Voyage of the Continental

Voyage of the Continental

 

voyage-of-the-continental-1Voyage of the Continental
Holiday House
Ages 12 and up

Recommended by The Seattle Times

“Gr. 5-8. When Asa Mercer makes a public plea for women to come to the Washington Territory, Emeline, 17, decides to go with the hope of becoming a teacher. Through journal entries and occasional letters, she tells of her 1866 voyage by steamer from a New England mill town to Seattle. Aboard, she meets a woman traveling under an alias who fears for her life at the hands of her abusive, swindler husband. The mystery surrounding Ruby Shaw is a main plot thread, but readers also see Emmy growing in assurance and ability throughout the trip. Courting, kissing, and learning how to distinguish infatuation from true love are at the heart of this novel, which includes some real people but doesn’t confine itself to known events. The combination of historical detail, murder mystery, and romance works well, keeping a long journey from becoming tedious. Eleven pages of historical and research notes indicate where the author has deviated from known facts. Readers who enjoy lighthearted historical romance will find that this one fits the bill.—Carol A. Edwards, School Library Journal.

Trouble’s Daughter

Trouble’s Daughter

Victoria Yeh's Kindle cover art for Trouble's Daughter

Trouble’s Daughter: The Story of Susanna Hutchinson, Indian Captive
Delacorte Press

Ages 11 and up
Recommended by the New York Public Library, “Books for the Teen Age”

Now available on Kindle

“Gr. 5-8. With this compelling saga, Kirkpatrick comes to the foreground as a historical novelist. In 1663, Susanna Hutchinson, daughter of religious firebrand Anne Hutchinson, moved with her family to the wilds of Long Island so her mother would not be persecuted for her beliefs and public statements. Not long after, Lenape warriors massacre the family and take Susanna hostage. Susanna’s evolution from hostile, frightened prisoner to member of the tribe through her transition back to white society is both detailed and credible. The extended author’s note tells how Kirkpatrick did her research; it was extensive and shows in the book’s rich detail. There is even an appended list of Lenape words and pronunciations. But all the research in the world wouldn’t have helped had the telling been ineffective. Happily, Kirkpatrick not only spins a good story, she successfully makes readers understand what is happening inside Susanna’s head as she tries to come to terms with the fact that the man who murdered her mother is also her rescuer and in the tribe, her father. Readers will go through the emotional adjustment process with her, making this a book in which children do more than just view history, they see themselves.”—Ilene Cooper, Starred Review, Booklist.

Keeping the Good Light

Keeping the Good Light

Keeping

Victoria Yeh's cover art for Keeping the Good Light, available on Kindle in 2014

Keeping the Good Light

Delacorte Press

Ages 12 and up

Recommended by the New York Public Library, “Books for the Teen Age”
Winner, New York State Marine Education Association’s Herman Melville Book Award

Soon to be released on Kindle

“Gr. 5-9. Whether she’s spearing eels with her brothers or exploring the shoreline with renegade Ralph, Eliza Charity Brown is not easily contained by the tedium of life at Stepping Stones Lighthouse off the coast of Long Island. In the tumultuous year beginning in September, 1903, she experiences great loss, liberation from her routine, and heart-wrenching romance with a feckless dreamer. She also encounters the strict social expectations of a traditional community, where young women do not go abroad at night or think independently. Eliza does both, and consequently is expelled from her beloved school. When she sees a loveless marriage as her only viable option, she is rescued, at the last moment, by a job offer that takes her away from the closed society of City Island. The plot is engaging and enriched with substantial historical detail, bringing time and place vividly to light. Eliza’s personality is vibrant and irresistible; secondary characters are varied and multidimensional. Formal diction is appropriate for the narrative and, in contrast, the dialogue is more natural. Overall this is an outstanding book with a truly contemporary heroine in a historical setting. Readers of L. M. Montgomery’s “Anne of Green Gables” series will find in Eliza a kindred spirit.”—Carolyn Noah, School Library Journal.

Between Two Worlds

Between Two Worlds

Between Two Worlds

Wendy Lamb Books / Random House

Ages 14 and up

Washington State Book Award finalist

Available in both hardcover and paperback editions

Kirkpatrick sets this engrossing work of historical fiction in Greenland in 1900–1901, when an American ship arrives with supplies for Arctic explorer Robert E. Peary; on board are his wife and 10-year-old daughter (whose story Kirkpatrick told in her nonfictional 2007 book The Snow Baby). Narrator Billy Bah is a 16-year-old married Inuit woman who lived in America with Peary’s family for a year during her childhood. Her experiences motivated her parents to follow suit, but they died in America. Deeply Inuit in spiritual foundation and lifestyle, Billy Bah nevertheless feels caught between cultures, a feeling that intensifies when her husband begins trading her (a common Inuit practice) to an American sailor to whom she grows deeply attracted. Rich details about building igloos; hunting, preparing, and eating animals; and sewing clothing from their skins and furs (Billy Bah is an expert seamstress who outfitted Peary’s expeditions) create a total immersion in Inuit life. While the sexuality isn’t explicit, the story’s mature themes recommend it to older readers. Includes extensive and equally fascinating historical notes, as well as a timeline of the real-life events.—Starred Review, Publishers Weekly.