Here is an excerpt from an article about The Alabaster Box. Mrs. Katie Schmidt and her fifth grade class at Rodgers Forge Elementary School in Baltimore have read the book and given me helpful feedback. It all started when my daughter had a parent-teacher conference. Mrs. Schmidt pointed out that Amelia (my granddaughter) has a great sense of story. My daughter, Liesl, told her about the book. I consider Amelia my Junior Editor.
When they finished reading the book, I visited the class to talk about the experience of writing. The visit was on Read Across America Day. The article appeared in The Baltimore Sun and The Towson Times:
By Rachael Pacella, Towson Times, March 3, 2017 2:26 PM
“Frances Schoonmaker has found a unique focus group to test-read the first in a series of adolescent novels she has written and would like to see published — a classroom full of fifth grade students at the neighborhood elementary school.
“For the past month and a half, students in Katie Schmidt’s 5th-grade class at Rodgers Forge Elementary School — including Schoonmaker’s granddaughter, Amelia — have listened as Schmidt has read to them each day from the first book in a series of three written by the retired professor and teacher. “The Alabaster Box” is a story set in the 1840s, just prior to the country’s gold rush, which tells the story of an 11-year-old girl who opens a magical box and must deal with the consequences.”