Jan Slepian, Author of books for children and young adults and a poet, Died at 95

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Janice Slepian (née Berek) was born on January 2, 1921, and died on November 2, 2016.

She was an author of books for children and young adults and a poet.

Jan received a degree in psychology at Brooklyn College, later doing graduate work in clinical psychology and speech pathology at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Slepian worked as a speech therapist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and then embarked on a writing career.

Together with co-author Ann Seidler, she published several illustrated books in a series called the “The Listen-Hear Books”.

Some of the titles included The Hungry Thing, The Hungry Thing Returns and The Hungry Thing Goes to a Restaurant: all three are for young readers and teach about phonemic awareness; they also co-authored The Cat Who Wore a Pot on Her Head, “Bendemolena,” Alfie and the Dream Machine and several other titles.

Slepian’s 2009 book, Astonishment: Life in the slow lane (ISBN 0-557-04914-8), self-published when she was 88, is a collection of twenty brief essays on aging and life in a retirement community.

In the year 2010, Laura Ekstrand, artistic director of Dreamcatcher Repertory Theater in South Orange, adapted the work into a stage production which was subsequently performed at various venues in New Jersey.

Then in the years 2012, Slepian published a follow-up to Astonishment called How to Be Old.

Jan Slepian passed away at 95 years old.

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