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About Melanie Crowder
Melanie Crowder lives on the Colorado Front Range, where she is a writer and educator. Melanie holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is the author of the novels THREE PENNIES, AN UNINTERRUPTED VIEW OF THE SKY, A NEARER MOON, AUDACITY, and PARCHED.
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*" This is a terrific and realistic piece of historical fiction that is perfect for theater lovers and historical fiction fans." --SLC (starred review)
*"The peppy first-person narrative keeps the story zipping along, and adroitly placed period details make the setting come alive in this bighearted, exuberant novel." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
An eighteen-year-old aspiring actress trades in starry Nebraska skies for the bright lights of 1950s Broadway in this show-stopping novel from award-winning author Melanie Crowder.
Mazie has always longed to be on Broadway. But growing up in her small Nebraska town, that always seemed like an impossible dream. So when an opportunity presents itself to spend six weeks auditioning, Mazie jumps at the chance, leaving behind everything--and everyone--she's ever known.
New York City is a shock to the senses: thrilling, but lonely. Auditions are brutal. Mazie's homesick and she misses the boyfriend whose heart she broke when she left. Nothing is as she expected.
With money running out, and faced with too many rejections to count, Mazie is more determined than ever to land a role. But when she discovers that booking a job might mean losing sight of herself, everything Mazie always thought she wanted is called into question.
Mazie is the story of a girl caught between two lives--and two loves--as she navigates who she is, what matters most, and the cost of following her dream.
Praise for Mazie:
"Entertaining and heartfelt."-- Booklist
"Mazie’s authenticity makes this novel stand out. Recommended for all collections, especially where theater is popular."– School Library Journal
It's 1999 in Bolivia and Francisco's life consists of school, soccer, and trying to find space for himself in his family's cramped yet boisterous home. But when his father is arrested on false charges and sent to prison by a corrupt system that targets the uneducated, the poor, and the indigenous majority, Francisco and his sister are left with no choice: They must move into prison with their father. There, they find a world unlike anything they've ever known, where everything—a door, a mattress, protection from other inmates—has its price.
Prison life is dirty, dire, and dehumanizing. With their lives upended, Francisco faces an impossible decision: Break up the family and take his sister to their grandparents in the Andean highlands, fleeing the city and the future within his grasp, or remain together in the increasingly dangerous prison. Pulled between two undesirable options, Francisco must confront everything he once believed about the world and his place within it.
In this heart-wrenching novel, Melanie Crowder sheds light on a little-known era of modern South American history—where injustice still looms large—and proves that hope can be found, even in the most desperate places.
Perfect for fans of Ruta Sepetys, Matt de la Pena, and Jacqueline Woodson.
Praise for An Uninterrupted View of the Sky:
★ "Crowder delivers a disturbing portrait of innocent families trapped in corrupt systems, as well as a testament to the strength of enduring cultural traditions and the possibility of finding family in the unlikeliest places."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
★ "Readers will feel utterly invested in Francisco's various challenges...A riveting, Dickensian tale."—Kirkus, starred review
★ "Themes of poverty, social injustice...violence toward women, coming-of-age, romantic love, and a sliver of precarious hope are woven into the plot...[An] important addition to libraries."—School Library Journal, starred review
"[A] trenchant novel...This hard-hitting, ultimately hopeful story will open readers’ eyes to a lesser-known historical moment and the far-reaching implications of U.S. policy."—Booklist
"[This novel] is raw, gripping, poetic and bold....Crowder takes you on an emotional pilgrimage that you won’t want to end."—RT Book Reviews, five-starred review
Praise for Audacity:
2015 National Jewish Book Award finalist
Washington Post Best Children’s Poetry Book
New York Public Library Best Book for Teens
ILA Notable Book for a Global Society
ALA Top 10 Best Fiction for Young Adults Pick
ALSC Notable Children's Book nominee
★ "Crowder breathes life into a world long past...Compelling, powerful and unforgettable."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ "[An] impactful addition to any historical fiction collection.
The inspiring story of Clara Lemlich, whose fight for equal rights led to the largest strike by women in American history
A gorgeously told novel in verse written with intimacy and power, Audacity is inspired by the real-life story of Clara Lemlich, a spirited young woman who emigrated from Russia to New York at the turn of the twentieth century and fought tenaciously for equal rights. Bucking the norms of both her traditional Jewish family and societal conventions, Clara refuses to accept substandard working conditions in the factories on Manhattan's Lower East Side. For years, Clara devotes herself to the labor fight, speaking up for those who suffer in silence. In time, Clara convinces the women in the factories to strike, organize, and unionize, culminating in the famous Uprising of the 20,000.
Powerful, breathtaking, and inspiring, Audacity is the story of a remarkable young woman, whose passion and selfless devotion to her cause changed the world.
Praise for AUDACITY:
A 2015 National Jewish Book Award finalist
A Washington Post Best Children’s Books for April: Poetry Edition
An ILA Notable Book for a Global Society
A 2016 NCTE Children's Notable Verse Novel
A New York Public Library Best Book for Teens
An ALA Top 10 Best Fiction for Young Adults Pick
An ALSC Notable Children's Book nominee
A BCCB Blue Ribbon winner
* "Crowder breathes life into a world long past....Compelling, powerful and unforgettable." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "This book stands alone....an impactful addition to any historical fiction collection."--School Library Journal, starred review
* "With a thorough historical note, glossary of terms, and bibliography, this will make an excellent complement to units on women’s rights and the labor movement, but it will also satisfy readers in search of a well-told tale of a fierce heroine."--BCCB, starred review
* "This is an excellent title that can open discussions in U.S. history and economics courses about women’s rights, labor unions, and the immigrant experience."--School Library Connection, starred review
"Based on the true story of Clara Lemlich, Audacity throbs with the emotions of this exceptional young woman who fought for equal rights and improved labor standards in factories. Melanie Crowder’s verses spit out Clara’s rage, cradle her longing and soar like the birds that are her constant companions."--Bookpage
“Crowder’s (Parched) use of free verse in this fictionalization of Russian-Jewish immigrant Clara Lemlich’s life brings a spare poignancy to a familiar history.”--Publishers Weekly
"Brilliant, riveting, informative." —Cynthia Levinson, critically acclaimed author of We've Got a Job
“Audacity is an evocative reimagining of a fascinating historical figure who should be remembered for her determination in the face of great odds and powerful opposition—and for her role in changing America.