All of our books - those already written and those yet to come - feature brave, resourceful Kentucky girls in historically accurate and realistic settings. They're very similar to the well-loved American Girls books published in the 1980s and `90s except they're set in Kentucky instead of all over the United States.
We did this because of what we learned while raising our own daughters. As they were growing up and moving through the Kentucky school system, we saw how weak its history curriculum is, especially in addressing women’s issues. - Wouldn't it be great, we mused, if there were American Girls books about Kentucky.
That's why we now write Kentucky Girls Books.
Stories of girls who succeeded for young girls who will succeed
By populating our books with thoughtful and dynamic girls from all parts of Kentucky's past we hope to encourage today’s Kentucky girls to be aware of women’s history, to appreciate women’s issues, and to be pro-active in securing their own rightful places in today’s world.
We especially want readers between the ages of 7 and 12 to identify with the heroines of our stories and realize that other girls - even those from different cultural backgrounds, different parts of the state, and different times - face problems similar to theirs. We hope this encourages them to draw upon their own strength and resourcefulness to tackle whatever comes their way.
Our dream is to have our books become a popular educational resource for libraries and schools. We would love to have Kentucky Girls Books incorporated into the state-mandated curriculum for teaching Kentucky history in the state’s elementary schools. But, our books are not textbooks. Nor are they tour guides or history books. They're adventure stories about young girls for young girls. While they do offer insights into the lives of girls who lived in different times, places and situations, they're first and foremost fun to read.
It's somewhat bittersweet to realize our daughters are no longer young enough to fully enjoy and benefit from Kentucky Girls Books. But, perhaps, their daughters will. And, we hope that you and the young girls in your life will too.
The Shakers were a great start.
Our first three books were set in the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in the 1830s because it was such a unique and successful institution for its time and place.
The Shakers were progressive in their thinking and very innovative in finding ways to work efficiently, traits which helped them be financially successful.
Socially and politically, they treated everyone equally. - They even freed slaves brought to the village by their masters, and they educated girls. - This made Shaker communities one of the best possible places for women and girls to live.
But, these books should not be viewed as Shaker textbooks. That's not what they are. They're adventure stories, and they're fun to read.
After the Shaker series ...
Future books will introduce other fictional girls and explore Kentucky’s other culturally rich and historically diverse times and places.
The Mammoth Cave region of Western Kentucky in the 1920s when automobiles revolutionized American ideas of travel, mobility, and vacations will be next. You'll meet 12-year old Torry who is as much at home in the twisting, dark passages of an underground cave as she is walking the sun-dappled paths of a Kentucky forest and who is eager to learn the gimmicks and gotcha's of shilling for tourists to compete with other cavers.
Later, we may explore coal camps in Eastern Kentucky, horse farms on the Bluegrass, German immigration into Northern Kentucky, riverboats on the Ohio River, or the mountain culture of Appalachia.