Featured Book of the Week/ Stolen Children by Peg Kehret

Monday, September 27, 2010

This week's Feature Book of the Week

Stolen Children
Amy learned a lot in her babysitting course, but not what to do if two thugs show up, intent on kidnapping. Armed with misinformation and a weapon, the men take Amy and little Kendra to a remote cabin in the woods. There they make videos of the girls and mail them to Kendraas wealthy parents in an effort to get ransom money. After several of her escape attempts fail, Amy is forced to make one last, desperate move. Award winner Peg Kehret crafts a suspenseful thriller with a spunky heroine who uses her wits to save herself and the toddler. (Publisher's Summary from Powell's Books)

A Very Special Guest Post from Peg Kehret

The Idea for Stolen Children

I'm often asked how long it takes me to write a book, and my usual answer is, "Between six and nine months."  Stolen Children has a different answer.

When I first began writing,  many years ago, I published plays and short stories. I also wrote a novel, called The Ransom at Blackberry Bridge,  about a girl who was baby-sitting when the baby got kidnapped. I intended it for adults. When I sent it to an agent, she said, "I like the way you write, but your heroine seems awfully young. Have you ever considered writing for children?"  I had not, and, sadly, I didn't take her advice right away. The Ransom at Blackberry Bridge never got published.

Several years later, I did try writing for children, discovered that I loved it, and made that my life's work. One day, after I had published many novels for kids, I got out the manuscript of The Ransom at Blackberry Bridge to see if I could improve it enough to sell it. It was hopeless! I could see all sorts of things wrong with it, and I decided not to spend the time trying to salvage it.

However, I liked the basic idea of a girl who is baby-sitting when the baby gets kidnapped. Every time I began a new book, I considered that idea but then I always wrote something else. Still, I kept thinking about it until eventually – finally! -I wrote Stolen Children. It's totally different from that early first novel. The characters are not the same and neither is the plot but it was that long-ago idea that got me started.

So, if you ask me how long it took me to write Stolen Children, the answer is, "Thirty-five years."

Peg Kehret

Meet the author of Stolen Children

 Peg Kehret has always loved to write. As a child, she wanted to be either a writer or a veterinarian; now she includes animals in most of her books. She grew up in Austin, Minnesota, and had a happy and normal childhood except for a bout with polio which paralyzed her from the neck down and hospitalized her for nine months. However, she made nearly a complete recovery. She graduated from Austin High School and attended the University of Minnesota for one year.

She married Carl Kehret in 1955, and moved to California two years later. They adopted two children, Bob and Anne. As a young mother, Peg completed one more year of college. In 1970, Peg and Carl moved to Washington State where she still lives.

Before Peg began writing books for children, she wrote radio commercials, plays, and magazine stories. She also published two nonfiction adult books. Her first book for kids (Winning Monologs for Young Actors) was published in 1985. Since then she has published many popular books for young people.

Peg Kehret has won dozens of state Young Reader awards as well as the PEN Center Award in Children's Literature, the Golden Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, and the Henry Bergh Award from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA.)

For many years Peg and Carl traveled around the U.S. in their motorhome with their pets on board so that she could speak at schools, libraries, and children’s literature conferences.

Carl died in 2004. They were married for forty-eight happy years. Peg’s children are grown and married, and she has four grandchildren – Brett, Chelsea, Eric, and Mark – all of whom live in Washington State.

Peg is a long-time volunteer for animal welfare causes, working with the Humane Society and Pasado’s Safe Haven. She has a dog, Lucy, and two cats, Molly and Mr. Stray. All are rescued animals.

Peg’s home is a log house on a ten acre wildlife sanctuary near Mount Rainier National Park. She often sees deer and elk from her window. When she isn’t writing, Peg likes to read, watch baseball and gymnastics, play with her animals, and invite her grandkids to visit. (Biographical information from Peg Kehret's Website)

I want to thanks Peg Kehret for taking the time to write this guest post for us.

6 Delicious Comments:

Ms. Rasmussen said...

This book was EXACTLY the kind of book I devoured when I was in middle school. Mysteries are my number one request from students and I'm always repeating myself - "Try FIC KEH." Great book!

Hillsboro Hawks said...

Thanks for that great story. Students love to hear how the seed for a book grew.

Mrs. R said...

From Hazzelwood North Book Battle Club--
I usually don't figure out authors I'm reading, but I notice Peg Kehret. I like the details in her stories. Jose

I like the way she keeps her books going to keep me reading. Julian

Is Peg Kehret writing a new book? Lawan

Hillsboro Hawks said...

Peg Kehret's books are at the top of my recommended mystery author list. Students really enjoy her books.

righty1999 said...

I love this book SOOOO much!!! I swore I was addicted!!! I still think anout the book to this day........and I read it 7 months ago!!! (:(:

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