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Eleanora Tate

Photo of Eleanora Tate

Photo: © Zack E. Hamlett, III

About the Author

“I like to write books for folks age 9 through age 99, and I like to write about African Americans so that readers of all colors can get a truer viewpoint of who we are, and how important our history, past and present, is to America and to the world.”—Eleanora E. Tate

Eleanora E. Tate’s books have received several honors including a Parents’ Choice Award.


Acclaimed author Eleanora E. Tate feels strongly about creativity. “A nation survives by the creativity of its people who perpetuate the arts. When the arts decline, the nation declines; when the arts flourish, the nation flourishes.” The essential thing, she believes, is “telling your message to the world.”

Ideas come to her from many sources. Her novel The Secret of Gumbo Grove sprang from a three-part series of articles that Tate wrote for The Charleston Chronicle. It is about an old, weedy cemetery in Myrtle Beach where many of the resort’s African American founders are buried. The Secret of Gumbo Grove is part of Tate’s trilogy of books set in fictional Calvary County on the coast of South Carolina. Its sister books are A Blessing in Disguise and Thank You, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.!

Also a journalist, Tate comes from Canton, Missouri, and has written professionally for over 30 years. She is a former president of the National Association of Black Storytellers, Inc. Tate is married to photographer Zack Hamlett, III, and they live in Morehead City, North Carolina.

Tate’s book, Don’t Split the Pole: Tales of Down-Home Folk Wisdom, is an engaging collection of short stories affirming that a little common sense can go a long way. The stories illustrate the often hilarious and inspiring truth behind such nuggets of folk wisdom as “A hard head makes a soft behind” and “What goes around comes around.”


Tales of Down-Home Folk Wisdom
“Stories leap off the page and lodge straight in the funny bone. . . . Tate jams her stories with sparkling details and memorable characters.”—Starred, Publishers Weekly


—An American Bookseller Pick of the Lists

“The 11 folksy yarns . . . offer an entertaining alternative to an evening of television, both in the book and for readers.”—Booklist

“Gentle, funny, and poignant in turn, this evocative book will gain satisfied readers and listeners.”—School Library Journal


—A Parents’ Choice Award Winner

“A warm, humorous, and wonderful story centered around an intellectually curious and spirited black girl. . . . Warmth and humor demonstrate the welcomed emergence of another talented and appealing black writer of books for children.”—Starred, School Library Journal

“A vividly evoked piece of Americana that should be widely enjoyed.”—Starred, Kirkus Reviews


—An NCSS–CBC Notable Children’s Book in the Field of Social Studies
—A Child Study Committee Children’s Book of the Year

“A companion to The Secret of Gumbo Grove, this novel is set in the same community and written with the same energy and uncomplicated style. Clear-eyed and accessible.”—Booklist

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