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Sat., Oct 26, 2013, 2pm, White Birch Books, North Conway

Watch the book trailer here on YouTube! 

White Birch Books, North Conway, will host a living history program for the whole family on October 26. Dressed as a school teacher from 100 years ago, Donna Seim, author of the children's book Charley, will give a slide presentation about the lives of New England's urban and rural children of that period. She will also lead games and demonstrations, and snacks will be served. The free program begins at 2:00 p.m.

In Seim's based-on-truth children's novel, Boston street-kid Charley Ryan is abandoned by his father in 1910, and he and his siblings have no option but to present themselves to the New England Home for Little Wanderers. This isn't the heartless orphanage of cliché, but a real institution that pioneered progressive child care policies. The orphanage finds a foster home for Charley on a remote New England farm, where the city boy is expected to milk cows, cut ice, and perform other chores for which he has no training or apparent aptitude. Seim's sympathetic protagonist helps expose young readers to the historic milieu of Boston's early-20th-century working class, institutions like orphanages and the foster care system, and details of New England rural living.

In addition to the slide presentation, Seim will read from Charley while dressed in period costume as Miss Peterson, the book's schoolteacher. Children will see how adults of that period dressed, and will learn how to shoot marbles and milk a cow in the manner of city kids and farm kids of 100 years ago.

Donna Seim is the author of two award-winning picture books, Where is Simon, Sandy? and Satchi and Little Star. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Ohio State University and a Master’s in Special Education from Lesley University. She lives in Newbury, Massachusetts.

White Birch Books is at 2568 Main St. in North Conway. For more information, call 603-356-3200 or visit

By Donna Marie Seim
Illustrated by Susan Spellman
Reading level: 8-12 yrs
Publication date: September 1, 2013
$14.95, 208 pgs, Paperback, 5.5” x 8”
ISBN 978-1-937721-10-7
Published by: Peter E. Randall Publisher /
Author's website: (with book trailer)


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