Today I'm welcoming Anna Levine, author of FREEFALL, to Story Secrets to share some of the secrets of her second YA novel. Her first, RUNNING ON EGGS, was a NYPL Best Book, and FREEFALL was chosen as a Sydney Taylor Honor book.
I found FREEFALL fascinating, as an in-depth look at a completely different way of life than mine as well as a portrait of a strong girl who faces her fears with wit and courage.
Freefall (Greenwillow/HarperCollins) is about an eighteen-year old girl, Abigail Jacobs, who has reached the age when all Israelis are drafted into the military. Aggie decides she wants to be a combat soldier. She’s under weight, but that doesn’t hold her back. She gains the weight and faces the grueling physical, emotional and mental challenges of pre-army training. Her family, her friends and her then boyfriend think she’s out of her mind. She proves them wrong.
I came to Israel on my own when I was eighteen. It was right before the First Lebanon war. I know what it is to feel alone, frightened and forced to find the strength within yourself to push forward. Running to bomb shelters, hitching rides across the country (now the bus system is more efficient) to visit my sister, giving aerobics lessons in a bomb shelter in Jerusalem while wearing a gas mask (at the time when Saddam Hussein was firing Scud missiles into Israel) are just a few of my experiences living here...
Read more of Anna's secrets here...