Posted by: Kathy Temean | March 10, 2020

Book Giveaway: The Voice that Won the Vote: How One Woman’s Words Made History by Elisa Boxer

Elisa Boxer has written a new picture book titled, THE VOICE THAT WON THE VOTE: How One Woman’s Words Made History, Illustrated by Vivien Mildenberger and published by Sleeping Bear Press. Sleeping Bear Press has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner. 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 do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Elisa & Vivien!

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


2020 marks the women’s suffrage centennial. In 1920, after decades of perseverance, women were finally given the right to vote. But it almost didn’t happen. This book tells the little-known story of Febb Burn, the mother who saved suffrage with a handwritten note to her son.

In August of 1920, women’s suffrage in America came down to the vote in Tennessee. If the Tennessee legislature approved the 19th amendment it would be ratified, giving all American women the right to vote. The historic moment came down to a single vote and the voter who tipped the scale toward equality did so because of a powerful letter his mother, Febb Burn, had written him urging him to “Vote for suffrage and don’t forget to be a good boy.” The Voice That Won the Vote is the story of Febb, her son Harry, and the letter than gave all American women a voice.


As a journalist, I’ve always been drawn to telling the stories of unsung heroes. I’m also passionate about women’s rights. So in 2018, when my agent, Steven Chudney, emailed me that the women’s suffrage centennial was coming up in 2020, I set out to find a story of an unsung hero in the fight for suffrage. When I found the story of Febb Burn, I couldn’t believe that there weren’t any picture books about this key figure in history. Hers was a story I wanted to tell.

I knew that two years was going to be a tight turnaround from research to (hopefully!) publication, so I dove right in. I know other creators can relate to finding a topic that ignites that inner spark, and that was definitely the case with Febb Burn. After all of my research, and getting to “know” Febb and her son Harry so well, the first draft flowed out pretty easily. The story of Febb and the letter she wrote to her son had such a natural arc, built-in suspense, a satisfying resolution, and a surprising twist at the end.

Throughout the whole process, I never lost sight of the two key messages I wanted to convey to kids — that their voices matter, and that one seemingly small act of courage can make a huge difference. There are so many highs and lows in this business, but for me, keeping in mind my “why” is what keeps me plodding ahead. Growing up, I was quiet, shy, and mostly hesitant to speak my truth. This is a book I would have liked to read when I was young, so I am really hoping it encourages kids to give voice to what matters to them.

The book couldn’t have found a more wonderful home than Sleeping Bear Press. Sarah Rockett has been a dream editor, sharing my vision for the book while helping to sculpt it into the best possible story. And the old-world style art of Vivien Mildenberger is a perfect match for the historic nature of the book. It was such a thrill seeing everything from the initial sketches to the final art. I was on pins and needles throughout the process, always waiting for the next phase, but looking back it all went by so quickly! Every time I look at the book, I am in awe of the illustrations. And I spot something new every single time! The designer, Jennifer Bacheller, put so much time and care into this project, which is visible in many unique touches, which I won’t spoil for you, but I will just say I have never see such a creative display of an ISBN number ūüėČ

And now I’m working with Julia Hlavac, the publicity manager, who has taken what could have been an overwhelming process, and made it not only manageable, but super fun! For the past two years, I have been basically housebound with Lyme disease, so I haven’t been able to plan as many in-person events as I would like at this point, but I am looking forward to my launch event on March 22 at Print: A Bookstore. They’re so supportive of local authors and I’m really excited to celebrate there! I’m also working with them on a pre-order campaign, where we’re offering personalized copies and commemorative pins.

I’m also really lucky to have my colleagues in the Soaring 20s debut group. We’ve been working together behind the scenes for so long, it’s incredible to now find ourselves in our debut year! Writing is such a solitary profession, so to have this like-minded, supportive team has been a blessing. For anyone just starting out on this publishing journey, I highly recommend either joining or forming a debut group.

So I have this draft on my computer, where I have been slowly working on writing this book journey, and adding to it, and I was just about to finish it up and email it to you, Kathy, when the box of books arrived on my doorstep! Aaaaaaa!!! I can’t even believe it. The PDF that we proofed over and over just couldn’t do it justice. Completely surreal, to hold my actual book baby in my hands and share it with my son. I dedicated it to him, but didn’t tell him what I wrote. Watching him read and react to the dedication — I can’t even convey the joy I felt, and am still feeling! Just so grateful for this journey, and for everyone involved.


Elisa Boxer is an Emmy-winning journalist and columnist whose work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, Inc. and Fast Company. She has been a newspaper, magazine and television reporter, and has been writing stories for children for as long as she can remember. Elisa lives in Maine, and you can visit her at


facebook: Elisa Boxer, journalist & author


After graduating from ArtCenter College of Design with honors in Illustration, Vivien Mildenberger packed up her pencils and moved with to a lovely farm just outside of Nashville, Tennessee. There she works on her illustrations, pottery, and other general magic-making. She loves illustrating for children most of all. Her work has been featured by publications such as New American Paintings and American Illustration. Publishing clients include Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, QuartoKids, Little Bee, Penguin and Macmillan/Henry Holt.


Vivien Mildenberger is represented by Anne Moore Armstrong

Elisa, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. It looks like a great book with a new story about women winning the vote. This should be a big hit with kids and their teachers. Vivien, you did a great job illustrating this book. Can’t wait to show you off on Illustrator Saturday.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Congratulations! Looking forward to read this one.


  2. I am pleased as well as surprised to hear about this wonderful unknown woman who changed the course of history for all women. I am looking forward to this book and am sharing this post on FB, twitter and reblogging it as well.


  3. This is a great looking slice of history for kids. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!
    I’ve tweeted a link to your post:, and pinned an image on Pinterest with a link as well:
    I also follow your blog daily by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com.
    Thanks, have a great day!


  4. Congratulations, Elisa! You know I love your book!


  5. Congrats–I can’t wait to read about this little-known story with terrific key messages to tomorrow’s leaders!


  6. I’m enjoying reading about the journey to publication here & @ Kidlit411. Every action & vote do matter – I’m so glad that Harry listened to his mother! Kathy, I follow your blog & comment & share to twitter regularly.


  7. Congrats, Elisa and Vivien! This sounds like a great read. I RTed about the giveaway and I’m signed up for email updates.


  8. I’m looking forward to reading this! It will pair perfectly with a story in our text collection.


  9. Such great timing for this book! It looks lovely. Congratulations to both of you!

    I will share on Twitter and I follow your blog by email. Thank you!


  10. […]… ¬†¬†¬† […]


  11. This is such a powerful book–I’d love a copy to add to my school’s library but am excited that I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy before our public libraries closed. I’ll be sharing this with my students during distance learning. ‚̧


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