When I signed up for a history writing workshop, the instructor gave me an assignment to research some historical event that happened in my backyard. I inquired at my local history museum and learned that in 1944, my hometown created an emergency polio hospital in 3 days. This hospital became known as The Miracle of Hickory.
I was intrigued. So I headed for my local library. There I discovered heartwarming stories of people whose lives were forever changed by polio. I knew I wanted to retell this piece of history in a novel. But who would my story be about?
After some research, I realized my character was a spunky young lady. I called her Ann Fay Honeycutt.
When Ann Fay’s daddy goes off to fight Hitler he gives her instructions to be the man of the house in his absence. She’s handling the challenge pretty well until a polio epidemic strikes her community. At first she relies on the newspaper for information about the disease, but all too soon she knows its devastating effects firsthand.
Calkins Creek Books / Boyds Mills Press – Spring 2006
IRA Children’s Book Award (International Reading Association)
NC Juvenile Literature Award (by American Association University Women)
Best Books of 2006 for Young Readers (Post-Dispatch, St. Louis, MO)
Pennsylvania School Library Association Top Ten (or so!)
- The Best Children’s Books of the Year (Bank Street College of Education)
Health & Healing in North Carolina (The Polio Epidemic)