It’s been a busy few months in many ways, but I’ve been the lucky recipient of three pieces of lovely news about my debut novel, White Rose:
- It’s been named on the longlist for the Massachusetts Book Award (in some fantastic company with fellow Massachusetts authors)!
- It was named on the shortlist for the 2020 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award (again in fantastic company, including the winning Lovely War by Julie Berry).
- Finally, White Rose has been named the 2019 Malka Penn award winner! This annual award is for works addressing human rights in children’s literature, and I’m so incredibly honored. Read all about the award and the amazing honor books here!
It’s finally official! I can share that White Rose, my debut YA novel-in-verse about anti-Nazi political activist Sophie Scholl, will be published by HMH Versify in Spring 2019. The announcement:
I’ve written many projects over the past 15 years, but I’m so thrilled White Rose will be my YA debut and so grateful that it wound up at the perfect home. It’s apparently so real now that it’s even listed on Goodreads (!), so please do feel free to add it if it sounds up your alley.
I should have more to share about the book as publication gets closer, but for now, a couple of pictures to show some of what went in to the project behind the scenes–first off, some of the research (because research is a huge part of the fun for authors of historical fiction):
And of course, one of the most exciting moments in the entire process-signing the contract!
This was most definitely a long road to a dream come true for me, so I’ll close by reminding everyone that it can happen! Follow those dreams wherever they lead! <3
Today is a sad anniversary. Seventy-five years ago, three members of the White Rose resistance group were executed by the Nazis for treason: Sophie Scholl, her brother Hans, and their friend Christoph Probst. These young students had their lives ahead of them, yet chose to resist their government and its criminal regime by writing and distributing anti-Hitler leaflets, knowing full well the consequences.
Through my research on the White Rose members for my forthcoming book (HMH Versify, Spring 2019), I’ve gotten to know these individuals, grown to love them for their ideals, their conviction, their hope for a better future. Their lives were cut tragically short, but their actions continue to inspire. People can indeed use words and ideas to make a difference–people should use their words and ideas to make a difference.
This past week, a group of teenagers in Florida have been doing the very same thing. In response to a mass shooting at their school, these teens are saying what many of us have been thinking for years: that enough is enough, that this must end, that more innocent children must not be killed, that they will not remain silent.
I can’t help imagining a ninety-six year old Sophie Scholl (the age she’d be today) watching the news of these young people, nodding sagely, telling them, “Don’t be silent. Be our bad conscience. Don’t leave us in peace.”
After a polarizing election that’s left this country divided and now fills many of our citizens with sadness and fear, one line from Secretary Clinton’s concession speech still manages to bring tears to my eyes: “This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”
The election loss did hurt. It hurt me and millions of others who voted for Clinton, believing that she is the best person to lead our country forward, especially when compared with the alternative. But Clinton fan or no, I hope fighting for what’s right is something all Americans can agree on. Even if you didn’t vote for Clinton, you can still fight for what’s right. And there’s plenty of fighting to be done.
In the few days since the election, hate crimes are already on the rise. Several friends have posted photos of swastikas and other hateful messages in their towns or even in front of their houses.
While this appalls and saddens me, I have to recognize my own position of privilege. I’m not a member of a marginalized group, so I can’t personally speak on how it must feel to be the victim of such attacks. However, I’m not about to sit by and let it become commonplace. This is not commonplace! This is reprehensible!
We must condemn this kind of behavior. Silence leads to indifference, and we cannot allow ourselves to become indifferent. As a non-marginalized person, I want to use my privilege for good. We must report such crimes. Speak out against these acts. Stand by the innocent victims, who deserve our full protection. In the words of the White Rose:
We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace!
These are Kip’s articles that have appeared in the following issues of these children’s magazines:
Gene Kelly: Tough Guy or Dancer?
Setting the Stage: Preparations for Yorktown
The White Rose: Germans Against Hitler
The Many Languages of Spain
Dropping in on Normandy
Vinnie Ream: The Girl Who Sculpted Lincoln
Edmonia Lewis: An American Sculptress
Leni Riefenstahl: Hitler’s Filmmaker
Multilingual Switzerland (forthcoming October 2008)