Middle Grade Book Love: Midnight Without a Moon

I’ve been wanting to read Linda  Williams Jackson’s historical middle grade novel, MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON since I first heard about it early in 2017. I had the good fortune of interviewing Linda for my Author Spotlight series in January of that year, and the story has stuck with me ever since.

Which may be why I saved it for so long. (Yep, I was the kid who could make a candy bar last for days if I needed to). I had a feeling it would be rich in character and history as well as beautifully written, and I wanted to be able to dive right into it and read without interruption. I was not disappointed.

Book Love | Midnight Without a Moon | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comIt’s Mississippi in the summer of 1955, and Rose Lee Carter can’t wait to move north. For now, she’s living with her sharecropper grandparents on a white man’s cotton plantation. Then, one town over, an African American boy, Emmett Till, is killed for allegedly whistling at a white woman. When Till’s murderers are unjustly acquitted, Rose realizes that the South needs a change and that she should be part of the movement. Linda Jackson’s moving debut seamlessly blends a fictional portrait of an African American family and factual events from a famous trial that provoked change in race relations in the United States.

MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON is a compelling story – told with honesty and grace. Every school should have this book on their shelves.

Midnight Without a Moon (Rose Lee Carter #1)Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wonderful and powerful. A tough, lovely, and real story about a young girl growing up in the Mississippi Delta during the 1950’s and struggling to sort out her place in her family and in the world at large. This is a beautiful book – filled with complex characters, sharp storytelling, and rich history. A must read for kids and adults.

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For readers

  • A brave story well told.
  • A compelling and relate-able heroine.
  • A complicated family structure lots of kids will relate to.

For teachers

  • An accessible and compelling story about Civil Rights in America.
  • A great book to pair with To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • Some beautiful examples of literary devices such as metaphor, simile, and alliteration.
  • A great Discussion Guide.

MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON and the next book in the series, A SKY FULL OF STARS, are both available now. You can pick up a copy online or at your nearest independent bookseller.

PB | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comTrishSignatureblue

Author Spotlight: Linda Williams Jackson Talks About Midnight Without a Moon

author-spotlightToday I’m shining the Author Spotlight on Linda Williams Jackson and her debut novel MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON.


Genre:  Middle Grade Historical Fiction

Age Range:  10 and up

Launch Date:  January 3, 2017
(Out now!)



Midnight Witout A Moon mwam-cover-linda-jacksonPlease tell us a little bit about your book?

In Midnight Without a Moon, thirteen-year-old Rose Lee Carter wants desperately to flee the dirt clods of the Mississippi Delta. But for now, she’s stuck living on a cotton plantation with her grandparents Papa and Ma Pearl, her brother Fred Lee, and her not-so-nice cousin Queen. When a fourteen-year-old Chicago boy named Emmett Till is murdered in nearby Money, Mississippi, Rose is suddenly faced with the opportunity of a lifetime—an offer to move up north. But will she go?

What inspired you to write this story and/or these characters?

As a child, I rarely played with other children. Instead, I lurked in the background among the grown-ups and indulged myself in the stories they told. From these stories grew a desire to someday write a book that sort of reflected my family’s life in the Mississippi Delta. The story is set in 1955 because I wanted to tie in the Emmett Till story and the spark of the Civil Rights Movement.


Everyone says writing is a process. Could you share a little about your writing and/or research process?

First off, I DO NOT WRITE EVERY DAY. At least not fiction. I do journal every day, however. I basically aim for a date to complete a first draft, determine how much writing I need to do to in order to get me to that date, then I go for it. I can write ANYWHERE, so this helps in getting a first draft down without having to have a set writing time/place.

As far as research, the Internet is my friend. But I do purchase a few books for information that I can’t find on the Web. I also read a TON of books that are similar to what I’m writing. On another note, I like to read two types of books while I’m writing: One with “beautiful” writing, and the other with not-so-beautiful writing. The former gives me something to aspire to. The latter shows me what to avoid.


We know no writer is created in a vacuum. Could you tell the readers about a teacher or a librarian who had an effect on your writing life?

My college professors had a huge impact on my writing life. I was an overachiever who worked very hard to get all A’s, and the hardest A’s came from writing composition classes.


What makes your book a good pick for use in a classroom? Is there any particular way you’d like to see teachers use it with young readers/teens?

My seventeen-year-old daughter often speaks of how much she loved ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY by Mildred D. Taylor, COPPER SUN by Sharon Draper, and ONE CRAZY SUMMER by Rita Williams Garcia as classroom reads during middle school. Like these books about African-American history, I hope that MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON will be a book that is required reading in middle schools and that it will be a book that young readers are still talking about even at age seventeen.

I’m a little dog obsessed here at www.patriciabaileyauthor.com. Would you tell the readers about your favorite dog (real or imaginary)?

 I don’t own a dog, but my favorite dogs are Clifford, T-Bone, and Cleo from Clifford the Big Red Dog!



lindajacksonheadshotLinda Williams Jackson is an author who loves to read books more than she loves to write them. But, if she could manage a month-long vacation from her day job as wife (of 1), mother (of 3), homemaker, and homeschooler, she would check herself into a very nice hotel room and both read and write ALL DAY LONG. Of course, she’d take a break and order herself a pizza occasionally.

Find out more about Linda at www.jacksonbooks.com and connect with her on Twitter at @LindaWJackson.

You can learn more about MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON by listening to Linda’s NPR interview, here, and you can buy the book anywhere good books are sold, or online at:



Barnes and Noble

Thanks so much, Linda!




My 2017 Debut Author Interview at Just Another Teen Reading Books

ice-cream-1653441_1280I so enjoyed chatting with Jessica over at her blog Just Another Teen Reading Books.

My interview was part of her 2017 Debut Author series. Check it out and discover my favorite flavor of ice-cream and some of the 2017 debut novels I’ve enjoyed reading so far this year. You might also learn a little more about my novel, THE TRAGICALLY TRUE ADVENTURES OF KIT DONOVAN, while you’re there.

And be sure to read Jessica’s interviews with the other debut authors she’s featuring this month. There are so many great books coming out in 2017 – you’re going to want to make a list.



My Ask the Author Interview

By yomi yomi [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsThe lovely and talented Melissa Roske interviewed me for her blog series – Ask the Author. Melissa’s questions came straight from The Proust Questionnaire – and when she’s says she’s putting you in the hot seat, she’s not lying.

You can read my Ask the Author interview with Melissa here and find out all about my hopes, fears, and current state of mind – plus a little bit about my novel, THE TRAGICALLY TRUE ADVENTURES OF KIT DONOVAN.

Melissa Roske is the author of one of my most anticipated middle grade books of 2017, KAT GREENE COMES CLEAN. It will be published by Charlesbridge on June 13, 2017 and is available for pre-order now.








2017 Debut Book Love – Wait For Me

Book Review | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comI love historical novels. Always have. Historical fiction is what sparked my interest in history. It’s what led me to the library to learn more about the people and events that have shaped our world when I was a kid, and it’s what help me decide on my minor in college when I was an adult. Best of all, it was my love for history that inspired my own 2017 debut, THE TRAGICALLY TRUE ADVENTURES OF KIT DONOVAN.

Which is why I was so excited to see another 2017 debut historical on the ARC list. I’ve wanted to read Caroline Leech’s YA novel WAIT FOR ME since I first read the summary. There’s just something about being transported to another time and another place that gives you a fresh perspective. WAIT FOR ME’s beautiful Scottish setting and characters did just that.

Wait for MeWait for Me by Caroline Leech
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A touching war story – well told. Caroline Leech’s WWII romance, WAIT FOR ME, is filled with angst and empathy as enemies become friends – and fall in love – even as they are forced to face their own fears, prejudices, losses, and desires. Romance lovers will appreciate the slow burn of forbidden first love, while history lovers will be drawn to the detailed depictions of time and place and the unique setting. And everyone will love the characters – from Lorna’s pluck to Nikki’s cheerful desperation, from Jock’s quiet strength to Paul’s tragic kindness.

WAIT FOR ME is a strong debut. The author, Caroline Leech, has an eye for romance, and and an elegant hand with detail – and suspense. A great YA read.

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For readers:

  • A swoon-worthy love story.
  • Great historical detail.
  • Spunky and brave characters.

For teachers

  • A fresh historical perspective and setting for WWII.
  • Discussion about empathy, fear, and loss.
  • A WWII story with a strong female protagonist.