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Praying to A.L.

Praying to A.L. (2000)
Grieving for her beloved father who recently died, thirteen-year-old Sierra remembers special moments in their lives, including their interest in the life of Abraham Lincoln.

"This was a difficult, close-to-my-heart book to write. My father was living in a nursing home, and barely knew me. I wrote the scenes of a dying parent with him in mind. Sierra picks up the dry-cleaning and sees her papa’s read and black checkered hunting jacket...and it is my father’s jacket, which I now wear as a bathrobe. I mined my daughter’s life as well, listening hard as she and her friends discussed and discovered their crushes. And of course, I went back to my past. Then I created Eli, Sierra’s friend, tough, smart, hormone-hopping Eli. I mourned alongside the two of them, but I also laughed, because every book depicting real life needs touches of humor. Hopefully laughter and family and music and passion and art fuel us, as they help fuel Sierra, and allow her, and us, to go on. My father died in February, two months before the book came out." -J.C.



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