One by one, fifty-six children climbed out of the coal-black train that rolled into Leek in central England. Every family was expected to do their part for the war effort. Daddy fought in France. Grandfather was in the Home Guard protecting the beaches along the English Channel. Grandmother worked in the Stannards Mill on Buxton Road sewing parachutes for the soldiers. Mummy and I wanted to do our part too. Mummy said we could take in one evacuee.
The children cued up and followed their teachers down the narrow cobblestone road. I could tell they were Londoners. They all were sickly and pale. I wondered how long it had been since they played outside. Their shoulders slumped and eyes cast down. Most wore dirty worn out clothes. Each child carried a small white paper bag full of their belongings. They all had a gas mask draped across one shoulder, just like me. Mr. Churchill required every man, woman and child to have one at all times, even babies.
I wanted to run to them and tell them not to be scared, they would be safe here. The War would never come to the countryside. It would stay in London and the south of England.
(This is an exerpt from a historical fiction picture book I am writing....)
I don't know how many times I've heard that historical fiction doesn't sell...But my WAD mate Tess Hilmo recently sold her MG historical fiction. I love reading historical fiction. I just read CHAINS & FEVER 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson and Katherine Paterson's BREAD & ROSES TOO (along with a host of books from England that were published in the early 1950's). So, if I'm buying them and reading them, aren't other people??? Do you read historical fiction?