A little more than a year ago, I had the pleasure of sitting down with author Lea Wait at a cafe in Wiscasset to discuss her new young adult novel, "Uncertain Glory." I was thrilled that Lea was offering the book to Islandport Press. Over chowder and pie, we discussed the novel, which tells the story of three children living in Wiscasset in 1861. As the nation heads towards, and into, civil war, all three of the children must face challenges that push them towards adulthood.
We talked about plans to publish the book and also about how to best bring the story to life visually with a striking cover image. As our conversation continued over the next few months (sadly, without the chowder and the pie), I brought our cover designer, Karen Hoots, into the conversation. The main character, Joe Wood, is a newspaperman, and we talked about setting up a photo shoot with children at a printing press; I did contact a few places in New England that still have printing presses from the 1800s). We talked about historical photos of Wiscasset, of maps, of children, and of the racial undertones in the book. We combed through catalogs of maps, and of newspaper headlines from the 1860s.
This is the result, which I think brilliantly conveys the many themes at play in the novel: a historical painting of Wiscasset's main street is the backdrop for young black and white hands clasping each other as a newspaper headline shouts "War! War! War!"
The book comes out April 4 and we'll be having a launch party on Sunday, April 6, 4 - 5:30 p.m., at Le Garage in Wiscasset (and a big shout out to our friends at Le Garage for hosting this event). We're still working out the details but pencil the date in now!
"Uncertain Glory" is now available for pre-order on our website.
- Melissa Kim, Children's Book Editor