About Meadow Rue Merrill
Meadow Rue Merrill grew up on an Oregon farm where she and her brother, Sunny Day, roamed the fields, built hay forts, and rode their ponies under the towering Douglas firs. For entertainment, she invented stories about her life as a Native American princess. Real life wasn’t nearly as interesting. Neither was school.
By fourth grade, Meadow was so far behind that her teachers forced her to sit in front of a machine that scrolled through pages of print to make her read faster. Not what you’d call inspiring. That summer, her mom, Lucy, wisely gave Meadow The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. After exploring the English countryside with a magical boy named Dickon, Meadow was hooked on books.
In middle school, Meadow and her family moved to Maine. For awhile, life was nearly normal. Then her mom whisked the family off to Darwin, Australia, where Meadow shared her room with baseball-sized spiders and flying cockroaches. She also met a real-life magical boy who climbed trees and caught possums, the inspiration for her middle-grade novel, The Possum Catcher. After hightailing it back to Maine, Meadow survived high school, enrolled in one year of Bible college, and graduated from Gordon College with a degree in English. Two weeks later, she married her high school sweetheart, Dana, and went to work as a reporter for Maine’s smallest daily newspaper.
As a freelance journalist, Meadow later covered backyard boat builders, Maine homes and gardens, and local news for regional publications while raising six children — including Ruth, an abandoned baby with special needs who her family adopted from Uganda. Her inspirational memoir, Redeeming Ruth: Everything Life Takes, Love Restores, won a 2018 Christopher Award for “shining a light in the darkness.” The Christmas Cradle, the first book in her forthcoming Lantern Hill Farm children’s picture-book series, releases in the fall of 2018 with RoseKidz. Meadow also writes a weekly column, Faith Notes, which appears on her website and reaches 25,000 readers every Friday in her local paper The Times Record.
In 25 years as a Maine journalist, Meadow wrote parenting essays for The New York Times and frequently contributed to The Boston Globe, The Boston Sunday Globe Magazine, the Portland Press Herald, and Down East magazine, where she served as a contributing editor. Meadow has won first-place in feature writing from The Maine Press Association and been honored with a Sword of Hope Award from the American Cancer Society. But Meadow’s highest prize is spending time with her family. When not at her desk, Meadow can be found reading, keeping an eye on her chickens, and learning how to garden beside a little house in the big woods of midcoast Maine. Stay in touch on Facebook and Twitter.