In this post, we feature debut author Kate Albus. You can hear her speak about her first novel, A Place to Hang the Moon, and try her “invitation to imagine” activity. You’ll also find other resources to explore. Thanks for joining us, and let us know what you think in the comments below!
- Written by Kate Albus
- Published by Margaret Ferguson Books, an imprint of Holiday House Books
- Release date: February 1, 2021
Anna, Edmund, and William aren’t terribly upset by the death of their not-so-grandmotherly grandmother. But the children do need a guardian, and in the dark days of WWII London, those are in rather short supply. Could the mass wartime evacuation be the answer? Moving from one billet to another, the children suffer the cruel trickery of foster brothers, the cold realities of outdoor toilets, and the hollowness of empty tummies. They seek comfort in the village lending library, whose kind librarian, Nora Muller, seems an excellent candidate except that she has a German husband whose whereabouts are currently unknown. Nevertheless, Nora’s cottage is a place of bedtime stories and fireplaces, of vegetable gardens and hot, milky tea. Most important, it’s a place where someone thinks they hung the moon. Which is really all you need in a mum, if you think about it.
From A Place to Hang the Moon, by Kate Albus.
Funeral receptions can be tough spots to find enjoyment,Read a longer excerpt from A Place to Hang the Moon, by Kate Albus.
but eleven-year-old Edmund Pearce was doing his best.
Listen to Kate Albus talking with TeachingBooks about creating A Place to Hang the Moon. You can click the player below or experience the recording on TeachingBooks, where you can read along as you listen, and also translate the text to another language.
- Listen to author Kate Albus talk about her name.
- Explore TeachingBooks’ collection of activities and resources for A Place to Hang the Moon.
Invitation to Imagine
TeachingBooks asks each author or illustrator on our Virtual Book Tour to share a writing prompt, a drawing exercise, or just an interesting question to spark curiosity and creativity. Enjoy the following activity contributed by Kate Albus.
Imagination Activity with Kate Albus
Stories are everywhere. I find inspiration in books, on the radio, and in my wandering mind on sleepless nights. And that inspiration, that spark, that premise, is really all you need to start writing a story of your own.
Maybe you have a billion stories dancing in your head already. If you do, find a time to sit for just a minute and write them down. A sentence apiece is fine! Just start with WHAT IF, then fill in the rest of the sentence. With this list, you’ll have the seeds for stories right there in front of you. If there aren’t any particular ideas dancing around in that brain of yours at the moment, that’s fine too!
Here’s an exercise for you to try. Carry a pen and paper with you as you go about your day today, and keep an ear out for things that interest you. Maybe it’s something you learn in your history book. Maybe it’s a familiar fairy tale that you think might be even better with a different ending. Maybe it’s a memory from when you were small. For the rest of the day, take just a second to jot down those WHAT IFs as you find them. What you’ll find is that stories really are everywhere.
Finish This Sentence . . . with Kate Albus
As part of our Virtual Book Tour, TeachingBooks asks authors and illustrators to complete short sentence prompts. Enjoy Kate Albus’s response.
“Where I work is…”
I’m awfully lucky to have a lovely, quiet little writing space in an upstairs room in my house. It looks out on the beautiful rolling farmland of the Maryland countryside. It’s filled with books (mostly strange, dusty old books that I use to research whatever historical period I’m writing about), yarn (I love knitting), and family mementos (my own family history inspires a lot of what I write). Here’s a picture; I cleaned up a little for you!
To wrap up this Virtual Book Tour, we thank Kate Albus for signing a book for all of us.
More Connections to Kate Albus and A Place to Hang the Moon
- Discover books like A Place to Hang the Moon on TeachingBooks.
- Holiday House’s page about A Place to Hang the Moon, by Kate Albus.
- Buy A Place to Hang the Moon, by Kate Albus.
- Kate Albus on Twitter.
Explore all of the titles featured in the TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour: one link with author interviews, lesson plans, activities, and more!
All text and images are courtesy of Kate Albus and Holiday House Books and may not be used without expressed written consent.