Cover Reveal: The Forgotten Girl by India Hill Brown

Hello, India Hill Brown! Thank you for stopping by Watch. Connect. Read. to share The Forgotten Girl’s EYE-CATCHING cover. I ignored everything on my to-do list the afternoon I read The Forgotten Girl. I could not put it down. I needed to find out why Iris was having nightmares. I needed to know what happened to Avery Moore in 1956. Thank you for telling this story. What planted the seed for The Forgotten Girl?

India Hill Brown: Hi Mr. Schu! Thank you so much for having me! The Forgotten Girl was inspired by a couple of things: Firstly, there is a segregated cemetery in my hometown of Columbia, South Carolina, that used to be abandoned—just like Avery’s! Two of my family members are buried there.

In 1959, my hometown arranged for the cemetery to be cleared out in an urban-renewal program. A bulldozer started work, destroying some of the graves! Luckily, a woman by the name of Minnie Simons Williams drew attention to the historical significance of the cemetery and brought a stop to the clearing of it.

Then, my grandmother always tells us stories when we visit the cemetery. She said that, over the years, the grave markers of our two family members turned to face each other! I’ve actually SEEN it.

It made me feel like a segregated graveyard was a great setting for a ghost story, but I also wanted to bring awareness to the fact that there are still some abandoned ones out there.

Finally, our main character, Iris, also feels forgotten about in some ways, and I pulled from my own school experience to write about that. She’s doing great things around school but isn’t getting noticed for them. Once, I won a school wide award for a short story titled “Hey, I’m Invisible!” (hmm… I’m sensing a theme here), and ironically the school Principal “forgot” to notify my mom about the ceremony. Something similar happens to Iris and it affects her.

Iris feels forgotten, and so does Avery. But Avery’s plans to make that right again are … creepy, to say the least.

Cover Designer: Maeve Norton

What are you most looking forward to about sending your debut novel out into the world on November 5, 2019?

India Hill Brown: I’ve dreamed of being an author ever since I was a little girl, and I’m so looking forward to having my first published book out in the world! I can’t wait for people to meet and root for Iris and Daniel, and figure out what’s up with Avery. 

If I had been your school librarian or youth services librarian, which books would I have seen you checking out from your school or public library?

India Hill Brown: SOO MANY! I spent so much time in the library: Junie B. Jones, Amber Brown, The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes, Dear America, American Girl, Redwall, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, anything by Judy Blume, and Harry Potter of course!

I was a very easily frightened kid, but once I found the Goosebumps series, I was hooked. I was so proud of myself for finishing the books, even through the scary parts. I hope that The Forgotten Girl can do that for some kids out there! 

Please finish these sentence starters: 
Iris and Daniel are best friends, no matter what. Iris is considered the “brave” friend, while Daniel is considered the “cautious” one, but we may or may not see these roles change as the situations in the book become more dire!

Easaw, North Carolina is a fictional, small town with lots of secrets! It gets a little snowy in the wintertime, and Iris loves it – even enough to avoid warnings about the spirits of the snow that come out at night…

I hope The Forgotten Girl becomes a favorite, spooky read that people return to every year! I hope it becomes a book that you can grab a blanket and curl up by the fireplace or the window with, the book you sneak and read past your bedtime to finish!

I hope that the timid kid that doesn’t feel brave enough, the brave kid that still doesn’t feel brave enough, or the kid that just wants a little more recognition, finds themselves in this book.

I hope that it encourages kids to not seek recognition, but to just do what they love, and know that the right people will recognize you when the time comes.

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me what my favorite reading snack is! I love to cozy up with a book, a cup of tea, and either a bowl of white cheddar popcorn, or something spicy, like Flamin’ Hot Fries. Yum!

Thank you, India Hill Brown! 

Look for The Forgotten Girl on November 5, 2019. 


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