Award-winning author presents Valley In Book
The latest book by award-winning author Wendelin Van Draanen, set in 1947 in a fictional Riverbank, Oakdale and Modesto, will debut in May at the Riverbank Historical Museum.
Members of the Historical Society provided the author with local information, so she’s coming to town to launch her latest effort, The Peach Rebellion (Knopf/Random House), here where the story takes place.
The plot question is: can a girl who has spent most of her life migrating from one slum to another and the daughter of a privileged banker ever get along? The dilemma Peggy Simmons, the daughter of a peach farmer who is a friend of the two, struggles in the tale, devised by Van Draanen.
She has written more than 30 novels, including Flipped, which became a Warner Brothers film directed by Rob Reiner, and chose to launch her new novel at the Riverbank Historical Museum to highlight the importance of the museum and to thank the teachers who put it there. helped during the early stages of his research.
“Judie (Hardie) and Paulette (Roberson) were so patient and knowledgeable – it really helped me get off to a good start,” Van Draanen explained.
“The Peach Rebellion presents a slice of history when women who had played non-traditional roles during World War II were to return to their former, more menial lives after the war ended,” she pointed out. “It’s a story of brotherhood, breaking of rules and blossoming courage, suitable for readers aged twelve and up.”
Van Draanen is no stranger to the Central Valley, as her stepmother, Rosalyn (Moore) Parsons attended Oakdale High, her stepfather, Ed Parsons, a native of Escalon, and her husband, Mark Huntley Parsons, also an author, was born in Modesto.
Van Draanen is a longtime California resident who taught high school in Santa Maria, a city with a large population of migrant workers.
“With The Peach Rebellion, I wanted to create a gripping story that would have the reader walk a mile in someone else’s shoes,” she said. “My hope for this book is that it will bridge the divides.”
Van Draanen invites residents to come celebrate the city’s centennial and meet her at the Riverbank Historical Museum, 3237 Santa Fe St., downtown, on Tuesday, May 17, from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Books will be offered for sale on site, with proceeds going to the Riverbank Historical Society.