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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Draft of Foreword to Cora's Stories Dubois Files

If you subscribe to the Books Leaving Footprints Newsletter (sign up above if you didn't just get a new issue on Sunday) you already heard that I'm starting a mystery series for young readers. These are tentatively being collectively called Cora's Stories, although I'm still brainstorming. Changed to Dubois Files

The target audience is approximately 4th grade through junior high, although I dislike such guidelines since anyone who finds the books appealing is welcome to read them.

For fans of Anastasia Raven, you will recognize two of the names. Cora Dubois (Baker Caulfield) and the grandfather of the current Jimmie Mosher (for whom the young Jimmie was named) are the primary characters. The setting is the familiar Forest County, in the 1950s.

Each book will include "this" message to parents. Here's a draft. I'm open to comments. Particularly if you have a young reader or are a parent.

Foreword for Parents

The number one question I am asked at author events is some variation of, "Do you have chapter books for young readers?" This series is my response to that encouraging need parents are experiencing, namely, they have children who want to read books.

The Dubois Files combine adventure and mystery without being violent or dark. They are set in the mid twentieth century when moral standards were generally expected to be upheld, and the children I've invented will sometimes be presented with opportunities to choose between right and wrong.

Currently, one of the most popular genres for readers, approximately fourth grade and up, is fantasy. I have no bias against fantasy, but my strength is mysteries. I write mysteries. As a child, I read every mystery my local library and school library had, most more than once. I'm not sure I can count the number of times I read all the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys stories. The Dubois Files springboard from that model.

However, in this era of extreme political correctness, those classic series are being retro-analyzed as being racist. It is my desire to promote diversity and inclusiveness, and yet, I do not believe that re-writing history is honest. Every decade or century is tarnished in various ways.

The primary characters in these books include Jimmie Mosher, of English descent; Cora Dubois with a Finnish mother and French father; Laszlo Szep, the son of a Hungarian tenant farmer; and George and Ruby Harris, a brother and sister with African-American roots. Of course, their extended families, and the associated problems, will come into the plots. These ethnicities fit into the time period and the place without straining credulity.

It is my hope that the Dubois Files will be entertaining, but also morally strong and educational to some degree.

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