Conversations with ColleenThe October Edition (1)

Hello everyone! This week I’m happy to bring you another new author I’ve just had the pleasure of meeting, Barbara Ann Mojica. I asked her to pick three or four questions from my huge list HERE. She never even batted an eye!

We all aspire to be successful authors and the best way to learn some of the tricks of the trade is to ask questions and get the answers from those authors who have already been there.

First, please meet my guest, Barbara:

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Author, Barbara Ann Mojica

Barbara Ann Mojica is a historian and retired educator. She writes historical articles for the Columbia Insider under the banner “Passages.” Using the whimsical Little Miss History character, Barbara hopes to inspire children to learn about historical people and places. Little Miss History’s antics make reading nonfiction a fun-filled adventure for all ages.

Little Miss HISTORY Travels to MOUNT RUSHMORE is her first stop. In her second journey she sails to The STATUE of LIBERTY. Little Miss HISTORY’S third adventure to SEQUOIA National Park finds her skydiving into the park to explore its history.

This book recently received honorable mention in the Children’s Literature Independently Published Principal’s Awards (CLIPPA), and runner-up in nature/wildlife category of the 2015 Great Northwest Book Festival. In her fourth adventure, Little Miss HISTORY arrives at FORD’S THEATER in her horse and buggy just in time for the 150th Anniversary to witness an event that changed history. This book won the 2015 IAN Award for Outstanding Children’s Nonfiction Book.

Where can you explore life on a submarine, an aircraft carrier, and outer space all in one place? At the INTREPID Sea, Air & Space Museum, visitors can watch war movies, view actual WW II planes, and explore the Growler nuclear submarine. The USS Intrepid served: in WW II, the Vietnam War, during the height of the Cold, and as FBI headquarters for the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Read more about this one ship’s amazing history, and the sacrifices of those who served on her, to keep the USA safe and free!




A journey begins with leaving one place and venturing forth toward a new one. Millions of immigrants left their homelands in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to seek the promise of a better future in America. Why did they abandon their homeland? Some fled from political oppression or slavery, others sought work or the possibility of acquiring land to farm. Those who entered the Great Hall on Ellis Island did so with fear in their hearts and hope in their eyes.

Come follow Little Miss HISTORY Travels to ELLIS ISLAND and explore their dreams and experiences as they passed through the gates. Perhaps you will see one of your ancestors reflected in their eyes. For most immigrants the end of their transatlantic voyage was a new beginning, for others it became “An Island of Tears.”

George Washington is best known as America’s first president, but he was also a military hero. If you asked George Washington what he really wanted to be, he would reply, “a farmer.” Seeking to revolutionize antiquated 18th-century farming methods, Washington experimented with crop rotation, fertilizers, plowing, and plants. The Mount Vernon Ladies Association began restoring his estate to its former glory in 1853. Today the buildings, grounds and The Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center reveal the real Father of the United States of America. Step inside and take a look.

Ready for some fun? Now you can color some of my adventures in this first of my coloring books. Grab those crayons, pencils or markers and put your colors on these historical people and places.

Little Miss HISTORY has packed three of her NYC adventures into one exciting book, The Adventures of Little Miss History, Volume 1. Visit the STATUE of LIBERTY the symbol of hope and promise for the immigrants who passed it on their way to fulfilling their dreams as they awaited inspection on ELLIS ISLAND. Then journey up the Hudson River to the USS INTREPID to witness and explore hands on one ship’s amazing history in WW II, the Vietnam War, the space age, and the war on terrorism. Hold on to your hats for a rollicking ride back into the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with Little Miss HISTORY!


Hi, Colleen. Thanks so much for this interview. I’m really looking forward to our chat.

Hi, Barbara. It’s nice to meet you. You have a huge selection of Little Miss History books. Did you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

The answer is yes to both questions. My character, Little Miss HISTORY is the link between each of the books in the series. She is an intrepid explorer who looks on the bright side of things but does not overlook injustices that have been committed.

For example, Alonzo Swann, Jr. waited fifty years to be acknowledged for his bravery while serving on the USS Intrepid because of his race. My Little Miss HISTORY guide poses questions for young readers to ponder, like why didn’t the Americans honor their treaty with the Lakota Sioux, and should we return the lands around Mount Rushmore to the native Americans? On the other hand, each of the books in the series can be read independently in random order as dictated by a child’s interest in a historical place, event or person.

That’s great to know.  Do you base your characters on real people?

My Little Miss History character is based on a younger version of myself. I loved to hike and travel to explore historical sites. Over the years, I have visited more than half of the states and more than thirty countries, including trips to countries once part of the Soviet Union and Communist China.

As a life-long student of history and a forty-year career in education, I am now finding it fulfilling to combine my passion for history and love of teaching children in a series of books that will make learning about historical faces and places an enjoyable, fun experience. Of course, all the characters in my nonfiction book series are genuine, whether their part in history is a hero, a villain, or both.

That’s fabulous, Barbara. However, what are the ethics of writing about historical figures?

I believe that my role as a teacher and historian necessitates that I carefully research and present the facts to the reader.

My philosophy is shared by Little Miss HISTORY:

“If you don’t know your history, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

It is not the role of the historian or 21st-century reader to pass judgment on the basis of knowledge we possess today but to understand historical characters in the context of the circumstances and times in which they lived.

I agree with you, Barbara. Karl Marx said: “History repeats itself. First as tragedy, second as farce.” We have much to learn from the past. So, what inspires you to write?

I want to educate the youth of today because I feel that both children and adults are so wrapped up in their everyday lives that they don’t stop to think about what is going on beyond their immediate surroundings. It saddens me that so many Americans lack a basic knowledge of our country’s history and how our government works.

If one wants to make progress, one must understand the foundations and incremental steps that have brought us here today. Just as our ancestors passed knowledge down from generation to generation, knowing where we came from and how we got here is the cornerstone of who we are.

That’s an admirable goal. Barbara, do you blog? How does blogging help you sell books?

I do have a blog, but selling books is not its primary function. My blog is one way to keep my followers up to date about new releases and developments connected to the Little Miss History book series.

While I do believe that reading other authors who write in your genre is an integral part of growing as an author, I read and review the family-friendly literature on my blog because I want to share my love of reading and inspire others to read as a family.

Another of my objectives in writing the Little Miss HISTORY Travels to…book series is to encourage families and teachers to bring children out to visit and experience their historical and cultural heritage so that it may become a permanent part of their life experience. If I can communicate that message to readers via my blog, school visits, book signings, and appearances, then I am happy that I have succeeded in my quest.

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your Little Miss History series with us Barbara.


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k luv u bye Thanks for stopping by to meet Barbara. These books look fabulous. Children are our future. Let’s teach them the history of America.