Tag Archives: Historical

Book Tour
Book Title:
Knife's Edge
Book Author:
Hope Larson
Book Illustrator:
Rebecca Mock
Book Series:
Four Points, #2
Page Count:
224
Publishing Date:
June 27th, 2017
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Date Read:
June 26th, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Twelve-year-old twin adventurers Cleopatra and Alexandra Dodge are reunited with their father and realize that two family heirlooms reveal the location of a treasure that is their birthright. When they set sail with Captain Tarboro on the Almira, they know they’re heading into danger—the ocean is filled with new and old enemies, including their nemesis, the infamous pirate Felix Worley. But like a coral reef that lurks below the surface of the waves, trouble is brewing between the siblings. Alex is determined to become a sailor and is happy with his role aboard the Almira, but Cleo—the only girl on the ship—is tired of washing dishes in the galley. In an effort to find her own purpose, she begins studying sword fighting with Tarboro, but neither Alex nor her father approves. Can the twins remain close as they pursue different goals and dreams, or will their growing differences tear the family apart before the treasure can be found?

In this follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Compass South, Hope Larson and Rebecca Mock once again create an outstanding seafaring adventure.

My Review

I read Compass South right before I read this one, and I’m glad that I did.  While I’ve seen it said that this book can be read as a standalone, I highly recommend reading the first book of the two … Continue reading

Leave a comment
Book Title:
Between Two Skies
Book Author:
Jamie O'Sullivan
Page Count:
272
Publishing Date:
April 25th, 2017
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Date Read:
April 29th, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Hurricane Katrina sets a teenage girl adrift. But a new life and the promise of love emerges in this rich, highly readable debut.

Bayou Perdu, a tiny fishing town way, way down in Louisiana, is home to sixteen-year-old Evangeline Riley. She has her best friends, Kendra and Danielle; her wise, beloved Mamere; and back-to-back titles in the under-sixteen fishing rodeo. But, dearest to her heart, she has the peace that only comes when she takes her skiff out to where there is nothing but sky and air and water and wings. It's a small life, but it is Evangeline's.

And then the storm comes, and everything changes. Amid the chaos and pain and destruction comes Tru a fellow refugee, a budding bluesman, a balm for Evangeline s aching heart. Told in a strong, steady voice, with a keen sense of place and a vivid cast of characters, here is a novel that asks compelling questions about class and politics, exile and belonging, and the pain of being cast out of your home. But above all, this remarkable debut tells a gently woven love story, difficult to put down, impossible to forget.

My Review

Between Two Skies takes us inside the life of a girl who had a happy life before Hurricane Katrina hit, and the aftermath that she is forced to deal with after the storm.  This book is heartbreaking, yet inspiring, at … Continue reading

5 stars
4 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
The Warden's Daughter
Book Author:
Jerry Spinelli
Publishing Date:
January 3rd, 2017
Publisher:
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
December 24th, 2016
Source:
eARC from publisher via NetGalley - Thank you!

Synopsis

From Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli (Maniac Magee, Stargirl) comes the knockout story of a girl who must come to terms with her mother's death from inside the walls of a prison.

Cammie O'Reilly is the warden's daughter, living in an apartment above the entrance to the Hancock County Prison. But she's also living in a prison of grief and anger about the mother who died saving her from harm when she was just a baby. And prison has made her mad. This girl's nickname is Cannonball. In the summer of 1959, as twelve turns to thirteen, everything is in flux. Cammie's best friend is discovering lipstick and American Bandstand. A child killer is caught and brought to her prison. And the only mother figures in her life include a flamboyant shoplifter named Boo Boo and a sullen reformed arsonist of a housekeeper. All will play a role in Cammie's coming-of-age. But one in particular will make a staggering sacrifice to ensure that Cammie breaks free from her past. Master storyteller Jerry Spinelli spins a tale of loss and redemption like no other. The Warden's Daughter shows that kindness and compassion can often be found where we least expect it.

My Review

Stargirl was one of my favorite (if not favorite favorite) book that I’ve read, and I read that one when it first came out in 2000.  I was eleven, and made me fall in love with reading.  Because that book … Continue reading

3 Comments
Book Title:
The Last Cherry Blossom
Book Author:
Kathleen Burkinshaw
Publishing Date:
August 2nd, 2016
Publisher:
Sky Pony Press
Date Read:
August 7th, 2016
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher

Synopsis

Following the seventieth anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, this is a new, very personal story to join Sadako and The Thousand Paper Cranes.

Yuriko was happy growing up in Hiroshima when it was just her and Papa. But her aunt Kimiko and her cousin Genji are living with them now, and the family is only getting bigger with talk of a double marriage! And while things are changing at home, the world beyond their doors is even more unpredictable. World War II is coming to an end, and Japan's fate is not entirely clear, with any battle losses being hidden fom its people. Yuriko is used to the sirens and the air-raid drills, but things start to feel more real when the neighbors who have left to fight stop coming home. When the bomb hits Hiroshima, it’s through Yuriko’s twelve-year-old eyes that we witness the devastation and horror.

This is a story that offers young readers insight into how children lived during the war, while also introducing them to Japanese culture. Based loosely on author Kathleen Burkinshaw’s mother’s firsthand experience surviving the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, The Last Cherry Blossom hopes to warn readers of the immense damage nuclear war can bring, while reminding them that the “enemy” in any war is often not so different from ourselves.

My Review

Middle grade fiction has a tendency to be more powerful and honest than young adult or even adult fiction, and the stories you find within the middle grade level can be stories that stay with you throughout your lifetime.  This … Continue reading

5 stars
2 Comments
Book Title:
Ivory and Bone
Book Author:
Julie Eshbaugh
Book Series:
Ivory and Bone, #1
Publishing Date:
June 7th, 2016
Publisher:
HarperTeen
Date Read:
June 8th, 2016
Source:
eARC from publisher via Edelweiss

Synopsis

The only life seventeen-year-old Kol knows is hunting at the foot of the Great Ice with his brothers. But food is becoming scarce, and without another clan to align with, Kol, his family, and their entire group are facing an uncertain future.

Traveling from the south, Mya and her family arrive at Kol’s camp with a trail of hurt and loss behind them, and hope for a new beginning. When Kol meets Mya, her strength, independence, and beauty instantly captivate him, igniting a desire for much more than survival.

Then on a hunt, Kol makes a grave mistake that jeopardizes the relationship that he and Mya have only just started to build. Mya was guarded to begin with—and for good reason—but no apology or gesture is enough for her to forgive him. Soon after, another clan arrives on their shores. And when Mya spots Lo, a daughter of this new clan, her anger intensifies, adding to the already simmering tension between families. After befriending Lo, Kol learns of a dark history between Lo and Mya that is rooted in a tangle of their pasts.

When violence erupts, Kol is forced to choose between fighting alongside Mya or trusting Lo’s claims. And when things quickly turn deadly, it becomes clear that this was a war that one of them had been planning all along.

My Review

Ivory and Bone opens with our main character, Kol, telling Mya a beautiful story about when they first met, and the events that had led them to where they are now (in a cave, outside in cold, trying to stay … Continue reading

2.5 stars
8 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
Girl About Town
Book Author:
Adam Shankman & Laura L. Sullivan
Publishing Date:
May 3rd, 2016
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
May 9th, 2016
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher

Synopsis

Acclaimed film producer/director Adam Shankman and coauthor Laura Sullivan pen a sparkling, witty, romantic mystery inspired by Nick and Nora Charles and Hollywood glamour.

Not too long ago, Lucille O’Malley was living in a tenement in New York. Now she’s Lulu Kelly, Hollywood’s newest It Girl. She may be a star, but she worries that her past will catch up with her. Back in New York she witnessed a Mafia murder, and this glamorous new life in Tinseltown is payment for her silence.

Dashing Freddie van der Waals, the only son of a New York tycoon, was a playboy with the world at his feet. But when he discovered how his corrupt father really made the family fortune, Freddie abandoned his billions and became a vagabond. He travels the country in search of redemption and a new identity, but his father will stop at nothing to bring him home.

When fate brings Lulu and Freddie together, sparks fly—and gunshots follow. Suddenly Lulu finds herself framed for attempted murder. Together, she and Freddie set out to clear her name. But can they escape their pasts and finally find the Hollywood ending they long for?

My Review

Girl About Town is unlike a lot of other YA novels – it’s a historical YA mystery that takes you into Hollywood and into the life of two opposites: a young lady who started with nothing and rose to fame … Continue reading

6 Comments
Book Title:
A Tyranny of Petticoats
Book Author:
Edited by Jessica Spotswood
Publishing Date:
March 8th, 2016
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Date Read:
March 17th, 2016
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

From an impressive sisterhood of YA writers comes an edge-of-your-seat anthology of historical fiction and fantasy featuring a diverse array of daring heroines.

Criss-cross America — on dogsleds and ships, stagecoaches and trains — from pirate ships off the coast of the Carolinas to the peace, love, and protests of 1960s Chicago. Join fifteen of today’s most talented writers of young adult literature on a thrill ride through history with American girls charting their own course. They are monsters and mediums, bodyguards and barkeeps, screenwriters and schoolteachers, heiresses and hobos. They're making their own way in often-hostile lands, using every weapon in their arsenals, facing down murderers and marriage proposals. And they all have a story to tell.

With stories by:

J. Anderson Coats, Andrea Cremer, Y. S. Lee, Katherine Longshore, Marie Lu, Kekla Magoon, Marissa Meyer, Saundra Mitchell, Beth Revis, Caroline Richmond, Lindsay Smith, Jessica Spotswood, Robin Talley, Leslye Walton and Elizabeth Wein

My Review

I don’t read a lot of anthologies or short stories, but when I came across this book a few months ago, I was super excited to read it.  I waited patiently (okay, so rather impatiently, actually), and thanks to the … Continue reading

4 stars
4 Comments
Book Title:
The Steep and Thorny Way
Book Author:
Cat Winters
Publishing Date:
March 8th, 2016
Publisher:
Amulet Books
Date Read:
February 28th, 2016

Synopsis

A thrilling reimagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Steep and Thorny Way tells the story of a murder most foul and the mighty power of love and acceptance in a state gone terribly rotten.

1920s Oregon is not a welcoming place for Hanalee Denney, the daughter of a white woman and an African-American man. She has almost no rights by law, and the Ku Klux Klan breeds fear and hatred in even Hanalee’s oldest friendships. Plus, her father, Hank Denney, died a year ago, hit by a drunk-driving teenager. Now her father’s killer is out of jail and back in town, and he claims that Hanalee’s father wasn’t killed by the accident at all but, instead, was poisoned by the doctor who looked after him—who happens to be Hanalee’s new stepfather.

The only way for Hanalee to get the answers she needs is to ask Hank himself, a “haint” wandering the roads at night.

My Review

“‘Hate is a powerful demon that worms its way into the hearts of fearful men.’” Hanalee Denney does not have the easiest life.  She lives in Oregon in the 1920’s with her mother, a white woman, and her stepfather.  Her … Continue reading

5 stars
4 Comments
Book Title:
Burn Baby Burn
Book Author:
Meg Medina
Publishing Date:
March 8th, 2016
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Date Read:
March 7th, 2016

Synopsis

While violence runs rampant throughout New York, a teenage girl faces danger within her own home in Meg Medina's riveting coming-of-age novel.

Nora Lopez is seventeen during the infamous New York summer of 1977, when the city is besieged by arson, a massive blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam who shoots young women on the streets. Nora’s family life isn’t going so well either: her bullying brother, Hector, is growing more threatening by the day, her mother is helpless and falling behind on the rent, and her father calls only on holidays. All Nora wants is to turn eighteen and be on her own. And while there is a cute new guy who started working with her at the deli, is dating even worth the risk when the killer likes picking off couples who stay out too late? Award-winning author Meg Medina transports us to a time when New York seemed balanced on a knife-edge, with tempers and temperatures running high, to share the story of a young woman who discovers that the greatest dangers are often closer than we like to admit — and the hardest to accept.

My Review

Burn Baby Burn is an incredibly powerful novel about a young girl growing up in New York City in 1977.  It deals with A LOT of sensitive issues, including domestic violence, drugs, and shootings that occur throughout the city at … Continue reading

4 stars
4 Comments
Book Title:
Blackhearts
Book Author:
Nicole Castroman
Publishing Date:
February 9th, 2016
Publisher:
Simon Pulse
Date Read:
February 5th, 2016

Synopsis

Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.

Edward "Teach" Drummond, son of one of Bristol's richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There's just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents' deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she's stuck in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.

My Review

Blackhearts is an original, sweet retelling that didn’t really seem like a retelling at all.  We all know Blackbeard, the fearsome pirate that really ruined a lot of sailors’ days out on the sea.  But Blackhearts doesn’t really go on … Continue reading

4 stars
8 Comments