How it began:
I wanted to start a different kind of history revolution in this country, for students to see that history could be exciting, interesting, and relevant, and to nurture in them a passion for history that would last a lifetime.
As the author of twenty published children’s books, I have been conducting author visits and writing workshops in schools across this country for twenty-five years, telling students and teachers how my books are based on my true family stories and encouraging students to search for their family stories. I strongly believe that the way to get children excited about history is to make it personal and relevant, and I believe this is best done by connecting historical events to family history.
Reluctant readers and writers have told me, after doing projects on family stories, that they never knew writing could be so much fun, and that they wanted to become writers. I’ve seen students who had never written more than a paragraph before, suddenly write five pages about a family story that they’d found, and beg to take it home over the weekend so they can keep working on it. All those sparks of interest in history began with a family story.