Orville Hicks, Julia Taylor Ebel honored by N.C. Society of Historians

Article Published: Nov. 5, 2009 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Orville Hicks, Julia Taylor Ebel honored by N.C. Society of Historians

Orville Hicks, Julia Taylor Ebel honored by N.C. Society of Historians
The North Carolina Society of Historians honored author Julia Taylor Ebel with a number of awards for her contributions to the preservation of North Carolina.

Ebel is know in the High Country for her books that keeping stories of the region. Her work includes the biography of storyteller Orville Hicks, North Carolina Heritage Award winner, and the subsequent collection of his transcribed tales.

Ebel's recent books by Parkway Publishers, Jack Tales and Mountain Yarns as Told by Orville Hicks and The Picture Man, both received Clark Cox Historical Fiction Awards.

Of Jack Tales and Mountain Yarns, illustrated by Sherry Jenkins Jensen, judges remarked, "Reading the stories is like listening to Orville [Hicks] tell them in person and we found ourselves in awe of the man and the tales....

"With regard to the visuals in this book...they are superb! The photographs are wonderful...however, the illustrations are remarkable....

"After we finished judging this work, we found ourselves telling each other stories
that had been handed down to us from our parents and grandparents. A good hour had passed before we realized that this author had...pulled us in - hook, line and sinker - and we had each fallen under the storyteller's spell."

Judges described The Picture Man, a children's picture book, illustrated by Idalia Canter, as "a wonderful book [with] appeal for all ages...The book is expertly published, has a magnificent layout and design; and, houses the most beautiful, 'gentle-colored' artwork...in shades of brown... Beautifully detailed work by a master-artist."

The inspiration for The Picture Man came from a photograph taken in the mid 1940s on Hardin Road, near Boone. This and representative work of local "picture man" W.R Trivett are included in the book.

In addition, Ebel received the Paul Green Multi Media Award for Dresses, Dreams and Beadwood Leaves, published by Ingalls Publishing Group. Of this mountain farm girl's story, told is a series of free verse poems, the judges said, "...a wonderful entry.... The poems spoke to us from the page...[and] touched our hearts."

Also, the N.C. Society of Historians presented Ebel with the Barringer Award of Excellence, based on her writing and also her efforts through school, library, and community programs that encourage and empower people - children to adults - to keep their own stories in their own ways.

Julia Taylor Ebel is the author of six books that reflect her appreciation of family stories, cultural history, and her love of nature. Five of her books capture stories from the High Country. While her books are written to be accessible to children, her topics appeal to adults as well and invite readers of all ages to share stories of their own.

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