A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver

E.L. Konigsburg is best known for her wonderful book From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.  She also wrote one of our family's favorite books, A View from Saturday.  Now, I have to tell you about another of her books, A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver. This book focuses on the historical... Continue Reading →

Lizzy Bennet’s Diary

Marcia Williams has created a fun companion to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice in Lizzy Bennet's Diary. Williams follows the storyline of Pride and Prejudice closely, including illustrations and small details of life not included in the book - like the fancy buttonholes Elizabeth is embroidering on a new waistcoat for her father. She also includes the "letters"... Continue Reading →

Black Horses for the King

Galwyn Varianus is down on his luck.  His father is dead and his fortune gone, so Galwyn must apprentice to his uncle, a boat captain.  He hates life at sea, but seeing no other option, does his best to fit in and work hard. Then, his uncle agrees to take on passengers - passengers who... Continue Reading →

Catherine, Called Birdy

Normally, I am not a fan of diary-form fiction, but I am making an exception for Karen Cushman's excellent book Catherine, Called Birdy. Birdy is an energetic, sharp-tongued girl living in medieval England.  She hates wearing skirts, hemming sheets, spinning, and needlepoint - basically everything about being a daughter of a knight.  She is especially... Continue Reading →

Shadow of a Bull

Manolo has grown up in his father's shadow.  His father, the great bullfighter Juan Olivar, was killed during a fight when Manolo was just a small child.  But Juan is never far from Manolo's thoughts - the old men in his village won't let him forget.  He must always remember his father was the greatest... Continue Reading →

The False Prince

Sage is an orphan, always getting into trouble - but the worst sort of trouble is upon him. Bought from the orphanage by a nobleman, Sage finds himself in the company of Conner (the nobleman), his servants (Mott and Cregan), and three other orphans.  Conner's plan is to position one of them as the missing... Continue Reading →

Behind Rebel Lines

Recently, my children and I learned quite a bit about the work women did to help the war effort during the Civil War.  Quite a few women dressed up as men, and joined the army.  Other women were couriers or spies. Behind Rebel Lines: The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy by Seymour... Continue Reading →

The Lion Who Stole My Arm

Pedru lives in the African bush.  He and his friends fish for their families every day, and his village grow crops for food. He and his friends and neighbors also live in fear... of lions. One day, Pedru makes an impulsive, and foolish, decision, which costs him his arm.  He wants to take revenge on... Continue Reading →

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