Book Review - Meet My Mississippi by Patricia Neely-Dorsey
You never know who’s looking at your facebook page or stumbling onto your website. The internet is an interesting and wonderful place sometimes, more especially when you’re asked to review a book by a Mississippi author! I was contacted by Patricia Neely-Dorsey about reviewing her book Meet My Mississippi. The book is based off her poem by the same name and illustrated with beautiful watercolor illustrations by Brenda Ragsdale.
To give you a little background of the author, Patricia Neely-Dorsey graduated from Tupelo High School in 1982 and received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts. She has published three books prior to this one, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia - A life in Poems, My Magnolia Memories and Musings - In Poems, and Mississippi in Me which are all a “celebration of the south and all things southern.” Patricia’s passion is showing Mississippi in a more positive light to try and outweigh all the usual negativity that is written and said about the state. For this work she was named an Official Goodwill Ambassador for the state in 2015 by Governor Phil Bryant and her slogan is “Always, always celebrating the South and promoting a positive Mississippi.” The poem that this book, Meet My Mississippi, is based upon has been submitted for consideration as the official state poem in 2016, 2017, and 2018. She is currently working to have it submitted for next year as well. Patricia lives in Tupelo with her husband James and has one son James Henry.
The illustrator is Brenda Ragsdale from Guntown, Mississippi who is a self-taught freelance artist. She graduated from Saltillo High School and is married to Jeff Ragsdale. They have two sons, three daughters, and fourteen grandchildren. This book was her first effort to work in watercolors and while she says she has always been afraid to work in the medium I think the book came out charmingly beautiful.
As a lover of Mississippi history and culture this book is a great introduction to the state and not just for kids but for anyone of any age. Meet My Mississippi covers so many of the famous and notable people and places of Mississippi. It shows some of the better known places like William Faulkner’s home at Rowan Oak and others that are a little more obscure such as the Barq's Root Beer original bottling plant.
Several of the places illustrated I have been to or driven by like the Peavey Speaker plant in Meridian or Elvis’s birthplace in Tupelo. There are several other places in the book I was reminded of that I want to go see such as Rowan Oak and the childhood home of Eudora Welty along with the Delta Blues Museum.
While it is definitely more geared towards grade school children it’s honestly a beautiful book for all ages. There are Mississippi trivia questions in the back of the book and a study guide and vocabulary list should you want to use it in a classroom setting. It would complement any elementary study of Mississippi and its history.
Meet My Mississippi is sold in several stores around the state and on Amazon. You can visit Patricia Neely-Dorsey’s website http://www.patricianeelydorsey.com. She has links there where you can purchase Meet My Mississippi along with her other books. Thanks so much Patricia for the copy, my daughter and I just love it! If you liked this book review, let me know! I have a few more new books by Mississippi authors I could review, and if you have a book you would like me to take a look at let me know!
Until next time my lovelies!