A parting post

Sadly, it’s time for Corsets, Cutlasses, and Candlesticks to shut its doors and blow out the candlelight. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed discussing the ins and outs of writing historical fiction over the past two-and-a-half years, but life and writing projects have called us all in different directions. As much as we’d like to keep the blog going, we collectively decided it’s time to let it go.

We will keep the archives up and running indefinitely, so please feel free to peruse our posts from the past. We thank you all for reading our words, contributing your comments, and following us on our quests to breathe life into the past for young readers.

Warmest wishes,


Noteworthy Historical Middle Grade of 2014

Since the end of 2014 is nearly upon us, I thought it would be appropriate to compile a list of ten noteworthy middle grade novels published this year. I will admit that I’ve read only some of these, but those I haven’t are definitely on my must-read list. I hope you’ll add them to your must-read list, too. Enjoy!

(Book descriptions were copied from Amazon.)


The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage

*New York Times bestseller, recipient of five starred reviews, a Junior Library Guild selection, and a 2015 Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee, Kids’ Indie Next List

The eagerly anticipated followup to the Newbery honor winner and New York Times bestseller, Three Times Lucky.

Small towns have rules. One is, you got to stay who you are — no matter how many murders you solve.

When Miss Lana makes an Accidental Bid at the Tupelo auction and winds up the mortified owner of an old inn, she doesn’t realize there’s a ghost in the fine print. Naturally, Desperado Detective Agency (aka Mo and Dale) opens a paranormal division to solve the mystery of the ghost’s identity. They’ve got to figure out who the ghost is so they can interview it for their history assignment (extra credit). But Mo and Dale start to realize that the Inn isn’t the only haunted place in Tupelo Landing. People can also be haunted by their own past. As Mo and Dale handily track down the truth about the ghost (with some help from the new kid in town), they discover the truth about a great many other people, too.

A laugh out loud, ghostly, Southern mystery that can be enjoyed by readers visiting Tupelo Landing for the first time, as well as those who are old friends of Mo and Dale.

Seven Stories Up by Laurel Snyder

Seven Stories Up by Laurel Snyder

*Kids’ Indie Next List

In this companion to Laurel Snyder’s Bigger than a Bread Box, a leap back in time and an unlikely friendship change the future of one family forever.

Annie wants to meet her grandmother.
Molly wishes she had a friend.
A little magic brings them together in an almost-impossible friendship.

When Annie wakes up on her first morning at the Hotel Calvert, she’s in for a big surprise. There’s a girl named Molly in her bed who insists the year is 1937 and that this is her room! Annie’s not sure what happened, but when she learns that Molly’s never been outside the hotel, she knows it’s time for an adventure. Magic, fortune-telling, some roller skates, a rescued kitten, and the best kind of friendship make up the unforgettable story of two girls destined to change each other’s lives.

“Like Judy Blume before her, Laurel Snyder writes characters that feel like your best friend.” —Anne Ursu, author of The Real Boy

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

*A Junior Library Guild selection, recipient of six starred reviews, Kids’ Indie Next List


Jacqueline Woodson, one of today’s finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

“Ms. Woodson writes with a sure understanding of the thoughts of young people, offering a poetic, eloquent narrative that is not simply a story . . . but a mature exploration of grown-up issues and self-discovery.”—The New York Times Book Review

Revolution by Deborah Wiles

Revolution by Deborah Wiles

*Recipient of five starred reviews 


It’s 1964, and Sunny’s town is being invaded. Or at least that’s what the adults of Greenwood, Mississippi, are saying. All Sunny knows is that people from up north are coming to help people register to vote. They’re calling it Freedom Summer.

Meanwhile, Sunny can’t help but feel like her house is being invaded, too. She has a new stepmother, a new brother, and a new sister crowding her life, giving her little room to breathe. And things get even trickier when Sunny and her brother are caught sneaking into the local swimming pool — where they bump into a mystery boy whose life is going to become tangled up in theirs.

As she did in her groundbreaking documentary novel COUNTDOWN, award-winning author Deborah Wiles uses stories and images to tell the riveting story of a certain time and place — and of kids who, in a world where everyone is choosing sides, must figure out how to stand up for themselves and fight for what’s right.

Caminar by Skila Brown

Caminar by Skila Brown

*A Junior Library Guild selection, recipient of two starred reviews

Set in 1981 Guatemala, a lyrical debut novel tells the powerful tale of a boy who must decide what it means to be a man during a time of war.

Carlos knows that when the soldiers arrive with warnings about the Communist rebels, it is time to be a man and defend the village, keep everyone safe. But Mama tells him not yet — he’s still her quiet moonfaced boy. The soldiers laugh at the villagers, and before they move on, a neighbor is found dangling from a tree, a sign on his neck: Communist. Mama tells Carlos to run and hide, then try to find her. . . . Numb and alone, he must join a band of guerillas as they trek to the top of the mountain where Carlos’s abuela lives. Will he be in time, and brave enough, to warn them about the soldiers? What will he do then? A novel in verse inspired by actual events during Guatemala’s civil war, Caminar is the moving story of a boy who loses nearly everything before discovering who he really is.

The Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis

*A Junior Library Guild selection 

Bestselling Newbery Medalist Christopher Paul Curtis delivers a powerful companion to his multiple award-winning ELIJAH OF BUXTON.

Benji and Red couldn’t be more different. They aren’t friends. They don’t even live in the same town. But their fates are entwined. A chance meeting leads the boys to discover that they have more in common than meets the eye. Both of them have encountered a strange presence in the forest, watching them, tracking them. Could the Madman of Piney Woods be real?

In a tale brimming with intrigue and adventure, Christopher Paul Curtis returns to the vibrant world he brought to life in Elijah of Buxton. Here is another novel that will break your heart — and expand it, too.

Nine Open Arms by Benny Lindelauf

Nine Open Arms by Benny Lindelauf

*Recipient of three starred reviews

The Boon family story and their indefatigable gallows humor are Benny Lindelauf’s literary memorial to those persecuted by history.

A ghost story, a fantasy, a historical novel, and literary fiction all wrapped into one, this highly awarded novel for young readers begins with the Boon family’s move to an isolated, dilapidated house. Is it the site of a haunting tragedy, as one of the daughters believes, or an end to all their worries, as their father hopes? The novel’s gripping language, enriched by Yiddish, German, and Dutch dialect, plunges the reader into the world of a large, colorful, motherless family.

West of the Moon by Margi Preus

West of the Moon by Margi Preus

*A Junior Library Guild selection, recipient of 5 starred reviews, Kids’ Indie Next List

In West of the Moon, award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Margi Preus expertly weaves original fiction with myth and folktale to tell the story of Astri, a young Norwegian girl desperate to join her father in America.

After being separated from her sister and sold to a cruel goat farmer, Astri makes a daring escape. She quickly retrieves her little sister, and, armed with a troll treasure, a book of spells and curses, and a possibly magic hairbrush, they set off for America. With a mysterious companion in tow and the malevolent “goatman” in pursuit, the girls head over the Norwegian mountains, through field and forest, and in and out of folktales and dreams as they steadily make their way east of the sun and west of the moon.

The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney

The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney

*A Junior Library Guild selection, recipient of three starred reviews, Kids’ Indie Next List

“Amira, look at me,” Muma insists.
She collects both my hands in hers.
“The Janjaweed attack without warning.
If ever they come– run.”

Finally, Amira is twelve. Old enough to wear a toob, old enough for new responsibilities. And maybe old enough to go to school in Nyala– Amira’s one true dream.

But life in her peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when the Janjaweed arrive. The terrifying attackers ravage the town and unleash unspeakable horrors. After she loses nearly everything, Amira needs to dig deep within herself to find the strength to make the long journey– on foot– to safety at a refugee camp. Her days are tough at the camp, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mind– and all kinds of possibilities.

New York Times bestselling and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney’s powerful verse and Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist Shane W. Evans’s breathtaking illustrations combine to tell an inspiring tale of one girl’s triumph against all odds.

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming

*A Junior Library Guild Selection, recipient of six starred reviews 

Here is the tumultuous, heartrending, true story of the Romanovs—at once an intimate portrait of Russia’s last royal family and a gripping account of its undoing. Using captivating photos and compelling first person accounts, award-winning author Candace Fleming (Amelia Lost; The Lincolns) deftly maneuvers between the imperial family’s extravagant lives and the plight of Russia’s poor masses, making this an utterly mesmerizing read as well as a perfect resource for meeting Common Core standards.

“An exhilarating narrative history of a doomed and clueless family and empire.” —Jim Murphy, author of Newbery Honor Books An American Plague and The Great Fire

IMG_0481Laura Golden is the author of EVERY DAY AFTER, a middle grade novel about a young girl learning to let go and find her own way amidst the trials of the Great Depression and STANDING TALL ON MULBERRY HILL, her second middle grade novel about Klan uprisings and true friendship beyond color lines in segregated 1949 Birmingham, Alabama. Find out more about Laura and her books by visiting her website or chatting with her on Twitter.

Remembering the Great War, a great woman, and a great deal more

(We are delighted to welcome YA and middle-grade author Jeannie Mobley to the blog today. Her second historical novel, SEARCHING FOR SILVERHEELS, comes out on September 2, 2014.)

This summer marks the 100th anniversary of World War I, the Great War, the War to End all Wars. Across Europe, commemorations have taken place, and will continue to take place over the next few years, remembering the soldiers who died, the fields and towns left mangled and destroyed, the harsh brutalities of what is often called the first modern war–a war that can only be considered Great in terms of scale.

The World War I centennial memorial being installed at the Tower of London, consisting of nearly 800,000 ceramic poppies. Photo courtesy of Diana Wilson.)

The World War I centennial memorial being installed at the Tower of London, consisting of nearly 800,000 ceramic poppies. Photo courtesy of Diana Wilson.)

There are myriad stories in war time, stories that, like history, repeat themselves from generation to generation, war to war. Perhaps that is why war stories have a perpetual fascination to so many people. There is a timeless quality to the conflicts and to the heroes that they make.

But I have not written a war story. At least not in the conventional sense of the term. But war, any war, has stories on the home front as well as the battle field. There are heroes keeping the home fires burning, keeping the wheels of industry turning, sending love and prayers and dry socks to their husbands, sons, and sweethearts on the front lines. Perhaps because I am a woman, or perhaps because I like the unsung, these are the stories of war that fascinate me, and World War I gave us particularly interesting stories at home.

SilverheelsFRONT300pxI didn’t set out to write a World War I story when I first conceived of my new book SEARCHING FOR SILVERHEELS, which releases this week. The story started, for me, with the local legend of a dance-hall girl in the Colorado gold rush, nearly sixty years before the US entered the Great War. Here is her legend:

Silverheels was renowned for her beauty, but in the winter of 1861, the town of Buckskin Joe was hit by a devastating small pox epidemic. Most people fled the stricken town, but the beautiful Silverheels stayed and nursed the sick and dying miners. Eventually, however, she herself contracted the disease. She survived it, but the pockmarks had scarred her face, destroying her legendary beauty. The miners collected gold to support her, but when they went to her cabin, she had disappeared. They never found her, and they never knew her real name, but the named the nearby mountain after her, so that her love and sacrifice would not be forgotten.

Mt. Silverheels. Not a bad way to be remembered, but why didn't they know her real name?

Mt. Silverheels. Not a bad way to be remembered, but why didn’t they know her real name?

I’ve known the legend of Silverheels for as long as I can remember, being a Colorado native. I could have written a story just about Silverheels–a retelling or re-imagining of the legend, but I decided not to. Because when I heard this story a few years ago, not having thought about it in many years, the story bothered me in ways it never had before. It got me thinking about all the quiet, behind-the-scenes way that women are heroes. It got me thinking about how seldom or how little women have been acknowledged in their own right. After all, if those miners loved and appreciated Silverheels so much, why didn’t they even bother to learn her real name in all that time she was dancing and being beautiful for them?

Ah, the good old days. Beloved wife, dead at 16, and no first name on this headstone in the cemetery of Como, Colorado, where SEARCHING FOR SILVERHEELS is set.

Ah, the good old days. Beloved wife, dead at 16, and no first name on this headstone in the cemetery of Como, Colorado, where SEARCHING FOR SILVERHEELS is set.

It got me thinking about all the ways women are strong, and how many of the things they do are undervalued by society, so that their strength goes unacknowledged. (Anyone who has spent the day trying to clean the house, do the laundry, got kids to and from school and sports and girl scouts, make sure their homework is done while also keeping up with a toddler, can attest to the hypocrisy of stay-at-home moms aren’t working! It makes me tired just to think about it.) Not that Silverheels did all that. But surely some women in Colorado have done worthwhile things–and yet Mount Silverheels, Colorado’s 99th tallest mountain, is the only mountain in the tallest hundred named for a woman. There are dozens named for men–governors, explorers, war heroes, even law-breakers (Zebulon Pike’s illegal border crossing into Mexican territory got his name on a mountain!)

So thinking about the legend of Silverheels got me a little fired up. I wanted to write a story about all the ways women are strong–all the things women have done through history that go unsung, but are really quite amazing. All the reasons why maybe we should have more mountains named after them.

Enter World War I, stage left. This is what I love about writing historical fiction. When I get an idea about a theme or an issue I really want to write about, I know I can find a time and place in history that will really highlight that issue. So, as soon as I decided I wanted to write about the many ways women are called upon to be strong, I knew I wanted the story to be set in wartime, when that call becomes even louder than usual. I could have picked any war, but World War I had something special to offer.

During World War I, women in the United States were fighting for the vote, and when Woodrow Wilson finally declared war in 1917, his justification was the need to defend civil rights and liberty in the world. The suffragist movement latched onto that at once, crying out the hypocrisy of defending civil liberties abroad while denying them at home. The perfect setting for talking about women’s rights.

Women's suffragists in Colorado. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Women’s suffragists in Colorado. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Except I wanted to talk about more than the women who stand out in public demanding their rights. Yes, those women were strong and heroic, but they overshadow all the women whose strength was keeping the home fires burning. Quietly supporting the people they loved and the ideals they believed in.

These are the reasons I decided to set SEARCHING FOR SILVERHEELS in World War I, and the reasons I decided to write about characters searching for Silverheels, rather than about the legendary dancer herself. These are the strong women and unsung war heroes I wanted to write about–a romantically minded girl faced with hard decisions about standing up for what she believes, an outspoken cynic afraid of love, and the power of love itself, strengthening mothers, wives, daughters, and sons through brutal, confusing times.

The Great War was not the war to end all wars. History has repeated itself. It will again. But I hope we can, on this 100th anniversary of its beginning, remember the power of the human spirit, the strength of good people standing up for what they believe in. I hope we can try again, one hundred years later, to hold those ideals dear, as well as the ideal to end all wars.


Jeannie Mobley writes middle grade and YA fiction. Her debut novel, KATERINA’S WISH (Margaret K. McElderry Books), won the 2013 Colorado Book Award, is on the 2014-2015 William Allen White Award Master List, and represented Colorado at the 2013 National Book Festival. Her second novel, SEARCHING FOR SILVERHEELS releases September 2, 2014. When not writing or reading fiction, Jeannie is a mother, wife, lover of critters, and a professor of anthropology. Jeannie is represented by Erin Murphy of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency.


A Celebration of Jennifer McGowan’s MAID OF DECEPTION

MaidofDeceptionYesterday saw the release of our own Jennifer McGowan’s Maid of Deception, the second installment of her Maids of Honor series, and we’re as proud as can be. In typical Corsets, Cutlasses, & Candlesticks style, we’re grilling Jenn with questions about her newest book, her characters, her writing methods, and her own special skills that would make her a fantastic Elizabethan spy. Let the celebrations begin!

First, a little intro from Jennifer McGowan herself:

Thanks so much for hosting me today to celebrate the launch of Maid of Deception! Though it seems like forever since the first book, it still is surprising that the launch is finally here!

Everyone asked such great questions, so I’ll dive right in!

From Katherine Longshore:
You have obviously spent a great deal of time and energy creating a cast of unique and carefully-depicted characters, which promises powerful stories for each of your maids-in-waiting. Does this make it easier to write the companion novels because you know them all so well, or more difficult because former narrators try to take over? And which scene in Maid of Deception was the most difficult to write?

Katherine, GREAT question! Writing the subsequent Maids of Honor books after Maid of Secrets has been easier, in the sense that the setting remains the same and the primary cast of characters remains the same. However, what has been harder is to ensure each Maid’s voice remains distinct and authentic. With Maid of Deception, this was fairly easy to do, because Beatrice has such a clearly defined personality. However, as I began work on Maid of Wonder, Sophia’s story, it took awhile for me to find her voice—she’s used to being behind the scenes, after all! The scene in Maid of Deception that was the most difficult to write was when Beatrice believes that she is really alone in the world, unwanted and unloved. For such a proud, bold young woman, this is a humbling realization.

From J. Anderson Coats:
How long do you typically research before beginning to draft? At what point do you feel comfortable beginning to draft? How does your research continue once you begin writing?

Jillian, researching these books seems to happen organically. There are some things that I learned a decade ago that I can finally put into a book, and other things I’m learning just because the current story requires it (like details of the Scottish rebellion!). I typically research as I write, though I spend about a month before drafting really pulling together the information I need. And then I research more during revisions. The post-draft research is generally highly specific, focusing on recorded events in history or any contemporary accounts that can help add life to the story.

MaidofSecrets_paperbackFrom Jessica Spotswood:
Each of the MAIDS books stars a different lady-in-waiting/spy. How was writing Beatrice different from writing Meg?

I love this question. 🙂 Meg was very much a fish-out-of-water, an independent young woman who was ready to take on any challenge with pluck, wit and a can-do attitude. Beatrice is more of a jaded insider, a grown-up Mean Girl who has seen and heard it all—the betrayals, the lies, the short-comings of everyone around her. So Beatrice has a more mature outlook, and a grimmer one, too. She’s naturally less-hopeful, always waiting for the other shoe to drop. That’s why, when she falls in love, it was really very special for me. 🙂

From: Sharon Biggs Waller
How do you keep the overall story arc flowing through all the books? And as a follow up, how do you keep track of all those details? Index cards? Notebooks?

Sharon, I confess—there are things with this series that I didn’t know when I started writing Meg’s book, that really came into focus for me during Beatrice’s book. And now, having just drafted Sophia’s book, I can see how the full series arc will conclude, and it’s a little overwhelming (though in a very cool way!). And, sadly, I don’t keep notes or index cards. I hear of people creating a “series Bible” and I go all glassy-eyed… that would be so wonderful! But I seem to be writing the books so quickly that I just have to have the actual stories as a resource. Fortunately, with everything in digital format, “search” has become my favorite tool in Word!

From Susan Hill Long:
Can you tell us how you came up with the names of the Maids? Do they just appear on the page for you, or do you struggle to find a name that particularly suits each Maid and her background and special skill?

Sue! This is the first time I’ve been asked this. I would say Meg Fellowes’s name came to me first and rather easily, as she was the heroine of Maid of Secrets and I needed a good, sturdy, practical name. Then there was Jane Morgan the assassin. Jane Morgan was the name of my very first heroine of my very first historical romance manuscript—a young woman who dressed as a knight to avenge her brother. 🙂 So it was fitting for her to play the role of the assassin for the Maids of Honor. Beatrice came next—I wanted a sophisticated and vaguely haughty sounding name, and it fit the bill! Anna, the genius of the Maids, I love because my older sister is named Ann, and she’s a hydrogeologist and one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. 🙂 And then there was lovely Sophia, the youngest and most ethereal of all the Maids, with her fledgling psychic abilities. Sophia just seemed right for her.

From Cat Winters:
Your Maids have their own special skills to help with their job protecting the queen. In Beatrice’s case, persuasion is the tool she uses to try to thwart a Scottish rebellion. If you were personally hired to protect Queen Elizabeth I, what would your special skill be?

Cat, what a great question! If I were hired to help protect the Queen, I would probably be charged with ferreting out secrets of her court and the foreign delegations. I have the kind of face/demeanor that seems to get people to open up and tell me things, and if I wasn’t a tavern keeper in Elizabethan England, well, I certainly could bend my abilities to serve the Queen!

Thank you for answering our questions, Jenn. Huzzah for the release of Maid of Deception!

Buy the book online:

IndieBoundAmazon.comB&NBook DepositoryBAM

Find Jennifer McGowan online:


Words to Live By from Fiction’s Greatest Father (IMHO)

Yesterday was Father’s Day. In honor, today’s post was to be a commentary on several of my favorite fictional fathers. I mulled it over for some time before deciding to do a post on my most favorite fictional father, and what he represents, not only as a father but also as a human, using his own words. His words are timeless, full of truth, and well…far surpass any of my own in both wisdom and eloquence.


I fear my choice is a bit cliché, but I cannot help it. I am a Southerner—Alabama-born—and my favorite fictional father is the epitome of the true Southern gentleman. The book in which he lives was the work of an Alabama-born author, and it has been said that the man and father so beautifully drawn in her book was inspired by her own father. So perhaps in some ways, my choice isn’t all that fictional. Quite moving to consider.


I’ll start the list of what this character represents by saying: Lucky, lucky Jem and Scout Finch. They have a father who loves them, guides them, chides them when he must. Most importantly, they have a father who leads by example.


Atticus (Gregory Peck), Jem (Phillip Alford) and Scout (Mary Badham) Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)

Atticus (Gregory Peck), Jem (Phillip Alford) and Scout (Mary Badham) Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)



And lucky, lucky Harper Lee. She must have had the same.


Amasa Coleman (A.C.) Lee

Amasa Coleman (A.C.) Lee


Fictional or no, Atticus Finch or Amasa Coleman Lee, you don’t have to be a father to follow their example.



You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. …until you climb inside his skin and walk around in it.”—Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird

(If I had to choose one line in all of To Kill a Mockingbird as my all-time favorite, it would be this one.)



 “I wanted you to see what real courage, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s knowing you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway, and you see it through no matter what.”—Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird



 “But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal- there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution gentlemen, is a court. It can be the Supreme Court of the United States or the humblest JP court in the land, or this honourable court which you serve. Our courts have their faults as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal.”– Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird

(This quote represents Atticus’s opinion, but his words are, to me, idealistic–the way things should be. Reality is all too often the opposite. Even the book’s reality is opposite. Atticus’s words are disproved in Tom Robinson’s case. However, his thoughts on what our judicial system should be are inspiring. Now if we could just get there…)



 “Best way to clear the air is to have it all out in the open.”—Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird



 “…before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”—Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird


Who is your favorite fictional father? Your favorite quote? Feel free to comment and share.



Laura Golden is the author of EVERY DAY AFTER, a middle grade novel about a young girl learning to let go and find her own way amidst the trials of the Great Depression and STANDING TALL ON MULBERRY HILL, another middle grade about Klan uprisings and true friendship beyond color lines in 1949 Birmingham, AL. Find out more about Laura and her books by visiting her website or chatting with her on Twitter.