Check out the Guest Post by Nancy Rue
Stay tuned for a review of Here's Lily by Nancy Rue
posted later today :)
By Nancy Rue
Author of more than 100 books, including the Lily series
Lily Robbins, of my Lily series, was “born” back in 1998 at the request of Women of Faith founder Stephen Arterburn who wanted to start a Young Women of Faith Library. “I’d like to see a series about an eleven-year-old girl named Lily,” was the direction I was given. And it was all the direction I apparently needed because almost immediately, a gangly, precocious mini-woman with out-of-control red hair came into my heart and stayed there. I only had to listen to find out that everyone else in her family had a “thing”—a passion that defined them—but she was just sixth-grader Lily who had one best friend and was the brunt of every joke class clown Shad Shifferdecker could think up. She was bright, well-spoken, and wasn’t afraid to remind absurd little creep boys that they weren’t just breaking the rules—they were demolishing them. What self-respecting middle school smart alec could resist that? I knew that once Lily found her “thing” she would go at it 150%, as tween girls so often do, and that she would form a close group of friends (the Girlz Only Club) who would be right in there with her. But I also knew that it was going to take several growing-up years for Lily to discover who she truly was. That meant that each fiction book could star Lily in a new role—aspiring fashion model in book one, developing doctor in book two, and so on.
But early on I decided that since Lily’s fellow mini-women were going through many of the same things that Lily was enduring (such as a new interest in appearance, a changing body, and issues with peers), they might benefit from a non-fiction book to accompany each of the fiction titles. I wanted those books to be interactive and fun with plenty of concrete material that would help readers navigate the tween years.
What delighted me the most about the Lily project was that I was free to show Lily’s spiritual development along the way and to be even more upfront about that in the non-fiction books. Kids in the formative 8-to-12 age range are no longer just coloring pictures of Noah’s Ark in Sunday school; they’re discovering that they can have their own relationship with God and they have questions about how that works and what it means in their young lives. My greatest joy in writing these books has been receiving emails and letters that say things like, “I never knew exactly how to pray until I started a ‘Talking To God Journal’ like Lily did,” and “Lily shows me how to be a Christian in school without, like, preaching to people.”
I couldn’t be more jazzed that the Lily Series is getting a new face and an opportunity to reach yet another generation of mini-women. I’m in touch with Lily’s fans on my blog, “Tween You and Me” as well as on my website – www.nancyrue.com – and through mother/daughter events where we spend an afternoon working through some of Lily’s—and the daughters’—biggest tween challenges. I so appreciate this chance to talk to you, the moms and dads who have challenges of your own in raising your precious daughters in a very tough society. Blessings on all you do.
In God for your girls,