My Books


Published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books
ISBN: 978-0-375-84544-4
Available as a Yearling Paperback for order through: 

Your favorite independent book store, or Random House

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White Mane Publishing Co., Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-57249-027-7  $12.95
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White Mane Publishing Co, Inc.


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White Mane Publishing Co., Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-57249-186-1  $12.95
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White Mane Publishing Co, Inc.


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Road to Tater Hill


The U.S. Air Force is always moving Annie Winters’ family around, but the one thing she knows she can count on is spending the summer at her grandparents’ mountain home, playing with her best friend, Bobby Miller, and picking blackberries on Tater Hill. This year, Annie is extra excited—Mama is expecting a baby soon, and Annie’s wishing for a little sister. Just before Daddy leaves for his latest air force assignment in Germany, he gives Annie a journal for her happy summer memories. When he returns, they’ll read the journal together. 

But now Annie is grieving over the death of her newborn sister. How can she tell Daddy that ever since baby Mary Kate died, Mama has been slipping farther and farther away? Just putting those words down in her journal makes Annie scared that Mama will never be her old self again. 

Unable to confide even in Bobby, Annie finds comfort in holding an oblong stone she calls her rock baby—the only thing that fills the hole inside her. Then she secretly befriends Miss Eliza McGee, a mysterious mountain woman living in an abandoned house that folks say belonged to a murderer. Miss Eliza helps Annie come to terms with her loss, while Annie tries to bring Miss Eliza back into the mountain community. When a crisis reveals their unlikely alliance, these new friends are suddenly at the center of an unexpected turn of events. 

Set in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina in 1963, Edith M. Hemingway’s graceful debut novel tells the story of a wise and resourceful girl who struggles through grief and finds solace in surprising places. 

Sitting on top of the actual Tater Hill

The cabin that inspired the character of Miss Eliza.

Sharing my own mountain dulcimer during a school visit.

A photo of the actual road to Tater Hill


by Edith Morris Hemingway and Jacqueline Cosgrove Shields

Based on an actual person, Broken Drum is the story of Charley King, a twelve-year-old drummer boy from West Chester, Pennsylvania, who is caught up in the excitement and patriotism during the early stages of the Civil War. Mustered into Company F of the Pennsylvania 49th Volunteers in September of 1861, his journey begins with the defense of Washington as part of Major General George McClellan's Army of the Potomac. Charley is involved in the transport of the huge army down the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay to Norfolk, and then, by land, the grueling progression of the Peninsula Campaign and its disappointing retreat, eventually arriving at the Battle of Antietam.

His journey takes him from childhood to maturity. Not only is he exposed to the excitement and horrors of battle, but also to the boredom of picket duty, endless drills, epidemics, and inclement weather. During his intense experiences, Charley meets many diverse characters, both real and fictional. Among the historical characters are President and Mrs. Abraham Lincoln, General McClellan, and Clara Barton.

Charley's experiences during a period when the United States was at war with itself provide a historical and moving background for Broken Drum.

Anthony Valliere displaying the quilt he made as part of a book report for Mrs. Robyn Martinsen's 5th grade class in Douglas, MA.

What readers have said about Broken Drum

“Sit the kids down and insist on silence as you read to them from a book such as Broken Drum…In the cadence of your words, visualizations will come of warfare as it really was, not only of soldiers and guns, but of real people, not only old, but very, very young.”The Washington Post

“Broken Drum is the kind of book that makes history come alive for young teens.”The Daily Press

“This is a book for all age readers. I picked it to read to grad students in my reading methods class to teach local area history, a realistic way of portraying war, character development, or just a good read. Beautifully told with an uplifting ending…”Mary Bowman Kruhm, Ed.D., Faculty Associate, Johns Hopkins University, and author of over 30 books for children and young adults

“I like how the book wasn’t just a bunch of history. It had life.” Nicholas, a 5th grader

“It really touched me in the heart.” Becky, a 5th grader


By Edith M. Hemingway & Jacqueline C. Shields

Rebel Hart is the story of Nancy Hart, an actual Confederate spy who lived in the mountains of western Virginia during the Civil War. Filled with fervor for the Confederate Cause and a desire for adventure, fourteen-year-old Nancy ran away from family and farm to join the Moccasin Rangers, a band of rebel raiders. Shunned by her family, twice captured by the enemy and with a price on her head, Nancy found herself in a day to day struggle for survival. Nancy's experiences, that of an ordinary young woman caught in the extraordinary circumstances of the Civil War, change her from an impetuous girl to a strong young woman.

Nancy Hart, with her passion for the Confederacy and her zeal for life, remains a legend in West Virginia to this day. Her story is an amazing mixture of fact and folklore, documented through the years by old newspapers and an intriguing Civil War photo.

Mrs. Thompson’s sixth grade language arts class at Chambersburg Area Middle School had this to say:

Rebel Hart focuses on how the Civil War not only tore apart the nation, but also many families.  It also shows that females had strong beliefs and were willing to fight for them.  We give it five stars.”