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


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.