About Joanne

For the Press

Age five

I was born in northern Minnesota near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, a wilderness that borders Canada. Throughout my life, I've always chosen to live close to nature. Today I live in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, on a wooded acre. I love to read, write, and paint. But hanging out at our northern lake cottage with my husband and Auggie, our wonderful Scottie, is what I like best of all! We have 3 grown children and 2 grandchildren who all love books.

Growing Up

I grew up in an immigrant family from Croatia. At home, we spoke our native language, Serbo-Croatian. At school, I spoke English. I never had any difficulty switching languages. Learning to read was the most exciting part of my childhood. It opened up a whole new world beyond my small town of 200 people.

Five-Year-Old Photo

As the youngest child of older parents, I had three much older siblings who willingly gave me advice that I didn't want. I wanted my own voice heard! Here I am as a spunky five year old—just before I went to kindergarten.

Second-Grade Photo

  Second grade Joanne

Here I am as a grown-up second grader. I loved school and reading books. The librarian at our small library took great interest in me, as I was the girl who spent every Saturday afternoon at the library instead of playing outside with friends. Librarians are still among my favorite people. My favorite childhood book was Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag. It’s still being published today.

Summer Reading Contest

I won first prize for reading the most books that summer. Reading and writing remain two of my favorite activities, even today. I love to learn new words!

Reading contest


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