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Adelia's Last Name

   Adelia know she is different. Her name stands out from other children's simple names. Her friends can't pronounce it, no one can spell it, and everyone laughs at it. Will she ever in? In Marilyn Davis and Roxie McBride's charming story, Adelia's Last Name, Adelia learns to appreciate her family name and become who she was meant to be.

The book that started it all!

Marilyn Davis and I have been friends for about 35 years.  We met when she was working for the State of OK Education Dept. and chairing a committee to write a book for gifted students.  I was invited to be one of the authors.  Marilyn and I became fast friends and presented workshops together throughout OK and at International Reading Association conventions all over the US.


In the early 1980’s we were driving to one of these workshops in KS and began talking about our goals to write children’s books.  She said she wanted to write a story about a Singing Tree.  I said I wanted to write a book about a little girl who was unhappy with her last name because she was teased about it.  Her daddy told her to be patient because she would get a new last name when she married.  This actually happened to me when I was young.  My name was Roxie Cox and in third grade, kids started calling me Roxie Coxie in a Boxie and laughed.  When I told my dad about it, he said I would get a new name when I married but he would have to keep his forever.  He was teased too because his first name was Brooklyn.  Kids called him Brooklyn Bridge.  I guess that’s why he was always liked to be called Brooks.


Anyway, Marilyn and I kept talking about names and the problems kids have with them, especially if they are long.  We thought it would be fun to have a girl with a very long name who kept thinking she would get a new name when she married.  The twist would be that her married name would be even longer and stranger.  This made Marilyn think of a friend she had in high school.  Her name was Adelia Diffenbaugh and when she married she became Adelia Diffenbaugh Deardorff.  We tweaked the name a little and thus Adelia Beth Christina Deiffenbaugh-Dieffendorper was born.


We actually completed a draft and shared it with an author during a creative writing workshop.  The story received good feedback, so I began submitting it to publishing companies.  After 16 rejections, the manuscript was put in the filing cabinet.


Fast forward to January 2010.  Marilyn sends the manuscript to Tate Publishing and it is accepted.  What a surprise for me, but I am excited to finally achieve one of my life goals.  Thirteen months later with a much edited version, our book is published.

        This is a picture of Adelia Rose Hofegartner-Betterton.  I met her after her mother read a copy of Adelia’s Last Nameand contacted me to get a copy.  Adelia Beth Christine Deiffenbaugh-Dieffendorpher is the name of the Adelia in the book.   When this Adelia’s mother found a book about a little girl named Adelia she was excited to find it was also about a long hyphenated last name.  She attends school with my grandson Grayson, so I get to see her often.

Adelia’s Last Name was selected to receive the prestigious KART book award!

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