Sixth grade students from Lowville Academy in Lowville, NY read Charlotte nominee Hidden by Helen Frost and sent questions to Ms. Frost. Thank you to the students for their questions and to Ms. Frost for her answers.
How did you decide to do different points of view?
I started writing Wren’s story, and when Darra came into the story, she seemed to have her own story to tell, so I wrote the parts in her voice.
What made you want to use the girls’ thoughts in the book?
That’s what I’m always most interested in, in any story–what is going through the characters’ minds as the plot unfolds.Poetry is a good way of getting inside the thoughts and feelings of characters. It’s something I love about poetry.
What inspired you to write this book?
This book had lots of different inspirations–surprisingly it did not come from a newspaper article about a girl in a stolen car. You’ll find a lot of background that will answer your question on my website: http://www.helenfrost.net/item.php?postid=30
Scroll down the page to the part that I describe as a “love letter to Hidden” and then listen to the videotaped interview just below that.
And at the bottom of that page on my website, you’ll find an article about children in stolen cars–which I found AFTER the book was published.
Did it bother you emotionally to think and write about the capture and being stranded in the garage and going through what she did?
Thanks a bunch,
Yes, that was very hard. I was so relieved when I thought of the pet door, because I really did not know how Wren was going to get out of the garage, and I was scared for her!
Have you ever gone through any of the events? If so is that why you wrote about them?
Not being trapped like Wren was, or being cut off from my family like that.
But some other parts do come from personal experience, in different ways. For example, I have visited friends in prison, so I was thinking about the children who visit their parents in prison, going through all the security devices, and having such limited time with their parents. I wanted to write about that with respect and understanding.
Is the camp in the book real? If so have you been to the camp?
It’s not exactly a real camp, but I spent a lot of time as a camper, counselor, and lifeguard in several different camps, and I drew on those experiences when I wrote about Camp Oakwood. I love the upper peninsula of Michigan, so I imagined the camp there.
Thanks for these good questions! It’s nice to hear from you.