A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver

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 figure of Eleanor of Aquitaine.  Eleanor was the wife to two different kings and a mother to two others.  In the pages of history...

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Lizzy Bennet’s Diary

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” Elizabeth receives from various correspondents,...

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Black Horses for the King

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 will change Galwyn’s life forever. Lord Artos (who will become King Arthur) is looking for horses.  Big horses, which can carry fully armored...

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Catherine, Called Birdy

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 incensed at her father’s plan to marry her off…. and manages to scare...

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Shadow of a Bull

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 bullfighter.  They believe that Manolo will carry on his father’s legacy.  Everyone believes it. Except...

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The False Prince

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 prince of Carthya, and then elevate himself as the prince’s main advisor. But can he train these ragged orphans to be...

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Behind Rebel Lines

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 Reit details one such woman. And she was pretty amazing.  Emma Edmonds joined the Union Army as Franklin Thomas.  She wanted to be a nurse on the...

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