About Rebecca Otis
I live in Massachusetts (USA) with my husband, dog, and cat and I have three grown sons. I am Carol Otis Hurst's daughter and was her biggest fan. We worked together writing books for teachers and then creating this web site from 1991 until Mom's death in 2007.
Apprenticing under my mother and then working as a mother-daughter team was an exciting addition to our relationship and allowed us to know each other in a new way. We began before e-mail, Fedexing documents back and forth to collaborate when we couldn't meet in person.
I have been disabled since 1981 with a steadily worsening case of ME/CFS and fibromyalgia, so a traditional education and job were out of the question. I am now housebound except for getting out to my yard and have to work in five-minute sessions with long rests to recharge my easily befuddled brain. I am very grateful to have work I love that can accommodate my illness.
The first book we wrote together was In Times Past, which integrates children's literature with the US History curriculum for grades 3-8 and was published by DLM/SRA/McGrawHill. It is now in its third edition and available as an eBook.
We also coauthored four guidebooks for Children's Press. These guidebooks were given to teachers to accompany the Children's Press series of biography collections, Extraordinary Americans. The guidebooks give teachers discussion starters, research starters and activities to go with the various time periods in each of the biography collections: Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Americans and Black Americans.
In 1994 we wrote Picturing Math, a guidebook for using picture books in the math curriculum for preschool through second grade, which was also published by DLM/SRA/McGraw Hill. There is now a new version of this as an eBook, Picture Book Math.
We wrote a book for middle school teachers, Using Literature in the Middle School Curriculum, published by Linworth, but now out of print, which brings much of what has been learned about teaching reading and literature in the elementary school classroom to the middle school setting. It was released in 2000.
In 1995 I began taking our old magazine articles and samples from our books and transforming them into the Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site. This site opened in March of 96 and contains over 700 articles and is continually expanding.
I also write the quarterly newsletter, Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Newsletter, which is available on the web site and also by email.
We authored two books for using literature in the social skills curriculum, Friends and Relations: Grades K-2 and Friends and Relations: Grades 3-6 published by the Northeast Foundation for Children and now out of print.
We then tried our hand at writing an historical fiction novel for children, which was published by Houghton Mifflin in 2003, A Killing in Plymouth, which is now out of print.
After Mom's death I continued to run the site and took over all of the writing of new content. Our books are now primarily self-published as eBooks.