Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 20, 2021

Book Giveaway: WHEELS OF CHANGE by Darlene Beck Jacobson

Here is our second chance to win a copy of Darlene Beck Jacobson’s award winning book WHEELS OF CHANGE. She has agreed to participate in our Holiday Book Giveaway Extravaganza. 

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. Congratulations on the success of your book. I also loved reading that it took you 5 years to figure out how to tell this story because I’m struggling with that now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t give up Laura. The story is inside you and when it is right, you we I’ll know it! Good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for your kind words, Darlene. Wishing you happy times in 2022.


  2. I love this author’s work and can’t wait to read this novel too. I’m an email subscriber and shared:


  3. Love the old photo and how your idea was sparked.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, the wheels of change! The history of this sounds fascinating! Congrats, Darlene!

    I follow by email and tweeted this, Kathy. 🙂


  5. […] fiction for middle grade, here I come! Thanks to Kathy Temean and her blog Writing and Illustrating, I won a copy of Wheels of Change from author Darlene Beck […]


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