Book Info: Bridging Beyond

Publisher: Philomel May 2002.

Age group: 12-17

Jacket illustration: Chris Nurse.

Genre: Historical Ficction

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Bridging Beyond
Book Club Ideas:

Bridging Beyond


VENUE:   As Bridging Beyond takes place during the roaring 1920’s, set up your own speakeasy.  Have your book clubbers don flapper dresses and heels and headbands with feathers.  Listen to a little jazz of the era, musicians like Duke Ellington.  Or screen one of the movies I watched before writing Bridging Beyond: Thoroughly Modern Millie starring Julie Andrews.

FOOD:  Whoopie pies were invented in the 1920’s.  There is some argument over where they originated.  Mainers claim Whoopie pies were first produced in their state by Labadie’s Bakery in Lewiston, ME in 1925.  The Whoopie pie is now the official “treat” of the state of Maine.  Others claim that the Amish invented the Whoopie Pie sometime in the 1920’s and were sold by the bakery Harris and Boyar.  Supposedly, the Amish women would put these pies in their family’s lunches and when their family members saw them, they would shout “Whoopie!”  Whether this is true or not, Whoopie pies are fun to make and better to eat.  Here is an easy recipe for your book clubbers to try:


Cookie Dough:

  • 2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup(s) sugar
  • 3/4 cup(s) milk
  • 1/2 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa
  • 6 tablespoon(s) butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1 large egg

Marshmallow Cream Filling:

  • 6 tablespoon(s) butter or margarine, slightly softened
  • 1 cup(s) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 jar(s) (7- to 7 1/2-ounce) marshmallow cream
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 large cookie sheets.
  2. Prepare Cookie Dough: In large bowl, with spoon, mix all dough ingredients until smooth.
  3. Drop dough by heaping tablespoons, 2 inches apart, on each prepared cookie sheet. (There will be 12 rounds per sheet.)
  4. Bake 12 to 14 minutes, rotating sheets between upper and lower racks halfway through baking, until puffy and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. With wide spatula, transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
  5. Prepare Marshmallow Cream Filling: In large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat butter until smooth. Reduce speed to low; gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar. Beat in marshmallow creme and vanilla until smooth.
  6. Spread 1 rounded tablespoon filling on flat side of 12 cookies. Top with remaining cookies.

ONLINE RESOURCE:  Check out this website if you want to know more about life inthe 1920”s:

SPECIAL GUESTS:  Bridging Beyond was based on a true story my grandmother told me.  The scene on the bridge was actually something that happened to her.  She and my grandfather had parked in a field across from the town dance and were only half way across the bridge that night, when they heard the 10:30 train whistle.  They had to hang off the side of the bridge as the train roared by above them.  My grandmother talked of her bottom jaw slapping into her top jaw and of how slick her hands were, how afraid she was that she was going to fall.   Obviously, they lived or I wouldn’t be here, but I used that story to create a bigger one, adding characters and events.  So invite your book clubbers’ grandparents in for a visit.  Have them come with a story to tell your group about what life was like when they were younger.  You might get a great story idea by the end of your meeting!