Old City Hall - Jacksonville Florida

Based on a true story

Love, Midgie, although historic fiction, is based on a true story—childhood events in the life of a young Florida girl whose mother’s serious illness brings out significant changes and disruptions in her life. The book was prepared for readers ages 8-12, boys or girls. How she copes with these disruptions and what she learns are major elements of her story.

Authentic images of places and people…

Illustrations come from family photographs and antique postcards of that period

Because it is based on a true story, the author devoted significant time and research to acquiring images that reflected both the period and the location in which the action took place. Love, Midgie is unusual in that the “postcards” that begin each chapter and the images in Midgie’s “scrapbook” are real. The antique postcards are over 75 years old and the photographs were from Midgie’s family photo album. In fact, the photograph of Midgie’s mother, Emma Lee Smith Morris, is the only photograph that exists of her during that period.

Layout helps readers understand the life and times of the real Midgie growing up in Jacksonville, Florida just after the “Great War”…

The postcards and photographs were incorporated in the layout at or near the period of time in which the image or the message it contains help the reader visualize the location or the characters. Therefore, the reader is seeing many of the very same scenes and images, including family members, that Midgie herself saw and experienced.

Important assistance is being provided by the Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Association (S.P.A.R.), the Jacksonville Historical Society and the Levy County Historical and Genealogical Society to help ensure greater historical accuracy for that period.

Why you too, will love Midgie

Eight-year old Midgie Morris loves her home in central Florida where she lives with her family on a small farm. Her father also works for the railroad as a telegrapher. But one day in 1918 everything changes for Midgie’s family when her mother falls ill during the Spanish flu epidemic.

Midgie’s father obtains a transfer to Jacksonville where her mother can receive better medical care in a large hospital–and hopefully recover. Midgie will no longer be able to see Cousin Grace every day. Midgie worries about having no friends in the Springfield neighborhood of Jacksonville where the family now lives. Then she meets Rose.

Problems arise when Midgie and her ten-year old brother, Henry, are left alone so often while their father works seven days a week.

Even worse, Midgie and Henry will have to be separated and sent to live with relatives–Midgie to Alabama and Henry to central Florida. Midgie worries whether she will ever see her mother again and how she will get along without her father and her brother, Henry. Midgie’s adventures in Springfield and during travels to relatives across the southeastern United States on the train–by herself–provide exciting opportunities to learn a great deal about her world. Despite some scary moments, Midgie learns many useful lessons that she soon puts to good use by helping her family and friends.

Love, Midgie is based on a true story and is illustrated with historic photographs and postcards, and includes photographs from Midgie’s actual family album. Readers are able to see views of the actual locations, neighborhoods and houses Midgie saw in 1915-1920.