Posted by: Kathy Temean | April 9, 2020

Book Giveaway: THE FORT by Laura Perdew

Laura Perdew has a new picture book, THE FORT, illustrated by Adelina Lirius and published by Page Street Kids. Laura has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running is 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 Laura and Adelina, especially at this stressful time when authors and illustrators need to promote their books completely online.

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!


Can a pirate and a prince learn to share?

In the fort in the woods, a prince is preparing his castle for a lively feast for the royal kingdom. Unbeknownst to him, a pirate uses the same fort as her ship, planning to venture out to the open seas in search of treasure. But when a treasure map appears on the prince’s party invitations, and the pirate finds that her sword has turned into a scepter, they realize there is an intruder in the castle―no, ship! Soon, a battle over the fort between the adversaries ensues, leading to a humorous showdown. When they make amends, their amazing imaginations come up with a new adventure…together.

Kids will revel in the spirited and imaginative battle and be thrilled by the turn of events. Dynamic and charismatic illustrations bring this witty tale and its celebration of sharing and teamwork to life.


This book’s journey was a LONG one. It was first drafted in early 2007. Since then it has been through countless revisions. Every time I went to a conference or workshop, I’d come home and rework the manuscript applying what I’d learned. Then I’d let it sit. And rework it again. And again. And again.

Eventually I sent it out to editors and even a few agents. I did get quite a few “nibbles” – people had good things to say about it (in a personal note, not just a form letter) but it wasn’t right for them or their list. The rejections piled up (ultimately dozens of them). Despite the rejections, I still believed in the story, so I continued to revise every once in a while.

In January 2018, I participated in my first Story Storm, hosted by Tara Lazar. It was an inspiring, wonderful month of generating picture book ideas. Yet my take-away was far greater than 30 ideas. Through the course of the month I read many posts that encouraged me to think differently and turn things on their heads. I mention this not because I got the picture book idea from Story Storm, but because that process cultivated creativity. One day not long after Story Storm ended, I had an “ah ha!” about my story. At that point it was titled The Princess and the Pirate, featuring a girl who used a fort in the woods as her royal castle and a boy who used the same fort as his pirate ship. The “ah ha!” was that, as I’d learned in Story Storm, maybe I needed to turn the story on its head. What if…what if it wasn’t a girl who thought the fort was a castle, but a boy??? And, what if it wasn’t a boy pirate, but a girl pirate. I rewrote the story yet again. It became, The Fort.

Then in March 2018 I participated in a Twitter pitch party, #PitMad. This was not the first time I’d participated with a pitch for this book. Yet this time, an editor “liked” it. I did a little research on Page Street kids and felt good about sending it off to Courtney Burke. A few weeks later she got back to me, asking for a revise and resubmit. EEEK! I was closer than I’d ever been. But very nervous. Per her suggestions, I revised the manuscript yet again. Then I sent it to any writer friend who would take a critical look at it. I revised some more. I resubmitted it. And then the magical word…YES! It went under contract.

The most interesting thing about the journey of this book is that when I celebrated with my writing group, they asked me how different The Fort was from the original story. Good question. So I reread that very first draft. What I found was that the heart of the story was the same – two kids imagine the same fort as something different and when they finally encounter each other there’s a bit of a confrontation; but in the end they find a compromise. Yet today, The Fort, is so much stronger. It was the little things that I learned and applied to the manuscript along the way. Both the book and I needed that long journey to make it what it is today.

Thank you to Courtney Burke and Page Street for taking on my story and to Adelina Lirius, the illustrator, for bringing it to life.


Laura is a mom, author, and writing consultant. She’s written over 30 books for the education market on subjects ranging from animal rights to exploring mountains, and Rube Goldberg contraptions to animal adaptations. Recently, Biodiversity: Explore the Diversity of Life on Earth (Nomad Press, 2019) earned a starred review from Booklist and was a Junior Library Guild Selection. The Fort is her first fiction picture book. Laura lives and plays in Colorado with her husband and twin boys. You can learn more about Laura’s books at


Ever since I got a box of colouring pencils when I was a kid I have enjoyed drawing. I loved drawing animals, specially drawing comedy strips with funny frog families. Drawing is something that makes me happy and it really makes time fly.

I studied five yeas at the University of Uppsala, Sweden, where I got a degree in art teaching. After studying an illustration course at Berghs School of Communication in Stockholm I totally fell in love with illustrating.

In 2012 I started my illustration company and have continued drawing everyday ever since.

Laura, thank you for sharing your new book and its’ journey with us. Adelina did a wonderful job in bringing this fun story to life. Your book will help children learn the importance of teamwork and sharing without them even realizing there was a lesson to learn. Good Luck!

Talk tomorrow,




  1. This book sounds amazing and delightful. I love that Storystorm was the genesis to flip it on its head. It love that challenge. Best of luck with this book!


    • P.S. Kathy, I subscribe & shared this on Twitter & FB!


  2. Congratulations! What a clever concept. I think Page Street Kids makes wonderful books. Looking forward to read this one. (Shared on Twitter on and I receive your emails)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love how the heart of your story was there from the beginning–your inciting heartfelt incident! It’s finding exactly the right way to tell it that’s so challenging, and it looks like you’ve done that in a beautiful and satisfying way! Congratulations, Laura!


  4. I love the illustrations style with a gorgeous palette from Adelina Lirius! Echoing Lisa’s feeling about maintaining the heart of your story from inception, it’s great to know that you had a story you believed in, and stuck with it. This gives so many authors hope! Thanks for sharing your journey to publishing, and congratulations, Laura!


    • PS. Retweeted post. I subscribe to your newsletter, thank you, Kathy.


  5. Love how you stuck with it! I know the long journey first hand -Congrats!


  6. Two of my favorite make-believe worlds together in one book…Fantastic! I ❤ the illustrations, too. Congratulations! (and I am a blog follower, Kathy 🙂 )


  7. Congrats, Laura! (I’m signed up for emails as well.)


  8. What a wonderful story! Imagination and a lesson-love it:)


  9. What an imaginative concept for a book–can’t wait to read it (and I also want to order a copy of that animal rights book)–congrats! I’m also a blog follower, Kathy.


  10. Funny clash!


  11. This looks like such a fun story.


  12. Oh my goodness! I can’t wait to see this book! Congratulations, Laura and Adelina! (I subscribe to this blog and will tweet!)


  13. Love the lllustrations (especially the cover), and how the story evolved. It really speaks the agent webinar I just attended, where they talked about the unexpected. So yes, it’s not enough to have a well-written story; it must be fresh or unexpected. Congrats on making the flip!


  14. This book looks adorable! I love the concept & the look of the illustrations. I tweeted about this interview & subscribe to your interview


  15. Sounds like a beautiful and fun book. I am a subscriber and I will tweet your post. Thanks.


  16. Love this one! Tweeted about it.


  17. What a terrific concept! I look forward to reading how the pirate and the prince combine their differing visions of the fort. (Kathy, I subscribe to your blog.)


  18. Love that they need to come together to make it work! Looking forward to reading this!


  19. Thanks for an interesting story of the book’s journey. It sounds like a sweet read.


  20. I love learning how a picture book story evolves. This looks like a fun book about imagination and compromise. I can’t wait to read it. Congratulations, Laura and Adelina!

    I enjoy receiving this blog daily and I am sharing this post on Facebook.


  21. Congratulations, Laura! So happy for your book to be out in the world and celebrate with you in person when we can.


  22. I love forts! Kids love to build them. Can’t wait to read this. 🙂 Congrats!


  23. I like how you changed what the charters’ interests were. It really did seem to help. Maybe I shall try it in songwriting? Good interview. Thanks for the stories! Congrats to all involved with this book.


  24. *Characters not charters. If I’d wanted a boat, I would have ordered one, Mr Auto Correct.


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