I’ve been working on a new website for quite awhile–about the last 4 months, in fact. It’s called The Real Settings of Children’s Fiction. I know, it’s a very creative name! (Maybe I’ll think of a more clever name later on.) This website is a geographical index of real place names in children’s literature. You’ll find place indexes there accompanied by annotated maps. The site is evidence of a grand encyclopedic vision to index many, many children’s books–hopefully I can actually realize it!
My focus for The Real Settings of Children’s Fiction is limited to stories set in Massachusetts for the moment. However, as my closest friends can tell you (viz., Jason), I’m curious to learn about pretty much everything (esp. geography) under the sun. So the settings of the books I index may eventually begin to wander down to New York City, up to western and northern New York, the White Mountains, Vermont, South America, the Himalayas, and possibly Mars.
I have indexed exactly one book so far: Johnny Tremain. It took me about 4 months of finding spare minutes here and there to accomplish this. But I’m hoping to find more time in the future (always hopeful!) to pick up the speed a little. As I write a blog entry here on another book, I will also be indexing it for my other website. The next book I’m hoping to write about and index will be Make Way for Ducklings.