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Welcome to my website!


ANSWERING THE CRY FOR FREEDOM is getting notably noticed!
• 2016 California Reading Assn. Eureka! Silver Winner Nonfiction Book Award
• 2016 NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
• Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books 2016
• 2017 YALSA Nonfiction Award Nomination
• 2017 Honor Book, Carter G. Woodson NCSS Award
• Maine State Library 2017 Cream of the Crop Children's and YA Literature

Teacher's Guide listed under My Books

This engaging book provides a chance for young readers to learn about the death-defying attempts of black Americans to gain the inalienable rights promised in the Declaration of Independence. By stepping into the shoes of thirteen men and women—stand-ins for the fifth of the population left out of most textbooks—readers can appreciate how the American Revolution rattled the chains of slavery and expanded the boundaries of freedom beyond the Founding Fathers’ intentions. This book belongs in the library of every elementary and middle school.
-- Gary B. Nash, director emeritus, National Center for History in the Schools and distinguished research professor, Department of History, UCLA

KIRKUS …Biographical sketches tell of 13 remarkable black men and women, including a double agent, a traveling female preacher, an admired poet, and a successful whaling captain….Accessible, inspiring accounts of courageous men and women. (notes, timelines, bibliography, index)

BOOKLIST …Woelfle, an award-winning author of nonfiction, examines the challenges and contradictions of life for African Americans in the founding era—a time period supposedly defined by its quest for freedom…. This outstanding book is not just a history of African Americans, but rather an honest look at the complicated, often hypocritical definitions that Americans have ascribed to the idea of liberty from our earliest days.

SCHOOL LIBRARY CONNECTION …Students will easily identify with the challenges faced by these notables, especially since many were in their teens or younger at the time of the war. Teachers will love the extensively researched text, and librarians will love the in-text quotes, poems, journal excerpts, letters, epitaphs, testimonies, and other primary source content. Skillfully written by multiple award-winning author, Woelfle, and illustrated with pen and ink drawings by award-winning illustrator, Christie, this book supports fifth grade Common Core social studies standards and is ideally suited for all middle grades studying early American history, civil rights, and government. Bibliography. Index. Source Notes. Timeline. Websites. Highly Recommended

SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL …Researchers and history fans alike will surely appreciate this work that brings attention to a missing part of U.S. history. Recommended for libraries and classrooms that serve middle school students.

I’m Gretchen Woelfle (that’s Wolf-lee) and I'm a children's author. I've written picture books, short stories, essays, novels, biographies, and environmental books.

I write about things I want to know more about – and things I already know and love.
Sometimes those are memories…
sometimes it’s what I see around me…
sometimes I write about events that happened long ago…
and sometimes I make it all up!

Writing is a solitary business. Most days I work at home. Some days I go to schools to talk to the children I write for. It tickles my fancy to be a celebrity for a day!

I love to travel around the world looking for stories. I've lived high in the Himalayas and on a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean. I've also found stories in Holland, England, Bolivia, and right in my own backyard.

Let me hear from you. Email is best: gretchenwoelfle@gmail.com.

Ten Quick Facts About Me

1. I have two cats: LV (Little Voice) and Insect Robber.
2. I've got a miniature farm at my home in Los Angeles, California, with seven fruit trees, three kinds of berries, lots of vegetables, and a tree drooping with dozens of avocados.
3. I once lived in a little grass hut on a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I'm writing a novel about it now.
4. My front garden dazzles with golden California poppies every spring.
5. I love to ride my bicycle -- at home and around the world. I've cycled in Cuba, Vietnam, India, England, and Spain.
6. I'm always on the lookout for good stories when I'm traveling the world.
7. My son and daughter don't think much of my singing voice, but I love singing in a choir anyway.
8. My favorite sport is soccer and my favorite team is Chelsea Football Club.
9. If I come to visit your school, you can help me act out my books with props, costumes, and songs. I promise to sing quietly.
10. My advice to young writers and artists - Do it! And have fun doing it.