Welcome to the website of M.P. Barker, writer and historical consultant. I’m the author of A Difficult Boy (Holiday House, 2008) and Mending Horses (Holiday House, 2014), two historical novels set in 19th-century New England.

Watch this trailer for a preview of Mending Horses:

Watch this trailer for a preview of A Difficult Boy:


13 Responses to Home

  1. Annie

    Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant. If I had not already read (and loved) both books, these trailers would have me purchasing them right now. So very proud of you and your accomplishments.

  2. Matt

    How did Daniels house start to burn

    • M.P. Barker

      Good question! The book never actually says. But in my imagination, I think that maybe the fire wasn’t properly banked (that means you cover the fire with ashes before you go to bed so there’s no open flame, but there are still hot coals under the ashes), and a stray spark ignited something. It was winter, so it was candle-making season. If Daniel’s mom was making candles, there would have been a lot of tallow (animal fat used for candle-making) in the kitchen. Tallow is very flammable–imagine an enormous grease fire. So if she didn’t properly bank the fire after she finished making the candles, a stray spark might have ignited tallow that had spilled on the floor. If the family was asleep when it happened, the fire could have been going for some time before anyone woke up. Does that make sense?

  3. Judy Allgeyer

    Just finished A Difficult Boy. It was a breathtaking book. Written with great feelings. The depth of emotions in the book is stunning. I was so touched by the struggles of the boys and yet the hope and love that grew between them. It is a book that has given me belief that even in hard times the seeds of hope are sown and will bloom in time. Your writing craft is wonderful. Do not stop writing please!!! I now look forward to reading Mending Horses. Thanks for sharing your gift with us all.


  4. Connie

    I absolutely loved your book A Difficult Boy! It truly gave me the feeling of that time period and how life might have been. The characters were marvelous. I’m glad you wrote another book Mending Horses which I will read.
    Thanks, Connie

  5. Jodi Coleman

    I loved A Difficult Boy, couldn’t put it down. A sequel would be wonderful. To see how Daniel’s life turned out, if he returned to see Ethan. What became of the Lyman’s?
    Your an amazing writer.

    • Jodi Coleman

      I just looked up Mending Horses, so excited about hearing more of Daniel’s story.

      • M.P. Barker

        Thanks, Jodi! Sorry to take so long to respond, but I’m so glad you enjoyed A Difficult Boy! I hope you’ll enjoy Mending Horses as well.

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