All posts tagged: YA historical fiction

WeekEND Reading: Carmela Martino talks about her gorgeously written historical fiction, PLAYING BY HEART, tenacity in publishing, being excited about what you write; math and music, and the little-known Agnesi sisters, and so much more

By Leslie Lindsay  Sweeping historical novel set in 18th century Milan features bright, spirited girls well ahead of their time.  Carmela Martino completely transported me to the historical landscape of Italy where girls were destined to become ‘only’ a wife/mother or join the convent. Oh, but the Salvini sisters, Maria and Emilia, have so much more they want to do with their lives. Emilia, ‘the second sister,’ wants nothing more than to marry a man who loves music as much as she does. Her sister, on the other hand, really desires to take the veil, but her father has insisted she become a scholar–her brilliant language skills are second to none (she has mastered seven!) and her math and astronomy studies are fearless. In fact, he hopes her skills land their large family in noble status. Every character in PLAYING BY HEART has a strong desire to become something: a mother, a musician, a nun, a nobleman. Their desires are often incongruent with the 18th century culture of Milan.  I found the writing lucid, the characters …

Write On, Wednesday: Historical YA author Courtney McKinney-Whitaker Talks about the Anglo-Cherokee War, her fascination with history, and balancing motherhood with writing

By Leslie Lindsay  I am in absolute awe of historian Courtney McKinney-Whitaker’s YA historical debut, THE LAST SISTER (October 15, 2014). Set in the rolling South Carolina backwoods, down the spine of the Appalachians, we come to know strong willed, yet fair-minded Catronia Blair (“Catie”), her struggles with a lesser-known war, the Anglo-Cherokee War (1758-61), in a tender coming-of-age story. Technically dubbed, YA, THE LAST SISTER could very well be one of those cross-over books that both adults and high school students would enjoy. The language is clean, and there’s just a hint of romance, but you won’t get off the hook where violence is concerned. There’s a good deal of scalpings and gun shots—but it is a book about a war, after all. Today, I am honored to have Courtney McKinney-Whitaker join us on the blog couch and chat with us about the book, the war, and more. Leslie Lindsay: I read in the back of THE LAST SISTER that the inspiration for the book started as a dare, as in, “I bet you …