Women's History
Nancy Farmer

Nancy Farmer
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.05

     challenging words:    entomology, storylines, helping, writing, greatly, prior, teaching, fiction, career, original, various, successful, frequently, education, despite, full-time
     content words:    Nancy Farmer, Peace Corps, Because Nancy, When Nancy, As Nancy, Although Nancy, Eventually Farmer, Reed College, Central Africa, United States

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Nancy Farmer
By Jamie Kee

1     Nancy Farmer, author of children's books, began her writing career in Africa. Despite being labeled as a stubborn and wild child, Farmer rose above these labels and became a successful professional writer. Prior to her writing career, she was involved in the Peace Corps and worked in the fields of genetics and entomology, the study of insects.
2     Farmer was born in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1941 to parents who were older than the parents of other kids her age. Because Nancy was born much later than her brother and sister, she spent most of her childhood alone. When Nancy was born, it was her much older sister, Mary, not her parents, who spent the most time with her. Mary talked and read to Nancy and taught her to read at a very early age. In fact, when Nancy started first grade, she was able to read at the eighth grade level. She did have one major problem. Nancy didn't know the concept of left and right. Nancy's numbers and letters were written backwards, and her handwriting was terrible. She failed the first three grades because of this problem. At the time, teachers assumed that she was just being stubborn. A child with this problem today would be diagnosed as having dyslexia.
3     Although Nancy's older brother and sister skipped several grades in school, by the time Nancy was born, the school changed its teaching approach. The principal believed that no students should skip a grade because it would be unfair to other students. Because Nancy was so intelligent, she got bored easily and would often daydream. She found ways of pretending sickness in order to avoid the boredom of school. While the other students were reading about Dick, Jane, and Spot, Nancy was reading magazines and novels.

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