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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

The Case of the Deadly Desperados

P.K. Pinkerton is in deep trouble... in more ways than one.  He is at the bottom of a silver mine, trying to figure out a way to outwit Wittlin' Walt, the Very Bad Man after his inheritance. This is where we find P.K. at the beginning of The Case of the Deadly Desperados, by Caroline... Continue Reading →

Words in the Dust

What is truly amazing about Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy is that this young man could write such a beautiful book from the first-person perspective of a young Afgani girl. Zulaikha (thankfully, there’s pronunciation guide in the back of the book) loves her family, especially her older sister and her father.  They don’t... Continue Reading →

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