M. P. Barker draws on her experience as an archivist and living-history interpreter to write historical novels about seldom-examined corners of the past. She got a firsthand taste (sometimes literally!) of 19th-century New England rural life as a costumed historical interpreter at Old Sturbridge Village, a living history museum in Massachusetts. There she milked cows, mucked out barns, and found inspiration for her historical novels, "A Difficult Boy" and "Mending Horses." Her books have been featured on numerous recommended reading lists and have received honors from literary, educational, and historical organizations, including PEN New England, the International Reading Association, and the Massachusetts Center for the Book.

Other Works

  • 140 Years of Providential Caring: The Sisters of Providence of Holyoke, MA

  • A Difficult Boy

  • Images of America: Chicopee


Awards and Recognition

  • Massachusetts Center for the Book “Must-Read Books” list, 2015
  • Housatonic Book Awards Finalist, 2015
  • Kirkus Prize nominee, 2014
  • International Reading Association Notable Boook for a Global Society, 2008
  • William Allen White Award Master List, 2010-2011
  • William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition Semifinalist for Novel-in-Progress, 2011
  • Virginia Library Association Jefferson Cup Award Committee recommended reading list , 2009
  • Kansas State Reading Circle recommended reading list, 2009
  • NLA/NEMA/MPLA [Nebraska Library Association/Nebraska Educational Media Association/Mountain Plains Library Association] Conference Best Teen Books List, 2014
  • VOYA "Top Shelf" Reading List, 2014

Press and Media Mentions