Posted by: Kathy Temean | February 27, 2018

Book Giveaway: One True Way by Shannon Hitchcock

Author Shannon Hitchcock has a new middle grade book, ONE TRUE WAY. She has offered to do a book giveaway and sent me a copy to read. I can truely say Shannon has written another great book depicting two 7th grade girls living in the “Bible Belt” during 1977 who discover they are in love. The story is filled with lovely historical details and is presented in an engaging and inspirational way.

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.


Welcome to Daniel Boone Middle School in the 1970s, where teachers and coaches must hide who they are, and girls who like girls are forced to question their own choices. Presented in the voice of a premier storyteller, One True Way sheds exquisite light on what it means to be different, while at the same time being wholly true to oneself. Through the lives and influences of two girls, readers come to see that love is love is love. Set against the backdrop of history and politics that surrounded gay rights in the 1970s South, this novel is a thoughtful, eye-opening look at tolerance, acceptance, and change, and will widen the hearts of all readers.


The seeds for my book, ONE TRUE WAY, were sewn back in 1984, when my best friend told me she was gay. I have never been more shocked in my life. I struggled to understand how someone I was so close to had kept such a big secret. For both my friend and me, her sexuality was compounded by religion. We had been raised in conservative churches that taught homosexuality was a sin. It took months of soul-searching on my part to accept my friend’s true self.

Fast forward to 2014, and I was attending a diversity panel at NCTE. The moderator spoke about the need for Middle Grade books with gay protagonists. She went on to say that’s the age when same sex feelings emerge, but there were very few books available. I knew immediately I wanted to write a novel that would honor my best friend.

After the panel, I had a conversation with my editor, Andrea Pinkney. I told her how the panel had inspired me, and that I wanted to write a book like the one the moderator had spoken about. Andrea was receptive to my idea, and so our collaboration began.

Since it takes a while to write and revise a novel, not to mention that the wheels of publishing move oh so slowly, ONE TRUE WAY will be published on February 27th, nearly three years and three months from when I first envisioned it.


My love of stories began with my mother’s voice.  In her slow Southern drawl, she read the fairytales, “Hansel and Gretel,” and “Jack and the Beanstalk.”  I shivered when the mean ol’ giant chased Jack.  I clapped with delight when Jack chopped down the beanstalk.

Though I loved stories, I had trouble learning to read.  Our first grade teacher divided the class into three reading circles.  The Blue Birds were the best readers; the Red Birds were the second best readers, and the Yellow Birds were last.  I was a Yellow Bird and ashamed of myself.

But that changed with the help of two wonderful teachers. Mrs. Pauline Porter patiently taught me to read. With her help, I moved from a Yellow Bird, to a Red Bird, and finally to the coveted Blue Bird reading circle.My second grade teacher was Mrs. Barbara Hutchens. She sponsored a contest to see which student could read the most books during the school year. I won the contest, and Mrs. Hutchens changed my life. She introduced me to the biographies of Annie Oakley, Betsy Ross, and Nancy Todd Lincoln. I became a lifelong reader.

My teachers turned me into a reader, but it was my sister who turned me into a storyteller. Snuggled under the covers, Robin said, “Tell me a bedtime story.”

So I began, “Once upon a time, there was a boy named Billy who rode a beautiful horse named Blaze.” Robin loved the Billy and Blaze books by C. W. Anderson.

But, one night she said, “Not those stories. Make up stories about us.”

The “us” was Robin and her pony Surelick, our cousin Penny and her pony, Tennessee, and of course there was me – Shannon and my pony, Spot.

That’s how I became a storyteller. Whispering stories about “The Carolina Cowgirls” to my sister late at night.

It would be many years before I captured these stories on paper. I grew up and worked as an accountant, a human resources manager, and an office manager. Later, I became a mother. I read a library full of books to my son and dreamed of publishing stories of my own.

In 1999, my sister Robin died in a car crash. She was 34 years old. I decided that life was too short for unfulfilled dreams and started to write. THE BALLAD OF JESSIE PEARL is my debut novel.

The ALAN Review hailed Shannon Hitchcock as, “A New Voice in Historical Fiction.” She’s the author of the Crystal Kite award-winning novel, The Ballad of Jessie Pearl, and a second novel, Ruby Lee & Me, a nominee for the 2017-2018 Nebraska Chapter Book Golden Sower Award. Shannon’s writing has also been published in numerous magazines, including, Highlights for ChildrenCricket, and Children’s Writer. She currently divides her time between Tampa, Florida and Hendersonville, North Carolina.

Thank you Shannon for sharing your book’s journey and offering a copy of ONE TRUE WAY to one lucky winner and thank you for adding to the few existing stories about gay middle schoolers.  Here’s the link to Amazon.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. I am looking forward to reading, Shannon!


    • Thanks, Joyce!


  2. Sounds like a compelling novel, and especially timely. Looking forward to reading it!


    • It’s historical fiction, set in 1977, and I think you’ll be amazed how not much has changed.


  3. Can’t wait to read this book!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! Good luck in the drawing.


  4. I have hears so much about Shannon’s book – and yay! Shannon! for finishing it. Kids need to see themselves in the books they read.


    • Yes, they do. This book is a mirror for some kids and a window for others. I hope it promotes a more inclusive school environment.


  5. This sounds like a gutsy book to write at a middle grade level. High schools are just beginning to include books that talk about children who struggle to understand different sexual orientations. But you are right in saying the feeling of differentness begins much earlier than high school. I am eager to see how you handle this issue at the middle school level. I wish you great success with your novel.


    • Probably the biggest difference in handling this topic for a MG audience is there is no sexual content. It’s strictly a first crush.


  6. Congratulations Shannon on your book – I look forward to reading it~


    • Thanks! I’ve waited so long for this book, it almost doesn’t seem real.


  7. Thank you for writing this book. I look forward to reading it.


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