A Courageous Teenage Girl Reawakens Relevant Themes from the Sixties

Indie Voices LogoIf you enjoy historical fiction, the 1960s, and people who stand up for their beliefs, you’re going to love this two-book series and its inspiring young heroine Bets.
As Publisher’s Weekly wrote, Miss E. “...adroitly weaves history and mystery into a coming-of-age tale....Readers are likely to draw connections between current events and the political climate depicted in the book....It’s a polished debut with an inspiring protagonist.”

This highly reviewed, award-winning debut series by indie author Brian Herberger explores powerful themes of the Vietnam era and a tumultuous time in American history. Book one also weaves in an alternative history for a famous female of the day and book two takes Bets to Woodstock in a VW Bus.

Not many authors have explored the sixties through fiction for middle grade and young adult readers, so the books have been popular with parents, educators, and librarians looking to introduce teens to historical events and topics that might provide insight into current events . Though the series is categorized as young adult, both books have been also popular with adult readers. 


After moving to California with her parents in 1967 and saying goodbye to her father as he leaves for Vietnam, Bets tries to settle into a small town routine. It doesn't take long before the town's most mysterious resident pushes Bets to reconsider how she feels about her mother, the war that has taken her father far away, and her own role in the events that show up in newspaper headlines and flash across her TV screen. 


Having her father away in Vietnam wasn't easy for Bets, but she soon discovers having him back home comes with its own set of problems. When a letter from her friend Emmie arrives along with a ticket to the Woodstock Music Festival, Bets has a tough decision to make. Should she stick it out back home or leave her problems behind for a cross-country adventure? 

Miss E. and Cross Country


Miss E. 

A poignant tale with its share of fast-paced action inspired by historical events... Herberger provides readers an inspiring young heroine... immediately endearing and appealing to readers as an intelligent, mature, and determined young student.” The BookLife Prize 

“...adroitly weaves history and mystery into a coming-of-age tale.... Readers are likely to draw connections between current events and the political climate depicted in the book, and they’ll enjoy the unexpected revelation regarding Miss E.’s identity early on. It’s a polished debut with an inspiring protagonist.” Publisher’s Weekly

 Cross Country 

“Herberger transports readers back to a tumultuous, divisive time in American history through Bets’s journey of self-discovery... this follow-up offers a thought-provoking peek into a young hippie’s life of activism, peace, and love.” —Publishers Weekly

“Herberger delivers another successful coming-of-age novel with protagonist Bets at the helm. The book delves into politics, racism, and the notion of patriotism... add to that the excitement and mood of the United States in the late '60s and readers of all ages will find the story interesting and thoughtful.” —The BookLife Prize


Author Brian Herberger

Brian Herberger has taught middle school English and helped teachers with classroom technology for his entire career. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife and two children. His favorite part of researching and writing Miss E. and Cross Country was creating the main character Bets, learning about the sixties and how it impacted American culture, and spending his days writing about protests, VW buses, and Woodstock.