Readers often have certain genres that they hold closest to their heart. For me it has always been historical fiction. Visiting the Nasal River in Jennifer Holm’s Our Only May Amelia and Montana in Kirby Larson’s Hattie Big Sky hold some of my favorite memories as a reader of children’s literature. I’m thankful that these types of books allow readers to visit a time and a place that that our history books often gloss over.
Gayle Rosengren’s Cold War On Maplewood Street is sure to give readers a glimpse of what is what like to live during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I’m thankful that Gayle agreed to answer a handful of my questions.
- Can you tell us a little bit about COLD WAR ON MAPLEWOOD STREET?
I wrote Cold War as a means of talking about fear and the best way to deal with it. By setting the story in the past, against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, I hoped to make it less frightening for readers, while also introducing a significant historical event. I am so saddened by the disturbing events surrounding young people of today–from 9/11 to school shootings and terrorist bombings. The message I hope readers will take away is the importance of speaking up when they’re frightened or worried or have a problem they can’t solve on their own. By communicating their concerns to someone they trust–ideally a parent or teacher–some of their fear is instantly eased at least a little, and they have someone who can hopefully help them find ways to live fully in spite of their worries. (5)
- What is your favorite thing about being an author?
Hearing from kids how much they loved my book. ☺ (1)
- What’s the hardest thing about being an author?
First, waiting to see the cover of my book. Then, waiting to see it in bookstores and libraries and young readers’ hands. (2)
- If you could spend one day inside the world of any book which book would you pick?
It’s not in print anymore, but I loved the Trixie Belden mystery series when I was a girl and wished all the time that I could be whisked away into her world. Trixie lived in the country, not the city like poor old me. She had a best friend with horses, so she got to ride horseback whenever she wanted(!) She solved mysteries, helped people, and had adventures and traveled to interesting places like New York City, New Orleans, and even a dude ranch in Arizona. (4)
- What advice do you have for the young writers in my classroom?
The more you write and revise, the better writer you become. Keep your eyes and ears open to the world around you for stories and characters. And read, read, read because when you’re reading, you’re learning how to be a better writer without even trying! (3)