Friday, March 20, 2015
Guest Blogger - Angela Strong
My Fun4Hire series for ages 8-12 is full of quirky characters, so when a couple of boisterous brothers from Haiti stole my heart in Sunday school at church, I knew I had to stick them in my next novel. “The Haitian Sensations” were just what I needed to create conflict in The Food Fight Professional.
Coming from an area where millions go to bed hungry every night, these adopted boys would definitely not understand why American kids wanted to waste food. It’s their influence that gets main character, Joey Michaels, to start a “Food Fight to Fight Hunger” and actually give up his fame and fortune to help the adopted family overcome the challenges of connecting.
These characters did more than affect my story however. They affected my heart. And I wanted to know more about kids brave enough to start a new life in another country. So, as a reporter for Boise Christian Living, I interviewed a panel of mothers in my area who’d adopted from overseas.
The stories I heard varied from a middle-schooler who couldn’t read a single word to kids who would hoard food and eat until they threw up to a girl who refused to ride in a car alone with her adopted father. One mother told me, “Adoption is not saving someone. Adoption is brutal, and delicate, and heartbreaking for many parties. Not all adoption stories end like a fairytale.”
I shared these stories with my husband as we headed up into the mountains for me an author talk at The Snowball Fight Professional. There we were, driving along a beautiful winding river with the sun shining down on sparkling snow, ready to enjoy a weekend getaway, and I started bawling. My heart breaks for the real-life stories of children who deserve so much more.the Winter Carnival in McCall, Idaho, which is the setting for
I hope that a fraction of this compassion comes through in my novels. And that maybe, just maybe, The Haitian Sensations, will inspire more lives than mine alone.