Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Rhita J. Brniak  

Pen Name: None

Genre:

Born: 1928 in Dorans, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Brniak has lived in Illinois her entire life. She was born in Dorans, Illinois and currently resides in the Chicago area.

Biographical and Professional Information

Rhita "Bede" Waggoner Brniak coauthored Ten Sisters: A True Story and Ten Little Sisters. A 2004 PBS TV documentary on the sisters won the Gracie Allen Award for short documentary in 2004. Ten Sisters: A True Story is also the subject of a full-length TV documentary scheduled to air on PBS in February 2007. Born in Mattoon, IL, she lived most of her life with her family in Chicago, IL, where she worked as a secretary. She resides close to her family in Chicago. She is featured in the award-winning PBS short documentary on the Ten Sisters (Prairie Fire - PBS WILL) which won a Gracie Allen Award in 2004. She is featured in a full-length PBS documentary, Ten Sisters: A True Story, which premiered on WILL-PBS TV Champaign, IL February 19, 2007. DVDs are available through PBS WILL 217 333 1070. The story of the Ten Sisters was also featured in Family Circle Magazine, and three newspaper articles about the ten sisters won awards for journalism.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Ten Sisters : A True Story
ISBN: 1878044818

Mayhaven Publishing, Inc.. 1999

5rd printing of this book. First two editions were in hardcover (1997). This is the fifth edition of the book in softcover. But life was no paradise and in 1942, while their two older brothers served in World War II, the courts separated the sisters in a brief legal proceedings in Coles County Courthouse, Charleston, Illinois. Two were adopted, one went to live with grandparents, five were sent to an orphanage and the others worked for families and organizations. It took fifty years to heal the wounds caused on that winter day in 42 and for the sisters to build a new relationship. This book is sad. It is also funny. It has been highly praised for its unique approach to an all too familiar tale. Each sister wrote her own chapter.

Ten Little Sisters
ISBN: 1878044389

Mayhaven Pub. 2002

Based on the non-fiction book, Ten Sisters, this children's Illustrated book is both entertaining and factual and deal with the girls until they were separated in 1942.


Awards

-- Will T.V. (P.B.S.) won Gracie Allen Award in 2004