Love by the Morning Star by Laura L. Sullivan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers, June 2014) is a World War II historical fiction novel for teenagers with an amusing role reversal! Much like in stories like The Prince and the Pauper, in Love by the Morning Star, two girls get assigned to the wrong roles. When the attractive man takes interest, the crossed paths of the two girls confuses not only him but many others, leading to an amusing chain of events! (more…)
Sometimes a clever and intriguing story line makes a novel great. Sometimes, it is the interaction of a number of interesting characters. And other times, a novel is great because because of the carefully developed setting that gives life to the situations and characters. In One Came Home (January 2013, Knopf Books for Young Readers), Amy Timberlake manages to win in all three ways. (more…)
Letters from Rifka by Karen Hesse (1991) is a coming-of-age story, this time dealing with a 12-year-old Russian immigrant traveling alone. But Rifka is not an ordinary traveler. She expects to do “everything” once she reaches America, but first she has to get there. When sickness keeps her behind, she learn to survive on her own, hoping all the while it will work out. Rifka must overcome disease, forgive the Russians she encounters who would have persecuted her back in her home country, and also find her purpose in life as she travels to America. (more…)
I have found that since I began homeschooling (two years ago now) and since my second child has been born, I have refocused most of my reading energy to picture books and chapter books, especially those that I loved as a child.
Friends of Liberty by Beatrice Gormley is a chapter book about two girls living in Boston during the early years of the American Revolution. One of the girls (Kitty) is from a wealthy Tory family, and the other girl (Sally) is from a more modest family that supports the revolutionary leaders. Although the girls are friends with many interests in common, as the events unfold, Sally must decide what her priorities are and what she believes about the political situation. Further, Sally and Kitty’s friendship is tested as they encounter new struggles.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It seemed like a perfect girls book. I think I would have really liked it when I was young because of the issues of friendship and the difficulty of making decisions, especially having to choose between friends and family. It is hard to imagine the situation that Sally was in, but the book seems to bring it to life.
I had intended to give this book to my young son to read — he is a good reader and he enjoys learning about the American Revolution. I’ve decided not to at this time, mostly because the issues of conflicting loyalties is a difficult one for the young child to understand. Maybe in the future he’ll be able to weigh in with his opinion. For now, though, I would recommend it to 8-12 year old girls interested in historical fiction.
Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via LibraryThing Early Reviewers for review consideration.