Monday, September 30, 2013

Darling, Mercy Dog of World War I

When you think of war heroes, you may not automatically picture man's best friend, but military working dogs have made huge contributions to military efforts for centuries. In our newest middle grade historical fiction novel from Alison Hart we meet Darling, the beloved pet of Robert and Katherine, who spends her days finding mischief at home in England. When the Great War begins, Darling must join the war effort. After training, she becomes a mercy dog to find wounded soldiers in the field and bring them to safety. 

This first adventure in the Dog Chronicles series will give readers a great look at what military life was like during World War I, for the human soldiers and mercy dogs alike, with lots of action and plenty of heart, too!

Check out our blog tour and check back for giveaways!




I'll have a post up on the Peachtree blog with a giveaway contest today!



For more information about military working dogs check out the US Department of Defense website here

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A True Story of Colonial America, guest post by Krista Russell

In The Other Side of Free we read about Jem, an escaped slave who has found freedom in Spanish Florida at Fort Mose in St. Augustine. Or, at least he thought it was freedom. Jem faces new challenges at every turn in this adventurous historical fiction novel from Krista Russell. 

Here to tell you more about the story and the history behind it is Krista herself! Welcome to the blog! 

A promise, an oath, and a true story of colonial America

What I love most about writing historical fiction is the digging. Before visiting Fort Mose in St. Augustine, FL, I had no idea that the earliest version of the Underground Railroad actually ran south. I started looking at primary sources (the pieces of the past that bring history to life) and learned that those who came seeking freedom weren’t just running away; they’d been invited. It was a time of invasion, rebellion, and shifting alliances – a veritable action adventure movie plot unfolding on the shores of north Florida. 

The people who founded Fort Mose, didn’t wind up there by accident. They came by royal invitation. In 1693, Charles II of Spain issued a proclamation which would shape the history of colonial America. To African slaves who escaped English colonies and came to Spanish Florida, he promised "liberty to all…the men as well as the women…so that by their example and by my liberality others will do the same."

For those who heard about the king’s promise (despite an English mum’s-the-word policy) and made the dangerous journey south, the quest for freedom had not ended. Instead, they found that the Spanish offer came with some serious strings attached. In addition to converting to Catholicism, the escaped slaves were required to swear an oath to “spill their last drop of blood” in defense of the Spanish King and to be the “most cruel enemies of the English.”

Accepting these terms, they built Fort Mose, the first legally sanctioned free African settlement in what is now the United States. About two miles north of the palisade walls which surrounded St. Augustine, Fort Mose was all that stood between the Spanish and their English enemies when war broke out in 1739.

In 1994 the site of Fort Mose was designated a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2009, the National Park Service named Fort Mose a precursor site on the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

A hand-made silver medallion, dug out of the marsh by an amateur archaeologist in the 1980s, was the primary source which inspired my middle-grade historical novel, The Other Side of Free. I’ve seen copies of the 1693 cedula (proclamation) and records from the South Carolina House of Assembly which blame Spain for the 1739 Stono Rebellion (it was to St. Augustine that the rebels were headed when the uprising was suppressed). 

What was true then is true now: We live in society of many cultures and global influences. Stories like this one inspire me to keep digging.

Krista Russell writes historical fiction for young readers. She is the author of Chasing theNightbird (September 2011), and The Other Side of Free (October 2013) and a graduate of Agnes Scott College, The London School of Economics and Political Science, and Seton Hill University. Chasing the Nightbird was winner of the 2012 Massachusetts Book Award for Children’s/Young Adult Literature, a 2012 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, a Pennsylvania School Library Association’s Young Adult Top 40, and a Parents’ Choice Recommended award book. Visit her website at

Here's your chance to win a copy of this awesome book! Email me, send a tweet to @PeachtreePub with #funfact or comment below and tell us about a little known piece of history that interests you! (Yes, it can be from The Other Side of Free!) I'll pick a winner on October 1!

*Contest closes at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013
**US residents only, please

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Other Side of Free

When you think of slavery and the Underground Railroad, I bet you think of abolitionist heroes moving people from station to station under the cover of night. Families fleeing north to freedom and the promise of a life free from abuse. What if I told you some slaves ran south

The lesser known southern path of the Underground Railroad takes center stage in Krista Russell's (Chasing the Nightbird) new historical fiction novel, The Other Side of Free

We're having a great blog tour this week full of reviews, giveaways, Q&As and a guest post from Krista herself! Check it out!

Kid Lit Reviews
Blue Owl Reviews


Maestra Amanda's Bookshelf

Gidget's Bookworms


Guest post from Krista right here

Be sure to check out our historical fiction Pinterest board and enter our blog contest to win a copy

Happy Reading!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Florida Reading Association

Are you headed to Orlando this week for FRA? So are we! Check out our booth and be sure to meet our authors! 

Florida Reading Association
Orlando, FL | Sept. 25 - 29
Peachtree Publishers Booth #219

Our Saturday (9/28) events:
9:00 - 10:00 a.m. 
Adrian Fogelin is signing in the Peachtree booth (#219)!

10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Bill Harley is signing in the Peachtree booth (#219)!

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Krista Russell is signing in the Peachtree booth (#219)!

1:45 - 2:45 p.m.
Krista Russell presents "Historical Fiction and the Common Core: Finding the Story in History"
room Wekiwa 6

1:45 - 2:45 p.m.
Adrian Fogelin presents "How 'Real' Authors Do It!"
room Sebastian L4
1:45 - 2:45 p.m.
Bill Harley presents "A Storyteller Writes" 
room Sebastian K

 See you on the floor!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fall Conferences and Shows!

We'd love to meet you! If you'll be attending any of the following conferences, make sure to stop by our booth and meet our authors! Check back closer to these dates for information on our authors' presentations and booth signings!

Florida Reading Association (FRA)
Orlando, FL | Sept. 25 - 29
Peachtree Publishers Booth #219

GA Council of Media Organizations (GA COMO)
Macon, GA | Oct. 9 - 11
Peachtree Publishers Booth #55

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)
Hartford, CT | Nov. 11 - 17
Peachtree Publishers Booth #212

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
Washington, DC | Nov.  20 - 23
Peachtree Publishers Booth #612

National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE)
Boston, MA | Nov. 21 - 24
Peachtree Publishers Booth #1106

National Council of Social Studies (NCSS)
St. Louis, MO | Nov. 22 - 24
Peachtree Publishers Booth #404

Monday, September 16, 2013

Claude at the Circus!

Claude is back and at it again! This time, when Mr. and Mrs. Shinyshoes leave for the day, Claude's adventures with best friend Sir Bobblysock take him to the park. Their outing takes an unexpected turn when they save a baby from a runaway buggy and eventually find themselves performing in the circus! 
Check out these stops on the Claude at the Circus blog tour and keep up with all the crazy fun! You can also keep up Claude's shenanigans on Twitter with #claudecircus and follow author @Alex_T_Smith!





Happy Reading!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

50 Years Forward

Today, over one thousand children and adults gathered in Birmingham to recreate the 1963 Children's March.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1963 Birmingham Children's March and so many other important events in the Civil Rights Movement. As we look back over the movement and the progress that's been made in the past 50 years, we also invite you to look specifically at this once seldom-known event in which thousands of Birmingham students voluntarily went to jail in the name of freedom.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

14 Cows for America

On this day just twelve short years ago, we remember and pledge to never forget the acts of September 11 at the World Trade Center in New York. As with all historic moments that change the course of our country's history, those of us old enough to remember will always think of where we were in that instant we heard the news. 

I was in high school (preparing to present a paper in my Psychology class) and the immediate question on the minds of our teachers, as it related to us, was of how much information to give. Do we turn on the televisions and watch the news unfold? Are the middle schools telling their students? At what age are the students old enough to handle this kind of information? Do we dismiss early so that parents can be the ones to explain what's happening?

Now, twelve years later, there are still more questions for those with children and students too young to have known about the attacks as they happened. How do we teach them that part of history that is still so fresh in our memories and in our current world climate? 

Carmen Deedy's 14 Cows for America is a great place to start. This New York Times Bestseller is a true story of hope and generosity, and the gift a small Kenyan village makes to the people of America.

In June of 2002, a very unusual ceremony begins in a far-flung village in western Kenya.
An American diplomat is surrounded by hundreds of Maasai people. A gift is about to be bestowed upon the American men, women, and children, and he is there to accept it. The gift is as unexpected as it is extraordinary.

A mere nine months have passed since the September 11 attacks, and hearts are raw. Tears flow freely from American and Maasai as these legendary warriors offer their gift to a grieving people half a world away.

Word of the gift will travel newswires around the globe. Many will be profoundly touched, but for Americans, this selfless gesture will have deeper meaning still. For a heartsick nation, the gift of fourteen cows emerges from the choking dust and darkness as a soft light of hope—and friendship.

Master storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy hits all the right notes in this elegant story of generosity that crosses boundaries, nations, and cultures. An afterword by Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah—the Maasai warrior at the center of the story—provides additional information about his tribe and their generous actions. Thomas Gonzalez’s stunning paintings, which are saturated with rich hues of oranges, browns, blues, and greens, capture the modest nobility of the Maasai people and the distinctive landscape of the African plain.

This week, let us look to our younger generation with hope for the future as we discuss with them the importance of remembering the past.

If you'd like more information, click here to visit the 14 Cows for America website. A free classroom discussion guide is available here.

Also available in Spanish:

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Now in paperback!

We have a ton of awesome paperbacks to share with you! Look for these and all your Peachtree favorites at your local bookstore!

August 2013:

September 2013:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Football titles for Fall!

Do you have a reluctant reader who loves football? How about an enthusiastic reader who loves football (Or a somewhat reluctant reader who likes sports in general)? 

Any kind of reader will LOVE Fred Bowen's action-packed sports stories and parents and teachers love the real-life character education and history lesson weaved in, too! 

This fall, be sure to check out Quarterback Season and Touchdown Trouble for the pigskin fanatic in your family! 

Happy Reading everyone!