The Journal of Elaine Nicaise, French Creole of Louisiana is my second young readers novel about the history of Louisiana. It takes place in the colony’s former capital of Mobile on the Gulf of Mexico in the years 1739 and 1740.
I researched the French colonial period extensively, as this is the history of my own family. The novel was illustrated by Joshua Wichterich, a brilliant artist who also happens to be one of my (favorite) students from the days when I taught high school French and English in South Louisiana. Written on a sixth-grade reading level, The Journal of Elaine Nicaise complements the Louisiana history curriculum taught in public schools, and is the story of the French Creoles’ contribution to Louisiana. But you don’t have to be a middle-school Louisiana student to enjoy this story!
Thirteen-year-old Elaine “Jojo” Nicaise is the first in her family to be born in the Louisiana colony. After the sudden tragic death of her mother, Jojo chronicles her life in the struggling fort at Mobile in 1739-1740. She weaves into a tapestry of words the tales of her daily life at the fort, the heroics of her soldier father, and the trials and triumphs of her fellow colonists as she searches for a place to belong in an untamed land.
If you would like to learn about the Cajun French history of Louisiana, take a look at my first novel, The Diary of Marie Landry, Acadian Exile.
On December 10, 2020, Elaine Nicaise was the #1 new release in children’s colonial American historical fiction on Amazaon. Thank you to everyone for making that happen!