By Andi Bourne

Presenting "Raccoon Summer" from idea to publication


Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

Author Betty Vanderwielen had the students name four raccoons based on pictures of them. Lance, the main character in the story, was told not to name the baby raccoons people names, but name them based on personality characteristics or behaviors.

SEELEY LAKE – Author Betty Vanderwielen met with Seeley Lake Elementary school students May 25 to share about her new book "Raccoon Summer." Students not only learned about how she came up with the idea for the book but also the process of getting it published.

In the mid-1970s, the Vanderwielens volunteered with an animal rehabilitation program through the Kalamazoo Nature Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan. For nearly 10 years, they took in small animals including raccoons, birds, possums and squirrels. The baby raccoons were their favorite.

Vanderwielen wanted to write a book where a young...

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