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Mayra Donnell Crafts a Diary that Takes Readers Back to the Eventful Year of 1816 in Maine

“1816: The Year That Summer Never Came” is a historical-fictional diary that brings back the memories of that eventful year in Maine, as seen through the eyes of 12 year old Sarah Whipple.

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Sarah’s diary guides the reader through her family and community during that extraordinary year.  1816 proves to be “the year that summer never came,” as Sarah tells of apple blossoms freezing in May, snow storms in June and wearing winter jackets to the Fourth of July picnic.

Mayra Donnell’s wonderful story recalls the events of 1816.  As an educator, her passion is teaching history and readers will find that evident in her story. She enjoys creating a hands-on approach to her teaching. Therefore, the diary will surely make readers feel as if they are present as the story unfolds of how one family survived.

Indeed, “1816: The Year That Summer Never Came” is an interesting and authentic look at history. Lovers of history and of diaries will surely be delighted to know that this great read will grace the bookshelves of the upcoming 2018 Frankfurt International Book Fair. This exciting trade fair for books will take place on October 10-14, 2018. Be sure to be there and grab a copy!


1816: The Year That Summer Never Came
Written by: Mayra Donnell
Published by: FriesenPress
Published date: July 24, 2013
Paperback price: $12.12


About the Author

Mayra Donnell has a BA in History from the University of Maine and an MA in Education from Goddard College. As an elementary school teacher, Donnell often reminds her students that history is as young as yesterday and as old as centuries. She teaches Social Studies with a hands-on approach, making it a “you are there” experience.

In her past life, before returning to teaching, Donnell ran a sustainable organic farm. Many of the farm activities that Sarah’s character would have participated in, Mayra and her family have taken a part in— storing vegetables, preserving meats, gathering berries, preparing herbal tinctures, and making butter and cheeses. The Donnell’s farm had goats, sheep, pigs and different types of fowl. Donnell’s husband and sons even ran an antique clapboard mill that stood on the farm.

Donnell lives on the coast of Maine in an old 1800s farmhouse, where she tends her flower garden and makes Sarah’s rose petal jam. Donnell and her daughter, Ariadne, developed and ran Mayari Inc., a natural goat’s milk soap company. After many years of not working together, Mayra with Ariadne, as illustrator, are happy to be working together again, creating their first book— “1816: The Year That Summer Never Came.”

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 Mayra Donnell
 That Summer Never came
 Lovers of history

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