Peace Pilgrim: walking her talk against hate (Media Kit)

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Peace Pilgrim: walking her talk against hate
by Merry Brennan
A biographical novel for middle-grade readers and up.

Move Over Snooki! Real Jersey Girl Comes to Life in Peace Pilgrim Novel

Imagine giving up everything you own and walking across the country with no money and only the clothes on your back… for 28 years?
Meet Mildred Norman Ryder, an New Jersey farm girl and 1920’s flapper, who changed her name to Peace Pilgrim when she started walking in 1953 with only a comb and toothbrush.
At a time when most women stayed home to cook, clean and take care of children, she dedicated her life to promoting peace. She crossed the US on foot seven times, touching tens of thousands of lives. Yet most people today never heard of her.
Belmar, NJ, writer Merry Brennan hopes to change that with the newly published biographical novel, Peace Pilgrim: walking her talk against hate.  It is available as an ebook and 168-page paperback.
“With everything going on in the world, I think we can all benefit from a little dose of Peace Pilgrim,” said Brennan. “She is a role model on so many levels. Beyond the obvious message of peace, hers is a story about listening to your heart, putting one step in front of the other and living with joyful purpose, no matter what.”
Brennan said Peace Pilgrim believed world peace could happen if enough people attained inner peace. She lived off the land and the kindness of those she met, sleeping outdoors, in bus stations, in parked cars and once on the front seat of a fire engine in Tombstone, Arizona. Whenever she ran into trouble – physical or verbal – her sole response was love.
“With every step Peace Pilgrim took, every meeting she had with groups or individuals, her message was about how even a small person, with a small life, can make a big difference,” noted Brennan.
“As I researched and wrote this book, Snooki and her Jersey Shore exploits were monopolizing so much media space that I wanted to scream: ‘Move over Snooki. This is a real Jersey Girl,’ ” she added. “I’m committed to spreading Peace Pilgrim’s legacy to a new generation of readers, who deserve a different kind of female role model.”
A glossary and study guide make it easier for teachers to incorporate the book in historical fiction, women’s history or anti-bullying curriculum. Several New Jersey teachers are already using the novel and report terrific engagement from their students. Although aimed at ‘tweens and teens, Brennan said readers of all ages are inspired by Peace Pilgrim’s story.
A long-time writer, journalist and artist, Brennan’s work has appeared in dozens of publications since she sold her first piece to Highlights for Children years ago. Brennan is currently working on two additional realistic fiction books for teens. You can follow her at


Peace Pilgrim: walking her talk against hate  
by Merry Brennan
• Historical fiction, biographical novel, inspirational
• Written for middle grade and up
• Includes photos, glossary & study guide (for classroom/book clubs)
eBook: list price $2.99
· KINDLE — at Amazon
· MULTI FORMAT — at Smashwords
Paperback:  5.25” x 8”, 168 pages, list price $7.99
· at Amazon
· at CreateSpace   (Use CreateSpace code MAYZP42H for $2 discount
ISBN-13:  9780988847811      ISBN-10:  0988847817
Author website:
Author contact:

IMAGES of Mildred Lisette Norman/Peace Pilgrim:
PeacePilgrimCOVER finalMildred Alfred Helene BWPP young lady tree BWMildredYAportraitPeace circa 1957ebookPeaceWalkingwDog ebookPortraitOlder

MERRY BRENNAN BIO  Author/Artist Merry Brennan
As a kid, Merry Brennan dreamed of a grown-up life writing books. But then she gotsidetracked – as a journalist, activist, columnist, artist, communications consultant, naturalist, adjunct professor and elected official (yep, no kidding.) But she finally returned to her story-telling roots with the publication of her debut middle-grade biographical novel, Peace Pilgrim: walking her talk against hate. She’s finishing another teen/’tween realistic fiction, Mystery Scars. The Jersey Shore resident is mom to three great children and an old lab, Scout, who breaks into the refrigerator when no one’s looking. She’d love to connect with you at, where she blogs about writing, aging and living our dreams.

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