Trash Mountain after I had been rereading a lot of Jane Austen and that voice was stuck in my head. Except, of course, this was a squirrel. I knew quite a bit about the war between the red squirrels and gray squirrels, mostly from British magazines and newspapers (I live part of the year in Scotland where gray squirrelshad come over from the New World and were wiping out the reds. But it began as a kind of book of manners and turned dark. The first editor who saw it loved it started talking about the pictures, a mao, putting a ribbon in the book (I’d never had a ribbon!) asked me to change the background from a New England farm to one in Britain (she was English and the story resonated more for her that way.) And suddenly it worked better that way. And even more suddenly she turned it down saying her art director was squirrel phobic. It took several more years to sell themss. to another editor who loved it as much–and more–than she, found the right artist, and I was happy as I could be about the whole production.
And yes, I have been thinking about a sequel, but that editor has left for another job. So it goes.
- Gold medal in the Pre-Teen category for the 2015 Moonbeam Award
Around the web:
What reviewers have said:
- “A quiet gem from a master storyteller.”—School Library Journal
- “Though there’s a suggestion the story is meant as fable, Nutley’s adventure stands alone as a satisfying animal fantasy.”–Kirkus
- “This is a gripping story, right-sized for children but with all the authentic drama of any novel.”–Minneapolis Star Tribune