Spade Cooley author

by Jennifer Ranu

Did you roller-skate on metal skates that needed a skate key?

From author Jennifer Ranu comes a memorable anthology of stories that will give readers a glimpse of the past as seen through children's eyes, "back in the day." Reminisce in SkateKey with adults, who tell their childhood stories of venturing outdoors to play fun games and roller-skate wearing metal skates that needed a skate key on streets, sidewalks and playgrounds in America from the Great Depression era through the 1970s.

The stories in SkateKey take place during a time in American history before the computer, cell phone, iPod and crombook were introduced. Although written for adults, especially "baby boomers", school districts are placing SkateKey in the hands of their students to promote an interest in American history, reinforce language arts skills and build good character. SkateKey presents cultural diversity, family values and change in American style. A teacher's guide is available by contacting the author.

SkateKey is recommended for all ages especially for adults, "baby boomers",
and for children in grades 4-12.

Spade Cooley

Colorful Journey

, historical fiction, told by Sweety, a young African American girl in the 1950s begins at the Great Falls when George Washington and Alexander Hamilton galloped on horses in this area to plan the first industrial city in America - Paterson, New Jersey. Sweety describes the living and working conditions for migrant factory workers, and fun games she and her Irish American and Italian American friends play at the foot of Garret Mountain. A bossy groundhog promises to take the neighborhood kids on a colorful journey through Garret Mountain if Sweety's friend, Giuliana can guess his name. The groundhog leads the neighborhood kids to the Morris Canal Bank, over railroad tracks, to an overflowing watering spring where they meet a fox. They travel through Garret Mountain's wilderness, see a moving locomotive, and meet Sir. Vincent of Paterson at Lambert Castle. Throughout this colorful journey, Sweety wonders what our Founding Fathers would think about the changes that have taken place in this same area where they explored nearly two hundred years ago, and what the Great Falls and Garret Mountain will look like in the next century.