Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Diary of Vermont Before the Civil War

What do the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, and Julia Alvarez's Return to Sender have in common?

Well, okay, probably a lot of things but most importantly they have been compared with Jenny Land's debut novel The Spare Room.

Written in the style of a young girl's diary, this book follows the events on a Vermont farm in 1843 as the diary keeper, Susannah, learns about slavery, Abolitionists, and what it means to truly take a stand for something you believe in.

Jenny uses the form of her book, both historic fiction and a diary, to generate possible classroom activities. For example, here are her ideas about keeping a diary. Her website also has ideas for crafts and recipes and a teacher's guide.

Writing about family, exploring history through the eyes of a character living in a different time, and trying out new forms of writing, all engage learners of any age. Come to Bear Pond Books on Saturday (3/16) at 11:00 am to hear from Jenny and fellow author Natalie Kinsey Warnock about how they weave family history and Vermont history into the stories they create . . . and how other writers can do the same thing!

If you're looking for other books that pair well with Jenny's and Natalie's work - check out this story board of recommendations we've put together for Saturday's event.

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