About the Book
Book: The Moonlight School
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: February 2, 2021
Haunted by her sister’s mysterious disappearance, Lucy Wilson arrives in Rowan County, Kentucky, in the spring of 1911 to work for Cora Wilson Stewart, superintendent of education. When Cora sends Lucy into the hills to act as scribe for the mountain people, she is repelled by the primitive conditions and intellectual poverty she encounters. Few adults can read and write.
Born in those hills, Cora knows the plague of illiteracy. So does Brother Wyatt, a singing schoolmaster who travels through the hills. Involving Lucy and Wyatt, Cora hatches a plan to open the schoolhouses to adults on moonlit nights. The best way to combat poverty, she believes, is to eliminate illiteracy. But will the people come?
As Lucy emerges from a life in the shadows, she finds purpose; or maybe purpose finds her. With purpose comes answers to her questions, and something else she hadn’t expected: love.
Click here to get your copy!
The Moonlight School is a fascinating historical story that captivated my interest from the very beginning. Suzanne Woods Fisher has taken an intriguing true account from the pages of the early 20th century and woven an inspiring and engaging novel around it.
The characters -- most of whom are fictional -- are full of life with its good and its not so good. Lucy, in particular, finds herself in a whole new world with lots of lessons to learn about people, situations, and even language different from her own. Wyatt seems to be sure of his place in the hill country, but there are layers to him that aren't readily obvious at the beginning. Cora is a force to be reckoned with as she pursues her dream to improve life for the people she deeply cares for. And there is a whole cast of other characters who each add their own depth to the story. There is an intriguing bit of mystery involved, but the steady, purposeful development of the characters is what makes this a great story.
The incorporation of vocabulary specific to the people of the hill country added an authentic touch to the story. (I guess my connections to the rural south are stronger than I realized, as many of the expressions were familiar to me. That meant I needed only a few of the "translations" provided by the author in the opening pages of the book.) Many readers, and maybe especially those of us who are or have been educators, will find a special connection to the literacy element of the story. The author's notes about the follow-up on the moonlight school program and suggestions for more research on Cora Wilson Stewart are helpful for anyone interested in learning more about the true story.
I highly recommend The Moonlight School to fans of great historical fiction and inspirational stories in general. Thanks to Celebrate Lit for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.
About the Author
Carol award winner Suzanne Woods Fisher writes stories that take you to places you’ve never visited—one with characters that seem like old friends. But most of all, her books give you something to think about long after you’ve finished reading it. With over one million copies of her books sold worldwide, Suzanne is the best-selling author of more than thirty books, ranging from non-fiction books, to children’s books, to novels. She lives with her very big family in northern California.
More from Suzanne
I’m Suzanne Woods Fisher, the author of The Moonlight School
. This historical fiction will release on February 2, 2021, and is based on a true story featuring Cora Wilson Stewart, a Kentucky educator way
ahead of her times. In 1911, Cora had a crazy idea—to open rural one-room schoolhouses in her county on moonlit nights to teach illiterate adults how to read and write.
So what happened next? Well, it’s so astonishing that you wouldn’t believe me if I told you. Instead, I hope you’ll read the book and find out for yourself.
In the meantime, this infographic provides a fascinating look at illiteracy THEN…and NOW. Makes you want to thank your teachers, doesn’t it?
Inklings and notions, January 30
Batya’s Bits, January 30
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 30
CarpeDiem, January 31
Sara Jane Jacobs, January 31
A Novel Pursuit, January 31
Adventures of a Travelers Wife, January 31
The Avid Reader, February 1
Bliss Books & Jewels, February 1
lakesidelivngsite, February 1
Connie’s History Classroom, February 1
She Lives To Read, February 2
For the Love of Literature, February 2
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 2
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 3
Through the Fire Blogs, February 3
Texas Book-aholic, February 3
Inspiration Clothesline, February 3
Fiction Book Lover, February 4 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 4
Blogging With Carol, February 4
Lis Loves Reading, February 4
Locks, Hooks and Books, February 5
Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 5
Simple Harvest Reads, February 5 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
HookMeInABook, February 5
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 6
Mypreciousbitsandmusings, February 6
Artistic Nobody, February 6 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
For Him and My Family, February 7
EmpowerMoms, February 7
The Write Escape , February 7
Mary Hake, February 7
Older & Smarter?, February 8
deb’s Book Review, February 8
Splashes of Joy, February 8
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 9
Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 9
Beauty in the Binding, February 9
Blossoms and Blessings, February 9
Remembrancy, February 10
Bigreadersite, February 10
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 10
By The Book, February 11
Wishful Endings, February 11
Vicky Sluiter, February 11
Pause for Tales, February 11
Spoken from the Heart, February 12
Hallie Reads, February 12
To Everything There Is A Season, February 12
Southern Gal Loves to Read, February 12
To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.