C.H. Armstrong is an Oklahoma native transplanted in Minnesota for twenty-seven years. A 1992 graduate of the University of Oklahoma, she holds a B.A. in Journalism with a minor in History. A prolific reader of many genres, Cathie—as she is known to friends—vividly remembers learning to read and the thrill of “unlocking the code” behind the letters that make up a word.
Inspired by the homeless community in Rochester, Minn., Cathie’s debut young adult novel, Roam, pays tribute to her favorite novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, and its themes of empathy and actively viewing the world through the lens of others.
Cathie is also the author of The Edge of Nowhere, an historical fiction title set in Oklahoma during the 1930s Dust Bowl and The Great Depression. It was inspired by her own family’s experiences during the era.
When she’s not reading, Cathie enjoys living vicariously through her two children, presenting to classrooms on the themes of empathy and The Dust Bowl era, and following her beloved Oklahoma Sooners Football Team.
Seventeen year-old Abby Lunde and her family are living on the streets. They had a normal life back in Omaha but, thanks to her mother’s awful mistake, they had to leave what little they had behind for a new start in Rochester. Abby tries to be an average teenager—ﬁtting into school, buoyed by dreams of a boyfriend, college and a career in music. But Minnesota winters are unforgiving, and so are many teenagers.
Her stepdad promises to put a roof over their heads, but times are tough for everyone and Abby is doing everything she can to keep her shameful secret from her new friends. The divide between rich and poor in high school is painfully obvious, and the stress of never knowing where they’re sleeping or where they’ll ﬁnd their next meal is taking its toll on the whole family.
As secrets are exposed and the hope for a home fades, Abby knows she must trust those around her to help. But will her friends let her down the same way they did back home, or will they rise to the challenge to help them ﬁnd a normal life?