Her most recent book, A Family for Old Mill Farm, is partly autobiographical, drawing on her own family's three-year search for a home near Ann Arbor. An ever-helpful human realty agent shows a young family many prospective properties before finding the perfect one. Simultaneously, a resourceful raccoon realty agent sells a number of animal families on the same site. It's a story with clear charms for children, and one that adults will also appreciate especially given today's real estate market.
Crum retired from the AADL in 2004, though not before winning, in 2002, the Michigan Library Association Children's Services Division Award of Merit as youth librarian of the year. She's put her extra time to good use, finishing another two novels and three more picture books.
It will be show-and-tell time when she reads A Family for Old Mill Farm at Nicola's Books on Wednesday, June 13. Since Niki Daly's beautiful accompanying watercolor illustrations are so important to Crum's story, she will display and may even project slides of them.
[Review published June 2007]