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.

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Author Spotlight: Supriya Kelkar Talks About Ahimsa

Author Spotlight: Supriya Kelkar Talks About Ahmisa | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comToday I’m shining the Author Spotlight on Supriya Kelkar and her debut novel AHIMSA.

Title: AHIMSA

Genre: Historical Fiction

Age Range: Grades 3 to 7

Launch Date: October 2, 2017  

 

Please tell us a little bit about your book.

AHIMSA takes place in 1942 in British-ruled India. After Mahatma Gandhi asks each family to give one member to the non-violent freedom movement, 10-year-old Anjali is devastated to think of her father risking his life to join. But it turns out he isn’t the one joining. Her mother is. As the family gets more involved in the resistance, Anjali must confront her privilege and prejudices to ensure their little part in the movement is completed.

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

The original idea for AHIMSA was based on my great-grandmother’s story. She was a Gandhian freedom fighter who was jailed for her role in the resistance. She later went on to become a congresswoman post-independence. I thought it was an incredible story with a strong female character full of persistence and resistance and social justice. Although the story is now fictional, I think it still retains those traits that drew me to the idea in the first place.

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

Coming from a screenwriting background, I always do little character write-ups first, getting to know my main characters. I then use the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet to figure out the beats I need and move on to outlining. Once that’s finished, I start writing the actual draft

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?

Vidhu Vinod Chopra, a Hindi film writer/director/producer has had a very big impact on my writing life. I started working on his writing team out of college and have learned so much from him about storytelling. It has been an incredible experience getting to learn from him.

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?

As a book that features an Indian character, AHIMSA can be a good pick for a mirror book and a window book. It also addresses social justice and privilege and resistance so although it takes place almost eighty years ago, many of its themes are relevant today, and can be used to show young readers they have what it takes to “alter the course of history” as Gandhi said.

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

My mom likes to tell the story about how when I was a kid and we went to see the Taj Mahal, while everyone else was admiring the Taj Mahal I was staring at a street dog saying, “Look at that dog!” So it is hard for me to pick my favorite dog but my childhood pet, Cookie, was a very loving Shih-Tzu and my best friend who I really miss.

Author Spotlight: Supriya Kelkar Talks About Ahmisa | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

 

Author Spotlight: Supriya Kelkar Talks About Ahmisa | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comSupriya Kelkar was born and raised in the Midwest. She learned Hindi as a child by watching three Bollywood films a week. After college she realized her lifelong dream of working in the film industry when she got a job as a Bollywood screenwriter. AHIMSA, inspired by her great-grandmother’s role in the Indian freedom movement, is her debut middle-grade novel. You can follow her on Instagram @supriya.kelkar and on twitter @soups25
Learn more at www.supriyakelkar.com

 

Thanks, Supriya!

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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.

Title:  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!

http://www.gpb.org/clifford
http://www.gpb.org/clifford

 

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:

Powells

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Thanks so much, Linda!

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