Today we celebrate the book birthday of Piece by Piece: Ernestine's Gift for President Roosevelt. We sat down with Musa Lupe Ruiz Flores to learn all about the inspiration behind the this book.
But first, a little bit about this book series:
During the Great Depression Ernestine Guerrero's family didn't have much.
The Mexican American teen was so grateful for the government food aid they received in San Antonio, Texas, that she wanted to personally thank President Roosevelt. But how? After seeing the plans for a very difficult woodworking project, she decided she would make it herself and send it to the president. Piece by piece, that's exactly what she did. And the clock case she built remains on display in the Roosevelt Presidential Library to this day.
With stunning illustrations from Anna López Real, this picture book tells the inspiring true story of a girl who proved that if you look closely, treasure can be found in unexpected place
Where did you get the idea to write this particular story?
An article in the San Antonio Express-News in Paula Allen’s column mentioned Ernestine. I knew Ernestine’s story had to be told as it was part of U.S. history.
What was your favorite part of the publication process with this story?
Working with the editor, Carol Hinz, at Millbrook. She is awesome.
What was the most challenging part of the publication process with this story?
Research. I love doing research but it wasn’t until I found Ernestine’s four daughters and interviewed them that the story was complete. They live in San Antonio. Ernestine passed when they were still very young.
Are you agented? If so, can you share how you got one?
I pitched to my now agent, Kayla Cicello, of Upstart Crow Agency, via Zoom at a SCBWI conference.
What three recommendations would you give writers who are starting out?
Believe in yourself
Never give up
Las Musas Speak
Welcome to our blog!