Hi Math is Everywhere Readers,
Happy women’s history month! I’m super excited to have Beth Anderson as our guest to talk about her amazing new picture book: Revolutionary Prudence Wright: Leading the Minute Women in the Fight for Independence, illustrated by Susan Reagan!
About the book, from Calkins Creek:
Here is the first-ever picture book about female Revolutionary War activist Prudence Wright, who rallied the first and only group of “minute women” to fight the British, changing history in the process.
Prudence Wright had a spark of independence.
Annoyed when the British king held back freedoms in colonial Massachusetts, feisty and fearless Prudence had enough. She said no! to British goods, determined to rely on her resourcefulness and ingenuity to get by. And when British troops continued to threaten the lives of her family and community, she assembled and led the “minute women” of Pepperell to break free of tradition.
This untold story of a courageous and brave woman from the Revolutionary War continues to inspire today.
Kaitlyn: Hi, Beth, it’s such a pleasure to have you back on the blog! How have you been?
Beth: Hi, Kaitlyn! So happy to be back! 2022 is keeping me busy!
Kaitlyn: I hope, like me, you love being busy! Speaking of things I love, I love how strong and clever Prudence and her team were! Stories like these were totally lacking in my history education, so thank you for sharing this story with the world. Can you share how you discovered Prudence’s amazing story?
Beth: I was exploring an article about women in the Revolutionary era, and when I saw the words “minute women,” that was all it took to grab my attention.
Kaitlyn: That’s amazing! Can you share why you think stories like these are so important for our little ones?
Beth: Like you said, our history education didn’t include stories like these. We had names and dates and places and events. Stories like Prudence’s bring humanity to history and let kids see her as a person, someone we can connect to. Her story “brings history home.” We get to see women and children and people like the “rest of us” who faced challenges of the times and stepped up for the good of the whole. And we can understand that we’re all a part of history, too.
Kaitlyn: YES YES YES! I hope so many children (and adults) get so much out of this beautiful book. Now for a review:
★ “Reagan’s accomplished illustrations, executed in watercolor with digital drawing, add historical veracity to Anderson’s superbly documented, at times hair-raising narrative. The author explicitly situates Wright and her female comrades as pioneers who ’proved themselves as full citizens’ in an era before female enfranchisement. Vivid, absorbing, and inspiring. ”Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Kaitlyn: What a lovely review from Kirkus! How did it feel to read this wonderful starred review?
Beth: That was the first review we received, and it was so heartening! Wow! Truly honored!
Kaitlyn: Wow, that is THE BEST when your first review is a starred review! To dive further into this lovely book, if you had to pick, what’s your favorite spread and why?
Beth: Susan Reagan did such an amazing job with the illustrations! Love love love all of them for so many reasons. My favorite is the spread of the women at the bridge in the deep darkness of night with Prudence holding her lantern. Gorgeous and dramatic!
Kaitlyn: I agree; absolutely gorgeous, and dramatic. Susan Reagan did so wonderfully! Can you share who your editor was for this book, and what you enjoyed about working with this editor?
Beth: This was my fourth project with Carolyn Yoder at Calkins Creek. She is such a pro and teaches me so much with each story. She guides me with comments and questions until the manuscript sings. The arc, the page turns, just enough context. And she always finds the absolute best illustrator for the story!
Kaitlyn: You can’t get better than that! For those of you who write beautiful stories, keep Carolyn in mind. Now, can you remind the readers who your agent is and why you enjoy working with this agent so much?
Beth: I’m represented by Stephanie Fretwell-Hill at Red Fox Literary. We have a really comfortable relationship for bouncing off ideas and feedback on manuscripts. Her submission process is perfect for me, and we have trust and honesty. I am so fortunate to have a really good fit and partnership.
Kaitlyn: It’s so wonderful to have a great relationship with your agent, and I bet Stephanie finds herself just as fortunate to have you as a client! Last time you shared such wonderful advice. Can you share some more great advice?
Beth: I’ll try to offer something I don’t think I’ve shared with your readers before…Let’s go totally practical. Everyone says to read a lot of what you want to write. Yes. Do that. But… if you’re reading enough…and if you’re like me and can’t remember the important things from each book…and if you want to make all that reading work for you at a higher level….
Create a spreadsheet of the titles you read. Record pertinent information for each one. Add to it every time you get another stack from the library. Soon you’ll be able to search your ever-growing database for appropriate mentor texts; for examples of key words, craft, structure, POV, and topic—whatever you deem notable. It’s really a priceless resource well worth the time spent.
Kaitlyn: YES! I did this for so long, and it helped so much, and you can share with your critique partners, and they can share with you. Then, you all have multiple databases! What’s next for you, Beth?
Beth: I’m excited about two more titles coming out this year! A 2023 title, THOMAS JEFFERSON’S BATTLE FOR SCIENCE: BIAS, TRUTH, AND A MIGHTY MOOSE, is in final (fabulous!) art. I have a couple new stories just getting started in the publishing pipeline. One was pulled from “the drawer,” received a major makeover, and is now ready to go to an illustrator. The other just went under contract. So I’m currently exploring a few possibilities to see what gets my full attention.
Kaitlyn: That all sounds amazing! Well, I can’t wait to have you back, and I hope all my blog readers get a chance to read and review Prudence’s story! Finally, if you could meet your favorite author, illustrator, scientist, historical figure, or mathematician would you chat by a fireside or go on an adventure?
Beth: I would love to hang out by the fireside and chat with Prudence and the ladies of Pepperell! And I’d invite Susan Reagan!
Kaitlyn: That sounds lovely! Thank you so much for sharing and for joining us again today, Beth!
Beth: Always such a pleasure to visit on your blog! Before I go, I’d love to share the book trailer for anyone interested in seeing more (and enjoying the narration by my mighty granddaughters!): Revolutionary Prudence Wright TRAILER
Thank YOU for sharing Prudence’s story!
Kaitlyn: Ohhh, I love this! Thank you again for sharing so much wonderful information and this awesome book trailer!!
Author Bio and links
Beth Anderson, a former English as a Second Language teacher, has always marveled at the power of books. She lives in Loveland, Colorado where she laughs, ponders, and questions; and hopes to inspire kids to do the same. The award-winning author of TAD LINCOLN’S RESTLESS WRIGGLE, “SMELLY” KELLY AND HIS SUPER SENSES, LIZZIE DEMANDS A SEAT!, and AN INCONVENIENT ALPHABET, Beth has more historical picture books on the way, including two more in 2022: FRANZ’S PHANTASMAGORICAL MACHINE and CLOAKED IN COURAGE: THE STORY OF DEBORAH SAMPSON, PATRIOT SOLDIER.
Kaitlyn’s Review of Revolutionary Prudence Wright
Revolutionary Prudence Wright: Leading the Minute Women in the Fight for Independence is an intriguing and inspiring story for all readers – children and adults alike! Girls, especially, will be empowered by learning about strong women who took down a spy during the revolutionary war. This book is a wonderful and inspiring book for all home, school, and public libraries!
Giveaway – Beth Anderson is generously giving away a copy of Revolutionary Prudence Wright: Leading the Minute Women in the Fight for Independence, US ONLY
To enter the random drawing, do any/all of the following options, then come back and write all of the things you did in ONE blog comment. (If you forget something, feel free to reply to your first comment ;))
- Share that you added Revolutionary Prudence Wright: Leading the Minute Women in the Fight for Independence to your Goodreads “Want to Read” list and/or your Amazon Wishlist
- Share that you pre-ordered a copy of Prudence Wright: Leading the Minute Women in the Fight for Independence
- Share that you did a purchase request for Prudence Wright: Leading the Minute Women in the Fight for Independence at your library
- Share that you left a review on Amazon or Barnes and Noble
- Share that you retweeted or quote retweeted my tweet about this blog post on Twitter and tagged some friends.
Thank you all for supporting such wonderful creators! And, Ciara and I just put the final touches on the Spring Fling Kidlit Prizes page, which reminds me, if you want updates about the Spring Fling Kidlit Contest, please subscribe to this blog as well as Ciara O’Neal’s blog where the contest will be held! Make sure to read over the rules and start writing! We can’t wait to read all your Spring Fling Kidlit Contest entries, and I hope you’re all ready to post April 1-3rd!
Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez