Menoken sisters publish book about growing up in rural North Dakota

Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 3:24 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - For many people, growing up in North Dakota carries with it a sense of pride. That’s exactly what inspired two sisters to write a book about their experiences as children in rural North Dakota.

Janine Knop and Jackie McGregor grew up on a farm in Menoken in the 1950s, and they say it shaped them into the people they are today. They wanted to share their stories with people who had similar upbringings, so their book, “While the Windmill Watched: A Slice of Rural America in the 1950s,” was born.

The two sisters saw writing a book as an opportunity to reflect on their time on the prairie.

“It’s told from Jackie’s perspective, Janine’s perspective, the sisters writing together, and the windmill. The windmill speaking as a third person is one of the things that makes this book unique,” said McGregor.

The authors say “While the Windmill Watched” gets to the heart of what farm life was like in the 50s.

“Farming communities have changed over this timeframe from the 1950s to now, because at that time what we wrote about is our farming community of Menoken, the cohesiveness of it, the gathering together of neighbor helping neighbor,” said Knop.

Janine and Jackie started collaborating on the book over the phone last April.

“We spent many, many thousands of hours on the phone; we’d talk about it together, we’d recraft sentences and paragraphs,” said McGregor.

The book was just released last week, and Janine and Jackie are planning a book tour throughout North Dakota in June.

Find the book at the NDSU bookstore, where Jackie and Janine attended college. You can find it online at:

Copyright 2021 KFYR. All rights reserved.