Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Runaway Friend - now available!

I'm delighted to announce the arrival of my latest children's mystery, The Runaway Friend, from American Girl.

Kirsten Larson has been living on the Minnesota frontier for only a few weeks when her neighbor and friend, Erik Sandahl, disappears. Erik had promised to help the Larsons at harvest time, and he owes Uncle Olav money. Has he run out on his promises? Everyone seems to think so--except Kirsten. Can she figure out what's happened to her friend?

Researching and writing this book brought back lots of happy memories of my years spent working as an interpreter and curator at Old World Wisconsin, a large outdoor museum that preserves and celebrates the state's immigrant history. The Runaway Friend focuses on a Swedish girl's experiences in 1854; the oldest home preserved at Old World Wisconsin is the Norwegian Fossebrekke house, restored to its 1845 appearance. (That's me in 1982, sitting in the Fossebrekke house door.)

I gleaned the mystery elements from period newspapers, and accounts written by immigrants and travelers. Something that really caught my attention were several personal ads published by husbands, labeling their wives as runaways and prohibiting anyone from providing them shelter or aid. I longed to know what happened to those women.

To learn more about this book, or any of my other work, please visit

No comments: