Friday, March 7, 2008

Wendy Lawton...Kid Who Grew Up to Write for Kids

" retain our childlike openness does not mean to be childish.  Only the most mature of us are able to be childlike.  And to be able to be childlike involves memory; we must never forget any part of ourselves.  As of this writing I am sixty-one years old in chronology.  But I am not an isolated, chronological numerical statistic.  I am sixty-one, and I am also four, and twelve, and fifteen, and twenty-three, and thirty-one, and forty-five, and. . .and. . .and. . ." — Madeleine L’Engle


What Madeleine L'Engle said here sums up Wendy Lawton and how she taps into her childhood--the reading and the living of it--to dig deep to masterfully create the books and dolls she has over her adult lifetime thus far. But she is far from done. Today begins the search for yet another subject/girl to add into her Daughters of Faith series, as we are celebrating Wendy's latest release in this series, The Captive Princess.



Sister, Linda (foreground) and Wendy playing dolls in 1958

Wendy Lawton's  love of books and dolls came with her into her adult life, and continues to be a part of her life. As an award-winning porcelain doll designer with her own company, who has a specialty in dolls based on book characters (including the characters from her own books for girls,) and as a writer who has written many books and articles, her real mission in life is to share stories. Her tagline says it best:"Telling Stories in Porcelain; Painting Pictures with Words."

With this rich background and her love for people and their stories,too, her Renaissance woman existence continues to tell the story.

Let's peek into the childhood of a woman who helps many of us, both young and old, find our own childhood dreams again:

Childhood Ambition:

To be an artist or a children's writer

Favorite Childhood Movie:

Any Shirley Temple Movie

Favorite Outfit as a Child:

Believe it or not, I still have it in my trunk. I called it my strawberry dress.(*See this dress in the photo below.) My father went downtown and picked it out for me as a surprise for my fifth birthday. It was 100% nylon; a technological miracle; and I wore it over a bouffant slip. Scratchy,scratchy, scratchy. My mother still remembers that the price tag was bigger than a week’s groceries for our struggling family. Perhaps the dress means so much to me because of that sacrifice.

Wendy Lawton is the little girl in her strawberry dress, second from the left with her siblings (and of course, a doll.) She rarely was without a doll or a book, and that continues to be a theme in her life today.

On her web site Wendy explains it best:

"Every once in a while childhood and middle-age intersect. It’s like C. S. Lewis wrote to a young friend who was concerned about being too old: ' are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.'
"As a child, I lived through my books," Wendy says. "The characters became as real as my friends at school. I could walk blindfolded through the rooms at Mistlethwaite Manor and I knew the feel of the heavy velvet draperies covering Colin’s mother’s portrait. The chalk dust itched in my nose as Anne did her penance at the blackboard. Stuffing rags in the old cracked stove at the Pepper household, I could almost feel the heat escaping. I delighted when the cheeky little beggar showed up in Sarah’s attic room and I wept in that other upstairs bedroom as Beth hovered close to death."

Fondest Memory (then):

Most of my fond memories center around Christmas because that was when we stopped to savor life and when all the “magic”in my life converged. I've always loved two things; books and dolls. At Christmas time both could always be found under the tree. I'll never forget the year I received a book called Fifty Famous Fairytales. I practically memorized that book. Little would I realize what an important foundation folklore would play in my life; both as a dollmaker and as a writer.I think it was Corrie Ten Boom's father who said that his most important job was to see that each child had a 'good childhood tucked under his belt.' I was blessed by having parents who excelled at that job."

Childhood indulgence:

Growing up in San Francisco, we went swimming at the famed Fleishhacker Pool.



It was the largest swimming pool in the United States and was located right next to the San Francisco Zoo. (The pool was so large that lifeguards used kayaks to make their way across.) It was a salt water pool; the water came in directly from the Pacific Ocean. You could see all manner of interesting aquatic things in the pool. My dad was an outstanding swimmer and could dive from the highest platform. (Yep, into salt water. Ouch.) Anyway, after a day at the pool, we'd stop at King Cole's Ice Cream Parlor in Noe Valley for orange sherbet. Yum! For those who don't know San Francisco, temps rarely ever get above mid-seventies, so you have to imagine a 1954 turquoise Ford station wagon filled with a pile of wet,goose-pimply kids waiting for ice cream cones.

Biggest Challenge as a Child or Teen:

My father died of brain cancer in my senior year of high school. My life changed overnight. Ours had been an active foster/ adoption family and my mother was left a young widow with seven small children and scant resources. All my plans for college and all trappings of security vanished during the three months he grew ever sicker and died. We clung to Jesus like we were drowning. All these years later I can say that He was our lifesaver then and has continued to navigate those treacherous waters ever since.

My First Job:

I was 18 and my title was Graphic Delineator for the City of Union City planning department. What that meant was that I took magic markers and colored zoning maps in preparation for zoning board meetings. It was that art thing again.

Favorite Childhood Book:

Little Women

(Just one set of Little Women dolls that Wendy created.)


Childhood Hero:

I loved missionary stories. Adoniram Judson was my favorite. I used to always say I wanted to go to Burma and be a missionary.


Proudest Moment (now):

I have had so many proud moments in my life. Aside from the most wonderful personal ones— my marriage and our three children— I loved winning the infamous Bulwer-Lytton Prize for the worst first first line in a book in 1999. Then I won Mount Hermon's Writer of the Year Award that same year. In 2004, I was given an honorary doctorate from Wilmington University and in 2006, I was awarded one of only four Lifetime Achievement Awards for my career as a doll designer.  All heady stuff to this kid.

Anything else you would like to share with readers about your childhood which affected the writer you have become?

My childhood family was created by birth, by adoption and by foster care. For the longest time we were a Pre-adopt Foster Home. That meant that a social worker brought the babies fresh from the hospital and we cared for them until they were legally released for adoption— most often a few months. My mother usually had two or three newborns at a time. The bassinets were lined up in the dining room during the day and her whole job, with our help, was to cuddle and care for those tiny babies. We used to love the smell of freshly bathed, powdered babies in the morning.

I've heard many writers liken the process of of creating a book to that of birthing a baby. I don't know so much about that, because we always got our babies in an unconventional way, but I'm very excited to be holding a freshly powdered book in my hands this week— The Captive Princess. It's not as sweet as a downy-haired baby but I hope it will be the same kind of blessing to those that read it.

A Little About Wendy 

Wendy is modest about her achievements but her bio, accumulated event-by-event,  tells a story about her as someone who strives to get a story out with her time she's been given.

She is an agent with the much-respected literary agency, Books & Such and was chosen as agent of the year by American Christian Fiction Writers in 2007. She relishes all aspects of the work-- especially helping her clients develop their ideas and chart their careers.  She's served on the faculty of several major writers conferences, as well.

Wendy received the honor of a lifetime on January 18, 2004, when Wilmington College, located in New Castle, Delaware, presented her with an honorary Doctor of Arts and Letters degree at their winter graduation ceremonies.

Dr. Lawton is only the eighth recipient of the honor at the private institution. The college president, Dr. Audrey Doberstein presented her with the traditional hood and tam along with a beautiful hand-lettered resolution that was read at graduation. It read, in part, “Whereas: Wendy Lawton, children’s author, has encouraged thousands of young readers to love reading and has positively influenced their lives by creating real life role models in her Daughters of the Faith books...”

In spite of those trappings, one of her favorite awards almost got her a spot on Jay Leno--until they learned she was a grown-up (though I'm pretty sure they were just looking at the outside...)In 1999 she won the Children’s Literature Prize, Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest — the contest which honors the worst possible opening line in a novel. The contest is named after the prolific 19th century English novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton, whose novel "Paul Clifford" began with the immortal words, "It was a dark and stormy night.".
Here are the words that won Wendy the Children’s Literature category:
“The greedy schoolbus crept through the streets devouring clumps of children until its belly groaned with surfeit, then lumbered back to the schoolhouse where it obligingly regurgitated its meal onto the grounds.”

(*CLM editor: Gross.)

You would think that because of all that, Wendy would be a woman isolated in her studio and office, but no,besides working with dolls and books and clients, Wendy loves to garden. Before she moved from her last garden, she counted over 200 rose bushes.

Wendy once quoted J.M. Barrie:

"God gave us memories that we might have roses in December."

If this is true, Wendy will have a garden of roses to rival most to take into her golden years.

She enjoys cooking and entertaining as well. Wendy has been married more than 35 years to her best friend, Keith. They are parents to three adult children — Rebecca, Patrick, and Rae Lynn. Her mother, who for so many years took care of so many babies, makes her home with Wendy and Keith. So, Wendy has a life of her own, too, in addition to her many achievements.

When asked about her childhood and what has transpired since then she says, "There is something about the reading we do as children that stays with us forever."

But all of these things she does are just expressions of her first love, the Lord Jesus--and that's what Wendy is all about.


NOW, how would you like to have a chance to win some of Wendy's work?? (But of course you would, dahling!)

Wendy is offering these things listed below to readers who leave a comment on THIS blog entry, her interview, so take a look:


One person will be drawn from the comments to receive:

1. All seven Daughters of the Faith novels—value $49.00

Another name will be drawn to receive:

2. All four Real TV novels—value $44.00

These prizes will be awarded to two readers who leave comments and will be chosen at random—regardless of how many readers comment. The drawing will be April 1, 2008, midnight.

But wait!

There will be a grand prize—an autographed Courage to Run doll and book, value $695.00 will be awarded if twenty people or more comment with suggested Daughters of the Faith characters for Wendy Lawton.

Here’s how YOU can enter to win any of these three prizes in this contest: Simply post a comment on THIS blog entry  below, suggesting a Daughter of the Faith you’d like to see in Wendy Lawton’s series. That's all. One comment. (with your email address so I can contact you for mailing information.) If I do not hear from the person chosen by April 3rd, I will draw for that prize again, so be back here on April 2nd to see who has won!

Here’s the scoop on who the Daughter should be: Each character in this series needs to be a real girl from the pages of history who took a stand for her faith (usually at great cost) while she was still a girl. It can’t be someone who grew up to do great things or who married a great man. It needs to be a girl who stepped out in faith.

If we receive at least twenty suggestions, I (Crystal) will choose one comment at random to receive the prize. Comments can be posted ON THIS INTERVIEW from March 7-April 1, 2008. NO FOOLING!

Take a look in detail at what is being offered. If you don't win, you will still want to collect all of these books.

First Prize:

Daughters of Faith Books

Middle Grade Girls' Novels for ages 8-11

1.The Tinker’s Daughter: Story of Mary Bunyan


Mary Bunyan, the blind daughter of jailed Pilgrim’s Progress author, John Bunyan, learns that depending solely on her own strength, leads to disaster for her family.  Only when she finally admits that she needs help does she tap into the Source of all strength.

2.Courage to Run: Story of Harriet Tubman


Harriet Tubman is born into slavery on a plantation in Tidewater Maryland.  More than anything, she yearns for freedom.  Acknowledged as one of America’s greatest heroes, it is Harriet’s vibrant faith in God that prepares her to become a legendary conductor of the Underground Railroad.

3.Almost Home: Story of Mary Chilton


What do you do when all you ever wanted was to belong — to really belong — yet you find yourself all alone in a strange new world?

Mary Chilton is one of 102 passengers who steps aboard the Mayflower on September 16, 1620, for the long-awaited journey to the New World. Adventure awaits but all Mary can think about is finally finding a home—a place to belong. As she experiences the hardship of the ocean voyage, the struggle of starting the new Plymouth colony, and the happiness of the first harvest celebration, she learns that home has a bigger meaning than she thought

4.Ransom’s Mark: Story of Olive Oatman


Ransom’s Mark recounts the story of thirteen-year-old Olive Oatman’s journey west by wagon train.  Renegade Yavapais capture Olive and her sister in 1851 after the massacre of their family.  A year later the Mohaves rescue the sisters and tattoo them with the mark of ransom.  The cruelty of Olive’s early captivity and the death of her sister from starvation bring Olive to the edge of despair before she discovers what ransom really means. 

5.Hallelujah Lass: Story of Eliza Shirley


As a teenager growing up in nineteenth-century England, Eliza Shirley is the picture of a prim Victorian girl— gloves, crinolines and all. Who would ever have guessed that when she finally met God, her circumspect existence would be turned upside down? Proper Eliza certainly never expected to live in rundown tenements, dodge rotten tomatoes, fight off rioting crowds or— even more unthinkable— single-handedly bring the fledgling Salvation Army across the ocean to America.

6.Shadow of His Hand: Story of Anita Dittman


Anita Dittman dreams of becoming a ballerina. It’s not long until the reality of being a Jewish girl in Nazi-ruled Germany dashes those dreams. When her Aryan father abandons his Jewish family, Anita’s life becomes the stuff of nightmares. “Don’t draw attention to yourself,” her mother often whispers. “If they don’t notice you, they’ll leave you alone.” But no one hides from Hitler’s fury.

As the persecution intensifies, Anita and her family must leave everything and everyone they love—even each other. Will no one hide them from this Holocaust? In the midst of unimaginable suffering, Anita discovers that even when the whole world dissolves into chaos, her heavenly Father continues to hide her in the shadow of His hand.

And the brand new book just released this month:

7. The Captive Princess: The Story of Pocahantas 



The Captive Princess— A Story based on the Life of Young Pocahontas

By Wendy Lawton

Moody Publishers (March 2008)

ISBN-13: 978-0-8024-7640-1

$6.99 142 pages

Four hundred years ago, the village of Werowocomoco buzzed with the news that a group of tassantassuk— pale strangers— had came ashore from their great canoes and settled in the swampy, mosquito-infested wetland near the Chesapeake Bay. Eleven-year-old Pocahontas, daughter of the most powerful man to ever rule the alliance of Powhatan tribes, watched with curious eyes. Little did she suspect that their arrival would rock her world.

Is there an American student who doesn’t know some version of the story of Pocahontas— whether the fabricated Disney version or the equally fictitious but oft-told love story between Pocahontas and John Smith? Stories are most often told through the viewpoint of the Jamestown settlers, but with recent archeological explorations of the Werowocomoco site offering up a rich new understanding of Pocahontas’ people, Wendy Lawton digs into the history and tells it entirely through the eyes of the young Pocahontas. And though the romantic accounts are the stuff of legend and lore, Pocahontas’ faith story remains one of the most beautiful love stories in history.

The Captive Princess is the seventh in Lawton’s popular Daughters of the Faith series from Moody Publishers.

What others are saying:

“Pocahontas has long been a favorite character of mine, and Wendy Lawton brings her to glorious life in The Captive Princess. Through Lawton’s excellent research and vivid writing, walked out of the dense forest and into my heart. This book is a treasure!”

Angela Hunt, author of Uncharted.

“I jumped at the chance to read Wendy Lawton’s latest book, The Captive Princess, because of her previous stories. Again, she wove her literary magic. Always true to historical facts and able to infuse spiritual truths naturally, Wendy Lawton is a master storyteller.”

Donita K. Paul author of popular Christian fantasy including The DragonKeeper Chronicles

Lesson Plans for Teachers for this series
Book Report Helps for Students for this series



Second Prize:

The concept for the series, Real TV, grew out of the reality television craze that is sweeping the country. Wendy realized that when she and her 17-year-old daughter took one of their “mindless girlfriend breaks” they often tuned in to watch one of The Learning Channel makeover shows modeled after popular BBC shows. These shows— like Trading Spaces, What Not to Wear, Makeover Story, Faking It, etc— are hot-hot-hot and seem to be changing the face of American TV.

“The reason we love these makeover shows,” Wendy says, “Is that deep inside we yearn to experience real transformation.” She draws the connection between makeover and transformation in each book in the series. “That hunger for transformation comes from God,” She continues. “Olivia, as well as the other characters in the series, discovers that it can’t be satisfied by a new color of lipstick or a fresh coat of paint.”

Teen Books:

Real TV Books based on reality TV shows

1. Changing Faces: Take 1


As part of a promotional event, Olivia O’Donnell— an over-scheduled, over-achieving high school senior— wins a total fashion makeover on the hot new reality TV show, Changing Faces. After her whirlwind trip to Hollywood, she comes home sporting a polished, uptown look. As she deals with her over-committed schedule and the changed attitudes of those around her, she has to face the fact that her polish is only skin deep. The upheaval causes her to develop a plan for a soul-deep makeover.

Changing Faces is a contemporary novel for teen girls inspired by the BBC and The Learning Channel (TLC) shows “Makeover Story” and “What Not to Wear,” and the Style Channel’s “Fashion Emergency” and “A Second Look.” It includes plenty of fun and fluffy scenes of makeover magic— the duckling to the swan phenomenon that teens love.

2. Flip Flop: Take 2

What can a girl do when her whole messed-up life is about to be revealed on national television?

Best friends Channing “Chickie” Wells and Briana Harris know everything about each other—at least, that’s what Chickie thinks. But Briana keeps her biggest fears locked away. She can’t even bring herself to tell her best friend.

Chickie comes from an almost-perfect family, and Briana loves being the adopted second daughter. She eats dinner at the Wells home more than her own—it’s a welcome refuge from the pain and secrets in her family. But when the highly rated TV decorating sensation, Flip Flop comes to town, there’s more than one dramatic “reveal.” Will Briana have the courage to face her problems head on? And will Chickie and Briana’s bedroom makeovers give them the rooms of their dreams or the stuff of nightmares?

3. Less Is More: Take 3


Abby gets tired of the constant teasing about her weight at youth group. When her PE teacher submits her name for the fitness challenge on her favorite reality TV show, Less is More, it seems to be the perfect solution.

But is Abby up for the challenge?

4. Dating Do-Over: Take 4


In Dating Do-Over, Bailey is sweet seventeen and never been kissed—okay, she’s never even been out with a guy. When the producers of the television show, Dating Do-Over, contact her, she’s delighted. As the image consultants begin to work their magic, the young production grip intern, Luke, quietly models the beauty of authenticity.


if there are at least 20 comments, and a drawing from the comments will be held on April 1st for this doll:

Harriet Tubman, one of Wendy's dolls she created for this series of books she wrote.

Courage to Run Doll

11" tall, all porcelain

Valued at $695.00

The portrait doll of Harriet Tubman grew out of the character from Wendy's first book, Courage to Run.

"As I researched her life for this book, I fell in love with Harriet Tubman," Wendy says. "Her faith framed everything she achieved. By the time I finished writing the book, I couldn't wait to take clay and sculpt a portrait of Harriet as a child."

The historical Harriet Tubman epitomizes heroism for her life work in the Underground Railroad, but Courage to Run is the story of her girlhood when faith was born and courage discovered. The 11" porcelain doll wears a homespun, patched dress, tattered straw hat and much-worn leather work boots. Just as in the story, she carries her treasure, the quilt made for the homesick girl by her mother.

The doll was made in the Lawton workshops in California and was limited to an edition of 350.


And the story continues to be told...


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful contest! Please put my name in the drawing! I'll be waiting with my Michigan address!


Janna said...

I had not heard of theses books before, but my girls would love them! I am wracking my brain for an idea for another one now and the only girl that is coming to mind is Helen Keller, but I don't know if she counts... I'll keep thinking!


Virginia Smith said...

I WANT WIN! Here's my suggestion:

Fannie Crosbie, lost her sight as an infant. Under the direction of her mother, Fannie memorized huge portions of the Bible as a child. As a child she sang and played the piano and became well known as a poet. When she became discouraged, she used to pray and ask God to use her, and refused to let her blindness limit her. In her lifetime, Fannie wrote over 9000 hymns, which of course have encouraged millions of believers.


Ausjenny said...

it think Mary Jones who saved 6 years for her own bible then walked bare feet 25 miles to buy the bible to be told they were out she did get her bible but also inspired the guy who she got the bible from and he then started the Bible society.
ausjenny @ gmail . com

Cara Putman said...

What a fantastic contest, Crystal and Wendy. I'll be back with a nominee, but I'm going to get my daughter Abigail involved. Me thinks Abigail Adams would be great, but I'm not sure her exploits start young enough :-) Jane Addams is another great one, but they were young women.

Rose McCauley said...

Wow! I would love to win any of these. Thanks, Crystal and Wendy for sharing. I can't wait to get some of these books for my granddaughters who are 6 and 9. How about a book of the childhood of Corrie ten Boom? thanks, rose crmcc at

Anonymous said...

I'm thrilled to discover Wendy Lawton's career and can't wait to read her books. I too loved the "Little Women" book best, not just as a child but have re-read it many times as an adult. And just last night I copied an antique Shirley Temple paper doll and laminated it for my paper doll collection. In my regular doll collection are the Madame Alexander "Little Women" including Marmee and Laurie.
My suggestion for a new Daughter's of Faith is Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Day Queen, who was very dedicated to the Christian faith and whose execution was a result of obeying her parents and desire to stand up for her faith.
Amy Barkmakn

Amy B said...

I am thrilled to find out about Wendy Lawton's career. I too loved the book "Little Women" best, not only as a child but have re-read it several times as an adult. And just last night I copied and laminated a Shirley Temple paperdoll from a movie advertisement in the 1930s to add to my paper doll collection. My regular doll collection contains Madame Alexander's "Little Women" complete with Marmee and Laurie.
For the Daughters of Faith series, I suggest Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Day Queen, who maintained her faith during an abusive childhood and whose execution was a result of obedience to her parents only because of her belief that would lead to the furtherance of her faith.
Amy Barkman

upwords said...

Thanks for the wonderful interview with Wendy. She's a great writer, agent and friend. As for nominees, hmmm...

Betsy Ross
Mary McLeod Bethune
Phyllis Wheatley

I'll have to think some...

Marilynn Griffith

Donna Alice said...

I'd like to win too. The only young girl I can think who might qualify is Sybil Luddington, the female Paul Revere. She went on a midnight ride just as he did during the American Revolution to help save her neighbors. She did it all when she was just twelve.

I loved reading about Wendy's life--I too had a strawberry dress! Also a valentine dress and I adored dolls.

Anonymous said...

This is an amazing contest! And this is a ridiculous confession. But I have admired the Little Women dolls for years and never connected that the Wendy Lawton who designed them was the same Wendy Lawton who writes books even though I knew that name was connected to both industries. How funny! As for the suggestion for a girl who took a stand for her faith, you said she had to be a real person in history. Mary Jones sounds like a great one. The first one that came to my mind though was Naaman's wife's servant girl, the little Hebrew girl kidnapped and taken as a slave. When she heard her mistress's husband had leprosy, she dared to speak of the power of God and suggest the man travel to visit God's prophet. Doing so could have placed her in great danger because it could've been taken as extreme impertinance and an insult to the gods of that country. You'd have to supply a name since the Bible doesn't give us one.

My email is kmorphy at comcast dot net. Thanks for running such a fabulous contest!!!

Unknown said...

please enter me! I have 5 girls that would love any of these things :)
I can only think of Laura Ingalls Wilder, but like the other ideas. if I think of someone else, I'll come back :)

lwatkins said...

This is an awesome opportunity! I heard of these books/dolls on KLOVE the other morning, but didn't know anything about them. So, I was very excited to read about them on your website! I cannot wait to get some of these books for my girls, they will love them! Please enter me in the contest.

God Bless,
mydimples6 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Doreen said...

Hi, loved reading the interview! My first thought of a 'Daughter of Faith' has got to be Esther, from in the Bible! She displayed great courage in the midst of a crisis. She humbled herself by fasting, and then put her beauty, grace & wisdom in the service of God's plan. In the end, mouring turned to celebration once the jewish people enjoyed relief from their enemies. It's a must read for anyone that has never read it in the Bible before!
purposedrivenlife4you (at) gmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

Wow! What wonderful ideas. I need all of you in my own personal think tank.

Here's a secret revealed: I'm working on Phyllis Wheatley at this very moment for book number eight. I'm looking for book number nine. Marilynn, you scored already.

I do have a pamphlet put out by the Bible Society about Mary Jones, but I haven't dug in to see how much has been written about her. And I have a book on my shelf about Sybil Luddington but I haven't yet dipped into her life. As I'm considering the characters I always picture the dolls that could go with them. Hmmmm.

I love the biblical girls as well, but I'm thinking those may be a different series.

Thank you everyone-- this is so much fun. What wonderful researchers you are.

Amy Wallace said...

What an amazing and fun interview!

My three girls loved The Tinker’s Daughter, and would be thrilled to win more incredible stories!

My suggestion for a Daughter of the Faith book is Amy Carmichael.


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Please enter me in the contest.

My suggestions:

Corrie Ten Boom
Ann Frank

I don't know if these fit your criteria, but they were courageous young women.


Missy Tippens said...

What a great interview! Please enter me in the first drawing for the books. My daughter would love them!

I'll be thinking on the doll. They're beautiful, Wendy! Amazing work.

Missytippens [at] aol [dot] com

Ausjenny said...

there is on book out about Mary Jones I dont know alot about it but i remember it giving as a prize at one stage.

LeAnne Benfield Martin said...

Thanks, Crystal and Wendy, for the great interview, contest, and prizes. I have two ideas:

Lilias Trotter, an artist who worked as a missionary in North Africa and

Mary Slessor, Scottish missionary to Nigeria


Anonymous said...

Hi Wendy! And Crystal! what a great interview. I enjoyed it a lot. I'm thinking Mary Moffat, the daughter of Robert Moffat, missionary to Africa. She married David Brainerd.

Also maybe Glady Alyward but I think she got saved later in life so it may not work.

Anonymous said...

Someone mentioned Helen Keller. A ton has been written about her, but not as many people know about Laura Bridgeman who was eight years (I think) Helen's senior. A lot of the things Annie Sullivan used for Helen were learned on Laura. Laura even made and dressed a doll for Helen. If I remember correctly (and this might not be right), that's the doll Annie gave Helen when she first spelled "d-o-l-l into her hand. I'm not sure if Laura was a Christian though. I don't think Helen was. I read a book when I was kid called "Child of the Silent Night." That was the first time I heard of Laura Bridgeman. Helen Keller did so much, but a lot of what she did wouldn't have been possible with Laura's pioneering. I already entered the contest (Naaman's wife's servant girl) but came back with another suggestion.

Janine said...

Wow--this series sounds amazing. The only girls I could think of to get their own books were Anne Frank, and two other girls who are not far back in "history" at all.

Cassie Bernall and Rachel Scott. Both girls were killed in the Columbine school shooting for their faith in God.


Mrs.C. said...

May I suggest Florence Nightingale. She felt that her chosen field to be a nurse was a "Christian divine calling."

I never had a doll as we could not afford them. I had four little brothers and two sisters. I was born with a veil over my face and am interested in reading the afore mentioned book.

My love of Jesus has been the pilot of my life.... through many illnesses, sorrows, great joys and happiness I have never been alone. With God there is endless hope...without God there is a hopeless end.
^j^ Mrs.C.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to read these with my girls. The stories all sound amazing.

Please enter me in the drawing

Anonymous said...

I have to say, reading and dolls are two of my favorite is really neat to see them both combined. :) That is a tough question...I can think of so many fiction Christian heroines, but very few real ones.

What about the obscure women of the Bible (though I don't know how much could be found on them) Timothy's mother and grandmother, Eunice and Lois? Or that woman named Damaris from Acts?

Good luck deciding!

ChristyJan said...

Your books sound wonderful.

My parents visited Martin's Cove, Wyoming a few years ago and they have been very interested in the Martin Handcart Company and the hardships that these pioneers endured. One of the young girls in the company was Ellen (Nellie) Purcell Unthank.

Anonymous said...

I love everything about your interview. Makes me want to go and find every book you've written. My oldest daughter (9) would thank me!
Some women/girls I think would be interesting to write about/read about would be:
Pearl Buck and Ruth Bell (Graham) both missionary daughters.
Lottie Moon
Vonette Bright

Thanks for the future reads!
Deb Nudi

debnudi at hotmail dot com

Tracy Ruckman said...

Fascinating interview and contests!

Three names that come to mind immediately are:

Catherine Marshall
Juliette Low
Lottie Moon

Congratulations on your new release, Wendy! And thank you Crystal for another great read!

ChristyJan said...

A couple more names that I've thought of are Ida Scudder and Jane Elizabeth Manning James

Kim said...

This is the most awesome interview! I think we should honor the women who served as WAVES and WAC members during WWI and WWII! 1Lt Cordelia E. Cook is the first woman to earn both the bronze star and the purple heart. There are many fantastic stories of women serving our country!

And as the wife of a former artillery officer, Molly Pitcher's story would be fascinating!

Please enter me in the contest!

kimfurd at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Thank-you for the lovely interview. My daughter and I love your books. A heroine that we both admire and think would make a grand edition to your series would be Joan of Arc.
We're excited for the drawing.

Anonymous said...

These ideas are fascinating! Keep 'em coming.

Just remember, though, the character has to (1) have had a vibrant faith and (2) they have to have had a defining moment while still a child. That's the part that makes this so challenging-- it's the while-still-a-child part.

History tends to record the deeds of adults-- sometimes of boys as well-- but it's hard to ferret out those girls who made a difference while they were still young.

I'm so grateful for your input.

Alice said...

What a wonderful post! I loved hearing about Wendy's life and favored moments! I love the pictures of Wendy as a child! How precious! As for suggestions:
I have always loved the stories of famed missionary Hudson Taylor to China. In fact, we've named our son Hudson! In reading further, I've discovered that there was a terrific trio of women that carried on his work in China. In particular, two sisters, Francesca and Evangeline French. They, along with Mildred Cable have amazing stories. I did read in biographies that Francesca had a strong faith from a young age, but Eva was rebellious until her twenties. However, both served together on the mission field.

Unknown said...

When I first heard that Wendy Lawton was looking for real girls who through faith and courage made a difference while they were still young--three girls came to mind Helen Keller, Anne Frank and the little girl in Norman Rockwell's painting showing the first child to integrate an elementary school after court ordered desegregation in Louisiana. All I could remember was her first name Ruby and that she prayed while walking the gauntlet of threats, slurs and debris flung her way each morning as she entered school. Where else but the Internet could one type Ruby +Norman Rockwell and come up with Ruby Nell Bridges.

After a bit of thinking I also came up with Wilma Rudolph, Althea Gibson and Annette Funicello all who attribute their faith based upbringing to their success and the ability to overcome obstacles when they were very young. For someone with 24-year-old and 10-year-old girls, I was surprised how difficult it was to come up with positive role models who were young girls. That along with the fact that more than one commentator seemed to think that the word faith was synonymous with Christianity excluding other religions scared me silly. I know I have to do better for my girls.

I am really looking forward to reading the Captive Heart and discovering Wendy Lawton's other stories.

Unknown said...

WOW....You are truly BLESSED by the LORD!!! What a wonderful gift HE has given you!!! And now you want to share HIS blessings to others...You are an inspiration...I would LOVE to win these books...Gods Peace. JUDE 1:2

Chaos-Jamie said...

Ug, I got to comment 35 before I found another person with my idea, but I can supply the last name!

Ruby Bridges


Ardie said...

Love the blog and the article. What about Margaret E. Knight, the child inventor?

Unknown said...

We came up with two more strong females. Calamity Jane and Annie Oakley. I'm not sure if Jane meets your criteria but Annie might. I'm more familiar with Annie's story. I know her father died when she was very young, that she was fostered out and survived harsh treatment and abuse as a girl of all work. When Annie was reunited with her mother and siblings she learned to shoot to feed her family. She married young and traveled the country. Her desire to present an image of faith, respectability, skill and gentility led to her success as a sharp shooter in the Wild West Show.

Although it made me laugh, our crew also came up with Xena as in the warrior princess. While she certainly had faith in pagan gods, was a strong and courageous girl I'm also fairly certain she was not a real person, but who knows?

Anonymous said...

I realize you want a "girl" with a defining moment in her relationship with the Lord and I'm not sure of this young woman's background. She may have been Quaker but her history is important in the area where we live now.

Elizabeth "Betty" Zane

Please take a moment and google her and see if she might be a good subject for a book for young readers.

Thank you, ^j^ Mrs.C.

Uncertainmommy said...

My 12 year old daughter would just love these books.My friend Jenny told me about them.Someone mentioned Annie Oakley.We can't think of any other names that weren't mentioned We will keep thinking and are very excited.Please pick us...

Uncertainmommy said...

My 12 year old daughter would just love these books.My friend Jenny told me about them.Someone mentioned Annie Oakley.We can't think of any other names that weren't mentioned We will keep thinking and are very excited.Please pick us...

Anonymous said...

Just ran across an old book of my mother-in-law's published in 1923 When They Were Girls--one chapter about 24 different girls.
Some suggestions for books would be:
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Julia Ward How
Louise Homer
Alice Cunningham FletcherFrances Hodgson Burnett

Please enter me in your contest


Unknown said...

Barbara Jordan who declared her faith and joined the church at age 10 and went on to become the first African American Texas Senator.

Samantha Smith who died in a plane crash at only 13-years-old but made a historic journey for peace and wrote a book called "Journey to the Soviet Union."

Cassie Long, a quaker I think, who lived through the Civil War.

Madeline L'Engle, Author

Ida B Wells, Civil Rights Activist

Elizabeth Chou from Singapore

There is also a book by Frances Park that tells her mother, Soo Lin's (I think that is her name) story of her escape from North Korea as a young child.

I went to a luncheon where T.A. Barron was the featured speaker and the Barron Prize honors young heros many of whom are girls that have brief mentions in his book and are discussed on his website.

Barbara A. Lewis published a book with short snippets about young people who make a difference some of whom might make interesting modern heroines.

I'll keep thinking about this. This is actually fun and has led me to pull some books to be read at home.

Delia said...

Ugh. My mind isn't working at all! lol. Every girl I can think of has already been mentioned so I'm sitting this one out.

Wendy, your dolls are beautiful. And I'm going to have to check into getting the Daughters of Faith series for my girls. They'll love the books.

This was a great interview. Thanks so much, Crystal and Wendy!

Grateful Gramma said...

These books are a new discovery for me. Please enter me in the drawing!



Anonymous said...

Oh Wendy, you've gotten some wonderful ideas from these contestants! Because Crystal is making me, I'm venturing Sojourner Truth, although I don't know much about her childhood.
Your Daughters of Faith series was a hit with my niece (and with me) and now that she's a teen, your reality series is blessing her, courtesy of this auntie! My sister loves me to give her children books. Now that her youngest daughter is almost 4, I need to finish out the Daughters of Faith series for her. I hope this comment qualifies me for an entry in the contest.

Peggy Blann Phifer said...

I already have the set of Wendy's "Daughters of the Faith" series (except the most recent one *grin*) but the teen set would be a perfect gift for my grand-niece who is closing in on fourteen this coming May, I believe. Perfect! So, I'd love to be entered in the other two drawings, and of course I'd be delighted to win the doll.

Now, about an idea for a new book & doll:
Amelia Earhart: First woman aviator to fly solo nonstop across the Atlantic (1928); while attempting to fly around the world she disappeared over the Pacific (1898-1937)

I haven't researched her upbringing or background so know nothing about her faith. But, wow, what a story!

I wanna win!

Gretchen Geyer said...

Please enter me in the drawing! What about Anne Frank? Could a story be written that expounds on her diary? She chose to continue to embrace life and have courage while living surrounded by death and fear. You've probably already wrote one about Joan of Arc, right?

KT said...

I would love to see a book about ann frank, but i'm not sure if she would count. the only other one i thought of was ruby bridges, and she has already been mentioned, but i'll try to think of more!

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Wonderful interview. I'm entering a Daughters of Faith idea.

As a teen in the 60's, Jackie Pullinger (Now Jackie Pullinger-To) wanted to impact the world for God. She asked Him what she could do. He simply said, "Go." So she got on a ship with little money and no idea where she was headed.

God told her to get off at Hong Kong's walled City. She worked as a missionary there for over thirty years. She was recognized by the government, etc. And her work to the drug addicts and to the poor transformed that city for God.

Here is more information about her.


"Too young and unqualified to join a missionary society, I asked God what to do with my life. 'Go,' he replied and repeated this whenever I asked; and when I inquired where, he added 'Go, and I will lead you. I went. On the advice of a minister I took the cheapest ship I could find, calling in at the greatest number of countries. I got on and prayed to know where to get off."

Jackie arrived in Hong Kong in 1966 and was immediately drawn to the most notorious and dangerous city imaginable - Kowloon's Walled City. It was into the den of hopelessness and despair that she came, totally unaware of how God would transform her life and, through her, the face of Hong Kong's Walled City.

Today this work has been recognized by the Hong Kong Government, by the United Kingdom (she was awarded an M.B.E. by the Queen in 1988) and by the University of Hong Kong which has awarded her an honorary doctrate in Social Sciences. She has two books: Chasing the Dragon and Crack in the Wall - the life and death of Kowloon Walled City.

Jackie reminds us that God's heart is towards the poor, oppressed and downtrodden. She also reminds us the City of God is a present as well as future reality, and that reflections of it can be established even in a place like the Kowloon's Walled City.

Cheryl Wyatt

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Crystal -

It's April 2nd. Who won???


sweetsusiej at verizon dot net

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