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$5.99 $3.65
101. Parallel Journeys
$13.57 $8.99 list($19.95)
102. Inside the Titanic : A Giant Cut-away
$5.50 $1.99
103. The Door in the Wall (Yearling
$24.84 list($34.95)
104. Felicity: An American Girl (The
$11.55 $10.24 list($16.99)
105. Pink and Say
$5.39 $3.80 list($5.99)
106. If You Lived at the Time of the
$11.86 $5.10 list($16.95)
107. A Great and Terrible Beauty
$8.21 $2.19 list($10.95)
108. Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the
$14.95 $13.99 list($21.99)
109. Laura's Album: A Remembrance Scrapbook
$11.56 $6.00 list($17.00)
110. Harvesting Hope: The Story of
$5.95 $2.49
111. The Sherwood Ring
$10.87 $10.49 list($15.99)
112. Aztec, Inca & Maya (Eyewitness
$13.45 $9.91 list($14.95)
113. World War II for Kids: A History
$5.39 $1.99 list($5.99)
114. Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust
$9.95 $6.26
115. You Wouldn't Want to Be a Roman
$16.47 $16.42 list($24.95)
116. The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia
$6.29 $4.75 list($6.99)
117. Girl in a Cage
$23.07 list($34.95)
118. Kirsten: An American Girl : 1854
$6.29 $4.54 list($6.99)
119. Letting Swift River Go
$16.47 $16.00 list($24.96)
120. Roald Dahl Gift Set

101. Parallel Journeys
by Eleanor H. Ayer
list price: $5.99
our price: $5.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0689832362
Catlog: Book (2000-03-01)
Publisher: Aladdin
Sales Rank: 281619
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

She was a young German Jew.

He was an ardent member of the Hitler Youth.

This is the story of their parallel journey through World War II.


Helen Waterford and Alfons Heck were born just a few miles from each other in the German Rhineland. But their lives took radically different courses: Helen's to the Auschwitz extermination camp; Alfons to a high rank in the Hitler Youth.

While Helen was hiding in Amsterdam, Alfons was a fanatic believer in Hitler's "master race." While she was crammed in a cattle car bound for the death camp Auschwitz, he was a teenage commander of frontline troops, ready to fight and die for the glory of Hitler and the Fatherland. This book tells both of their stories, side-by-side, in an overwhelming account of the nightmare that was WWII. The riveting stories of these two remarkable people must stand as a powerful lesson to us all. ... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for youth to read
This book is geared for youth, and I think it's okay for kids from age 10 on up. Older teenagers and adults should be sure to check out Heck's other two books, "Child of Hitler: Germany in the Days When God Wore a Swastika," and "The Burden of Hitler's Legacy." All three books contain good stuff that is left out of the other two books - for example, Parallel Journeys contains the Jewish perspective of Ms. Waterford, and is written for youthful readers; Child of Hitler focuses on the events prior to and during the war; and The Burden of Hitler's Legacy provides a lot more detail about the events leading up to the end of the war, and the events after the war. I strongly recommend all three books, and promise you that you will not come away with the feeling that you have read the same story three times.

4-0 out of 5 stars Parallel Journeys
This book is about two people living in two very different worlds. One is a Jew who gets sent to a concentration camp and the other is a member of the Hitler Youth. One strong point was how the author put the book together, on a timeline of events. You get to see both sides of the story. It got me hooked because I was waiting to see what happened to them. I thought this was a very good book to read, especially if you want to teach kids about the Holocaust.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unbelivable!
This is probably the best Holocasut book I have ever read, which is a real honor considering how many I have read. I cannot belive the truth of this book and how you are afraid to end it because you will loose a friend. I was impressed how each story told was backed up by facts and took you through the entire ordeal from childhood to present. In the book it tells the story of a woman who is a Holocaust survivor and a man who is in the Hitler Youth and becomes a pilot for the Nazis. It is the real-deal when it comes to Holocaust literature and I reccomend it it you are new to this area, and I reccomend it if you have been at it for years!

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best Holocaust books I've ever read!
I thought that Parallel Journeys was an amazing and informational books, and I thought that it was the best Holocaust book that I have ever read. (And that it is a lot of books) And why, people ask, do I like Parallel Journeys so much? It is because it gives both sides of the Holocaust: one of a Nazi and the other of a German Jew. It was amazing, and I learned quite a bit for it. And the way it was written: with one chapter of the Nazi's story and the next of the Jew and so on, was amazing. Both stories facinated me, and I will never forget the huge amount of information that I learned from it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Parallel Journeys
This book was very enlightening because it shows the view of a woman (Jew) Helen Waterford and a man (Hitler Youth) Alfons Heck. ... Read more


102. Inside the Titanic : A Giant Cut-away Book (Giant Cutaway Book)
by Ken Marschall
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316557161
Catlog: Book (1997-07-01)
Publisher: Little, Brown
Sales Rank: 5907
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Not Just For Children
Although this book was meant for kids - everyone will certainly enjoy it! I bought it for my nephews this past Christmas. (11 and 9 years old) James Cameron's film had just come out. The boys hadn't seen it, but they were interested in the disaster. When I saw this book I knew they'd love it! I honestly thought about keeping it for myself! Beautiful illustrsations and a captivating story. You really get the feel of how immense this ship was to two very young boys. It may not be exactly accurate - but it was designed as a children's book and not as a practical schematic for engineers. If you have kids who are interested in the Titanic disaster ( or if you're a history buff) I highly recommend this one!

5-0 out of 5 stars A great picture book full of detailed pictures of Titanic.
A really great book full of really detailed pictures. The story of a first class kid and a third class kid both abord the Titanic. Shows the time of things that happened. A really great book for kids of all ages.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb
This book is a superb piece of art. For whom have little or no idea about Titanic architecture, it's a must have. The big drawing in the center of the book is truely amazing. It's also an ideal companion to have when reading testimonies by survivors, for it adds much to the feeling of being there.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inside The Titanic
Inside the Titanic Book Review

Frank's room is a tiny third-class cabin. Billy and his family are traveling in a luxurious suite. But both boys are thrilled to be on the first voyage of the greatest liner ever built. They can't wait to explore every deck of this fabulous new ship. Read this book and you can follow "two young passengers as they explore the Titanic from top to bottom". This book is by Ken Marshall. I liked it because it showed and told how it sank. So I hope you like Inside the Titanic...

5-0 out of 5 stars Ken Marshall's work
As always, Ken Marshall's depictions of the liner are as true to life as he can make them, making this book an invaluable reference in my model bulding and serves as an excellent link to remind people that behind that steel skin was a huge floating place of temporary residence, containing all the opulence of the finest european hotels inside a giant steel structure. Definitely worth having in an ocean liner book collection, especially if you like Titanic and her sisters. ... Read more


103. The Door in the Wall (Yearling Newbery)
by MARGUERITE DE ANGELI
list price: $5.50
our price: $5.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440402832
Catlog: Book (1990-08-01)
Publisher: Yearling
Sales Rank: 65965
Average Customer Review: 3.52 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Set in the fourteenth century, the classic story of one boy's personal heroism when he loses the use of his legs. ... Read more

Reviews (44)

4-0 out of 5 stars A DOOR TO SELF-DISCOVERY
It is unusual to find an example of YA literature which is set in the Middle Ages and yet is not Time Travel. De Angeli's illustrations add much to the authentic flavor and general understanding of the times. This story relates the ageless conflict between the Welsh and the English.

Ten-year-old Robin, the son of knight, contracts polio (not so named) during London's Plague years. Abandoned in error and haste, he is rescued by a kindly monk who takes him to his monastery to recover--both his health and his social skills. He learns woodcarving and patience, which are compensations for his new crutches and appellation: Sir Crookshanks.

Ultimately Robin helps save the town and castle where he is sent to serve as a page, earning both the King's gratitude and his parents' amazed pride. The author casually inserts much historical detail and interesting information, so that elementary readers learn about the Middle Ages without quite realizing it. An entertaining tale, with a good moral: "Thou hast only to follow the wall far enough and there will be a door in it."

4-0 out of 5 stars Better as time went on
I remember reading this book ages ago, and I hated. I thought it dated and dull, with its archaic language and details about medieval life. Now, after years of studying mythology, including the Prose Edda, I can better appreciate it. It's not a GREAT book, but it is a good one.

Robin is the son of a knight, destined to become a knight one day himself - until he falls ill and loses the use of his legs. The plague is ravaging medieval England, and it claims several of the servants who were caring for him. Robin is rescued by a kindly monk, Brother Luke, who takes the crippled boy to a local monastary and patiently cares for him there. Under Luke's guidance, Robin learns how to swim, read, whittle, and how to become a humbler person rather than the rather snobby noble boy that he once was.

But all is not well in England. Robin must "open a door in the wall" -- the walls that hemmed him in when he lost the use of his legs -- and discover that you don't necessarily have to be a knight to serve your king and country.

This is not a 9-12 book. Oh, not because of any objectionable content or attitudes, but simply because the, majority of 9-12 children will be bored witless by it. It's better suited to young adults who can handle the gradual pacing, softened archaic language (a fair number of twills, thous, amisses, and arts) and virtually actionless plot. As a result, "Door in the Wall" resembles a a slice of real life from the POV of a crippled boy rather than a fictional story. Such gruesome details as the plague and the violence of war are smudged out, by the way.

It seems a lot longer than its 120 pages. Ignore the silly cover art, the characters aren't like that at all; the interior illustrations are soft and realistic. de Angeli's writing lacks detail much of the time, but her dialogue is well-scripted. Robin's responses to the loss of his legs, his plans, and fear of his father's disappointment are perfectly done. He isn't a perfect lead character; he gets irrational, angry, snobby - but overcomes all of them. Brother Luke seems a little too perfect at times, but is also a good character. So, for that matter, is minstrel John-go-in-the-Wynd. (Yes, this book has those delightful Middle-Ages names based on the job, physical characteristics or past experience)

As for complaints about this book: Note that virtually all of them say that it was a schoolwork book; once again, we have disgruntled students seeking "revenge" on a non-fluff book that they had to read. This is not a book that should be assigned, but a book that should be selected individually. Don't read it just because it's a Newbery, read it if you can handle it!

In short, I recommend this book -- but not to everyone...it if you love to read, and if you enjoy a story where characters are emphasized over action.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not What I Had Hoped
While I am a lover of reading and especially Newbery literature, I was disappointingly bored. I appreciated the basic storyline, how a crippled boy becomes stronger with the help of a community of monks who teach him patience and work ethic. I also love the theme that there is always a door in the wall if you look hard enough, and that anyone can be a hero. However, the story moved too slowly and the language made me sleepy, despite my appreciation for medieval literature. This is definitely not a book I can see many children enjoying, certainly not my own class of 6th grade students.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not that Great of a Book
The Door in the Wall wasn't that great of a book. The way the the characters talk is very confusing to the reader and can become annoying after a while. The story plot is hard to follow, even if you're a teenager. Overall, I think this book is so over-rated.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Door In The Wall: More Than Just A Door
(...)The book was a basic book with a medieval background, it told of the many things going on, like the war between Ireland and England, and how there was the black plague forming everywhere, killing anybody unlucky enough to catch it. The story basically consists of the little boy, Robin, who has fallen ill due to some sort of disease, he believed it was the plague at first, but then realizes, that it was a different sickness, because it had made his legs useless, thus, the word "crook shanks", and as common knowledge tells us, he was useless to do anything, but he had a job, a job to become a knight, at his godfathers castle, for his father was a knight and as we all know, a knight's son must also become a knight. Robin was lucky enough to be taken in by a kind church, St. Mark's. There he meets a monk named Brother Luke, they become great friends, and Robin sends word to his father, and he goes on his great journey to Sir Peter De Lindsey's castle. They encounter many great problems in their journey, but he makes it safely to his castle, Robin tells Peter that he is useless and cannot do anything, and so Robin learns to do something, something that he had wanted to accomplish...

I think this book is one of the greater books I have read, it shows courage and honor, and how Robin was able to do anything despite his disabilities, and how he was able to do anything he wanted, as long as he put his mind to it. I this that this author was an excellent writer, because this book contain such great sentences, such as, "The calm sound of the peaceful lake was silent". Nevertheless, this book was based of a great plot and had a great background.

Despite how much I loved this book, there was also a catch, I didn't like this book because of how there was so much tragic death because of the black plague and how many people suffered "The Black Plague was everywhere." It makes the medieval times seem like a very horrible place in time where nothing was supposed to go right. Despite the minor issue, I still believe this is a book worth reading.

My favorite part in this book is how cunning Robin was in the situation of being robbed, he was sure not to make a sound, and made sure that he was able to warn Luke without making a sound, I would've enjoyed looking at the face of the thieves. Overall, this book was excellent, the medieval plot, and the great writings of the author. I think this book is a worthwhile book, and is worth reading, and you enjoy reading it over and over again. ... Read more


104. Felicity: An American Girl (The American Girls Collection)
by Valerie Tripp
list price: $34.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1562470442
Catlog: Book (1992-06-01)
Publisher: Pleasant Company Publications
Sales Rank: 7928
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

2-0 out of 5 stars Felicity is BORING!!!!!!!!!!
Felicity is a tomboy trying to be ladylike in the seventeen hundreds. Where's the uniqeness in THAT? I reccomend all the other American Girls compared to Felicity. One thing that most f the raders don't realise is that Felicity is a fictional character. In Happy Birthday Felicity(!), Brits are trying to steal all the gunpowdre in the Williamsburg magazine and Felicity has to warn all of Wiliamsburg when thwe gunpowder gets stolen. HULL-OOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Wouldn't that go down in history? right next to the Boston tea party? I've looked in all the social studys books I've been issiued (since the second grade. I am currently in sixth grade.)and have NOT found anything about that night. Honestly, Valarie Tripp needs to think about that sort of thing before putting it on paper. I reccomend all the other American girls. Or better yet, two other historical seiries! The Girlhood Journeys series and the Dear America series. They are 10xbetter!You can read my other reveiws for the books in that series (all by A Reader in Florida). And that is what I think about Filicity!

4-0 out of 5 stars I thought it was sweet
The Felicity books portray very nicely the life of a colonial girl. The stories are unique, sweet, and fun with a twist of adventure in them. I liked all the Felicity books, except the first one, Meet Felicity. It was good, but it wasn't very believable. There's a man who's beating a horse Felicity loves, and she sneaks out every morning for 5 weeks while it's still dark to visit the horse-- and her parents don't even notice she's acting weird. But, if you want to read the series, the books explain things really well. You can start with the 2nd book (Felicity learns a lesson) and pick right up on the story.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sweet and Simple
This collection of books about Felicity, a girl in colonial America, is a wonderful chronology of the life and times of people in America's earliest history. The stories are simple, but sweet and often touching.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
This book was awesome! It was very intriguing. I couldn't put it down! I read all six Felicity books twice. This is one of the best books I've ever read!

3-0 out of 5 stars These books rule!!!
I have two series out of the American Girls and I absolutely love them. I have Samantha and Josefina. My favorite is Josefina. The reason I gave this book 3 stars is because Meet Felicity isn't very good, and that's what I'm reviewing.
My sister likes Kirsten. All in all, AG is very good. ... Read more


105. Pink and Say
by Patricia Polacco
list price: $16.99
our price: $11.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0399226710
Catlog: Book (1994-09-01)
Publisher: Philomel Books
Sales Rank: 40222
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars I love this fine book so much I read it to my grandparents .
I liked the idea of this book. The main idea of the book was to tell the story of two young boys , one white and one black who were complete strangers and how they became great friends during the American Civil War. The white boy's name was Sheldon Russell Curtis or Say and the black boy's name was Pinkus Aylee or Pink. Say was wounded and left for dead on a field, Pink had been separated from his company and found Say. Pink dragged Say to his mother's houser or Moe Moe Bay's house were she took care of them. She became attached to Say and cried when the boys packed to go back to the war. Right before they left marauders came and shot Moe Moe Bay, you'll have to read the book to hear the sad end.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pinkus Aylee, I've said his name and will always remember
This is the first Polacco book that I ever read; I was instantly mesmerized. PINK and SAY is one of the six Patricia Polacco books I gave to my daughter for her birthday. She is a new second grade teacher and I wanted her to have books that have worked for me, a seasoned educator. This is another touching story written in memory of Pinkus Aylee, a former slave. During the Civil War, this young boy saved the life of Sheldon Russell Curtis (Say) who was Polacco's great, great grandfather. Although this book had a tragic ending, the story is a poignant tribute to an interracial friendship that has been kept alive through the generations of Polacco's family. I have used this book as a great multi-cultural lesson.
Polacco's family pays tribute to Pinkus Aylee by repeating his name. Through this lovely book, generations will now be able to hold his memory in their hearts.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful for young and old alike!
The first time I read this book, I cried. What a wonderfully heartwrenching and personal account of a topic (the Civil War) that most elementary- and middle-grades students only read about in dry textbooks. While younger students may not fully understand or appreciate the story and/or its underlying themes of racism and war, the basic idea of friendship will resonate with all readers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fabulous
Polacco, P. (1994). Pink and Say. New York: Philomel Books.
Synopsis: This is a heart-wrenching story that brings the horror of war to life. Patricia Polacco's father told her the story when she was a young girl. Pink and Say are young men fighting in the Civil War in Georgia. Pink an African-American Union soldier happens upon Say a Caucasian soldier who has been wounded. Rather than leave Say, Pink carries him back to his home where he and his mother, Moe Moe Bay, nurse Say back to health. Marauders eventually kill Pink's mother. After this, the boys are captured by the Confederate Army. Pink meets a horrible fate while Say lives on to tell their story.

Evaluation: What makes this story so appealing is that it is based on a true story. The author does an amazing job of showing how friendship can cross color lines. She deals with such character traits as compassion and selflessness. This book would move the most emotionless person to tears. Even though this is a picture book, it is most appropriate for students 5th grade and older. The subject matter may be a bit much for younger children. This would be a wonderful book to use in a Social Studies unit on the Civil War. This book is appropriate for both boys and girls because of its universal theme of friendship. This is truly a remarkable tale for someone of any age.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pink and Say, a great Book
This is a very good book. ... Read more


106. If You Lived at the Time of the American Revolution (If You)
by Kay Moore, Daniel O'Leary
list price: $5.99
our price: $5.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0590674447
Catlog: Book (1998-06-01)
Publisher: Scholastic
Sales Rank: 12576
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Using a lively question-and answer-format, the author explains the American Revolution not only as a war for freedom which the American colonies fought against the British, but also as a "civil" war between the Patriots and those colonists who remained loyal to King George III. Special attention is paid to the role of children in the war and to the issues affecting them: What was life like before the Revolution? How did your life change after the Declaration of Independence? Would you have seen a battle?...Gone to school? Colorful accounts of famous figures, and words and expressions (such as "cowboy" and "John Hancock") that were coined during the Revolution enliven the text and enable readers to feel some connection with the people of the period. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars History from different perspectives!
I thought that this book was a great example of how all of our history books should be written: from multiple perspectives! All we ever hear about our history is the positive patriotic version that is sugar coated and mostly false. For once, someone has written a story for children that shares both sides of the story: Loyalist and Patriot. This book beautifully compares and contrasts the viewpoints of both sides, the impact the war had on both sides, and some of the important figures, both Loyalist and Patriot. Excellent book to get your children thinking critically about the American Revolution!

1-0 out of 5 stars Anti-American, politically correct garbage
When I read this book I was so disappointed at the author's attempt to paint Patriots as the bad guys! She has written a "politically correct" story of the Revolutionary War. Is there anyone out there who actually believes the British should have won, or retained control of the colonies? When I pointed out to my son's teacher the not-so-subtle message in the book, she removed it from the classroom. My advice: READ THESE BOOKS BEFORE YOU BUY THEM.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great teaching tool
I was able to use this book as a guide in my second grade classroom. It takes you step by step though the Revolutionary War. I used the illustrations in the book as well. My students really learned alot.

5-0 out of 5 stars She's done it again!
Another great book. Provides useful general information. This is a great children's book - but also a good adult book!

Micah

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Book
A good book. Now I can answer a couple of questions that my e-mail friends have been asking me, about phrases. Thanks for the help, Kay. By the way, do you think oyu could write something aobut Francis "Swamp Fox" Marion? . . . ... Read more


107. A Great and Terrible Beauty
by LIBBA BRAY
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385730284
Catlog: Book (2003-12-09)
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Sales Rank: 3797
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy--jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.

Gemma, 16, has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother’s death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls’ academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions "for a bit of fun" and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left wi! th the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the "others" and rebuild the Order. A Great and Terrible Beauty is an impressive first book in what should prove to be a fascinating trilogy. (Ages 12 up) –Patty Campbell ... Read more

Reviews (62)

3-0 out of 5 stars Its not great, but its not terrible.
This book I had my eye on for quite some time and when i finally bought it it wasnt what i suspected.
Gemma Doyle is sent to a private school for proper girls after her mother dies. While she is there Gemma finds out that she can go into a realm and find dead people and communicate with them. When she brings friends along with her, Kartrik, a boy who is apart of a group trying to stop her stays close to her. She soon finds herself in trouble and has to get out.
As you can see it was hard to explain it. This book did have its great spots that i really got in to but it was slow. I read this book in about a week and a couple of days (thats long for me) and i finished it mainly to see what would happen to a character and also to see if it got better. Also I felt that the author threw in things everyonce in a while to give it a new spin and it didnt go well with this story.
I really wished I didnt buy this book but oh well, maybe I'll forget about it and maybe read it again later.

5-0 out of 5 stars A new classic
While labeled a Young Adult novel, A Great and Terrible Beauty will resonate with women of all ages. Gemma is everywoman -- with all the dreams and conflicts, flaws and exceptional gifts, righteousness and selfishness that weave the fabric of a living, breathing person. Finally, a period novel that doesn't condescend to the reader, or make dutiful "womanly" choices seem somehow noble or predestined. It also doesn't make the mistake of modernizing the characters in a way that would have been socially impossible during the time. When Gemma and her friends try to be more than future wives of rich men, we feel their struggle. And even as 21st Century women, we can relate.

This is a book about magic -- to be literal, it is about a magical Order and the powers unlocked by a young, headstrong girl. But it is also about the magic we find (or choose to unleash) in our ordinary, mundane lives. Gemma and her friends represent the choices -- bad, good, well-intentioned and even those with malice -- that we all make.

Beyond the themes of this book is the sheer poetry of it. Some passages beg to be read aloud. Bray has a lovely, subtle way with words. She doesn't clutter the story with vocabulary acrobatics -- but she'll knock you over with a spectacular turn of phrase. I was also impressed with the dialogue. It feels authentic without being stilted.

I have given this book to all of my friends, and their daughters and nieces! But my husband loved Gemma's story, too. His comment: "It's like Harry Potter only better written and far more quirky and interesting."

Gemma is a REAL heroine, not a bodice-ripped caricature. I can't wait to read the next in Gemma's series. More, Ms. Bray, MORE!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect
A Great and Terible Beauty skillfully combines a traditional Victorian setting with modern-style teenage drama. This is Mean Girls as gothic melodrama, and both the rich, repressive finishing school setting and the antics of troubled, bitchy teenage girls are familiar, but uniquely enjoyable combined like this. Teenage struggles against adult hypocricy are the same in all time periods, and the power of [repressed] female sexuality is a theme that arises perfectly from the Victorian-- and adolescent time period.

In these ways it is a perfect book, and the fantasy elements -- menacing secret societies, utopian alternate worlds -- should be the icing on a delicious cake, but this is where the author stumbles. As with so many supernatural plots, the mystery is tantalizing at first, but as more is revealed, it only gets confusing and messy. There will be a sequel, which might tie the mystical strands tighter into the overall structure of the story, but the ending of this novel left me unsatisfied, and not in a good way.

Still, it's a great read for anyone who enjoys period fiction or remembers what it's like to be 16.

3-0 out of 5 stars still not exactly sure how I feel about it....
This book is about Gemma, a sixteen-year-old girl who lives in India with her mother and father. After her mother is murdered (something that Gemma witnesses in a strange and frightening vision), Gemma is sent to a finishing school in London. The story takes place in 1895. Gemma gradually gets to know the other girls at the school. Most of them are in some way emotionally damaged, and they deal with the hopelessness of their situations by taking everything out on those who happen to be weaker than themselves. What ends up tying Gemma to several of the girls is a diary she discovers, the diary of two girls who attended the school years ago and practiced magic. In a way, this book has the elements of a mystery, as Gemma discovers the link between her mother's murder, the two girls, and her own visions.

I'm still not sure if I like this book. For a great deal of the book, I had the feeling that I didn't really know any of the characters, not even Gemma, even though the book was from her point of view. Maybe this was intentional, but it was disconcerting. If you're looking for a book with nice, pleasant characters, you should look elsewhere, because there aren't really any here. They all do mean things, even Gemma, and the reasons they have for doing these things doesn't seem to detract much from the fact that they did them. Really, though, you'd think that, after reading all 403 pages of this book, that I'd feel like I knew more about the characters and events, but this book feels like it leaves more questions behind than it answers. I've heard that there will be more books about Gemma, which is good, since there needs to be more if the story is to be understood. The book leaves Gemma's powers, and her relationships with the people she calls her friends, in limbo.

5-0 out of 5 stars Girl Power
Finishing this novel is like having been reminded of the question like Who am I?, Have I found myself yet?

The story itself is about a sixteen-year old girl Gemma Doyle, who had her biggest biggest surprise for her birthday that turned her world upside down.
Being sucked into the magic realms, being left with a horrible vision of the death her mother and hunted down by terrifying shadows are only part of the surprise. Plus the adjustment she has to make among new people and custom in a girl dorm school, where she found her circle of friends.

Set in the end of nineteenth century, Gemma was a girl with some very revolutionaire independence thoughts and some of them clicked something in me and reminded me of the power of female gender (so awesome). There are also a companion character, Miss Moore, her teacher, who gave more sights on choices in life and the balance between light and dark in lessons she had, accompanied with a famous poem by Lord Tennyson, The Lady of Shalott.

And there was also a romantic part in it (which I'm very grateful of) between Gemma and an Indian boy, who followed and watched her whereever she goes. I think this can be developed into an intense relationship.

I do hope there will be sequel to this because the journey of Gemma and her friends has just begun and there is no turning back, as once you make a choice, whether it would turn out to be a good or a bad one, you just have to accept the consequences and live with it. ... Read more


108. Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile, Egypt, 57 B.C. (The Royal Diaries)
by Kristiana Gregory
list price: $10.95
our price: $8.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0590819755
Catlog: Book (1999-09-01)
Publisher: Scholastic
Sales Rank: 11993
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The year is 57 B.C., and 12-year-old Cleopatra, Princess of the Nile, has a lot on her mind. Her father, the Pharaoh of Egypt, nearly died when a venomous adder meant for him attacked and killed his favorite servant. Now the Pharaoh has gone into hiding, hunted by his enemies, and the young princess has to keep her head--literally--as her power-hungry older sister Tryphaena threatens to grab her father's throne.

"I took the cup and raised it toward Tryphaena as if toasting her, but really I was watching the liquid, looking for oil floating on its surface, or powder sticking to the sides of the cup. If I suspected poison and tossed it into the pool, she would have her guards behead me on the spot. If it was indeed poison, one sip and I could die..."

In an elegantly written royal diary, Cleopatra VII has recorded every rich detail from this tumultuous time: her hairsbreadth escape by boat to Rome, where she and her father must plead for help; her struggle to absorb the overwhelming sights (and smells) of this new city and its "barbarian" ways; and her poise and quick thinking as she deals with the likes of General Pompey, Marc Antony, and the famous orator Cicero ("words fly from him like darts!").

Kristiana Gregory, a contributor to the excellent Dear America series, has done an admirable job ghostwriting for the princess, painting an engaging portrait of a resourceful, intelligent, compassionate young woman forged by the forces of her time. The book concludes with a helpful section of maps, portraits, a Pharaonic family tree, and 20 pages of illustrations. (Ages 8 to 12) --Paul Hughes ... Read more

Reviews (136)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Crueltys of Ancient times
I bought this book from a bookstore because my friend also had it and I wanted a copy. So I picked one up and began reading the book. I was surprised at the cruelty of this folk. Cleopatra's father killed his own sister . Cleopatra's older sister threatened to kill her own sister and father if they set foot in Egypt! boy am I glad that I don't live in ancient times. What makes this book good to read though is the fact that everything isn't goody good. Cleopatra wasn't that much of a saint in her time and in the book if you think about it she wasn't too sympathetic for Berenice. I also liked reading about the cruel ancient romans. The gladiators and the hungry tigers which proved that Romans were smart but one of the evilest people in history. This book is mostly true historically and a girl's emotional feelings about all of it is something worth reading!

4-0 out of 5 stars Daughter of the Nile.
The book Cleopatra VII Daughter of the Nile is about a girl, Cleopatra who is always writing in her diary about the events that took place that day. Cleopatra was a 12-year-old girl who lived in a huge palace with many rooms. Soon she has to take over the thrown because her father has to go into hiding from threats, but Cleopatra was not the first heir for the thrown, her sister Tryphanea was and when Cleopatra got to take the thrown her sister was furious and Cleopatra?s friend Olympus told her that her sister was going to poison her. So Cleopatra leaves Egypt and goes to Rome. On the way to Rome she becomes very close to a servant of hers Neva. When she gets to Rome they hold a dinner in her honor. Cleopatra also had no problem with fitting in with the people around her such as Julius Cesar whom she married while she was in Rome, and then when he died she then married a man named Marc Antony.

I thought that is book was a good book. If you like to read about the history then this is the kind of book that you want to read. If you liked all the other royal diaries then you should like this book. I gave this book 4 star because I have read better books but this was a good book.

5-0 out of 5 stars VERY ENTERTAING
I REALLY LIKE THIS STORY BECAUSE IT WAS SO EXITING AND I LIKED THE ROMANTIC PARTS TO ABOUT THE SLAVE NEVA AND THE GARDIUN, POZO. I WOULD RECOMEND THIS BOOK TO ANYONE FROM 8- 13 YEARS OLD.

5-0 out of 5 stars I wish I could have more stars to fill in..........
Three cheers to one of the best books I ever read! This book brought be into the streets of Rome, Italy, and Egypt, as if I were an invisible character that was pulled into the pages of the book when I started to read.

The book was so good, when it came for book reports, even though it was slightly fictional, my teacher thought that the book was so good herself, that she let me use it for a biography!

5-0 out of 5 stars The doughter of the Nile
This book was very instrestine. It was intrestine because I was a book base in real facts. This book said many tings about Cleopatra VII.One of the things I like about her was that she didn't care about her rish life, but she wanted to be the queen because her sister was very bad.Also state about her sisters and brothers.The only thing I did't like was when she marry her brother,but I was very intrestine and funny.It was intrestine and funny because you cannot marry your brother and sisters today. In my opinion it was a good book of Cleopatra's life. ... Read more


109. Laura's Album: A Remembrance Scrapbook of Laura Ingalls Wilder
by William Anderson
list price: $21.99
our price: $14.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060278420
Catlog: Book (1998-10-01)
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Sales Rank: 7222
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Though best known as the author of the Little House books, Laura Ingalls Wilder led a full, rich life that spanned almost a century of American history. All through her life Laura saved mementos of her past, including early writings, letters, drawings, and photographs, which have been lovingly preserved in private and public collections across the country.

Now, for the first time ever, these photographs, writings, and memorabilia have been gathered together in one incredible volume by noted Little House historian William Anderson. Each gorgeous page of LAURA'S ALBUM is a doorway into the private world of Laura Ingalls Wilder, and offers a unique glimpse of what her life was like. Here is the fascinating true story of this remarkable pioneer woman's life as well as an unforgettable tale of our own American past.

... Read more

Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Has Photos of the Real Laura Ingalls Wilder and Her Family!
I have been a fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder for along time, I first became a fan through the TV show which first came on TV when I was about 8 or 9 years old and then I received a boxset for Christmas of The Little House on The Prairie book by the real Laura Ingalls Wilder and I found them facinating and a few years ago I came across this book and it was very nice to the momentos, etc, and to see what the real Laura looked like and also what the real, Caroline (Ma), Charles (Pa), Mary and Carrie, etc looked like and this book was interesting and I recommend it to fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her books!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent photographs
I realize of course there was text, written superbly by William Anderson. The treat here, though, is the color photographs of artifacts from the museums. For anyone disappointed in the poorly reproduced b&w photos from West from Home and On the Way Home, you are in for a treat.

But as a Laura-junkie, I'd shave a 1/2 a star off as I wanted more, more, more!

4-0 out of 5 stars Attractive layout full of interesting photos, info
LAURA'S ALBUM includes photos of people, places, important items (such as Pa's fiddle), and many other interesting items (postcards, hand-written treasures, newspaper clipping, even a sample of Laura's needlework).

In addition to showing many of Laura's memories in photo-form, this book also give a basic history of her life by decade. It's a great supplement to her LITTLE HOUSE books, and is comprehensive enough to give a lot of extra information to those who are interested in Laura's "real life."

4-0 out of 5 stars Endearing mementoes from the life of a national treasure
This scrapbook of photos and souvenirs from the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder is enthralling. How did these precious items survive trips in all kinds of weather in a covered wagon, moves that covered several states and entailed unimaginable hardships? I did not come to the Wilder books until I reached 70, yet I'm fascinated. To me, the heroine of these odysseys was Ma. Her accomplishments were in no way secondary to those of her adventurous and resourceful husband. Ma gave birth alone, braved blizzards and fires and plagues with the children while her husband was away. This book of remembrances makes it all real and true and is as educational as the Little House books themselves. A winner. ... Read more


110. Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez
by Kathleen Krull
list price: $17.00
our price: $11.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0152014373
Catlog: Book (2003-03-01)
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Sales Rank: 14518
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Cesar Chavez is known as one of America's greatest civil rights leaders. When he led a 340-mile peaceful protest march through California, he ignited a cause and improved the lives of thousands of migrant farmworkers. But Cesar wasn't always a leader. As a boy, he was shy and teased at school. His family slaved in the fields for barely enough money to survive.

Cesar knew things had to change, and he thought that--maybe--he could help change them. So he took charge. He spoke up. And an entire country listened.

An author's note provides historical context for the story of Cesar Chavez's life.

... Read more

Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars A children¿s book about collective bargaining? ¡Si se puede!
In light of the "zero tolerance" policies maintained by most schools, conventional wisdom says parents should discourage their children from fighting or causing trouble.
Kathleen Krull's latest biography flies in the face of such convention, daring children to resist the status quo, to take a stand and to, yes, fight.
This past Saturday San Antonio honored the legacy of Cesar E. Chavez with a march to the Alamo - the mission, not the premiere. But how much do we really know about the noble migrant laborer who passed away peacefully in his sleep 11 years ago? How much do our children know about this Chicano organizer - only the second Mexican American to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom?
With broad brushstrokes and soft, warm tones, Krull and illustrator Yuyi Morales paint a picture of a quiet, peaceful man who was compelled by injustice, greed and racism to overcome his own fears and insecurities.
The story begins on a summer night upon the lush, utopian, magical fields of his grandfather; family that relaxes after a long, but satisfying day working the land surrounds Cesar.
Watching young Cesar run away from school on the first day of class back to the loving embrace of his gentle mother, the reader relates, beginning to see the human being behind the legend.
To drought and depression paradise is soon lost and the Chavez family must strike out towards California to seek out new opportunities, a new Promised Land.
But Cesar finds instead an oppressive blanket of harsh reality, patched together by insecticides, calluses, short-handled hoes and pennies a day for backbreaking work. After many brutal hours under the unrelenting sun his family returns to a shack with no doors in an overcrowded shantytown. And school provided no refuge, either, as teachers torment Cesar for his poor English.
Through these difficult pages he appears downtrodden, quiet, sad, fearful. As injustice is heaped upon his shoulders Cesar quietly bears his load.
But he remembers his early childhood, knows "Farmwork did not have to be this miserable" and gradually Cesar realizes things will never change by themselves - he must force change.
The book then details the nonviolent means Cesar used to battle oppression and stand up for the rights of migrant workers, returning a sense of pride and hope to a people long deprived of these basic human needs. Krull recounts in simple language the first meeting of the National Farm Workers Association, the grape picker strike of 1965 and the subsequent March to Sacramento from the San Joaquin Valley.
Morales' sweeping images use few straight lines, so the rigid black eagle of the NFW and the large banner reading "HUELGA" stand in stark contrast, anchors providing the weight due such monumental matters in a book washed over in light acrylic and pastels.
But the pictures match the man - mild and unassuming, with the strong, black eagle representing the warrior spirit of the Aztec imbedded inside.

Cesar Chavez demonstrated the power of unity and organization. And "Harvesting Hope" begins to show that a person with tenacity and compassion spurs change from the way things are to the way things should be.
Unfortunately, this is a lesson that may go largely untaught in a school system dedicated to keeping our children in line and outbursts to a minimum, making Krull's work that much more necessary and relevant.

5-0 out of 5 stars Top notch, two thumbs up, and other cries of adulation.
In her author's note, Kathleen Krull points out that Cesar Chavez continues to remain a controversial figure in the United States today. The fact of the matter is, he followed perfectly in the footsteps of the men he admired; St. Francis of Assisi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and Gandhi. Helping to lead migrant workers in the first successful agricultural strike the U.S. had ever known, he is best remembered worldwide as a hero. In her book, Krull follows Chavez from a happy early childhood in Arizona to an unpleasant shift to the fields of California. As we watch, Cesar grows from a boy forced to endure the humiliations of the fields (and the poor schooling as well) to a man capable to leading workers in a non-violent protest against the grape growers of Southern California. Especially impressive are the ways in which Krull ties in young Cesar's lessons about life (his mother cautioning him to use one's head to work through conflicts) with their actual implementation years later. Illustrated by Yuyi Morales, the book looks like nothing so much as Jonah Winter's fabulous biography of Frida Kahlo. Beautiful surreal images meld with sweeping panoramas of a life of difficulty. You'll find yourself reading it over and over again just to look at the pretty pictures.

The fact of the matter is, there's not a single misstep in this book. Anyone familiar with the previous Pura Belpre winner, "Esperanza Rising" will see that this book succeeds where "Esperanza" was apt to fail. But, quite frankly, it's unfair to compare the two. Fiction will always pale in comparison to well-written non-fiction. In this book you have an honest story told simply with an elegance all its own.

5-0 out of 5 stars Richie's Picks: HARVESTING HOPE
"César reprimió la amargura que le causaba haber perdido su hogar y empezó a trabajar junto a su familia. Era pequeño y no muy fuerte, pero un trabajador incansable. Casi cualquier cultivo era un tormento. Arrancar betabeles le desgarraba la piel entre el dedo pulgar y el índice. Los viñedos rociados con pesticidas le irritaban los ojos y le hacían difícil la respiracíon. La lechuga era lo peor de todo. Plantar lechuga con un azadón de mango corto le causaba espasmos de dolor por toda la espalda. Trabajar la tierra de otros en vez de la propia, le paracía ser una forma de eslavitud.
"La familia Chávez hablaba constantemente de ahorrar lo suficiente para poder volver a comprar su rancho. Pero al atardecer, la familia entera había ganado no más de treinta centavos por todo un día de trabajo. Conforme pasaban los años, hablaban cada vez menos del rancho."

That's right, a total of thirty cents pay for a long, backbreaking day of labor put in by the whole family!

Oh. You didn't understand that the first time because it was in Spanish? Hey! What's wrong with you?

"The towns weren't much better than the fields. WHITE TRADE ONLY signs were displayed in many stores and restaurants. None of the thirty-five schools Cesar attended over the years seemed like a safe place, either. Once, after Cesar broke the rule about speaking English at all times, a teacher hung a sign on him that read, I AM A CLOWN. I SPEAK SPANISH. He came to hate school because of the conflicts, though he liked to learn. Even he considered his eighth-grade graduation a miracle. After eighth grade he dropped out to work in the fields full-time."

When Cesar was young, his mother cautioned him and his siblings "against fighting, urging them to use their minds and mouths to work out conflicts."

And so, instead of punching out those people responsible for making his family's life so tough, Señora Chavez's son grew up to be a disciple of Gandhi and of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Cesar organized migrant workers one by one, persuaded them to go on strike against grape growers, and led them on a march of over 300 miles to Sacramento, thus obtaining the first contract for farmworkers in American history.

As Kathleen Krull reiterates in her author's note, "Before [Chavez] formed the National Farm Workers Association, [farm] workers had...the longest hours, lowest wages, harshest conditions, shortest life spans, and least power of any group of workers in America."

Krull also explains how Chavez would go on hunger strikes as a publicity tool for achieving economic justice for the migrant workers. (This strategy had worked well for both Gandhi and, earlier, for the Suffragists. Sadly, while also effective for Chavez, it eventually killed him.)

HARVESTING HOPE: THE STORY OF CESAR CHAVEZ (the title of the English language version) is an essential biography for elementary and middle school libraries about one of America's greatest civil rights leaders. It is written in the 32 page picture book format and illustrated with brilliant, Caldecott-quality acrylic paintings by Yuyi Morales who trekked through the fields and vineyards for inspiration.

Before sharing this book--the English edition--with her eighth-grade English students last month, my wife Shari asked her students about Cesar Chavez. Despite being raised in California where Cesar did all of his groundbreaking work, not one in a hundred of these students knew anything significant about Chavez. A couple had heard of him--thanks to there being streets and plazas named in his honor.

The book has unfortunately been mislabeled as being for ages 6-9. In reading it to a class of 8-10 year olds, I found those students did not have the same firm grasp of the vocabulary and concepts (union organizing, contracts, walking 300 miles, owning 80 acres, etc.) that makes it a more ideal fit for middle schoolers. (Yes, this review will serve as my nomination of the book for the California Young Reader Medal in the Picture Books for Older Readers category.)

As with great books about other important and inspirational leaders who have devoted their lives to change for the better, HARVESTING HOPE: THE STORY OF CESAR CHAVEZ provides fertile ground for planting a seed of activism in the hearts of young readers. Hopefully, the book will also provide inspiration for celebrating Cesar Chavez Day (March 31st) in significant fashion, as we do with Martin Luther King Day.

(And if you would like to read, or read aloud, an unforgettable speech about Martin--Lessons of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.-- that was given by Cesar Chavez on Martin Luther King Day, 1990, you can find it on the San Francisco State University site at http://www.sfsu.edu/~cecipp/cesar_chavez/cesarmlk.htm .)

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Illustrations and Thoughtful Treatment
This is a well-written book enhanced immeasurably by Yuyi Morales' vivid, mural-like illustrations (done with acrylics, handmade stamps, and computer-created cutouts). Morales' tableaux display swirling designs, bold colors, and expressive faces to portray the joys and struggles described in Kathleen Krull's narrative. It's not a preachy book, but relies instead on short revealing statements of fact: "Once, after Cesar broke the rule about speaking English at all times, a teacher hung a sign on him that read, I AM A CLOWN. I SPEAK SPANISH."

The book describes the inhumane treatment of the farm workers, focusing on Chavez' own experience: "Anyone who complained was fired, beaten up, or sometimes even murdered." Some may complain that this represents a monolithic view of ALL landowners in California. Still, this is a children's book, not a history of agricultural employment in California. The author correctly points out the terrible conditions that Chavez battled through non-violence, notably the 1965 grape strike which ended with Chavez signing the first farmworker contract in American history. The book ends with a 2-page "author's note" that summarizes what Chavez accomplished. I look forward to more of Morales' work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredibly moving and beautiful
This book tells the story of Cesar Chavez and his fight to improve the lives of itinerant farm workers. The story is wonderful- inspiring and educational and always interesting.

And the illustrations must be seen to be believed. The artist uses a gorgeous palette of colors and mixes the fantastic with the realistic in her moving depiction of the life of a true American hero. Buy this book immediately! ... Read more


111. The Sherwood Ring
by Elizabeth Marie Pope
list price: $5.95
our price: $5.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0618150749
Catlog: Book (2001-10-29)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Sales Rank: 324583
Average Customer Review: 4.39 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Newly orphaned Peggy Grahame is caught off-guard when she first arrives at her family"s ancestral estate. Her eccentric uncle Enos drives away her only new acquaintance, Pat, a handsome British scholar, then leaves Peggy to fend for herself. But she is not alone. The house is full of mysteries—and ghosts. Soon Peggy becomes involved with the spirits of her own Colonial ancestors and witnesses the unfolding of a centuries-old romance against a backdrop of spies and intrigue and of battles plotted and foiled. History has never been so exciting—especially because the ghosts are leading Peggy to a romance of her own! ... Read more

Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars A most unusual ghost story...
When orphaned Peggy Grahame goes to live with her Uncle Enos in the old Grahame ancestral home, the past comes alive. The ghosts of her ancestors come and tell her about their lives in the Revolution, while actual current events mirror those of their pasts.

Barbara Grahame, the most frequent ghostly visitor, is an independent and intelligent young woman living in the American Revolution. Her interaction with the extraordinarily clever British officer, Peaceable Sherwood is very enjoyable to read...particularly as Peaceable is nemesis of Barbara's brother, Dick (a young captain fighting for American independence). At the same time, serving to frame the story, Peggy uncovers mysteries of the past, and is led to her own romance with a young man from England.

A very unusual and thoughtful Revolution story with possibly the best ghosts I've ever read about.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Sherwood Ring is an enduring YA favorite
Published in 1958, this engaging novel about a lonely young woman's encounters with four Revolutionary War-era ghosts is well worth the effort it may take to find a copy. (I read the book as a pre-teen many years ago, then tracked down my own copy through Peter Smith of Boston about four years ago). Some readers may find the assumption that the abruptly orphaned heroine has no future aside from marriage or life with her cranky history-loving uncle a bit dated, but the bulk of the story features such strong, appealing characters that this defect can be overlooked.

Peggy Graham comes to her family's historic upstate New York home, "Rest-and-be-thankful", after the death of her father. From the first, she is privileged by visits from the family ghosts, who regale her with tales of their exploits during the American Revolution. The narration skillfully switches among the points of view so that the reader really feels he or she knows each character intimately. As each ghost reveals his or her part in the romances and intrigues of the past, clues to the heroine's present-day dilemma are revealed, enabling Peggy to resolve the conflicts among the people she loves and make the choices that will shape her own future.

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy it today!!
I began reading The Sherwood Ring about a month after I finished The Perilous Gard (also by Elizabeth Marie Pope) and I was deeply frustrated when forced to put it down. Every time I read it I drifted away from reality and entered the worlds of Peggy Grahame and Peaceable Drummond Sherwood. It was such a wonderful, fast-paced story, with likable characters and a lot of romance. It's one of my favorite books, and if you're a big reader and romantic like me, I'm sure you'll love it too! Happy reading!

5-0 out of 5 stars EMP's Best Book
This is my favorite book.
Out of every other book that I have read, this is the best because it made me want to live in the Revolutionary era, although of course The Sherwood Ring makes that seem quite glamorous.
Peggy's story doesn't seem to matter as much as those of the people she meets, but because they are interesting to be with, and their sotries are woven together so expertly, that it makes upfor any lack of the main character's development anyway. Peggy isn't all that special of a person, and that is why EMP chose to devote so much of the book to the other characters.
I picked up The Sherwood Ring because I've always been interested in the Revolutionary War, and I've read it several times each year since. It's accessable, with medium sized print, and a light plot, but still has managed to capture my imagination like no other book, even EMP's more favored book, The Perilous Gard, which leans more on the side of contemporary fairy-tale fantasy.
People who never finished the book obviously wouldn't be able to tie Peggy's story into that of the ghosts, but trust me, if you wait, you will.
And this book is worth any wait.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Sherwood Ring
This is the book to read, without a doubt. This historial fiction book was so real I actually looked up the characters to see whether they were real or not. This book travels back and forth within two time periods. This is romance set both in the Revolutionary times and the early 1900's. Peggy Grahame is the main character, and she travel's to her uncle's ancestral estate of Rest-an-be-thankful after her father dies. Before she reaches the estate, however, she meets a handsome British scholar, Pat. But when Pat and Peggy reach Rest-and-be-thankful, Peggy's uncle forbids Pat to ever come to the house again, for no particular reason. As Peggy's uncle never seems to have time for her, Peggy explores the house and finds several objects linked with her Revolutionary ancestors. After finding each object, she meets the ghost it was linked to and they tell her about their story of the War. The first ghost to tell his story is Richard Grahame, and he talks of his attempts at capturing the clever British marauder, Peaceable Drummond Sherwood. It was Richard's enemy Peaceable, however, who led him into a romance with the woman he never thought he would forgive. Then after finding a bean pot, Peggy meets her third ghost, Richard's sister, Barbara Grahame. She tells of Aunt Susanna's imprisonment and her escape to see her brother on Christmas day. Before she reaches her brother, she is unknowingly captured by Peaceable Sherwood. Incidentally, Barbara finds him attractive, charming, and clever, and just can't help falling in love with him. When she does turn him in, Barbara misses him more and more each day, and even tries to free him from jail. A short time after, Peggy meets Peaceable Sherwood face to face. He tells of his escape from jail and his last visit to Barbara before he rejoins his army and the end of the Revolutionary War. The one thing I didn't really like about this book was the ending. You never really got to know peggy, and there doesn't seem like a good reason for why Pat fell in love with her, or why she fell in love with Pat. What I wanted to know was what happened to the ghosts. But despite the ending, this book is a must read, and you'll never be able to put it down. ... Read more


112. Aztec, Inca & Maya (Eyewitness Books)
by Elizabeth Baquedano, Michel Zabe
list price: $15.99
our price: $10.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0789461153
Catlog: Book (2000-07)
Publisher: DK Publishing Inc
Sales Rank: 46225
Average Customer Review: 3.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Discover the world of the Aztecs, Incas and Mayas -- their beliefs, rituals and flourishing civilizations.

Here is an original and exciting guide to the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayas -- and the people who went before them. Stunning full-color photographs of weapons and tools, sculpture, metalwork and ceramics offer a unique "eyewitness" view of these rich and complex civilizations. See an Aztec sacrificial knife, a Teotihuacan mask made from turquoise and coral, a life-size statue of an eagle warrior and a Peruvian mummy bundle. Learn what a Mayan market looked like, why jade was so valuable to the people of Mesoamerica, the techniques used by Aztec goldsmiths and why the quetzal bird was so important. Discover why the Aztecs made human sacrifices, how to play the ball game, what sort of clothes Mayan women wore and how the Mayan calendar worked. And much, much more! ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Way to Spark A Child's Interest!
The Eyewitness series of books is primarily aimed at children ages 8-14. They are all full of many clear bright color photographs and illustrations that are each accompanied by a paragraph or so of factual information. The Eyewitness series is a great way to spark a youth's interest in a subject. They have books on just about every topic imaginable from Archaeology to Zoology.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not too good.
This book wasn't that great because it was boring and didn't have that much imformation. It's scientific facts of the people wern't that good.

3-0 out of 5 stars Beautifully illustrated but covers too much ground.
This is another in the delightful series of Eyewitness books for children. It is beautifully illustrated with excellent photographs and a terrific collection of illustrations taken from modern and historical sources. However, this book tries to cover too much in the alloted space. The book shows examples of clothing, tools, architecture, religion and arts from all 3 cultures (Maya, Aztec & Inca). Unfortunately, the book also includes examples from cultures preceding and succeeding these great civilizations such as the Moche, Mixtec, Toltec, Olmec and Nazca. This makes for a somewhat confusing situation, and you wish for a timeline and map to show when and where all these peoples are located. All in all, it's a very eye-catching book. I do suggest for future editions the Eyewitness folks should consider books that concentrate specifically on the Maya, Aztec or Inca, or at least one volume on Mexico and Mesoamerica and one volume on Peru. ... Read more


113. World War II for Kids: A History with 21 Activities
by Richard Panchyk
list price: $14.95
our price: $13.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1556524552
Catlog: Book (2002-09)
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Sales Rank: 6284
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars What it was like for kids to live during World War II
"World War II for Kids: A History with 21 Activities" really has three key components. First, there is a history of World War II from Hitler's rise to power in 1933 to the surrender of the Japanese in 1945. Second, Richard Panchyk provides excerpts from actual wartime letters written to and by troops on both sides along with personal anecdotes from people who lived through the war. Finally, there are 21 activities that can show young readers how it felt to live through World War II, both on the battlefield and on the Home Front.

Actually, the first function is the least impressive part of "World War II for Kids," although Panchyk provides a solid history of the war. It is just that the personal writings and recollections, along with the activities, are where Panchyk goes beyond what you would find in your standard American history textbook, which is why this is an excellent supplemental volume. Teachers can certainly use the activities and quote from the letters found in this volume to give students more of a sense of what it was like to live during that time.

The 21 activities are fairly interesting and cover a variety of subjects. Some are fairly complex, such as substituting a potato for an incendiary bomb and following the instructions on how to extinguish it, or staging a radio adventure program, while others are relatively simply, such as drawing a recruiting poster. There is an exercise in code breaking, learning how to camouflage, making a ration kit, going on a reconnaissance mission, figuring oat a coastal defense, the physics of dropping bombs, and a game that helps demonstrate the difference between mortar and howitzer fire versus anti-tank and anti-aircraft fire. There are also "Home Front" activities like making a bandage, putting together a care package, growing a Victory Garden, sending V-Mail, and extending butter, as well as a couple of activities having to do with the Holocaust by making a Jewish star and trying to find good hiding places in your home for the student and an adult helper.

Obviously some of these activities are going to be more practical and more beneficial than others, but Panchyk has made an attempt to come up with different ways of giving his young readers an idea of what it was like for kids and adults during World War II. Again, while young readers can certainly read this book and try the activities on their own, "World War II for Kids" is even better suited as a resource for teachers to use when teaching the pivotal events of World War II. Comparing what life was like for their grandparents during that war as opposed to the rather limited impact on their lives today during the war on terrorism could be quite an eye opener for young readers.

5-0 out of 5 stars 7 year old loves this book
My 7 year old son is a WWII fanatic and loves this book. It discusses not only events in the war itself, but also the impact of the war on life in the U.S. The activities encourage kids to think about far-reaching effects of war, not just the exciting battles. ... Read more


114. Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story
by Lila Perl, Marion Blumenthal Lazan
list price: $5.99
our price: $5.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380731886
Catlog: Book (1999-11-30)
Publisher: HarperTrophy
Sales Rank: 31670
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

If she could find four perfect pebbles of almost exactly the same size and shape, it meant that her family would remain whole. Mama and papa and she and Albert would survive Bergen-Belsen. The four of them might even survive the Nazis' attempt to destroy every last Jew in Europe ... Read more

Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars WWII as seen through the eyes of a child.
Though this story is told as Marion saw it as a young child, it nevertheless remains a powerful and moving documentary of the most devastating war our planet has ever known.

This book is also a very good WWII primer. It would be required reading for a class entitled "WWII 101".

Marion Blumenthal spent her early childhood in Hoya, Germany with her brother and parents. They were a happy, prosperous Jewish family who owned a successful shoe retail business. But Marion's safe, secure world was shattered by the rise of the Third Reich in Germany. The Nazis, the dominant political party of the Third Reich, implemented their radical racial attacks against Jews, Gypsies, Slavics, Homosexuals, Communists, and whomever else was seen as a threat to Aryan purity. This meant the end of life as Marion knew it. Each passing day was a struggle to stay alive and out of the Nazis' clutches.

Despite their best efforts, the Blumenthal family fell prey to the Nazis. They eventually landed in Westerbork, a camp from which the prisoners where shipped to their deaths in places such as Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. The Blumenthals were transferred to Belsen, and despite their bleak future, Marion clung tenaciously to the hope that better times would come for her and her family. To bolster her and their spirits, she set about collecting four perfectly-shaped pebbles from the grounds of the camp. This was her metaphor for her family which, hopefully, would remain as one till the end of the war.

As the war dwindled to a close and Germany suffered one defeat after another, camp prisoners were shuttled along the remains of the Germain railways as the Nazis tried to desperately conceal the evils they had commited in the abandoned camps. Just when it seemed the war would drag on forever, Marion, her family, and their fellow prisoners were intercepted and liberated by Russian troops.

A beautiful story of inspiration, courage, and keeping a positive attitude even in the most dire of circumstances.

5-0 out of 5 stars Its a great story of a family's courage during the Holocaust
I am in 6th grade and 11 years old. I love holocaust stories better than anything and this is definitely a five star book! I have read this book and it is fabulous. Marion and her family show great courage as they fight the battle of antisemitism. I love this book and I want Marion Blumenthal to know that it has touched me very much. It was so stirring that I couldn't put it down. If you liked this book, you should read Never to be Forgotten by Beatrice Muchman. (You can order it here on Amazon.) Marion, her mother, brother and father are wonderful testimonies of strength and courage during WWII. Anyone else who has a story like this should tell it. There are to many people out there who love these stories alot, I'm one of them. Thankyou for sharing your story with us Mrs. Blumenthal!!! It is fantastic!

5-0 out of 5 stars Moving story from a child's point of view
"Four Perfect Pebbles" by Lila Perl and Marion Blumenthal Lazan, tells the story of young Marion's life in Hoya Germany during the rise of the Nazis. The story goes from Holland to Bergan-Belsen where the Blumenthal family ends up. And then after the war in the United States.
While this is book for the younger reader, this is a book that can be enjoyed by anyone at any age. Truly this book should not be missed.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read
FOUR PERFECT PEBBLES is just one of thousands of such stories that mandate telling and retelling. Simply and beautifully, Perl relates one little girl's mode of survival through one of history's most heinous periods. As the author of another Holocaust book, FAR ABOVE RUBIES by Cynthia Polansky, I read everything I can get my hands on pertaining to the Holocaust. This one is a gem that must not be overlooked.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mary Cooke and Kate Robinson's review
Brief summary and Review:

Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story is a wonderful book of how a family stays together through thick and thin. The story is about one Jewish family's struggle for survival during the Nazi occupation of Europe. The family includes Ruth Blumenthal, the mother, Walter Blumenthal, the father, Marion Blumenthal, the daughter, and Albert Blumenthal, the son. The Blumenthals lived in concentration camps for six years which included Westerbork in Holland and the notorious concentration camp of Bergen-Belson in Germany. Conditions in these camps were so terrible that nearly half the camps population died of disease, starvation, exposure, exhaustion, or brutal beatings. The book received its name from young Marion's search to find four perfect pebbles of almost the same size. If Marion could manage to find these four pebbles, she felt that it meant her family would remain whole and be strong enough to survive the Nazi reign. This game kept young Marion's mind on things other than dead bodies lying around, the rumbles of her starving tummy, and the want for her family and life to go back to normal. This is a great story about the importance of family and diversity. I would encourage everyone to take this book home with them today and experience the true account of one family's struggle through the Holocaust. ... Read more


115. You Wouldn't Want to Be a Roman Gladiator! (You Wouldn't Want To¿)
by John Malam, David Salariya
list price: $9.95
our price: $9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0531162044
Catlog: Book (2001-11)
Publisher: Franklin Watts
Sales Rank: 286705
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Shawn's Review
This book is like you are being told what will happen at gladiator school. That is what makes it funny. Even though it is funny, you learn things.For instance, did you know that you would have to eat barley grains and roasted beans for dinner and ash for dessert? Another reason I like this book is the illustrations. The illustrations also make the book funny because they make the people look weird.You may have read another books in the "You wouldn't want to" series.As you know they are really good books.

By Shawn

5-0 out of 5 stars An eye-opening education for wannabe Gladiators
The title for this book is too long for the heading, but in total it is "You Wouldn't Want to Be a Roman Gladiator!Gory Thing You'd Rather Not Know."If you have seen "Gladiator" and wanted to hearing the cheering crowds of the Roman Colesium, and have seen "Spartacus" and still want to be a gladiator when you grow up, then writer John Malam and artist David Antram are here to set you straight.In this diverting book we are introduced to a big redheaded "Galla comata" (Latin for hairy Gaul) who stands in for the reader who aspires to be a gladiator.In the opening chapter "you" are captured and taken off to Rome where you will be turned into a civilized Roman gladiator, which is seen as being better than being down in the mines or a galley slave.The book follows "you" through your training and then your big day before the cheering crowd (fair warning, you are not as good as you think that you are).The artwork tends towards the comic, so do not expect a lot of gory stuff, whatever the book's subtitle might suggest.Young readers will learn a lot about the "ludus gladiatorius" (gladiator school), where the "unctore" massages your tired muscles, and the various types of gladiators who fought with different types of weapons and wore different amounts of amour.There are also "Handy Hints" on each two-page spread, that explain why it is a good idea to always wear your slave collar and the correct way to stand before the emperor and do your salute.By the time you finish the book you will probably be surprised at how much you learned since you were detracted by the fun way in which all this information is provided by Malam and Antram."You Wouldn't Want to Be a Roman Gladiator!" is a very enjoyable education in saving young readers from a fatal choice of "future" occupation.Other volumes in this fun little series look at the downsides of being an Egyptian Mummy, a Slave in Ancient Greece, and a Viking Explorer (only the last of which would have any appeal to me, but I tend to be picky about such things).However, I would be surprised if they were as much fun as this particular volume. ... Read more


116. The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia
by Kingfisher
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0753457849
Catlog: Book (2004-09-09)
Publisher: Kingfisher
Sales Rank: 60748
Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This authoritative reference book brings world history to life, from early humans to the current war on terror. Along the way, it reveals riveting facts on the founding of the great Roman Empire, the revolution that changed France forever, the war between the North and South that unified America, the start of World War I and the Great Depression that followed, the first moon landing, and the end of apartheid in South Africa.

The encyclopedia is organized chronologically and then thematically within each time period. A timeline runs across the top of each page. Each section includes biographies of important people and features on art, architecture, and technology.
... Read more

Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Start your history studies here
Learning Family Book Review

If you could only have one history book in your home library, this should be it. Written like an encyclopedia of historical events, the Illustrated History is an incredibly easy to access work, covering almost any historical even you could imagine. The illustrations and photos are excellent. The text is brief, but enough to get a basic understanding. I've begun using this one as a first source for history subjects, to get myself oriented, then continue into more specialised books as needed. The chronolgy is listed in the outside column of the pages, which makes thumbing through it quite easy. Though it isn't a history course in one volume, all of the more major events in history have several pages devoted to them covering archaeological data, social background, art and more. An outstanding book.

2-0 out of 5 stars An eye-catching disappointment
I have recently begun homeschooling my 6th grader, and am using The Well Trained Mind as a curriculum guide. This book was listed as a must-have for a classical education, which is based heavily in literature and history. I must say that when we received the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, it looked very impressive. It is a hefty volume, with colorful pages and a timeline which runs across the top of the pages. However, after only a few weeks of use, my daughter has come to dread the sight of this book whenever it is time for history lessons. It is very dry reading. The one to two-page spreads for each topic/culture/era have so little valuable content, that there is little opportunity for the spark of interest to be ignited. They have so condensed the information, that it is mostly a list of dates, names, etc. And there are boxes every couple of pages listing the same dates over again. The text is written chronologically, so each time you turn the page a different culture is discussed, and what they were doing during that time period. This concept sounds better on paper than in practical use. While the time periods overlap somewhat, it does tend to jump around a quite bit. The continuity of what should be exciting and intriguing becomes very choppy and disjointed and as a result frustrating and boring. What might be interesting stuff becomes distracting and in some cases irritating when it interrupts another story. For example, the rise and fall of Rome, while severely abridged, may have still interested my child, if it had not been broken up by seven other topics. Huge chunks of time (several centuries)are condensed into a paragraph, or even a sentence or two. Other chunks go unmentioned. For example, the Qin Dynasty in China lasted less than 20 years, and got the same attention as the Celts, who were around for 500 years. The first 400 years of Christianity are covered in the same amount of space. So I am seeing my daughter becoming confused about the significance of these subjects, and not really grasping the "chronological order", despite adding new information daily to the 8-foot timeline we keep on the wall. Also,I am constantly amazed at what the makers of this book did not see as important enough for further discussion. For example, in our studies so far, The Great Wall of China has been depicted in a 1/4 page illustration, but only the date it was begun and a sentence or two on why it was built is listed. Julius Caesar is mentioned briefly, and simply that he was assasinated(!?), and I have yet to find any mention of Cleopatra. Overall, this book might be a good addition to your library just to have around for kids to leaf through, or as a springboard for other reading. It does mention cultures I never learned about in school (i.e.,the Guptas )but is not very useful as a reference tool, as there really is not any in-depth information on very many things. In it's effort to cover all bases in a single volume, Kingfisher fails to teach children what history really is -- a really great story.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Beware -- this is not the update to the highly regarded Kingfisher Illustrated History. Instead, it reformats the previous work, departing from the orderly 'accent of western civilization' theme, de-emhasizing Greek and Roman history in favour of lesser known, minor world cultures and in general, adds aggresive PC editing. Using this book as a homeschool reference will result in you needing to spend time explaining the PC biases to your children, and ultimately, needing to purchase an additional reference book.

3-0 out of 5 stars OK
This book is OK but then again I'm only twelve.
I would probebly give it 4 if I was an adult. I don't like History very much, but this is one exeption. I use it at school
and read it just for fun. It really is a great book. But remember, I hate history.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, I recomend to all!
I absolutly love this book. My friend is home schooled and let me use it a few times and I learned a ton of stuff about places and people I had never even heard about before. I definatly suggest it to all schools and parents of children who are home schooled. I just can't stop gushing about this book to people. Not only will parents love it, but the kids will love it to. It has pictures, time lines, and tons and tons of information. I love this book it is so great. If you ask me I say Buy it! I give it an AAAAAAAAA+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ... Read more


117. Girl in a Cage
by Jane Yolen, Robert J. Harris
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0142401323
Catlog: Book (2004-08-01)
Publisher: Puffin Books
Sales Rank: 190925
Average Customer Review: 3.86 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

When her father, Robert the Bruce, becomes King of Scotland, Marjorie Bruce becomes a princess. But Edward Longshanks, the ruthless King of England, has set his sights on Robert and his family. Marjorie is captured and imprisoned in a wooden cage in the center of a town square, exposed to wind, rain, the taunts of the townspeople, and the scorn of Longshanks himself. Marjorie knows that despite her suffering and pain, she is the daughter of noble Robert the Bruce&150and she will make her father, and her country, proud. For a true princess is a princess, whether in a castle or in a cage. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

2-0 out of 5 stars I wouldn't read it again
There were choppy sentences and there were parts that were a bit too gory. An example of the choppy sentences was right in the beginning. The main character, Princess Marjorie,was imprisoned in a cage, and was talking about how people would throw turnips at her and how she hated it. 'If Father is ever king in more than name, I shall remember those turnips. And the people who threw them.' Throughout the rest of the book, there are many sentences like this that get very annoying to read after awhile.
There are also some unneeded gory parts too. When Marjorie and her family are passing through the Highlands, they are attacked by evil Highlanders. Marjorie gets knocked off her horse and described the scene as,
'All I could see was a blur of legs and horses' hooves and the fine red blur of blood as it spattered the air.'
Later on during the battle, the scene was described as,
'Bleeding horses whinnied and kicked on the ground, wounded and dying men groaned and clutched their wounds in agony.'
I think the authors were trying to be realistic,which is good, but they went a little overboard with the realism.
Overall, it was okay, but I wouldn't read it again.

4-0 out of 5 stars This Book That Make Me Happy, And Stuff Like That !
Now this book like to make me happy cuse this book I read at my
school bus when I got home I was like can you pless give me this
book so I can keep this at the media ctr plessand she said O.K

5-0 out of 5 stars Suspense is Everything
As Jane Yolen and Robert Harris flashback in and out of a young dynamic princess's life, the suspense of foreshadowing at the end of every chapter keeps you engaged and on the edge of your seat.I felt captivated and could almost tune the whole world out just to dive into Jane and Roberts realistic world brought alive by the imagery and strong emotional connotation.I assure you this book is a exciting, intense, sensitive and contains all the components of the real world.Try it out and you'll see!

4-0 out of 5 stars Historical Novel Brings out the best in yolen and harris
this novel is greatly appreciated, believe you me. i began this book shortly after finishing breath by donna jo napoli (another great read, in a similar time period) and i was engrossed from page one. i finished it within 24 hours, and thanks heavens i had a snow day this week because i read for a few hours and barely lifted my head once to notice anything else.

it can get a bit dragging during the chapters where marjorie and her family (the Bruces) are leading the English through a merry hunt in the Scotish countryside, and i found myself wishing for the captivity days to come sooner. (though all chapters are wonderful, really!) my favorite characters were ultimately Isabel, who reminded me a lot of Alanna from the books by Tamora Pierce, and also Enid, the young snotnosed peasant who visits Marjorie and helps her establish her "court" while she is caged.

Truly a delightful read for young and old!

2-0 out of 5 stars It Was Okay....
"Girl in a Cage" by Jane Yolen and Robert Harris seemed somewhat flat to me. I found myself irked when the authors left me at a suspenseful part of the story, only to go into a drawn-out flashback about Marjorie's life as a princess, as well as joyful when I finally finished the book. Although exposition is crucial to a story, more than half the book was spent detailing the events leading up to the caging of Marjorie. This was unnecessary, as well as tedious. Camp, battle, camp, battle.
However, Marjorie's term in the cage was well-written although I couldn't identify with Marjorie, mainly because she felt that insulting Longshanks as well as the cruel peasants, rather than trying to understand them, seemed very unprincess-like. When she creates a pretend world, with herself as "queen of the cage" and various people as "knights", "chaplains" and "ladies-in-waiting", it seemed all too familiar....if anyone who is reading this review has read "A Little Princess" you will understand what I mean. However, if you were to skip the drama and long, boring scenes, this could prove a good portrait of Scottish history. ... Read more


118. Kirsten: An American Girl : 1854 (The American Girls Collection/Boxed Set)
by Janet Shaw
list price: $34.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0937295760
Catlog: Book (1990-09-01)
Publisher: Pleasant Company Publications
Sales Rank: 4668
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Kirsten is a good character, but not one of the best
In the Kirsten boxed set, you will read six books about Kirsten Larson, a pioneer girl growing up in 1854. In "Meet Kirsten" Kirsten and her family are coming to America. Kirsten is one of the few characters in the American Girls Collection that stays the same. All the other characters change in some way, but I did not see this in the Kirsten books. The next five books in the boxed set show how Kirsten and her family try to combine Swedish and American traditions. In "Kirsten Learns A Lesson" Kirsten has difficulty with school and meets an Indian girl named Singing Bird. In "Kirsten's Surprise" Kirsten tries to keep some of the Larsons' Swedish traditions alive by planning a secret Saint Lucia celebration with her cousins. In "Happy Birthday, Kirsten!" Kirsten does extra chores after her mom has a baby, and then gets a special birthday party. In "Kirsten Saves the Day" Kirsten finds treasure in the woods and nearly gets herself and her brother killed when she tries to bring the treasure home. In "Changes for Kirsten" Kirsten's family loses thier home to a fire and must find a way to get a new one. The Kirsten books are good. When I was younger, "Changes for Kirsten" was my favorite of Kirsten's stories. When I went back and read it again later on, as a teen, I discovered something. In the story, the Larsons lose their house--but that is because Kirsten disobeys her mother and brings an injured raccoon in the Larson's cabin, knowing full well the mischeif they are capable of. To date, I can't pinpoint which of the Kirsten books is a favorite, but I know that "Changes for Kirsten" is not one of them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Kirsten; A Journey to a Special Time
Joining Kirsten in her travel from Sweden to the United States and then on to the forests of Minnesota has been an enjoyable and interseting experience for both my daughter and I. The pioneer time of our country's history has always been of an interest to me as I have read of my own family's journeys from Hingham England to Massachusetts and then on to Montana during the time of the late 1600's through the early 1800's. What a rich heritage they passed on. And now, my daughter can enjoy learning about the pioneer era with a girl her own age. We have had a great deal of enjoyment reading these books together and discussing what happened to Kirsten in each one. Especially interesting and enlightening are the "Peek Into the Past" sections found at the end of each book. We have had some interesting and lively discussions about what it would be like to live during Kirsten's time. It has been very refreshing to see my daughter and her friends develop a deep interset in these books, role playing the characters, playing with the dolls, and learning about another time rather than pursuing the mindless, empty fluff of many things vying for a young girl's attention. Although some of Kirsten's experiences are a bit far-fetched (I.e. - not fearing a bear, having a pet racoon) the books' intrinsic value is not in the experiences, but rather in the history given in a light, fun way - what better way to learn than by having fun doing it.

2-0 out of 5 stars Something to think about
In general, we love the American Girl series of books but two books in the Kirsten series disturbed me. In the book "Kirsten Saves the Day" she discovers a bee tree and decides to gather the honey by herself to suprise her family. This is understandable but she acts very foolishly when she goes back to the tree despite having seen a bear the previous day. To make matters worse, she manipulates her little brother into helping her, risking his life with her own. She nearly gets both of them killed when the bear returns to the bee tree

In the book "Changes for Kirsten" she finds a baby racoon in the woods and brings it home. Her mother specifically tells her to leave the racoon in the barn and never to bring it near the house. Despite this, the minute her mother leaves the house Kirsten defies her and brings the baby racoon in. He gets loose and knocks over an oil lamp, burning down their cabin.

All in all I don't find the character of Kirsten to be the sort of person I want my girls to emulate.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book
Pioneers have always been interesting to me. Maybe that's why I loved the Kirsten books so much. When you read the Kirsten books, it is so easy to put yourself in her position. To know what she went through. You just seem to find yourself imagining what you would of done in her place. I reccomend these books to all girls!

5-0 out of 5 stars Well written historical fiction for girls
Kristen is a Swedish immigrant girl who settles in the Northern plains with her family. She faces language barriers, Indians, poverty and even bears with courage.

These books (and all the ones in the American Girls series) are written at a 2-3 grade level or are great to read aloud to younger children. The "American Girls" provide children with a sense of American history, a sense of what it was like to live during that historcial period and strong female role models. My daughters and I love them ... Read more


119. Letting Swift River Go
by Jane Yolen
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316968609
Catlog: Book (1995-09-01)
Publisher: Little, Brown
Sales Rank: 183005
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Not just for children
This book is for anyone - of any age - who has lost anything of beauty or anything they love. Children will love it, but don't keep it from the adults. I still can't read it without crying.

5-0 out of 5 stars Deep book about dealing with loss
The best thing about this book is its refusal to play games with your child's mind. Rejecting the shameless tear-jerking of so much media aimed at children, this book embraces the grand tradition of children's books that takes children seriously. This is a book about dealing with loss about about letting go, but also a book that makes the reader reflect on what is good about life. Warts and all, life is sweet. As a historian, I really appreciate that Yolen tries hard to show what her valley was like AND what it is like after the dam is built. Kids are frightened when they see orchards being ripped out for suburbs; this is a book about dealing with that kind of loss.

3-0 out of 5 stars Should have packed an emotional whallop
"Drowing towns" I had never heard of such a thing and was highly interested in reading this book about a remarkable event in history.
(Though apparently it has happened worldwide)

To be honest .. I was disappointed. What should have been an emotional, impactful story turned out to be rather bland.

The writing was choppy, (difficult to read out loud) pictures ho-hum (even though I love Barbara Cooney!) and the overall intensity was not there as I thought it should be. Afterall we are talking about people leaving the homes and their way of life that had been in their families for generations.

I was expecting better. I think Patricia MacLachlan and Illustrator Ted Rand or Susan Jeffers could have made a real triumph out of this.

That said, _DO_ read this book. It is a remarkable event in history and this book is still worth reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars moving & important -- a great place to bring your kid's mind
The concept of water -- where does it come from, how do we use it, where does it go when we are done with it -- is a big topic in our busy household. Both of my kids are interested in the environment and conservation, and I think a lot of that interest can be attributed to a small set of books -- Letting Swift River Go among them -- that were a part of their bedtime often throughout the beginnings of their childhood. My youngest son, in fact, is eleven now, but still pulls this book out and reads it to himself and to others on occasion.

You'll find the great writing here that you expect from Jane Yolen, along with a plot that serves as a vehicle for commentary that allows children to look at the cost of progress when it comes to building towns and cities.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazingly touching...great for kids and adults
This is one of the best children's books I've read in a long time. The story of the building of the Quabbin Resevoir in western MA is not a wide told story, but it should be. This book is clearly written so children can understand what was happeneing. The illustrations are also wonderful and will keep the children engaged. If you're the grown up reader, don't count on getting through this with a dry eye. It's definatly a book for ALL ages. ~Sarah Aziz Mount Holyoke College Sophomore (age 19) ... Read more


120. Roald Dahl Gift Set
by Roald Dahl
list price: $24.96
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0142400947
Catlog: Book (2004-10)
Publisher: Puffin Books
Sales Rank: 16588
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Book Description

Four times the magic makes four times the fun! Now four of Roald Dahl's most beloved, best-selling books are together in one box! Mr. Fox, Charlie and Willy Wonka, and even James and his peach are available in this beautifully packaged gift set. All of the books are charmingly illustrated by Quentin Blake. ... Read more


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