Kentucky Girls Books

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              Have you ever imagined living in a different time or place?
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Looking back to inspire the future.

Kentucky outline

All of our books -- those already written and those yet to come -- feature brave, resourceful Kentucky girls in historically accurate and realistic settings. In this respect, they're very similar to the well-loved series of American Girls books first published in the 1980s and `90s. The biggest difference is that all of our books are set in Kentucky instead of being in locations all across the United States.

We decided to do this because of our experiences with our own daughters. As they were progressing through the Kentucky school system, we saw how weak the state history curriculum was, especially in addressing women’s issues. "Wouldn't it be great," we mused, "if there were American girls' books about Kentucky." -- So, we created some.

Stories of girls who succeeded to encourage others who will succeed

By presenting thoughtful and dynamic girls from all parts of Kentucky's past we hope to encourage today’s Kentucky girls to be aware of women’s history, to appreciate women’s issues, and to be pro-active in securing their own rightful places in today’s world.

We especially want readers between the ages of 7 and 12 to identify with the heroines of our stories and realize that other girls -- including those from different cultural backgrounds, from different parts of the state, and from different time periods -- all face problems similar to their own. We hope this will encourage them to draw on their own strengths and resourcefulness to tackle whatever challenges come their way.

Our dream is that our books will become a popular educational resource used in schools and libraries. We would love for our Kentucky Girls Books to be included in the official curriculum for teaching Kentucky history in the state’s elementary schools.

But, our books are not textbooks. Neither are they tour guides or history books. They're adventure stories about young girls written specifically for young girls. They do offer insights into the lives of girls who lived in different times, places and situations but, first and foremost, they're fun to read.

It's bittersweet to realize that our own daughters have grown up and are no longer young enough to fully enjoy and benefit from our Kentucky Girls Books. But, perhaps, their daughters will. We also hope that you and the young girls in your life will too.


The Shakers were a great place to start.

Our first three books were set in the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in the 1830s. It's a real place, and it still exists as a living history village southwest of Lexington, Kentucky. We chose it as a setting because it was such a unique and successful institution for its time and place.

The Shakers were a religious community and were very progressive in their thinking and highly innovative in finding ways to work efficiently. These traits helped them be financially successful.

Socially and politically, they treated everyone equally. -- They even freed any slaves who were brought to the village by their masters. And, they educated girls. -- This made Shaker communities one of the best possible places for women and girls to live at that time.

But, these books should not be viewed as Shaker textbooks. That's not what they are. They're adventure stories, and they're fun to read.

Future books will introduce other fictional girls and explore Kentucky’s other culturally rich and historically diverse times and places.

After the Shaker series ...

The Mammoth Cave region in the 1920s is the setting for our next series. Automobiles were just becoming popular and were revolutionizing American ideas of travel, mobility, and vacations. Our hero is 12-year old Torry who is as much at home in the twisting, dark passages of an underground cave as she is walking the sun-dappled paths of a Kentucky forest. She's eager to learn the gimmicks and gotcha's of shilling for tourists so she and her family can compete with other cave-owners and make money from the new travel boom.

Our next setting is Renfro Valley in the 1930s when a new-fangled invention called radio helped make Renfro Valley the "musical capital" of Kentucky. Barn dances had occurred in rural areas forever, but radio made them a craze everywhere. Crowds lined up to attend them in person, and even more people listened to them on the radio. So, musicians flocked to Renfro Valley hoping to perform in concert or on the radio. So did young girls with good voices who wanted to break into show business. That's who we'll focus on.

Later, we may explore coal camps in Eastern Kentucky, horse farms on the Bluegrass, riverboats on the Ohio River, or mountain culture in Appalachia.

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