsey. Definitely not “need to know”…
- I adore a tiny rescued pup with a very long moniker “Rocky Forrest Ferris…” plus several others. (I take no responsibility.)
- I tend to stumble frequently when walking the dog–gazing up at beautiful large trees. (I often pat them, but only occasionally hug.)
- I’ve “adopted” university students far from home–3 from China and 1 from Singapore so far. They have really enriched my life.
- I tell people I have a “pack-a-day habit” using little sticky notes. I love reading non-fiction, but I really, really dislike note-taking.
- The Great Lakes and the mighty Mississippi River inspire total awe and I visit every chance I get.
“Children today are expected to live longer than any other generation of Americans. Let’s rise to the challenge of promoting positive aging and combating ageism—it benefits everyone”. Sandra L. McGuire RN, EdD
***Dr. Sandra L. McGuire is an advisor for the A is for Aging blog and resources. She is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Dr. McGuire is a Fellow of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) and serves on the AGHE K-12 Committee. She is director of the Kids Are Tomorrow’s Seniors Program (KATS) and served as a member of AARP’s National Policy Council.
Dr. McGuire has worked with the Teaching and Learning about Aging Project, served on the Board of the Center for Understanding Aging, and contributed materials to the National Academy for Teaching and Learning about Aging. She has coordinated a university gerontology program and taught courses such as
“Aging and Society”.
Over a period of almost 30 years, Dr. McGuire has contributed to numerous books and published on aging, aging education, promoting positive attitudes about aging with children, and aging as portrayed in early children’s literature in journals including: Childhood Education, Journal of School Nursing, and Educational Gerontology.
She is the author of the Growing Up and Growing Older Booklist compiled over many years.
Click on button below for Lindsey’s LinkedIn profile: