Set in the world of minor league baseball in the 1950s, this imaginative retelling of the Snow White story follows eleven-year-old orphan Whitney Snow as she tries to escape from her villainous aunt who is bent on stealing her inheritance. On the road, Whitney encounters a scruffy minor league baseball team that adopts her as their unofficial team mascot. With the help of these good-hearted players, Whitney learns how to handle the curveballs that life has thrown at her. It’s a nostalgic and heartwarming coming-of-age tale that evokes a small-town America that is no more…or perhaps never was.
Targeted Age Group:: 10+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Classic fairy tales are universal. And yet, I wondered how the details might change if a story with European origins was transposed to a thoroughly American setting. Would the story and characters still work? Would it acquire new depth and meaning?
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Since we don’t have queens or princesses or mining dwarfs in the United States, I needed to come up with analogous characters that would make sense. I also wanted to set it in a time period that felt mythical and innocent. Nothing could be more all-American than baseball, so changing the dwarfs into a scruffy minor league team seemed to make sense!
Whitney’s Aunt Joan always referred to her as “Princess.” In a sense, this was true, because eleven-year-old Whitney Snow had led an extraordinarily charmed life until her father’s sudden and unexpected death in the spring of 1954. Before Colonel Snow contracted the fatal virus on an overseas business trip, he and Whitney had lived happily, just outside Atlanta, Georgia, on an impressive Neo-Classical estate called Snowcrest Manor. The main house was a whitewashed Southern mansion surrounded by manicured lawns and neatly trimmed hedges. There was even a bronze medallion on the front gate that matched the design of the gold locket that he had given her — a large, swooping “S” surrounded by etched snowflakes. However, Whitney would have traded all these luxuries just to see her father alive again.
About a week after the funeral, Whitney reluctantly changed out of her somber mourning clothes and dressed like a fairy princess. Wearing a pink leotard and tutu, she pirouetted across the polished wood floors of the manor’s grand ballroom. Whitney always felt that the gilded mirrors and fancy crystal chandeliers made this room seem magical. Maybe if she wished hard enough, she could bring Colonel Snow back.
But for the moment, she couldn’t indulge in such flights of fancy, because she was dancing under the unforgiving eye of her stern ballet teacher, Madame Gauday. Although she was over sixty years old, Mme. Gauday still had the lean, muscular frame of a dancer. As usual, she was dressed in black with a colorful scarf knotted around her waist like a belt. Her severe look reminded Whitney of a ravenous buzzard.
Standing near the grand piano, Mme. Gauday pounded the floor with her cane to keep time with the waltz from Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty. “And one, two, three… One, two, three…” she shouted over the swelling music. “Extend your wrists! Remember, my dear, we are not born with grace. Being a proper lady takes hard work.”
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