Katia Raina

The Magic Mirror

Middle-Grade Month Giveaway: The Ballad Of Jessie Pearl

Ballad of Jesse PearlI am pleased to start this middle-grade giveaway month with The Ballad of Jessie Pearl by Shannon Hitchcock, a Namelos author.

Shannon and I have met around ten years ago at an SCBWI retreat on the Jersey Shore, both of us newbies in the world of children’s literature (well, I know I was!) Rooming together in a small country club, Shannon and I shared our manuscripts, our anxieties, our dreams. Now, Shannon and I are pub. house mates!

I am proud to celebrate Shannon’s debut, which really does read like a ballad. Richard Peck, who had read Shannon’s manuscript back in its beginning stages, and then again, last year, puts it beautifully: “With the poetry of plain speaking, Shannon Hitchcock recreates the daily drama of a vanished world.”

There is plenty of drama in the Ballad of Jessie Pearl: death and birth, love and rivalry, dreams of a better future. Jessie manages to be both spunky and a dreamer, true to her time (finely and authentically rendered early 1920s) and in many ways a flighty, stubborn teenager. Most of all, Jessie is a smart, inspiring heroine facing some difficult choices.

Her son’s eighth-grade school assignment and her own family’s history inspired Shannon to write about Jessie. Shannon Hitchcock

Even though the main character is a young woman coming of age, the story is equally suited for younger, middle-grade audiences interested in history (and of course, their teachers).

If you’ve heard the buzz and have been curious, now is your chance to win your own paperback copy! To enter the giveaway, leave a question for Shannon right here in the comments. Whatever you’re curious about: the writing process, the book’s birth, the challenges Shannon faced, or the history she wrote about, ask away — Shannon graciously promised to try and answer.

The giveaway ends at 5 a.m. next Monday, April 15, and I plan to announce the winner by noon that day. Let’s make it good, fellow readers and writers! Let the questions roll in!

Shannon, I’ll go first: what were the biggest surprises about the publication process and beyond? What’s it been like for you, to see it all come together at last? Thanks again so much for doing this!


April 8, 2013 Posted by | Book Impressions | , , , | 16 Comments