Kirkley Mehndiratta

American Fledgling by Kirkley Mehndiratta

I guess that the best way to tell you my story is to tell you how I came up with the idea for it.  I was inspired by Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote about liberty and safety. He said that if you trade liberty for a measure of safety, you end up with neither.  

What if this idea came out of a little-known adventure that Benjamin Franklin experienced well before he was a founding father?

My 80,000-word middle-grade novel, American Fledgling, is an alternate history with fantastical elements. On the night of his kite and key experiment, a witch turns Benjamin Franklin into a turkey. As a turkey, Benjamin has until Thanksgiving day to get the presidential pardon to break the spell. The future of American democracy hangs in the balance.  American Fledgling is ultimately a story about the fragility of democracy and the power one can have—for good or for ill—to shape the course of history.


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