Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 18, 2022

Book Giveaway: REVOLUTIONARY PRUDENCE WRIGHT: LEADING THE MINUTE WOMEN IN THE FIGHT FOR INDEPENDENCE by Beth Anderson

Beth Anderson has written a new non-fiction picture book, REVOLUTIONARY PRUDENCE WRIGHT: LEADING THE MINUTE WOMEN IN THE FIGHT FOR INDEPENDENCE, illustrated by Susan Reagan and published by Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills & Kane. Coming out on February 1st. Beth has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner living in the United States.

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 other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Beth and Susan. If you have signed up to follow my blog and it’s delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Here is the first-ever picture book about female Revolutionary War activist Prudence Wright, who rallied the first and only group of “minute women” to fight the British, changing history in the process.

Prudence Wright had a spark of independence.

Annoyed when the British king held back freedoms in colonial Massachusetts, feisty and fearless Prudence had enough. She said no! to British goods, determined to rely on her resourcefulness and ingenuity to get by. And when British troops continued to threaten the lives of her family and community, she assembled and led the “minute women” of Pepperell to break free of tradition.

This untold story of a courageous and brave woman from the Revolutionary War continues to inspire today.

BOOK JOURNEY:

“Minute Women”

What??? Those two words got my attention. As I researched Prudence Cummings Wright, the early days of the American Revolution came “home.” Boycotts of British goods, “The Boston Tea Party,” Paul Revere’s ride, and the battles of Lexington and Concord suddenly became meaningful on a personal level. Prudence’s story brought new light, connecting the dots and providing the reality of life on the home front with its choices and consequences. It was about regular people, like most of us, who live behind the main events of history.

But…there were three slightly different versions of her story handed down. Could I take advantage of that in the telling? My first attempt involved using the “grandmothers” and their variations, clashing at a few points. It was about truth and how stories change over time and differences depending on who’s telling it. Interesting. But this sort of “meta” angle was confusing. Flat. The actual story within the story stalled.

The manuscript sat for nearly a year before I tried again. I drilled down to find the take-away, which is difficult when you have no definitive proof that her actions saved lives or impacted history. The story of one woman’s choices now became a conundrum of choices for me—what details were closest to truth? The story would have to be historical fiction.

Did it matter which brother was involved? Not really. What mattered was the effect on Prudence—that her choice pitted her against her brothers. By examining each piece of the story as I searched for truth, I found the emotional elements that would drive the story and really allow me to bring her character to the page. Communicating with my sources in Pepperell, I saw how her story impacted the town and the women there today. I realized the power of the story….was the story!

Prudence’s decision to join the resistance against the British was the core of the story. In order for young readers to understand her choice and her motivation, I needed to include sufficient information about the setting. I couldn’t assume kids know about the events of the time. So… a lot of information. Context. Uh-oh. The dreaded information dump. Probably my biggest challenge (now that I’d finally latched onto the take-away) was weaving context effectively into character and action.

The most fun part of the writing was the suspense of the climax when Prudence and the women wait by the bridge, not knowing what they’ll face. Using everything I learned about close 3rd person narration, I zoomed into Prudence’s head.

Revisions continued with editor Carolyn Yoder after the manuscript went under contract in spring 2019 with Calkins Creek/Astra Books for Young Readers. Then, illustrator Susan Reagan signed on, and a new phase of the journey began. One of my favorite moments in creating a picture book is when the sketches come in and the illustrator blows your mind with all they’ve brought to the story.

Susan dove into research and brought magnificent historical details to each page. With the art, the search for historical truth continued. Were there African American women in the community? What about Native Americans? Yes to both! What did the “liberty flag” they raised look like? Only the colors were recorded. What did the meeting house look like? The town common? What about pitchforks? And quilts? What did the bridge look like then? Susan creatively used documents in the art work, so we checked dates and details. One savvy person in the editorial department posed one of the last questions–Was the British flag correct? Research revealed differences in the flags over time. It’s truly an adventure to uncover the past. And creating a picture book definitely takes a village!

I’m thrilled with the final book and can’t wait to share it with young readers on February 1!

BETH’S BIO:

From the start, with poems, plays, and puppet shows, Beth’s elementary teachers encouraged her to write. With stories, memoir pieces, and research papers, she continued to mold words into text. Her itch to write followed her through Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Connecticut, Georgia, Texas, and into Colorado. In 2013, she began writing for children. Combining her love of writing with the joys of discovery and learning, she found her niche with narrative nonfiction and historical fiction picture books.

To Beth, writing is mining. It’s digging deep inside for special memories, emotions, and meaning. It’s burrowing into history for inspiring characters and moments that change the course of events. It’s delving into the how and why and what if and seeing how the past relates to where we are today. Then the search for just the right words begins—words that will create voice, bring characters to life, and reveal the heart of the story.

When she’s not writing, Beth might be weaving, gardening, exploring nature, or playing with her grandkids. Born and raised in Illinois, she now lives near the mountains in Colorado. Beth believes in laughter, learning, and…though we can’t change history, history can change us.
You can learn more about Beth Anderson’s writing journey, read posts from other kid lit people, and get book recommendations at her website: https://bethandersonwriter.com.

Beth Anderson, a former English as a Second Language teacher, has always marveled at the power of books. With linguistics and reading degrees, a fascination with language, and a penchant for untold tales, she strives for accidental learning in the midst of a great story. Beth lives in Loveland, Colorado where she laughs, ponders, and questions; and hopes to inspire kids to do the same. She’s the award-winning author of “Smelly” Kelly and His Super SensesLizzie Demands a Seat!An Inconvenient Alphabet and Tad Lincoln’s Restless Wriggle. Beth has more historical gems on the way.

SUSAN’S BIO:

Illustration and the love of drawing have dominated Susan’s life since she was a girl.

Her illustration experience has covered a range of products and styles over the years but her focus now is on the storytelling illustration she loves. Her picture books include You & Me, Simon Says, Lights Out, and Revolutionary Prudence Wright Leading the Minute Women in the Fight for Independence, Fall 2021. Susan graduated with a BFA in Illustration from the Columbus College of Art and Design. She teaches illustration techniques as adjunct faculty at The Cleveland Institute of Art. Susan lives with her husband Frank and their furry family in Tremont, a historical neighborhood of her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.

Beth, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. I love the books you’ve been writing. They have been providing wonderful history. I was not familiar with this story. It is rich with interesting history. You are making learning so much fun and Susan with her wonderful illustrations has brought all that to life in this book. Surely, every page will keep children (and their parents) reading. I look forward to reading more of your books, and thank you Calkins Creek for publishing this story and great book. I know it will be a big success.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Beth, the end result—your beautiful books, make the process look easy. I loved learning about the challenges in your journey to create another one that I know will draw me right in.
    I retweeted Kathy’s tweet. Congratulations to you and Susan Beth!

    Like

  2. I had never heard of Prudence or the “Minute Women,” Beth! How wonderful that you’ve told a version of this story and explained your process – I’m excited to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Melanie! I love discover pieces of history where everyday people surprise us!

      Like

  3. I love the description of your new book, Beth. Congratulations!

    Like

  4. Wow! Minute women, who knew! Thank you, Beth for bringing this story to light. Prudence sounds like an amazing woman.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s truly my pleasure and honor to be able to share a story like Prudence’s!

      Like

  5. Beth, I’m a big fan of your books! Thanks so much for sharing this, Kathy! [Newsletter Subscriber]

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations, Beth! Thank you for sharing about your writing process and your book’s journey. So interesting! I shared on Twitter and follow your blog daily, Kathy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Kim! It was one of those stories that took a while to figure out how to tell.

      Like

  7. This sounds amazing! I loved hearing how you came to the story. That always fascinates me. The illustrations are beautiful! Congrats, Beth! I can’t wait to read this because I’ve devoured every single one of your books!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love Beth’s description of how she found the thread to pull this book together. Can’t wait to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks much, Jilanne! Sometimes that thread is elusive! But when you finally hit it – JOY!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Congrats, Beth! I love a story of unsung women and I’m a big history nerd, so I can’t wait to read this book.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I learned so much in her book “Lizzie Demands a Seat” and can’t wait to read this one!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Congratulations, Beth! Another wonderful biography!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Kathy, Thanks for making us aware of this important new book. I shared it on FaceBook.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Beth you always find such interesting people to write about. I also appreciate that when you cover something in history, there is always more to the stories we DO know, and you find those extras! More women with Chutzpah books please! Please enter me in the drawing. Also RTing.Stay well. Congrats!🎉💐📗🥂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Annie Lynn! Got another super woman coming in November – stay tuned!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Annie,

      I am trying one last time to get you to send me your email. I’d hate for you to miss receiving another book.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Kathy! I’m sorry I missed an email or notice from you. I would love this book! Thanks so much! I will dm you on twitter, or here if I figure out how, lol. Happy weekend! Stay well.✌🏼🎶🎨📚🌻

        Like

      • Annie,

        Wonderful to have you respond. Please send it to me at kathy.temean@gmail.com

        Hope you send it soon. Thanks,

        Like

  14. I love this author’s work and I can’t wait to read this too–I’ve never heard of this piece of history. I’m an email subscriber and shared: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570620215296439245

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your kind words and for sharing, Danielle! The “minute women” have been hidden too long! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Look forward to reading this book. Sounds like lots of interesting information and I love the illustrations!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hope you enjoy it! I LOOOOOVE the illustrations by Susan Reagan!

      Like

  16. I have never heard of the minute women! How wonderful! Thanks for sharing this story. So special!!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Beth continues to amaze me as she finds little known facts and weaves them into a compelling story. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, the rabbit holes of history….so fun! Thanks, Ellen!

      Like

  18. This should be an interesting read. In school, I always enjoyed learning about the Revolutionary War because so much of it took place near where I grew up. There were many historic buildings from that era in my state (NJ) and nearby states. Congratulations on yet another published book, Beth!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved visiting all the historical sites when we lived in CT. I especially enjoy the stories of everyday people and how they fought through boycotts and pure gumption! Thanks, Marie!

      Like

  19. I would love to share this book with my students. They enjoy learning about American history, and I am always looking for resources to help me teach multiple perspectives of history.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fascinating to see what “regular people,” like most of us, did during those times. I think it brings history home and helps us understand that we are all part of history. I hope your students enjoy the book!

      Like

  20. Such a beautiful book! I love Beth’s picture book biographies!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Excellent. Your books shed light on previously obscure women in history—fascinating stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. This is awesome! I’d never heard of Prudence, nor Minute Women! This is definitely a topic we need more stories about!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s how I reacted! And that’s why I had to write it! Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Like

  23. Just put on hold at library ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Congratulations Beth for creating a wonderful exciting PB Bio that highlights the achievements of Woman during the Revolutionary War. Thanks for sharing your journey to publication. I will post on my FB page and Twitter page. Look forward to reading and sharing this amazing story with my students.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Penny! I hope your students see a new side to the revolution. 🙂

      Like

  25. What a fascinating piece of history! I enjoyed reading about your process in finding the best, most compelling way to tell the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. This looks like a fantastic read! I can’t wait to share it with my students. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I love hearing about your process. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome! Thanks for your interest!

      Like

  28. Beth, your new book sounds fascinating! And a part of history I’ve never read. Thank you and congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Categories

%d bloggers like this: