North Chicago Public Library

I would like to thank Jay and all the wonderful staff at at the North Chicago Public Library for allowing me to present my historical novel, The Adventures of Francie Fitzgerald. They were all extremely helpful and have ordered a copy of the book for their library and invited me to come back in September to participate in their Book Fair which I very much appreciate.

The purpose for me writing this book was when my husband Dan was ill and in the hospital, I looked up an article on the internet there and discovered a picture of the three Newark boys who were attacked by a rabid dog and ended up in Paris, France with Dr. Louis Pasteur and his life saving serum. I thought this would be a great idea for an historical novel. Having taught for over thirty-six years, I could research scientific and historical information that was going on in 1895 when the attack happened. By writing the story, it was a way to continue learning and teaching those interesting scientific and historical events to others. I was gratified that my publishing company, Joshua Tree Publishing in Chicago, appreciated the story as well.

In my presentation at the North Chicago Library, I talked about the main ideas and characters of the story. Francie, the fourteen year old, stumbles across a dead fox with bulging eyes staring at her and foam dripping from its mouth. This gruesome vision remains with her through much of the story. Later, she and her best friend, Sean, discover an article about Frederick Herrmann Kruger, an eleven year old, who gets attacked by a rabid dog and dies later from rabies or hydrophobia which means fear of water; Frederick was unable to drink, had lots of hallucinations, and pain. Francie becomes fearful for her siblings because there are so many dogs that roam freely night and day in her neighborhood. What she fears most happens. The story is about their adventures to Paris and living in Newark.

The Fitzgerald Family is Irish and are typical of immigrant families. They are loving to one another and take care of one another. Money that is earned is for the needs of the family. They appreciate their heritage and faith and all those that came from Ireland because of the potato famine that was going on there. They honor their grandparents’ memories who have passed on before them. They love their traditions such as music, dance. and their Irish foods.

Newark is very diverse at this time. Besides Irish, there are Germans, Italians, and Syrians to name a few. Also, there are African Americans who came North for more freedoms and opportunities that they did not have in the South. All these groups have a great work ethic. The factories in Newark provide them with financial security to take care of their families. They all respect each others differences in the community and get a long very well. My Blog brings in many ideas and events that deal with our country and connect with the Fitzgerald family in the novel, The Adventures of Francie Fitzgerald.

Films made by immigrants here have captured our American soul, our work ethnic, our regard for the community and love of our nation. Louis B. Meyer was a Russian Jew who appreciated living here with rights and freedoms his family did not enjoy in the old country. MGM films, which he was a part of, have demonstrated how wonderful it is to be American. I am especially fond of the Hardy Series he made with Mickey Rooney which demonstrated such fine qualities such as caring for others and always doing the right thing. Also, the great producer and director Frank Capra, an Italian American, also made movies that showed great appreciation of living in America. He made such great films as “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington” to name two of his movies.

As Covid variants manifest themselves, the importance of vaccinations becomes more relevant today than ever. Vaccinations are just as important in keeping us healthy as the rabies serum is for those who are attacked by a rabid, wild animal or polio vaccines for our children to keep them healthy.

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