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 →

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 →

The Kite that Bridged Two Nations

Can a kite really bridge two nations?  Homan Walsh wonders the same thing.  But Homan loves to fly kites, so when he finds out about a contest for kite flyers, he is ready to compete. The winner will receive $10 and the honor of determining the place to build a bridge between the U.S. and... 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 →

Anna & Solomon

I love to read stories about family history, whether it is mine or someone else's.  Lucky for me, Elaine Snyder tells the story of her grandparents who immigrated from Russia to New York City around the 1900's in Anna & Solomon. This is a sweet story - one with a sad beginning, but a happy... 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 →

Night of the Twisters

Dan and his friends live the ideal small-town life in Grand Island, Nebraska.  They swim, ride bikes, hang out together. When a severe thunderstorm alert is issued for that evening, Dan doesn't think much of it.  It's a common occurrence in Nebraska. But what happens next is not. Night of the Twisters by Ivy Ruckman... Continue Reading →

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