10 Dec It’s Monday! This Historical Fiction Novel Steals the Show #IMWAYR #BuildYourStack
At NCTE, we attended the Children’s Literature Assembly Breakfast and heard Candice Fleming and Eric Rohmann talk about their newest book, STRONGHEART: Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen. Candice shared how she was inspired to write this historical fiction novel when she learned about Strongheart while doing a bit of research about dogs in movies. She became fascinated by Strongheart, who was popular with movie fans in the 1920s. Once she had the story, she teamed up with Eric Rohmann who created illustrations that bring Strongheart’s personality to life.
In this story, readers learn how Larry Trimble, a Hollywood director, found Strongheart working as a police dog in Berlin, Germany. Candice shares how Larry Trimble helped recondition Strongheart to trust people and become playful. She also explains how Strongheart had an innate talent for acting.
When Strongheart’s silent movies hit the screen, he became an overnight sensation. People in the theaters cheered for this dog and wanted to get his autograph. In subsequent films, Strongheart even had a leading lady named, Lady Jule. Strongheart and Lady Jule toured together around the country. Don’t believe us? Check out this clip of Strongheart and Lady Jule in this 1920’s promotional clip.
If you have middle-grade readers who love Hollywood drama, mystery, and a dog story with a happy ending, they will enjoy this book. This book is a perfect introduction to historical fiction and pushes readers to research their own passions to see what real stories they can unearth. Thanks, NCTE and the Children’s Literature Assembly for introducing us to this incredible text. This is a perfect read aloud in grades 3 and 4, and a text that readers in grades 3-6 will love.