I’m a former public radio reporter who now writes narrative non-fiction for children.
The Fairy Ring, Or Elsie and Frances Fool the World (Candlewick Press, March 2012) and
Wild Boy: The Real Life of the Savage of Aveyron (Candlewick Press, March 26, 2013)
are both (yes, even The Fairy Ring) true stories.
The (real) photo on the cover of The Fairy Ring was taken by Frances, who was nine at the time. The girl in the picture is her cousin Elsie. The fairy in the right lower corner…well…let’s just say it was this cut-out paper fairy, and several others, that led Sir Arthur Conan Doyle–the creator of the world’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes – to write a book called The Coming of the Fairies.
Many, many people have been mystified by what came to be known as the Cottingley Fairy Photographs. But I was intrigued by the girls who took them. Who were they? What were they thinking?
To find out, I went to Yorkshire, England, where both girls lived when the story began, and where Frances truly believed she saw real fairies.
Wild Boy: The Real Life of the Savage of Aveyron is the story of a boy found living wild in the forests of France in 1797. He is known in history as Victor of Aveyron, and was sighted and (after his final capture) studied, by many eyewitnesses who were keenly interested in a real, wild boy. I wanted to tell the story as the BOY, not the scientists, experienced it. So I went to France and retraced the route of his long-ago journeys.
Some places were not the same, of course. But still, I learned many things about the wild boy I would never have known if I had only imagined, not visited, the scenes of his life.
This just in:
(Our son Michael has made an I-have-to-say awesome trailer from pictures my husband Don took along the route.)
**********CHECK OUT THE TRAILER HERE! ********