My Writer's Journal

Message and Memory

November 12, 2011

I was sitting here at my computer, glumly trying to think of something bright and interesting to write in my Journal, when the following e-mail arrived:

Dear Ms. Meyer: What an amazing writer you are! I am a mom and teacher with a great love of historical fiction. When we travel, we usually do "thematic" travel. For Thanksgiving we are driving from NYC to VA, through Amish Pennsylvania. I am hoping to listen to, or read aloud Gideon's People to my 11 and 13 yr. olds. Do you know where I can find and order the tape or CD? I would appreciate any leads you have. Thank you so much for all you do for our youth.--Suzanne B.

GIDEON'S PEOPLE was published in 1996. I remember exactly when I got the idea for the book: I was visiting Lewistown, Pennsylvania, where I grew up and happened to run into a friend of my late mother's, Stanley Siegel. We went out for lunch together, and at some point I asked him how his Jewish family had ended up in our thoroughly Pennsylvania Dutch small town. He told me the story of his grandfather, an immigrant from Russia in the early 1900's, who had eventually become a peddler in Lancaster County, dealing with Amish farm families whose German dialect was similar to the Yiddish spoken by his grandfather. Stanley's father, who became a lawyer, settled in Lewistown to escape the antisemitism he was encountering in other cities.

Before we finished lunch, I was already thinking, "Now what if somehow a Jewish boy, traveling with his father, ends up staying with an Amish family...." The book was already beginning to take shape in my mind.

Well, that email certainly cheered me up. I rushed to the mirror and said to myself, "What an amazing writer you are!" And what an amazing mom/teacher Suzanne is, to plan such trips for her kids. Thank you, Suzanne, for reminding me of how it all happens. And I'm sorry there's no CD.


  1. November 17, 2011 6:33 PM MST
    My friend just got me gideon's people, but I havn't started it yet, but I will tonight!!!
    - Liz

Fiction for Young Adults

Fiction for Young Adults
Dowdy Peggy White reinvents herself as a glamorous photographer, capturing memorable images during the 1930s Depression and 1940s World War II
Three gutsy girls go looking for adventure in the West in the 1920's
Anastasia and her three sisters are the privileged daughters of the richest man in the world, until their world begins to crumble.
YA Historical Fiction
What's it like to be the daughter of the most beautiful woman in the world? When Helen of Troy elopes with Paris, her daughter, Hermione, stows away on a Greek ship in search of her mother, hoping to bring her home--and perhaps to find a love of her own.
The future queen of England lives a life of privilege, but privilege comes with a steep price of isolation and loneliness--until she meets Albert.
She leaves Scotland as a child, is sent to France to marry the future king, returns to Scotland as a young woman to rule; a wild queen in a wild country.
First published in 1992, my first historical novel, has been reissued with a new cover.
Cleopatra has been chosen to be the next queen of Egypt, but she faces ruthless competition from her sisters. (Watch a video of Carolyn on this page)
The dizzying rise and horrific downfall of the last queen of France. Young Royals series
Who would not fall in love with--or at least have a mad crush on--young Will!
Marie van Goethen was a dancer in 19th century Paris and modeled for Degas's famous sculpture.
A fictionalized account of the early life of Charles Darwin, narrated by Charley himself.
Mozart's talented sister, Nannerl, struggles to achieve life she deserves--in music as well as in love.
Contemporary YA
Four characters, four big issues, four compelling stories: BECAUSE OF LISSA; THE PROBLEM WITH SIDNEY; GILLIAN'S CHOICE; THE TWO FACES OF ADAM

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