Margaret K. McElderry Publishing,
a division of Simon & Schuster, November 2006.
Jacket Illustration © 2005 Kamil Vojnar.
ISBN: 1-4169-0850-1 Price: $15.95



Jesse and Lucy have been best friends forever. But in the summer of 1820, life begins to change.

Jesse is no longer the easy-going boy Lucy has always known. His desire to join the Navy is growing with each passing day, in spite of his father’s refusal to let him leave the mountain or the iron forging business that their family has been a part of for generations.

And Lucy faces challenges of her own. Her father is trying to find her a suitor – one from far beyond her beloved mountain!

How can Lucy and Jesse reconcile their own dreams with the expectations their parents hold for them when they are at such odds?

A coming of age novel, HEARTS OF IRON, is about love and friendship and following one’s destiny.

★ Winter 2006/2007 Book Sense Children’s Pick.
★ 2007 IRA Teacher’s Choice

“The small hamlet of Mount Riga, Connecticut, relies upon its iron forge for existence. It is 1820 and the seasonal forge work that occupies most of the men of Mount Riga is about to commence. For Lucy Pettee this is a time of bitter sweetness. Her lifelong friend and companion, Jesse Rossetter, has begun working at the forge. Jesse hates this labor and dreams of running off to join the navy. Lucy’s father, the local shopkeeper, wants a better life for his daughter than one in the mountains. He sends away for a young acquaintance to come and court his daughter with an eye toward her relocating to Boston. But Lucy thinks she loves Jesse and feels guilt whenever her attention is drawn to the stranger from Boston. Faced with the confusion of young love and divided loyalties, Lucy must make drastic choices. These choices, and those of people she cares about, change her life in ways she could hardly imagine. Set against the backdrop of the beautiful New England mountain country, this title tells a believable story of adolescent love in a long gone day and age. This historical novel combines believable characters, a well-paced story, and an eye for the customs of a distant time. In telling the story of Lucy Pettee and her neighbors, Kathleen Benner Duble has shown both an eye for historical authenticity as well as a compassionate writer’s heart.”

You can actually visit an Iron Museum in Saugus, MA.


About Me

My favorite hobbies:
Traveling, writing, spending time with my girls, my sister and my friends

My favorite saying:
We make a living by what we get – but we make a life by what we give!

One strange fact about me: I had braces at age 33

My Books

My advice on writing: don't ever give up if this is what you want more than anything else in the world! If you are truly a writer, you will be unable not to write.




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