Frances M. Wood


My greatest inspirations for writing have been:

Robert Lawson, who wrote Rabbit Hill;

Madeleine L'Engle, who wrote A Wrinkle in Time;

My sister Alyson, who was so much younger than I, I had to tell her stories.



My first book, Becoming Rosemary, was published in 1997 (Delacorte Press) with an audio book (Recorded Books) and editions in Danish and Turkish. It tells the story of a young girl growing up in a magical family in 1790 North Carolina.



Kirkus: "Nearly flawless"

Publishers Weekly: "A hymn to the pains and joys of special gifts"

Nashville Parent: "An exemplary chapter book for young girls"

Awards and Honors: Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of 1998;

North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship 1999.

Daughter of Madrugada, published in 2002 by Delacorte Press, is also available as a large print book (Thorndike Press). It's the story of a California Mexican family at the very beginning of the gold rush.



          School Library Journal: "A genuine love of the land and the time pervades the narrative along with an aura of authenticity that seems almost autobiographical…A vivid work of historical fiction, this is also a compelling story of a young girl making the change from child to adult in a world once comforting, but growing increasingly hostile."

          Raleigh News and Observer: "Children 10 and older will be stirred, their souls nourished by

Daughter of Madrugada."


Awards and Honors: One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing, NY Public Library 2002; Best Books for 2002, The Center for Children's Books; Best Books for the Teen Age, NY Public Library 2004; FOCAL Award 2004, Friends of Children and Literature, Los Angeles Public Library.

When Molly Was a Harvey Girl was published in 2010 by Kane/Miller Books. Molly is modeled a bit on my own great-grandmother who moved to the wild west in 1886. I don't know much about my great-grandmother, but Molly encounters railroad men, miners, ranchers, the great impresario Buffalo Bill, a tornado of culinary excellence known as Chef Gaston, and the most dangerous desperado of them all - Genius Jim.


          jama rattigan’s alphabet soup: “…generously laced with adventure, elements of danger, suspense, excitement, romance, and humor…Ms. Wood seamlessly interweaves fact with fiction in this lively, thoroughly engaging, oftentimes mouthwatering adventure.”

          Through the Looking Glass Children’s Book Reviews: “This thoroughly enjoyable book combines fact, fiction and adventure beautifully, and will give readers a fascinating picture of the past.”

Booklist: “The values of education, courage, and simplicity all come together in this delightful tale.”

Awards and Honors:, Twelve Best Middle Grade Fiction Books of 2010; Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People 2011; Bank Street College of Education, Best Children’s Books of the Year 2011.



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