Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 22, 2016

Book Giveaway: Wheels of Change

Linda Mitchell was announced as winner of Wheels of Change by Darlene Beck Jacobson, but she never sent me her address. If I do not hear from her by Tuesday, the runner-up – Carol Federlin Baldwin will receive the book.

Darlene Beck Jacobson has agreed to participate in our Holiday Book Giveaway Extravaganza with her award winning book WHEELS OF CHANGE.

All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back to discover the winner.



Racial intolerance, social change, and sweeping progress make 1908 Washington, D.C., a turbulent place to grow up in for 12-year-old Emily Soper. For Emily, life in Papa’s carriage barn is magic, and she’s more at home hearing the symphony of the blacksmith’s hammer than trying to conform to the proper expectations of young ladies. When Papa’s livelihood is threatened by racist neighbors and horsepower of a different sort, Emily faces changes she’d never imagined. Finding courage and resolve she didn’t know she had, Emily strives to save Papa’s business, even if it means going all the way to the White House.



The idea for WHEELS OF CHANGE began with researching my family tree.

I discovered that my paternal grandmother’s father was a carriage maker in Washington DC at the turn of the Twentieth Century.  I also found out that grandma received an invitation to a reception held at the White House by Theodore Roosevelt. She attended that reception and met TR. The story grew from there.

While this was the catalyst for Wheels of Change, I want readers to know the story is NOT a biography of my grandmother’s life. Everything else that occurs in the story is made up. I like to think of it as a re-imagining of grandma’s childhood. The grandmother I knew–and the Emily Soper in WOC–are two entirely different people.

It took about five years from the “idea” to a picture book that was too long and complex, and then to the final middle grade manuscript.  When I finally had a solid manuscript, I pitched it to the agents at Liza Royce Agency. They requested the standard 30 pages. Liza Fleissig – one of the agents – then asked for the full manuscript and made an offer of representation not long after that.

The book then sold to author and publisher Marissa Moss of CRESTON BOOKS, making its debut in 2014.  It’s been an incredible and gratifying journey since then. I am thrilled that reviews have been so positive and the book is used in many classrooms around the country.  In 2015 it received the Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young Readers by the NCSS and CBC.  It also won Honorable Mention from the Grateful American Book Prize in 2015.



Darlene Beck Jacobson is a former teacher and lover of history. She enjoys using tidbits from her own family history to spark stories. Although she never wrote to a president, she sent many letters to pop stars of the day asking for photos and autographs. She loves bringing the past to life in stories such as WHEELS OF CHANGE.

When not writing, Darlene enjoys sewing, tea parties, and travel and reading good books. Her favorite destination is Australia, where she fed a kangaroo, held a koala and snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef.

Her blog features recipes, activities, crafts, and interviews with children’s book authors and illustrators.

Darlene, thank you for sharing your journey and offer a copy of your book to one lucky winner. Have a great holiday!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. oh, my goodness! My great grandfather was a carriage maker in NY about the same time…and I’ve been writing stories. I think I need this book. I hope it does it’s job in our world. We all have so much learning to do! Congratulations on this project.


    • Thanks Linda! I would LOVE to talk to you about your grandfather’s experiences. I bet you have some great “kindling” for a story!


    • Linda,

      You won Darlene’s book. I have tried to reach you with no results. I will give you to Tuesday to send in your address, before sending it out to the runner-up.


  2. Sounds like a great book. I also enjoyed the description of the publishing journey.


  3. I enjoyed learning about your book’s journey. And I love reading historical fiction. Thanks for sharing. I’ll Tweet.


  4. The storyline for WHEELS OF CHANGE is as fascinating as the writer’s journey in bringing it to publication!
    I especially appreciated hearing that while it began as a too-complex PB, as a MG novel the story worked so well! (I’m experiencing something similar right now!)


    • Would love to hear about your journey as well. Good luck with your WIP!


  5. I won this book the first time around, then got a copy for my daughter-in-law. I just love it SO much and some lucky winner will get a chance at, too! 😀


    • Thanks so much for your support Donna…it really means a lot! Merry Christmas! xo


  6. Kathy, Is there no end to the wonderful books you are giving away? Just posted to FB and Twitter AND put on good reads. Awesome book!


    • Carol, So kind of you to stop by. Good luck with the give-away! If anyone who doesn’t win buys a copy of the book, I am happy to send a signed book plate!


    • Carol,

      I never heard from Linda, so if she does not send in her address for the book, you are the runner-up. Send me your address, please.


  7. What a fabulous opportunity! Thank YOU Darlene, and Kathy!


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