Skila Brown 

To Stay Alive

Historical Fiction

The journey West by wagon train promises to be long and arduous for nineteen-year-old Mary Ann Graves and her parents and eight siblings. But she is hopeful about their new life in California, and the possibility of freedom from family demands that she aches for.

But when winter comes early to the Sierra Nevada, the Graves family, traveling alongside the Donner and Reed families, experiences one of the most harrowing, tragic, and storied journeys in American history.

Amid the pain of loss and the constant threats of freezing temperatures and meager supplies, Mary Ann learns what it means to be part of a family, to make sacrifices for those we love, and, above all, to persevere. To Stay Alive is a moving narrative told from the viewpoint of one of the survivors of the ill-fated Donner Party of 1846.

Skila Brown

Skila Brown is the author of verse novels Caminar and To Stay Alive, as well as the picture book Slickety Quick: Poems About Sharks, all with Candlewick Press. She received an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She grew up in Kentucky and Tennessee and now lives in Indiana where she writes books for readers of all ages. Find her online at skilabrown.com

Schedule

Friday, October 19

12:00-12:45pm • Panel Discussion – Epic Landscapes and a Hint of Mystery

Location: DSU 3005

Learn the recipe to writing fascinating tales weaved from fact and fiction. From books set in the Roaring Twenties to a magical orchard to the chemistry classroom—and beyond—these authors are master mixers of real and imagined landscapes.

Along with these authors:
Kristin O’Donnell Tubb
C. A. Preece
Daphne Kalmar
Rebecca Caprara
Lindsey S. Frantz

5:00-5:45pm •  Panel Discussion – I Wrote That?!

Location:  Spencer’s Coffee (915 College St.)

It’s the old favorite (and most scary) question asked by author fans and friends alike: “Can I read some of your first tries at writing?” Gather ‘round as these authors—some well-established and some debut—share some of their not-so-great stuff from when they were just starting out.

Along with these authors:
Candace Ganger
Ashley Woodfolk
Juleah del Rosario
Brandy Colbert
Randy Ribay
Moderated by Jodi Meadows