Over 17 million awesome people living in mobile and homes across the US. Yet, there are very few books, magazines, or television shows that cater specifically to us. Campers and RVs have tons of cool books and magazines. Mobile homeowners are lucky if we get a decent owner’s manual after buying a $75K home. I’ve certainly never seen a children’s book written specifically for kids living in a mobile home. Until now.
Finally! A book for children living in a mobile home!
Lulabelle's Story, The Trailer with Lots and Lots of Love
The book Lulabelle’s Story; The Trailer with Lots and Lots of Love is a true gem in a world surrounded by stigmas and stereotypes. The message of the book is so very important but so often forgotten: it doesn’t matter what kind of house you live in as long as it’s filled with love.
The book, targeted for children 2-8 years old, is written in a first-person narrative through Lulabelle’s eyes, who just happens to be a single wide manufactured home that has waited patiently on the dealer’s lot for a family of her own.
Luckily for Lulabelle, a young couple with a little girl named Cassie buys her. After being transported to her new home Lulabelle exclaims, “I was lucky because not every house got to travel like me!”
Lulabelle watches her family grow over the years as they faithfully go to Sunday school, adopt a son that dreams of joining the military, and even rescues a no-tailed cat they lovingly named Callie the No-Tailed Cat.
The moral of the book is perfectly summed up on the last page: “I may be just a trailer,’ but I hold lots and lots of love.”
Meet Karen Harper Lain
Author, Karen Harper Lain, is from rural western Kentucky. She’s an avid photographer that is passionate about music, books, and good coffee.
Karen was kind enough to let me interview her about her first children’s book, Lulabelle’s Story; The Trailer with Lots and Lots of Love:
Karen Harper Lain's Interview
What was your inspiration for this book? Did you experience any negativity about living in a mobile home?
I was born and raised in Owensboro, a city in western Kentucky, and lived there until five years ago. In 2015, I moved to Butler County, a rural area about fifty miles south of Owensboro, on land that has been in my family for generations. The fastest way to live on the land was to purchase a mobile home, so I found a used trailer and had it moved here. I was good-naturedly teased about living in a trailer, and I heard all the jokes about “trailer trash,” etc. And though I knew the teasing was all in fun, and it didn’t bother me at all, I started thinking about how I would feel if I were a child and people were teasing me about where I lived. I knew that had to be hurtful. Then I started thinking about people I knew who grew up in trailers. Did they look back on their childhood with any lesser memories because of the home they lived in? Of course not. I’ve always liked to write, and always wanted to be an author, so in putting all this together, Lulabelle’s Story was born. I decided to write the book from the trailer’s perspective, because I thought that would be a different twist.
Are the names, Lulabelle, Cassie, and Mathew of any significance?
A friend of mine helped me pick out the name Lulabelle, and I liked it because it was such a quaint name. And when I found out Lulabelle also means “beautiful princess,” that sealed the deal on the name. My daughter is named Cassie, so I automatically christened the little girl in the book with the same name. As for Matthew, a dear friend of mine has a son named Matthew, and I’ve always loved the name. Since it means “gift from God,” it was perfect for the situation in the story.
What is the main message you hope readers get from the book?
My purpose in writing this book is to show that homes come in all shapes and sizes. Loving families can reside in brick homes, wooden homes, apartments, or, as Lulabelle shows us, mobile homes. My ultimate goal is to start a “trailer life movement.” If you live in a trailer, you have nothing to be ashamed of, so call it that. According to the latest census numbers, twenty million other Americans live in mobile homes, too. Own that label, and be proud!
Will there be more books about Lulabelle?
I hope so! I would love to do a Lulabelle series, and I already have a “Lulabelle’s Christmas” written that I hope to get published. But, I need my first Lulabelle to be successful before I go much further. I need to make sure there is an interest in such a “cause” first.
A Book that was Meant to Be....
Finding a publisher is difficult for most writers but it seems Lulabelle’s Story was meant to be, “I was so fortunate in finding a publisher, as Heart to Heart Publishing is literally about three miles from my house here in Butler County, and several people recommended that I reach out to them. Linda J. Hawkins, the owner, has illustrators, graphic designers, etc., who she works with, and she recommended Mona Larkins to me.”
Even the illustrator, Mona Larkins, once lived in a mobile home. Karen described her perfectly, “She is extremely talented, and she captured the essence of Lulabelle to a tee. Mona recommended putting the hidden hearts on the pages, which is a sweet touch. I am so pleased with the finished product!”
I’m pleased with the end product too! I am thrilled to have found out about this book and I’m excited to see what Karen does next. I would love to see a whole series of these books!
In short, I think Lulabelle’s Story: The Trailer with Lots and Lots of Love should be on the bookshelf of every mobile homeowner with children. And I’m pretty sure you will too!
Karen was kind enough to send me a signed copy of her book to give away in our annual holiday giveaway. Click here to enter the Cozy Christmas giveaway (closed)
A huge thank you to Karen! Thank you for letting me interview you and for sending me a free copy of the book to include in the Christmas Giveaway. Most of all, thank you for writing a book that can help children living in mobile homes.
And thank you for reading Mobile Home Living!