Write On, Mercy!

The Secret Life of
Mercy Otis Warren

This post joins other
Nonfiction Monday blogs
hosted today by Shelf-Employed
and joins It's Monday!
What are you reading?

Calkins Creek (Boyds Mills Press)
(pub. 3.1.2012) 40 pages 

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top

A uthor: Gretchen Woelfle
     and Illustrator:  Alexandra Wallner

haracters: Mercy Otis Warren

O verview from the publisher's website: 

      "Growing up on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Mercy Otis Warren was fortunate to go to school with her brother. When she married Patriot James Warren, Mercy wrote in secret—poetry, plays, and about the events of her time. She wrote of the people she knew, including George Washington and John and Abigail Adams. It wasn’t until Mercy was older that her literary life became known, with the publication of her three-volume history of the American Revolution. This is the first picture-book biography of an intrepid woman chronicler."

T antalizing taste: 

    "Mercy kept house in Plymouth and raised five sons. But she had a secret life, too. When her children were asleep, she wrote poems. She didn't let her schooling fade away...Life was quiet in Plymouth, but in nearby Boston, Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty were raising a ruckus...Soon Plymouth joined the clamor. Mercy named her house 'One Liberty Square.'...Most women would have stayed out of sight, but not Mercy."

and something more: As I've just attended the inspiring SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) Annual Summer conference, I thought it fitting to feature a picture book biography of a female writer. I'm impressed that the author, Gretchen Woelfle, "read thirty years of letters in Mercy's own hand" on microfilm provided to her by The Massachusetts Historical Society. And bravo to editor Carolyn P. Yoder to whom Write On, Mercy! was dedicated because she "encouraged this project from start to finish. For this, her flawless editing, and ongoing friendship she receives this book's dedication." As an author, I'm always pleased to see editors receive the well deserved credit they deserve -- I'm in awe of the guidance, support and just the right touch great editors truly provide to writers.


shelf-employed said...

As someone with several reviewing and blogging deadlines, but who nevertheless, wasted valuable time yesterday writing a poem, I can relate!

Roberta said...

Hi Jeanne,

What a chain of female voices: Mercy, Gretchen, Carolyn, yours. It is great to discover a new character from history who has been overlooked up to now, too.


Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

It's NEVER wasting time writing a poem! Bravo!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Thanks for stopping by, Roberta! Aw... that's so nice to think of myself in a "chain of female voices." And you too! Yes, I too enjoy discovering overlooked people from history.

Jeff Barger said...

Gretchen Woelfle should get a prize for using microfilm. I can't remember the last time I had to use that medium. Thanks for featuring this book!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Jeff, Isn't that the truth?! It reminds me of information shared on mimeograph sheets.

Resh said...

Nice pick! Its amazing that she went through that amount of research to make this book!
-Reshama @StackingBooks.com

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Yes! And the story is always better for it.

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

Hi there Jeanne, this does sound like a very beautiful story. Truly amazing the amount of research required to come up with a 32-paged book. :) Great to hear that you've attended the SCBWI conference - I've been seeing lots of photos from online friends who attended the one in LA. :)

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Myra! Yes, it' the 4th time I've attended and I'm always inspired and impressed by the dedication of those in the kidlit world. And, yes, page numbers can be deceiving. Thanks for stopping by!