Friday, February 10, 2012

The Chasing Mona Lisa Mom - Tricia Goyer

Today we are pleased to welcome our special guest, Tricia Goyer!

As a homeschooling mom I never struggled with figuring out what I wanted my kids to learn. The problem came with knowing where to stop. After sitting down one year to figure out my high schooler’s schedule, I came up with fourteen subjects. Fourteen! Uh, I had to trim that down a little bit.

I have the same problem when I look at Amanda's unit studies: Horses, Gardens, Space, oh my! I want to do it all.

As a historical writer I’ve often had the same problem. It’s easy to dig into research, but it’s hard to know when to stop and write the book. Thankfully, for my new novel Chasing Mona Lisa, I had a co-writer to help with the process. Mike Yorkey (former editor of Focus on the Family magazine) is a WWII history buff. He also lived in Switzerland with his wife Nicole, who is Swiss.

What I love about historical fiction is feeling as if I’m living history. With fiction you don’t just learn facts and dates. Readers get to experience thoughts and emotions similar to those of the people who lived during that time.

I’ve also discovered that by having my teens read a novel, it’s like adding another “subject” to my own homeschooling classroom, while my kids think they’re just in for a fun read!

Here are a few things we discovered about the France of August 1944 while we were researching Chasing Mona Lisa:

  • The Nazis bought up tons of art as well as confiscated magnificent pieces from Jewish families.
  • The Parisians rose up and fought the Nazis in the days leading up to the Liberation.
  • Paris was liberated without much warfare or bloodshed.
  • The Louvre curators hid the Mona Lisa and other famous pieces in their collection during the war.
  • The Mona Lisa was moved around like a pea in a shell game and was hung in a girl’s bedroom during the war.
  • Allen Dulles, an American, ran a spy network in Switzerland. The OSS was the precursor to the CIA.
  • There were skimming and “Swiss bank accounts” among the Nazis. (I bet you’re not surprised!)

Mike and I learned much more in the process, and I've enjoyed sharing it with my teens. Chasing Mona Lisa is a book you can read with your teenagers as you study France with your whole family!

--Tricia Goyer

Tricia is the author of more than 30 books and has published over 500 articles for national publications such as Focus on the Family, Today’s Christian Woman and HomeLife Magazine.

She won the Historical Novel of the Year award in both 2005 and 2006 from American Christian Fiction Writers, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. 
To find out more about Chasing Mona Lisa go to Tricia's website.

A Special Invitation From Amanda

Please join me, Tricia, and Mike on Monday evening (2/13/12), to hear even more about Chasing Mona Lisa, Passport France, and how you can use both to spark a new excitement about learning for your teens. This will be an evening of fun, prizes, intrigue, and learning in a live, video chat event you won't want to miss! 

Mark your calendars for 
February 13, 
7 - 8:30 p.m. (CST). 
RSVP for this event now!

With the release of Chasing Mona Lisa, Tricia and Mike have provided an excellent companion novel for Passport France Explorer!

In Monday's live, video chat event we'll be exploring the learning opportunities found in pairing historical fiction and unit studies. In particular, Tricia and Mike will be sharing their first-hand observations and research about France, revealing the fascinating true story behind their new book, Chasing Mona Lisa, while I'll be sharing how to use novels, such as Chasing Mona Lisa, to enrich unit study learning.

We will be offering a fantastic array of prizes, from children's books and unit studies to handbags, jewlery, and decorative items . . . all with a French flair; so don't miss this chance to embrace the joie de vivre!

Bon voyage!

Amanda B.

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