My advice for writers discouraged by letters of rejection is to strategize your next move. Fulfilling a dream can be like tackling a ropes course while dangling from the treetops…hang in there…real tight…and don’t EVER let go!

Sometimes it's okay to be a chicken! My speech, Fearless Feathered Fowl, took Third Place in the Tall Tales contest at the Toastmasters District 53 Spring Conference in Holyoke, MA. Photo credit - Bill Watson

It was a real treat to meet Dan Barry, retired astronaut and castaway on the TV show, Survivor. He was the recipient of the Communication & Leadership Award at the District 53 Toastmasters Conference in Holyoke, MA. His acceptance speech was both inspiring and a lesson in perseverance. Thanks, Dan. Photo credit Dave Wheeler



CURIOUS ABOUT THE OTHER PHOTOS?

Storytime Photo -
taken in 1954

Christmas Photo -
taken in 1954
Click on the Year 1954 links below to find out more about those good old days.

Dippy Derby Photo -
taken in 1960
Okay, so the derby hat is a bit dippy, but oh what fun we had in that go cart! Click on the Year 1960 links below.

Fearsome Foursome -
taken in 1963
Click below on the important links for Year 1963. This is one year I will never forget. Yes, it was just before I became a Beatlemaniac; but other more important aspects of American history will always hold a special place in my mind and heart.

INTERESTING LINKS

These links will take you to special events that happened the same year as the photos were taken. They are in order as they happened.

IMPORTANT! You must click out of each link to return to this page.

SUPPORT
YOUR
LOCAL
BOOKSTORE!

Historical Fiction
"Historical details are smoothly woven into the text, and Margo is a strong heroine."
-Horn Book Guide
By Writers for Writers
Board Book for Children Infant to 8
Includes precious readings related to mealtimes

CHIT-CHAT

Hooray for modern technology! When you viewed the photos in Sleuths, did you wonder what it was like to watch television - the box with the big circle screen? The shows were in black and white, not color. What will technology be like when you are an adult?

One thing I enjoy most is connecting with my readers by visiting schools and libraries, speaking at conferences, and receiving letters. Thanks to modern technology we can also meet in cyberspace!

This website enables us to do just that. Please let me know what you think of it. I had fun being here with you. Thanks for your visit. While on the Internet remember to think safety first then have fun.

I'm smilin' at you from my writing desk,
C. Coco De Young


*****************************************************

Your turn to chit chat. Leave a message for all to read. My reply will be posted above your message in italics.


Click and type in a question or comment

REPLY:
Dear Tessa,
Thank you for your lovely message. I’m thrilled that you and your great-grandmother enjoyed A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt. Many readers have told me that the description of growing up during the Great Depression is accurate. That is because I spent much time researching 1929 to 1942, and most important, interviewing people who grew up during that time. Oh, how I wish I could write it all because their stories are amazing. Yes, a true hobo traveled and worked, and would have spent time helping on the farm in exchange for food. If the hobos stayed for any length of time, it would most likely have been in the barn or a side building for the farm crew. Many farm owners had their own struggles at this time, and each story is different but interesting.

Tessa, it is nice to know that you spent time with Great-Grandma. Take good care of each other. I will make a special announcement when my next book is due to come out.
Smilin’ at you from my writing desk on a snowy day in Connecticut,
C. Coco De Young


Dear Coco DeYoung,
My greatgrandma read your book with me. We really like it. She grew up during the depression and lived on a farm in Idaho. She said it was just like you described in your book. I showed her your picture of being a hobo queen. The hobos would always help on their farm. What is your next book so we can read it?
Tessa

REPLY:
Thank you, Bryan! Indeed, you and Dawn Ellen blessed, and continue to bless our lives times two. As for that darn book, I have a signed copy for you when you return for dinner. If I promise not to overcook the beef this time, will you bring your yummy lemon meringue pie?
Until then...hugs to you,
Carmine


Boy the stuff you learn about someone surfing the Web. You are one of the absolutely greatest inspiration’s my beloved Dawn Ellen and I have ever known. The two of us are Blessed for having known you and your wonderful family. I guess I will have to read your darned book.
All my Love and Affection
Bryan M Fitzgerald

REPLY:
Dear Fiona,
Thank you for your email. It brings a smile to my face when readers let me know they enjoyed my book. Imagine how I feel knowing that your whole class “loved it!” Many have asked if there is a sequel to A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt, and I have considered writing one. However, the sequel may have to wait. I am finishing another chapter book while researching facts for a third historical fiction book. It would be interesting to know which character you and your classmates would like to read more about in a sequel.
Have a wonderful summer. Remember to think safety first then have fun. I'm smilin’ at you from my writing desk,
C. Coco De Young


me and my classmates read your book for book group.we loved
it. is there a sequel?

Thanks, Fiona D.


REPLY:
Dear Ellie,
Imagine what it would be like if someone said to us, “A pickle for your thoughts.” Now that would be fun! My favorite pickle is the half-sour from Rein’s Deli in Vernon, Connecticut. Because you and I are serious pickle fans, perhaps we should test a pickle or two to see if it helps our writing. I leave for Rein’s Deli in ten minutes with paper and pen in hand to try this theory.
Pickles aplenty to you,
C. Coco De Young



Dear Coco,
Do you really like pickles? I do. Maybe if i eat enough then I can write like you!
Write back.
Ellie B.

REPLY:
Dear Ms. Hart,
Wow, you made my day! Many thanks for your enthusiasm, kind words, and full use of every page of my book. The Author’s Note often delivers an abundance of backstory and/or interesting information for the reader. My grandfather, Michael Coco, was a brave, dedicated, faith-filled person from a very young age. I recall thinking every time he lifted me in his arms that if I stretched far enough I could reach the sky. He always stood so tall. How surprised I was in my adult years to be told that Pap Coco was not quite 5’ 11”.
Again, thank you for reading my book and taking the time to visit my website. Always keep courage tucked in your pockets, and remember to share a few good belly laughs every day. In reply to your P.S., yes, I know Jesus and work hard every day to better know and serve Him. My best to you and your daughters.
Smilin' at you from my writing desk,
C. Coco De Young



Dear Mrs. Coco De Young,
I am a homeschool mom of two girls. They are 9 and 6 yrs. old. We just finished your book "A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt". It was recommended to us by a history curriculum called "Biblioplan". We are currently studying about the Great Depression. I believe your book was one of the greatest books we have ever read. What an amazing story. It really brought to life the struggles of that time period. It was hard to read and cry at the same time. My girls were hanging on every word and couldn't wait to find out how it ended. My oldest daughter loves to read but she is tempted to skip things like prefaces and Author's Notes. Since I was reading this time, I read your Author's Notes and reminded her of the depth of information that can be found there. Thank you for the fascinating trip through your ancestry. If you are ever speaking in Texas, we would LOVE to attend.

P.S. Your book mentions prayer and church. Do you and/or your grandfather know Jesus or do you have a different religious affiliation?

Love,
Renee Hart

REPLY:
Dear Lauren,
Oh my goodness, now you know how Margo felt waiting for Mrs. Roosevelt’s letter! Please accept my apology for the delay in this response to you. I have been spending a great deal of time in Boston and away from my laptop. You are most welcome for the signed bookmarks, and I will wait patiently for you to leave a comment about A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt. It is wonderful that you chose to dress as Betsy Ross and deliver a report about her life. She, too, is very important to our country. Take good care of yourself, Lauren, and remember to share a good belly laugh every day with Alyssa.
I'm still smilin' at you as I have since you were very little, only this time it's from Boston,
"Mrs. D"
A.K.A. C. Coco De Young


Dear Mrs. De Young,
This is Lauren. I was Betsy Ross for my book report, but i learned so much through Alyssa when she read your book. I am going to read your book next. I read a lot more books then Alyssa, so the next time i write to you, i will comment on your book. Thank you for the autographed book marks. My class loved them and my teacher, Mrs. Rolfes, says she knows you too. ( but you know i have known you for all of my life ). Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness. Thank you for all your notes from your writing desk. Once again, thank you for your kindness, and i can't wait to see you at church! ~ Lauren M.

REPLY:
Dear Alyssa and Lauren,
Thank you for your kind words and good thoughts. I, too, have known you for all of your lives! It was exciting to hear that you were reading my book, so I decided that it would be fun to surprise you. Alyssa, there is more fun to come when I see you in a picture dressed as Eleanor Roosevelt, also known as Eleanor Everywhere. You and Lauren take very good care of each other, and remember to share a few good belly laughs every day.
I'm smilin' at you as I have since you were very little, only this time it's from my writing desk,
"Mrs. D"
A.K.A. C. Coco De Young



Dear Mrs. De Young,

Thank you so much for the signed books and bookmarks and the wonderful letter. When I saw your picture, I recognized you right away from our church. I have known you for all of my life. Your book is one of the best books I ever read because it was so interesting. it was very exciting to hear that Charlie was your father. My favorite part was when Margo saw the article by E. B. Kirby and Eleanor Roosevelt. Then Margo wrote a letter to Eleanor Roosevelt and she replied. Thank you so much for all you have done for Lauren and I. I will send you a letter and picture of me when I do my presentation on Mrs. Roosevelt. Sincerely, Alyssa and Lauren Maiolo

REPLY:
Dear Maggie,
I hope you had a wonderful summer and thank you for reading my book. Your question is a good one, and one that I have not been asked. The answer is no, Eleanor Roosevelt never called or spoke to my father, who is Charlie in the book, or to Margo. The character, Margo, is actually based upon several people, but mostly Aunt Mary, my father’s older sister.

Mrs. Roosevelt did take the time to send help to my grandfather after reading a letter sent to her in Aunt Mary's handwriting. You see, Grandfather Coco could speak several languages very well, but could not write the English language as well as he could speak it. Grandfather told Aunt Mary what to write. In the letter, he did not ask Mrs. Roosevelt to pay back the money he borrowed from the bank. What Grandfather asked for was the gift of time because he wanted to pay back the bank loan himself. Mrs. Roosevelt sent an official from the bank who agreed to give Grandfather the time he needed to pay back the loan.

I hope this answer helps you, Maggie. Good luck with your speech. Take a deep breath, smile, and then tell your fellow students three special things that you know and liked about my book. You can do this!
Smilin' at you from my writing desk,
C. Coco De Young


Hi Coco DeYoung. I had to read four books this summer and your book was one. I like it alot. Now I have to talk about it. Can you please tell me if Mrs. Roosvelt ever called and talked to Margo or Charlie? Thank you.
Your frend.
Maggie

REPLY:
Dear Kelley,
Thank you for visiting my website. Dad, portrayed as the character "Charlie" in A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt, is now 93 years old! I must share with you that he is still as mischievous as he was as a little boy. Dad keeps us all smiling and laughing. When he can, Dad likes to work for a few hours at the Yankee Shoe Repair. He is a lovable man to all who know him.
Smilin' at you from my writing desk,
C. Coco De Young


Dear Coco,
How old is your dad now who was Charlie in the book?"
Thanks and please write back.
Kelley

REPLY:
Glad you found the information you need, Katie. Let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Smilin' at you from Connecticut,
C. Coco De Young


Sorry, I found it!
Katie

Hi! I have a question about your speaking events. Where can I go or send in information about trying to schedule a speaking event?

Thank you!
Katie Vann

REPLY:
Hello, Kathy, please accept my apologies for the delay in this response. I did a thorough search of my library, which includes books written by many members of the hobo family. However, these are predominantly narrative with very few pictures. The film, “Riding the Rails” by Michael Uys and Lexy Lovell depicts the teenage railrider of the Great Depression.
I would enjoy seeing your art project once complete. Feel free to email me. Thank you for visiting my website, and your kind words.
Smilin' at you and your husband from my writing desk,
C. Coco De Young


Do you know of a source for pictures of Hobo children? My husband and I are looking for these for an art project.

It needs to be the stereotypical image of the kids with a broomstick/scarf with their worldly goods wrapped up in it. The image needs to show 9-15 yr old kids. By the way I really like your web site.
Thanks,
Kathy McCrary

REPLY:
Dear Aiera,
Thank you for your message. I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed my book, and thrilled to hear that you read a total of six books over the summer. Indeed, my summer was fantastic! Mr. De Young and I visited our daughter in Thailand. I also enjoyed some summer reading, but between you and I, you came in first place...I read only four books. Good luck in the new school year. Take good care of yourself and those who make you smile.
I'll be smilin' at you all from my writing desk,
C. Coco De Young


Dear Coco,
I read your book and five more over the summer and really liked your book. Our library had a book challenge for fourth and fifth graders. I cam in third for the fourth graders. The librarian told me I could write to you on your website. I hope you had a good summer too.
Aiera H.

REPLY:
Dear Friends in Mrs. Bennett’s Class,
One of my favorite school visits is with Mrs. Bennett, Mrs. Gross, and all of their students. Thank you for another grand time this year. More so, thank you for preparing for my visit. It is fun to visit classrooms where the students know and understand my book, then ask tons of questions! Have a great summer, and remember to think safety first then have fun.
Smilin' at you all from my writing desk,
C. Coco De Young


Dear C. COCO DEYOUNG,
I loved your book A Letter to Mrs.Roosevelt.It was very heart warming.I can't wait to read your next book.
Your Friend,
Taylor at WHES

hi i want to thank you for coming to westmont.your book rocks. your book is not the only thing that is awesome you're awsome too good job mrs.deyoung you are my hero your friend devin.

Thank you for your viset to WHES I really like your book. I think it rocks. if you don't belive me it came from my heart. David WHES

Dear Mrs. Young
I love your book "A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt" I think it is the best book ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
your friend,
corbin WHES :):):):)
p.s. thank you for the the book marks!

Dear C Coco De Young,
thank you for coming to our school

Dear C. Coco De Young,
Thank you so much for coming to my school,Westmont Hilltop Elementary School.A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt is now one of my FAVORITE books.Thank you for signing my book.I hope to read your future books.You are a very good author!I will buy your books as soon as they come out!
Yours truly,
Amelia[Mrs. Bennett's class]

Dear C Coco De Young,
I loved your book.It was WONDERFUL.You are AWESOME.THANK YOU for coming to WHES.YOU'RE VERY NICE!
your friend,
Abby

Thanks for getting to come to our school .And thanks for giving me a book with your signature in it. i can`t wait to read your new book you should make the title westmont hilltoppers just write about your visit here. can you? it would be a good idea.then we could sign it just mrs. Bennett`s class and mrs.Gross`s class. it would be cool.every body would buy it.thanks for the book mark too! so if you could do that it would be cool.The book whould be a hit we could also get the principal to sign it to.
Destinee

I love your book A Letter to Mrs.Roosevelt it is sush a good book I like to read it all times and thanks for the book mark.Thank you for signing my book.Thank you for coming to WHES!!!!!!! Love Kori

hi c coco de young thank you for coming in to our school. I am reading your book. thank you for the book and bookmark. Allie WHES

Dear C. Coco de Young, Thanks for visiting our school. I liked your book. Have a nice day. Tanner WHES

YOU ARE SO CREATIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I can`t wait for your new book.
p.s.thanks for the bookmarks!
Your friend,
Jessica

Hi I love your book. love, nicole P.S.Thank you 4 the books and bookmarks.:)

Dear c coco de young. Thank you for coming to our school I was not there that day but everyone told me it was awesome. Thank you for the book mark. I love your book. It was so well written. Love,Svannah WHES (Mrs.Bennett's class)

hi i am haley i love you i naver knew you but now i do i want to lern more about you and . thank you for vising awer school you are my best frend and . thank you for the bookmargs love haley :)

Hi I'm Ashton your book is awesome thanks for coming to our Westmont Elementary and singing our books and giving us bookmarks. you and your book are awsome.

Hello C.Coco De Young,
we enjoyed your visit to our school at Westmont Hilltop Elementary School in Johnstown,PA, and thank you soo much for signing my book and bookmark.
P.S I loved your book A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt
Morgan at (WHES)

your book is awesome thank you for visting our school I like your book it is a fun book it was the best book i read ever. Matthew (WHES)

Dear c coco de young, you are the best. I loved your book. love, Julia WHES

Hi my name is Carson I want to thank you for the book mark and for coming to our school. WHES (Mrs. Bennett's class)

Carmine,
Thank you again for another WONDERFUL visit. This is always the highlight of my year. I can't wait for the next book!
Jana (WHES)

REPLY:
Dear Abigail,
Thank you for your kind words. I am so happy that you are enjoying (over and over) A LETTER to MRS. ROOSEVELT. Yes, dear friend, I personally sign each and every bookmark by hand. Indeed, I have signed thousands, and to make it even more special, I tuck a smile into each signature. Take good care of yourself, Abigail, and always keep courage tucked in your pocket!
Smilin’ at you from my writing desk,
C. Coco De Young


Dear Coco,
Thank you for sending my bookmark. I keep it in my book that you wrote because I read it over and over. Is that really your signiture or is that a stamp that you used. Even if it is a stamp I like it. Thank you again.
Your friend
Abigail

REPLY:
You are most welcome, Lexi. I appreciate that you wrote back to thank me. Though Dad "Charlie" did not break his hip, I know he will appreciate your concern and most especially your prayers. You are very sweet, dear one. Have a good weekend, and remember to share a few good belly laughs with someone special today.
Still smilin' at you from my writing desk,
C. Coco De Young


Thank ou so much for the repy. It's really speacial to me that the author herself has helped me with my report on the book she wrote.My friend Olivia has visited your father at Yankee Shoe Repair and she has told me that he has recently broken his hip. I will keep him in my prayers.I will certainly tell my classmates about my speaking with you. It is a pleasure to have met you and thanks again for all the help you have supplied. Your Young Reader-Lexi

REPLY:
DearCourtney, ,
Goodness, you want to know my life story. Today, December 4, 2009, I am 21, 228 days young and if you have traveled through my website then you know that every day is a new adventure for me. Indeed, I could write one book for each and every day of at least 19,000 of those days! Do you still want my life story for 19,000 books would be one mighty task for you to read and report on? Let me see, perhaps I can make it a bit easier for you. If you travel to the Sleuth section of this website, you will find a good bit of information about me growing up. Be sure to read the left side of the page where you can find all the fun facts. Visit the section for Educators and you will discover more about what I do when I am not at my writing desk. This website is full of information about me, and all you have to do is “click” a few times…and not worry about reading through thousands of books. If you still have a question or two then let me know. I must run for the seconds are already turning into minutes and hours, and I need to see what adventure today holds for me.
I'm smilin' at you from my writing desk,
C. Coco De Young


hi i am courtney and i am doing a report on you for school and i was wondering if you could give me some information about you for my report maybe your life story. we just read your book, A Letterr to Mrs. Roosevelt, and i loved it
Please respond soon.- courtney

REPLY:
Oh dear, Lexi…it sounds as if you feel the same way Margo did when she was given the assignment to write a letter! Let’s see if we can come up with some ideas for a three-page report. You might also use some of the information I share here in your report. Have you read the Author’s Note? That is where you will find the true story behind A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt. The soldier in the picture is my grandfather, Michael Coco. In the book the character, Papa, is based on Grandfather Michael Coco. In real life, “Charlie” is Carmel Coco, my father who will soon be 92 years old. You can usually find him at the Yankee Shoe Repair during the week. If you have someone who can drive you there, perhaps you can have a picture taken with “Charlie.” Margo’s character bears a likeness to Dad’s sister, Mary, who actually wrote the letter to Mrs. Roosevelt. Again, read more about that in the Author’s Note. You might also add in your report that the part about Charlie hiding under the bed is actually true, as are the prices listed on the board in Mr. Frappa’s store. Think about comparing the cost of a dozen cupcakes back then and now. Lexi, I hope these few ideas will help to fill your report with interesting information. Take care, my friend. Please say hello to your teacher and classmates, then go to the window and smile a great big smile at Johnstown for me.
I'm smilin' at you from my writing desk,
C. Coco De Young


hi i am Lexi and i live in johnstown and attend Catherdral Catholic Academy. My class recently read your book-A Letter to Mrs.Roosevelt- and now we have to write a three page report on something in the book and i'm not sure what to write about because i want to find enough information and i just cant please give me some tips -LEXI

REPLY:
Dear Friends in Mrs. Bennett’s Class,
Goodness, but you have waited almost as long as Margo had to wait for a reply! Yes, I will surely be in to visit you soon after you read A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt. Until then, you asked what a typical day is like for me. My answer may seem like the bare-boned turkey after Thanksgiving dinner…a skeleton! That is because each day is a new adventure for me and no two days are ever the same. Yet, here is a basic recipe to my day. I think best in the morning and prefer to write early in the day at my writing desk that overlooks the treetops. Sometimes, when the words get stuck, it helps to write with pen and paper while sitting in our solarium that looks out into the backyard. However, I always edit my work at my writing desk. On a good writing day, I tend to forget the time. When I am not writing then I am visiting a school, speaking or storytelling at an event, being “Mom” to my family or “Nonna” to my grandson, cooking, or filling in a Sudoku puzzle. Of course there is much more tucked between these lines…the things that make each new day an adventure. Have a great Thanksgiving. I look forward to seeing you in the New Year.
Smilin' at you from my writing desk,
C. Coco De Young


Hello C.Coco De Young,
This message comes from your friends at Westmont Elementary School in Johnstown, PA. We are reading about authors and we were wondering what a typical day is like for you. Can you tell us? Thanks! We hope to see you later in the year after we read your book. Mrs. Bennett's class

REPLY:
Dear JJ,
Thank you for visiting my website. Goodness, but teachers must really like to read because they are always encouraging students to write! Funny thing, I was once one of those teachers when I taught elementary school; and now, I teach writing classes. When I was in the fourth grade, I preferred to read. However, I was always telling tall tales and eventually learned to enjoy writing the tales down on paper. JJ, have fun reading and writing. Remember that your teacher is like an editor, the person who will help your writing to be the best it can be.
Still smilin’ at you from my writing desk,
C. Coco De Young


Hi my name in JJ and I live in Minnesota. Our teacher is always making us write.Did you like to write when you was in the fourth grade? I hope so because someday I want to be a really good author like you.

REPLY:
Dear Friend in Pennsylvania,
I actually attended the Derry Railroad Days Festival in 2004, and had a grand time. Though I am not able to attend this year I do promise to return in the near future. Your idea of a storytelling contest with stories depicting life on the rails is sure to please the audience of people attending the festival. In fact, I am certain the good people of Derry have many a story to tell as the trains between Johnstown and Pittsburgh traveled through Derry. I am assisting a local railroad museum in developing a Hobo Day with additional ideas such as the election of a Junior Hobo King and Queen, writing hobo postcards, and a model hobo jungle. I hope these ideas will also help you. Good luck with the festival this year, and thank you for the invitation. As the hobos say, “See you down the road.”
Smilin’ at you from my writing desk,
C. Coco De Young


I live in Derry (Westmoreland County), Pennsylvania very near your childhood home of Johnstown, PA. We host an annual Railroad Days festival. I would be great if you could attend sometime. This year it will be held on Saturday 26th with a "hobo picnic" on the preceding Thursday. I would like to see us include a story telling contest in the future with costumed guest telling stories of life on the rails. What do you think of this idea? Any other suggestions?

REPLY:
Dear Dana,
Wow...you "really like" my book times three! Thank you very, very, very much. Summer reading can take you on adventures to many different lands, times, and places and all you have to do is sit in a cozy, quiet place. Now that is a vacation! Take good care of yourself and remember to think safety first then have fun. I'm smiling at you from my writing desk.
C. Coco De Young


Ms CoCo Deyoung how are you? I am reading your book for my summer program at my library. I didn't want to read any books this summer because my teachers make us read all the time. But I really really really like your book and am glad I am reading it.
Dana

Mrs.Young Im very exited do to the fact that you replied and you remember me!! I'm glad that I met you. You have inspired me to become a writer so thank you so much!!

REPLY:
Hello Leiny. Do I remember you? Dearest one, you are truly unforgettable! In fact, I was thinking about you not too long ago, wondering how you are doing. I do hope your school year was successful and that you are ready for summer vacation. Be safe and have a wonderful summer. Thank you for thinking of me. Keep smiling, Leiny, and know that I am smilin’ right back at you all the way from Connecticut.
C. Coco De Young


Heyy mrs. Young it's Leiny I'm not sure if you remeber but you sent me a signed book and bookmark. Just wanted to say hello and wanted to know how things are doing.

REPLY:
Dear Jason,
Thank you for visiting my website. Yes, Charlie did indeed fall asleep under his bed! In fact, the whole scene truly happened as written in the book. I will be sure to tell Charlie that he made you bite your fingernails. Goodness, I used to bite my nails when I read Nancy Drew books. Now, I prefer to munch on Tootsie Roll Pops. Take good care of yourself, Jason. The school year is almost over and summer vacation is near. Remember to think safety first then have fun and have a grand vacation.
I'm smilin' at you from my writing desk,
C. Coco De Young


Hi Coco. I liked your book a hole lot. It made me bite my nails when Charlie was missing. Did he rilly fall asleep under the bed? Your pal Jason

REPLY:
Dear Bailey,
Thank you for visiting my website. Your kind words have me smiling, and I hope you did well on your report. Will there be a sequel? Many young readers ask that same question. Here is the answer I give them…I’m still thinking about it…still cogitating. However, Mrs. DiLuso, the superstitious lady in A LETTER to MRS. ROOSEVELT, is a very important character in my next book. That book should be finished in the very near future. When it is the best I feel it can be then it will go to the editor. Keep sending out those good thoughts so that the editor has as much fun reading it as I have had writing it. Take good care of yourself, Bailey.
I'm smilin' at you from my writing desk,
C. Coco De Young


I have 1 question are you going to make a sequal?? Well i think you should!
The whole idea was sooo clever!! i never thought that E.D. Kirby could be her own teacher!~Bailey
I read A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt for a historical fiction report thinking that since it was kind-of a short book. (and it sounded interesting) After I read it it was one of my favorite books!

REPLY:
My Dear Friend Somewhere Out There,
It is 5:00 a.m. here in Connecticut, and I've already had a breakfast of champions this morning. So here goes...my father, who is “Charlie” in A LETTER TO MRS. ROOSEVELT, is Carmel Coco. Growing up I was Carmine Coco. However, once married I became Carmine Coco De Young. Therefore, C. Coco De Young became my penname. My dad, or “Charlie,” was a little boy at the time of the Great Depression and had a shoeshine stand at the Yankee Shoe Repair, which was then owned by his dad, my grandfather. Times were very difficult, and because of a bank loan, the business was threatened and the doors almost closed. Also, the Coco family never lost their house. In the letter to Mrs. Roosevelt, my grandfather did not ask her to pay off his bank loan. Instead, he requested her help by asking for the gift of time…he knew it was his responsibility to pay the loan, he just needed more time to do that. It was through the help of Mrs. Roosevelt that the Coco family was able to carry on, keep the doors of the Yankee open, and live in their home. Our dear country is going through another tough time. We must all stick together and help each other. I hope this reply helped to answer your questions.
I’m smilin’ at you from my writing desk,
C. Coco De Young


In the book " a letter to Mrs. Roosevelt" why couldn't Carmel Coco De Young keep his job was it becuase time were so hard that jobs goes bankrupt?? why did yall lose the house?

REPLY:
Dear Ms. Cindy, Guy, Snake, Mo, Twinkle, and Smiley,
What wonderful names! You are most welcome for the signed book and bookmarks. As you have probably read at my website, the character “Charlie” was modeled after my dear dad, Carmel Coco. In fact, I was visiting him in Pennsylvania last week, along with the grand time I had presenting to the students in Mrs. Bennett and Mrs. Gross’ classes. Thank you for visiting my website, and remember to take good care of each other.
I’m smilin’ at you from my writing desk,
C. Coco De Young


Dear Connecticut Tootsie, Thank you for the autographed book and bookmarks. Ms Cindy is reading the book to us. We are learning alot about the depression. We are so glad Mama Jo told you about us. We also enjoyed your website. We will send you a copy of our school newsletter when it comes out later this spring so you can see what we have been doing at our school. Best wishes. Your friends, Signature Guy,Snake,Mo,Twinkle, and Smiley

REPLY:
Hello to another cousin! Wow, these warm fuzzies make me feel good, especially since I live so far away. Nick, you listened very closely while I tried to share words of wisdom with a fellow writer...you. Keep up the good work. I'm very proud of you my young cousin.
Hugs to you and your whole family,
"Cuisina Carmina"
C. Coco De Young


Hi Carmine It's your cousin Nick! I just want to say thanks for the advice from NY! I have gotten really far with my story. I can't wait to see you at the
reuinion! Love Nick

REPLY:
Hello LeeAnn. I hope that you and all my dear cousins are well, warm and cozy in this cold weather. Thank you for thinking of me and for the heads-up. I'll take a peek. The book is almost done...finally. My love to the Camut cousins,
Carmine
C. Coco De Young


Hey, Carmine, hope all is well with you. I thought you might like to know Hobos are so in right now! My kids watch a show called iCarly. They talk about hobos all the time on there. I think kids are curious and it's a very hot topic now because of the show's popularity. Have fun writing. Take Care, LeeAnn Camut

REPLY
Happy 2009, Jason! Thank you for your kind words about A LETTER TO MRS. ROOSEVELT. I must tell you that Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station is one of my favorite train stations in the United States. It is quite interesting that your great-grandfather rode the rails. Do you know if he traveled across the country? Did he have a moniker, or a road name? Did he write about his days on the “Iron Road?” If not, then maybe you could write some of his stories. Take good care of yourself, Jason. Good luck with the rest of the school year and thank you for writing to me.
C. Coco De Young


Dear C. Coco DeYoung, I am a fifth grader and I live in Philadelphia. Your book was really interesting and suspensefull. I like that you are a hobo queen. My greatgrandfather was a hobo too. Can you write back to me please? Jason R.

REPLY
Hello right back at you, Jamison. I thoroughly enjoyed our dual book signing at Barnes & Noble. We are most fortunate to have John Cloutier and the supportive, hard-working staff at the Danbury, CT store. They take very good care of their local authors. It was a pleasure to spend time chatting with you. I will happily answer anything you want to know about trains. After all, you had the National Hobo Queen sitting right next to you. As for that second grade teacher, wait until you meet the principal in my next book. Not to worry, educators know I love them, as I was once one of them. Stay in touch and the best of luck with your train book. It is magnificent!
Smilin’ at you from my writing desk,
Carmine
C. Coco De Young


Carmine- It was nice presenting with you last night at Barnes and Noble. I began reading the book this morning, only about two chapters in so far. But what I have to say is--WHAT AN AWFUL 2ND GRADE TEACHER! Good luck with your current project. All my best, Jamison Odone

REPLY
Dear Christian,
Thank you for visiting my website. I’m thrilled to hear that you enjoyed my book. Most readers enjoy the part about the hobo under the bridge, and often tell me they felt as if they were right there with Margo. Yes, I am proud to be the 2008 National Hobo Queen. The hobo convention is a special event that as been happening in our country for 108 years. Hobo history is a special part of our American culture. Perhaps one day you will go with your uncle to the Hobo Museum in Britt. It is full of hobo artifacts and an interesting place to visit. If you are ever in Wisconsin, you can also see a great collection of hobo and tramp art at two museums - Ashwaubenon Historical Museum in Green Bay, and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan. And don't forget the hobo nickels!
Smilin’ and waving my queenly wave at you from my writing desk,
C. Coco De Young


Hi Ms. DeYOUNG,
My uncle was in Britt for the hobo convection and brought me a copy of your book. Thank you for sighning it. He said you are the new hobo queen and I saw your picture on your website. Wow that is really great. Do you like being queen? I love your book. Christian

REPLY
Dear Fellow Writer,
Writer to writer tips are always helpful, especially when we encourage each other to keep writing. You express yourself beautifully and it’s special that others have helped you along the way. Did you see the writing contests for young writers I have listed under Writing Tips? Perhaps you will find a contest to submit your work. Yes, keep practicing, my friend. When you feel your work is the best it can be then pull it out of the drawer and send it off to a publisher. Good luck, I’ll be thinking of you.
Smilin’ at you from my writing desk,
C. Coco De Young


Hello, I'm an aspiring and budding 12 year old writer!!! I just wanted to say thank you for providing these tips on this website. I highly apppreciate it. I've been working on my writing since about 9 years old, but I hadn't been able to get much done without my ideas changing. Until about a year ago did it dawn on me that I've really got to buckle down and start practice, practice, practicing. And I read at a college level, so I guess that contributes to my writing. At my mum's job there is a woman named Lynda Fitzgerald and she wrote and published a book. Fortunately I got to meet her and she refered me to a writing coach named Fran Stewart. And she gave me some tips, hopefully with these I can improve my writing.

REPLY
Dear Camie,
You are most welcome for the signed bookmarks, and yes, I personally sign each and every one. It’s my way of doing something special for my young readers. I hope you will enjoy A LETTER TO MRS. ROOSEVELT.
You are curious about my name? Are you ready for an even longer explanation? My parents named me after my father, Carmel Coco. As Carmine Coco, my teachers often called me “Miss Hot Chocolate.” For a short time in high school a cousin shortened my name to “Cam.” After marriage I became Carmine Coco De Young. I kept the Coco name because we are a family of storytellers, and that is where my writing began. However, once published, I didn’t want my full name to cover the entire jacket of the book so I shortened it to C. Coco De Young. I'm also often addressed as "My Love" by Mr. De Young, "Mom" by our children, "Mrs. D." by their friends, and was dubbed by my dear hobo friends as "Connecticut Tootsie." Just remember what Shakespeare wrote..."What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet."
Congratulations, Camie! You are the first to ask about the length of my name and nicknames. Have a great summer and happy reading.
Smilin’ at you (real big) from my writing desk,
C. Coco De Young


dear c. coco deyoung, thank u for the bookmarks u sent to my class. do u sign them all or is it a stamp? i will get your book to read while im on vacation. has anyone ever told u that u have a very long name? how did u get that name? do you have a nickname? bye.
camie

REPLY:
Dear Gabi Gordon…what a great name! Thank you for your kind words, and I’m thrilled to know that you love A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt. It has just been published in the Korean language, and I hope the young readers across seas will also enjoy my book.

You asked what inspired me to write this book. Both Mother and Dad were wonderful storytellers. They often shared their stories of growing up during the Great Depression. At the age of 90, Dad (Charlie in the book) still comes up with new stories. I learned real life history by listening to my parents. When I became a teacher, my students related better and remembered more easily the lessons learned in Social Studies because I taught in the same manner…storytelling. When I decided to write this book, it was important to me that the readers enjoy, understand, and remember how people survived during that difficult time in history. Storytelling, by word of mouth or on the written page, helps because a person may not remember all the details, but will recall those moments that touched the heart.

Gabi, ask your family to tell you their stories. This great country is made up of millions of family stories…and like the ingredients in a Mulligan stew…each one adds flavor to the understanding of our American history.

You also want to know something about me? There is a wealth of information on this website, however, there is one thing only Mr. De Young and my children know…I get a little teary-eyed each and every time I sing or hear our National Anthem. It’s all about the courage it took to build our country. I think of my grandparents. Yes, upon their arrival to the Unites States they cried as their ship sailed past the Statue of Liberty. They’d left their homes in Italy, but oh how they loved this country. I think of the millions of other family stories like mine and like yours in that stew pot. I think of the men and women proudly serving our country. The list goes on. Well now, all of cyberspace just learned that I’m a mush at heart! Perhaps that’s okay.

Take good care of your family history, Gabi. And remember; always keep courage tucked in your pocket.
I’m smilin’ at you from my writing desk,
C. Coco De Young


I love a letter to Mrs. Roosevelt. I think you should write some more books or a sequel to a letter to Mrs. Roosevelt. What inspired you to become an author ? Please email me back! Gabi Gordon . p.s. tell me about you. Gabigordon@mac.com

REPLY:
Dear Abigail,
Your mother is absolutely correct! The historical facts in historical fiction cannot be changed, nor can the names of historical people such as Eleanor Roosevelt. However, the fictional characters, those I imagined and built into my story, must have a name and traits different from people I know. Otherwise, I could be in big trouble if someone thinks I’m writing about him or her, especially if it’s a character nobody likes! Though everybody seems to like Mr. Frappa, he is a complete figment of my imagination. I name my characters with great care. They are like children to me. How did Mr. Frappa get his name? My sister, Risa, and I were in a coffee shop trying to think of a name that sounded Italian. I was sipping my favorite cold coffee drink, a Mocha FRAPPAcino…voila! Your grandpa must be real special, cool and sweet. Good luck on your book report, and many thanks for your kind words. You can also see the board book I wrote at this website. Yes, I am currently finishing another novel and researching the third.
Smilin' at you from my writing desk,
C. Coco De Young


Dear C. Coco DeYoung, My name is Abigail and I live in North Dakota. I have been reading your book for a book report and I really like it. My mom said that when an author writes historical fiction that the historical parts have to be true but the author changes the names of the characters. Why do you have to do that? Did you do that in "A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt"? How did you get Mr. Frappa's name? I like him because he is like my grandpa. My grandpa is always teaching us stuff about when he was a little boy. I hope you write back soon. My book report is due next week and I would like to read your answer to the class. Thanks for writing such a good book. Did you write any others? I hope you keep writing. Thank you! Abigail

REPLY:
Congratulations, Noah! I have visited readers in schools all across the United States and have never been asked this question. Good for you. I have often thought of building a character that does play an instrument, but only if it is important to my story or helps to move my story forward in some way. As for me, I play in a bell choir and can also play the spoons quite well.
Happy tooting,
C. Coco De Young


Dear C. Coco De Young, I am in the sixth grade band at school. I play the trumpet. Will your characters ever play an instrument? Do you play any instrument? Noah

REPLY:
Dear Friend,
Thank you for reminding us all. Yes, always believe because miracles can and do happen.
Sending you a smile of gratitude,
C. Coco De Young


For all the kids writing to Carmine miracles happen once in a while when you bealive.

REPLY:
Dear Friends,
My childhood was quite the happy one! Back then my imagination and keen sense of wonder kept me quite busy. It caused me to wander about, always exploring and making up stories about where I’d been and what I’d done. I especially liked following my big brother everywhere; often playing in the woods, swinging from hanging vines and catching salamanders under rocks in the creek. I also spent a great deal of time on my pink and white Schwinn bike. One day, while on the way home from the store on my bike, I noticed an injured chipmunk. I emptied the brown paper grocery bag holding two cans of tomatoes into the basket on my bike, then used bits of candy to urge the chipmunk into the bag. Once home, I set the bag on the kitchen counter then ran out to collect the cans from my bike basket. Can you guess what happened? Yes, indeed. You can well imagine my mother’s shriek when she opened the bag to get the cans of tomatoes! I HIGHLY recommend that you NEVER attempt to catch an injured chipmunk, or scare your mother with a surprise bag. But, then there was another time when I kept a toad in a bird cage…and the time I got on an elevator without my mother and got lost in a department store. A sense of wonder has always caused me to wander about. Now, it leads me to new stories; and my wild imagination helps me to write them. I do hope this helps you. If you need or want more information, please ask specific questions. I'll be happy to try again.
Smilin at you from my laptop,
C. Coco De Young


Dear Mrs. DeYoung,
My friends and I are wondering what your childhood was like and where you get your ideas. Jason B.

QUOTES FROM PRIOR MESSAGES:

"...if I had to rate this from a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate It 10 Beacause I was Thinking Pictures of the Story Because It was entertaining,it was amazing,It was terrific!" Evan

"I absolutely loved A LETTER TO MRS.ROSEVELT.It was funny,scary,and exciting all things I like in a book.i even crieded a bit when the news they where going to take the house away.But my absolute favorite part in the book was when Margo said,'I wouldn't cross mama with her frying pan or the sheriff might leave a aching noodle.'any way I LOVED your book." Joseph

" I just wanted to know if you like Cocoa Puffs? I really like your book!" Skylee

"...It was great to meet you at the Clara Barton Forum in Johnstown on Thursday. You were dynamic and sincere in your message to the women at the Forum--a classy role model for all of us."
Sher Pensiero-The Write Solution

“Hello Carmine, I have fallen for your sense of humor.” Ray Bennese

"Marisa and I are planning a field trip this summer through downtown Johnstown, she wants to see if we can find some of the streets, bridges etc. that you talk about in the book and if we are able to walk from were that old homestead had been to the store. I hope I don't get us lost. ICKES! It will be a great exprience for both her and I." Sincerely, Juscinda & Marisa Matlin