WHISTLER IN THE DARK
A HISTORY MYSTERY
American Girl Publishing
Reprinted by Skyview Books
Agatha Award Nominee for Best Children’s/Young Adult Mystery
— Malice Domestic
WILLA Award Finalist for Best Children’s/Young Adult Book
— Women Writing the West
Multiple national mystery award nominated Whistler In The Dark is the second of Kathleen's mysteries for American Girl, and the sixth of her twenty-five published books. It is written for readers age 9 to adult who enjoy Wild West era historical fiction without any sex, gore, or explicit violence. It is available as a 144-page book in softcover and hardcover.
It’s 1867. Twelve-year-old Emma Henderson is mortified when Mother takes to wearing a Reform Dress—hideous bloomers! Worse, Mother has accepted a newspaper job in wild, far-off Colorado Territory. But even Emma can’t imagine just how badly things will go in Twin Pines. From the moment she and Mother step off the stagecoach, it’s clear that someone doesn’t want them there.
This book includes a richly illustrated "Peak Into The Past" essay.
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About The Author
Bestselling author Kathleen Ernst writes award-winning mysteries and historical fiction for adults and young readers. Her work has earned numerous honors, including multiple Edgar and Agatha mystery award nominations, and an Emmy for children's educational programming.
To date, readers have purchased over one million printed, electronic, and audio copies of Kathleen's twenty-nine books. more>>
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Enjoy the author's insights about the story, characters, and settings.
|When I attended interpreter training at Old World Wisconsin in the spring of 1982, the Curator of Textiles showed us a photograph of a Wisconsin woman wearing trousers beneath a knee-length skirt. The image shows a woman... more>>|
The first time I saw a photograph showing a Civil War-era woman during wearing the Reform Dress (often called the Bloomer Dress), I knew I wanted to write a story about it. Imagine women and girls in the 1800s who had to work hard in factories or farmfields—wearing long skirts and petticoats! Not only was it uncomfortable, it was sometimes dangerous as well.
Wearing trousers was a difficult choice, though. For this book, I wanted to create sympathetic, likeable characters who had different opinions. The main character, Emma, is embarrassed when her mother makes her a Reform Dress. After you finish reading, think about how you would have felt if you’d lived in Emma’s time. What choices would you have made?
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In Whistler In The Dark a mysterious person repeatedly whistles "Maggie By My Side," a then popular song by American songwriter Stephen Foster. "Maggie" was the favorite tune of Emma's father, who had been killed two years earlier during the closing days of the Civil War. Listen to an accoustic recording of this music while watching a series of original photos of American Civil War sailors. PLAY.
This illustration by artist Jean-Paul Tibbles shows the frontier town of Twin Pines in the Colorado Territory. The year is 1867. ENLARGE