Imogene's Last Stand

Imogene's Last Stand

By Candace Fleming; Nancy Carpenter (Illustrator)

Dragonfly Books, Paperback, 9780385386548, 40pp.

Publication Date: August 5, 2014

Meet Imogene Tripp, a plucky girl with a passion for history. As a baby, her first words were Four score and seven years ago. In preschool, she finger-painted a map of the Oregon Trail. So it's not surprising that when the mayor wants to tear down the long-neglected Liddleville Historical Society to make room for a shoelace factory, Imogene is desperate to convince the town how important its history is. But even though she rides through the streets in her Paul Revere costume shouting, The bulldozers are coming, the bulldozers are coming the townspeople won t budge. What's a history-loving kid to do?
Filled with quotes from history's biggest players not to mention mini-bios and lots of humor, this is the perfect book for budding historians.
This girl-power story succeeds as an energetic and funny against-all-odds tale. "The Horn Book Magazine, " Starred

"From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author
I have always been a storyteller. Even before I could write my name, I could tell a good tale. And I told them all the time. As a preschooler, I told my neighbors all about my three-legged cat named Spot. In kindergarten, I told my classmates about the ghost that lived in my attic. And in first grade, I told my teacher, Miss Harbart, all about my family s trip to Paris, France.

I told such a good story that people always thought I was telling the truth. But I wasn t. I didn t have a three-legged cat or a ghost in my attic, and I d certainly never been to Paris, France. I simply enjoyed telling a good story . . . and seeing my listener s reaction.

Sure, some people might have said I was a seven-year-old fibber. But not my parents. Instead of calling my stories "fibs" they called them "imaginative." They encouraged me to put my stories down on paper. I did. And amazingly, once I began writing, I couldn t stop. I filled notebook after notebook with stories, poems, plays. I still have many of those notebooks. They re precious to me because they are a record of my writing life from elementary school on.

In second grade, I discovered a passion for language. I can still remember the day my teacher, Ms. Johnson, held up a horn-shaped basket filled with papier-mache pumpkins and asked the class to repeat the word "cornucopia." I said it again and again. I tasted the word on my lips. I tested it on my ears. That afternoon, I skipped all the way home from school chanting "Cornucopia! Cornucopia!" From then on, I really began listening to words -- to the sounds they made, and the way they were used, and how they made me feel. I longed to put them together in ways that were beautiful and yet told a story.

As I grew, I continued to write stories. But I never really thought of becoming an author. Instead, I went to college, where I discovered yet another passion -- history. I didn t realize it then, but studying history was really just an extension of my love of stories. After all, some of the best stories are true ones -- tales of heroism and villainy made more incredible by the fact they really happened.

After graduation, I got married and had children. I read to them a lot, and that s when I discovered the joy and music of children s books. I simply couldn t get enough of them. With my two sons in tow, I made endless trips to the library. I read stacks of books. I found myself begging, "Just one more, pleeeease!" while my boys begged for lights-out and sleep. Then it struck me. Why not write children s books? It seemed the perfect way to combine all the things I loved -- stories, musical language, history, and reading. I couldn t wait to get started.

But writing children s books is harder than it sounds. For three years, I wrote story after story. I sent them to publisher after publisher. And I received rejection letter after rejection letter. Still, I didn t give up. I kept trying until finally one of my stories was pulled from the slush pile and turned into a book. My career as a children s author had begun.

Candace Fleming lives in Mount Prospect, Illinois.

Nancy Carpenter, illustrator of many successful picture books, lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Praise For Imogene's Last Stand

Starred Review, The Horn Book Magazine, November/December 2009: "With a light touch, complemented by Carpenter’s breezy illustrations, Fleming introduces rather than stresses these issues, making room for more thoughtful discussion but never requiring it"

Publishers Weekly, October 5, 2009: "Imogene’s passion and comedic perseverance inspire"

Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2009: "Fleming peppers the text with famous quotes that add a layer of historical depth to the story"

Booklist, July 1, 2009: "Fleming’s sense of small-town space is impeccable; Carpenter’s pen-and-ink art enjoyably scribbly; and the historical facts and quotes that bookend the story are just the thing to get new Imogenes fired up."