Another recent historical fiction book which had me inwardly jumping up and down in joy that I had discovered it was The Year We Were Famous, by Carole Estby Dagg.
In order to save their family's farm in the late 1800's, Clara Estby and her mother set out on a walk from Washington State to New York City—if they can make it in seven months, they'll earn $10,000 from a publisher with her eyes on the book rights. Okay, intriguing already, right? What's even cooler is that this story of wild adventures, stubborn perseverance and steadfast love is actually based on the author's ancestors. She fictionalized their story to make it into a fuller book, but those two women actually did make that 4600 mile walk and live to tell the tale....or to let their descendent tell it, in this case. That has got to be every historical fiction writer's dream, right?
I'd decided months ago to set aside genealogy so I could spend more time writing, but after this experience, I had to take another peek at the old binder. Um...nothing quite so story-worthy so far. At least not stories for children...
Anyway, do read this. I wouldn't be at all surprised if it ends up with a shiny sticker from the ALA come January.