This short novel has a long and complicated history. My agent was phoned by an editor at Scholastic wanting to know if I had any interest in a new series they were starting called HORRORS! It was to be novels based on old fairy tales brought up to date, with a frisson of terror
For the fourth (and alas final) Young Heroes book, Bob and I decided on Jason because the old tales tell about how he was raised on a mountain by the kindly centaur, Chiron.
So there I was, walking around the halls of the International Reading Assn conference, and I stopped at the small but elegant display of Barefoot Books. I was immediately struck by their distinctive style. One in particular was The Barefoot Book of Opera Stories.
So many people wrote to me asking that I write a book for boys to pair with my collection Not One Damsel in Distress: Folk Tales for Strong Young Women, that I decided to try it.
This third book in our Young Heroes series began with my vision of a girl and a bear roaming the woods together. In the old stories about Atalanta it was said that as an infant she’d been set out on a hillside to die, and was discovered and nursed by a bear.
In many ways this book was the hardest of all to write so far of the Unsolved Mysteries, because it had three separate stories of travel to America by boat, with slaughters on all sides, and then a missing colony. Also, because it dealt in part with
The idea of a Young Heroes series came from my editor at HarperCollins, but choosing to work with Bob Harris–already my co-conspirator from Queen’s Own Fool who had a degree from St Andrews University in
The third book in the Tartan Magic series. An American family comes to Scotland for the summer and immediately falls into magic. The setting is in Fairburn, a made-up city that
The idea of a Young Heroes series came from my editor at HarperCollins, but choosing to work with Bob Harris–already my co-conspirator from Queen’s Own Fool who had a degree from St Andrews University in Classics–that was my idea.
This book, about two feral children found in India in the 1920s and brought to an orphanage, is the second in a series of real-life unsolved mysteries for kids which I have written with my daughter Heidi Stemple. The first,