Melanie Crowder’s new book “Audacity” came out this week. Crowder researched many suffragists, but she was looking for someone specific to write about she says, she wanted to find someone young and inspiring. After a while, Crowder found Clara Lemlich who stood up for people who had a bad job in the 1900s when she was still was in her teenage years. She decided that she would write about her.
Lemlich, a Jewish immigrant from Russia, found a job in hopes of helping her family survive; however, the bosses mistreated the workers, so Clara led the women on the largest women’s strike, the Uprising of the 20,000.
Crowder started to write "Audacity" at the end of 2012 and finished at the end of 2014. At first, she was going to do a picture book biography but as she researched more, a picture book biography wouldn’t fit all this information that Clara had to offer and the book was begging for poetry to fit Clara’s determined personality.
Crowder went to Clara’s family members to find more about her and the more she interviewed them, the more Crowder saw how focused Clara was to change the way of life. "Audacity" turned into a 364-page poetry book with a little bit of fiction mixed with nonfiction. This fiction evened out the line between a nonfictional biography and a fictional story.
I asked Crowder why she chose a 12 and up book.
“It is a very interesting age group and they are figuring out who they are going to be; just like Clara in her teen years,” Crowder replied. “It is a rarity for teens and preteens to stand up for what they believe in and that’s what makes Clara so special.”
Crowder says that she learned an unbelievable amount of things by writing Clara’s story. She says that she learned a lot about history like the ways and life style of the Russians and Americans in the 1900s. Also, Crowder learned to be confident in a poetry format.