I had an amazing, inspiring time working with Susan Hood on Ada's Violin, a picture book that details the origins of the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, Paraguay and comes out this May. Susan poured all of her energy into the development of this picture book manuscript, working with representatives of the Recycled Orchestra, folks at the Landfill Harmonic Movie, and reporters who had covered the orchestra to get the details just right.
As such, I was thrilled when I received a new submission from her agent, this one for a novel, Susan's first! Lifeboat 12 is based on true events and follows six young boys (ages 9 - 13) who survived a major naval disaster in September 1940. The story details the U-boat torpedo attack on a ship carrying British children to Canada and the subsequent eight days, during which one of the lifeboats, carrying our heroes, was adrift on the Atlantic Ocean. While the people, dates and events are factual, Susan decided to fictionalize this account to tell it from the point of the view of thirteen-year-old Ken Sparks, the eldest boy on board and the boy who spotted the rescue plane.
True to form, Susan has dived into her research. She has spent some time in London with plans to go back, and she had tracked down some of the survivors of Lifeboat 12!
Lifeboat 12 is scheduled for Fall 2017.