Her Story: Ladies In Literature with Stacey Lee

Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a special, month-long series on Pop! Goes The Reader in which we celebrate the literary female role models whose stories have inspired and empowered us since time immemorial. From Harriet M. Welsch to Anne Shirley, Becky Bloomwood to Hermione Granger, Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a series created for women, by women as twenty-four authors answer the question: “Who’s your heroine?” You can find a complete list of the participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!


About Stacey Lee

Stacey Lee is a fourth generation Chinese-American whose people came to California during the heydays of the cowboys. She believes she still has a bit of cowboy dust in her soul. A native of southern California, she graduated from UCLA then got her law degree at UC Davis King Hall. After practicing law in the Silicon Valley for several years, she finally took up the pen because she wanted the perks of being able to nap during the day, and it was easier than moving to Spain. She plays classical piano, raises children, and writes YA fiction.

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Bloody Jack is the eponymous moniker of an English street urchin, “Jacky” Faber, who impersonates a boy to gain passage onto a British Naval ship, where she is constantly in threat of being ‘discovered,’ further complicated by her developing feelings for one of the other lads aboard the ship.

When I discovered this series, I was the mother of a young child. A children’s librarian recommended this series to me, as I was continually on the hunt for good audiobooks with which to battle the ennui of raising young kids. Yes, it’s an often lonely and wearisome task to raise children, and audiobooks were an escape. While I strollered my napping daughter on endless loops around my neighborhood, I would listen to Jacky’s amazing adventures on the high seas, follow her rise to an officer, her spiral into the life of a pirate, her education in an elite girl’s school, and so on. She was dauntless, funny, loyal, fearless. When she fell, she didn’t just get back on the horse, she rode the horse to the racetrack and onto victory. And she did it all living in the turn of the 19th century, at a time when women were still caged in their tight-fitting figurative and literal corsets.

I realized that one of the reasons I loved this character so much is that she represented what I hoped my daughter would one day be. Someone who can carve her own path, and bravely face the consequences of her wrong choices with a desire to do better. Someone who isn’t afraid of life, but strives to live it to its fullest. Heck, Jacky’s someone I want to one day be.

Title Under A Painted Sky
Author Stacey Lee
Pages 384 Pages
Genre Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Adventure, Romance
Publisher G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
To Be Published March 17th, 2015
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician — Not an easy thing if you’re a girl, and harder still if you’re Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life. With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail.

Alongside an escaped slave from the brothel, Samantha and Annamae take to the relative safety and anonymity of the Oregon Trail, travelling not as themselves, but in disguise as “Sam” and “Andy”,

This beautifully written debut is an exciting adventure and heart-wrenching survival tale. But above all else, it’s a story about perseverance and trust that will restore your faith in the power of friendship.


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