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Bringing the Prairie to Life

Award-winning author Kate Gingold writes to share her love for history with younger readers as well as those who'd rather not open a big old dusty history book. She brings to life stories of the prairie settler, rich with details describing every day existence in nineteenth century America.

Kate's enthusiasm for the past is also evident in her presentations for classrooms and community groups. PowerPoint slides, costumes and toys are just some of the tools she uses to make the 1800's prairie real to today's audiences.

The years between the French fur trappers and the Civil War are under-represented in books, films and television. Westward Expansion gripped the country between 1812 and 1860, but for many people, the quintessential pioneering settler is Laura Ingalls Wilder, who wasn't even born until 1867!

How different could life on the prairie during the first half of the nineteenth century be compared to life during the second half? Very different indeed! From steam engines to photography to matches, exciting changes appeared on the time line during those years.

Books by Kate Gingold

Ruth by Lake and Prairie

Honored by the Illinois State Historical Society for "use of creativity within an accurate framework of history" in telling this pioneer girl's tale.

Ruth by Lake and Prairie Activity Book

Companion activity book to the Ruth by Lake and Prairie chapter book provides prairie-themed puzzles, paper crafts, recipes and more.

Haunted by History: Spectres in a Small Town

Sparks a youngster's interest in history by weaving imagined ghost stories around real landmarks. History lessons so much fun, it's scary!


Six Degrees of Abraham Lincoln

Little known facts about connections between the sixteenth President and Chicago's suburbs.

Book Rookie:Tips for First-Time Authors

"Dumb" questions (although there are NO dumb questions!) are answered and checklists provided for knocking off an author's first tasks in digital marketing, networking and public speaking.


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Presentations and Author Visits
Presentations available on 1830's Illinois history, the writing process and Abraham Lincoln for schools and community groups.
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