Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Assassin

This seems to be the year for books on the Lincoln assassination. This novel lets the reader view the event through the eyes of a young girl, Bella, who works as a seamstress in the Whitehouse and through the eyes of Wilkes Booth, the assassin. I think this novel lets us see how persuasive Booth was – the most romantic and famous actor of the time.



Anna Myers has given the readers a person they can understand who is really not a bad person, but is taken in by the charisma of the actor to betray her beliefs and the boy she loves. The author has done a great deal of research into the life of John Wilkes Booth in order to write this novel. This is a good historical fiction book.

Second Sight

I really like the style of this book where the author talks to the readers in first person as we go through the book. “Come with me. Why do you hesitate? … Think of me as a guide, an interpreter. Though I may take a wrong turn now and again or introduce you to some characters of questionable nature, you can rely on me, I assure you. I’ve done his before.”

Second Sight by Gary Blackwood changes history slightly. Joseph and his father have a mind-reading act in Washington D.C. They are very popular and even President Lincoln comes to see the act. Joseph is an actor just like John Wilkes Booth who he meets and gets to know. At the boarding house where the family lives, Joseph meets Cassandra who reminds him of his deceased sister. Cassandra truly has the gift of “second sight”—the ability to look into the future.

There is a special type of fiction called uchronia, an alternate history. In this genre the novels ask the question “If some pivotal event in history had taken a slightly different turn, how would it have affected later evernts?” Blackwood says he really hasn’t written an alternate history, but rather an altered history. Really only one small part has he changed (a part involving Mr. Lincoln), the rest is historically accurate.

I have enjoyed all the books by Gary Blackwood, Wild Timothy, The Shakespeare Stealer, Shakespeare’s Scribe, Shakespeare’s Spy, and The Year of the Hangman.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Weedflower

Twelve-year-old Sumiko and her little brother Tak Tak live with their uncle and aunt on a flower farm in southern California since their parents were killed in a car accident. The author, Cynthia Kadohata, presents the readers will a well researched and touching novel that gives us a glimpse of life for the Japanese-Americans during the internment and relocation after Pearl Harbor was bombed.

This story has a unique twist in the character, Frank, a Native American of the Mohave tribe. We see the prejudice and discrimination of this ethnic group too. Sumiko and many members of her family end up at a camp on the Mohave reservation in Arizona. There are no fences, but they feel trapped by the heat, the dust, and the boredom. Sumiko helps Mr. Moto with a garden and plants some of the stock seeds she brought from their flower farm. When the story ends, the war is not over, but Sumiko and her family are going to Illinois so her aunt can work in a factory.

We have a number of other books in the library that deal with this subject, a dark time in American history.
Farewell to Manzanar
Thin Wood Walls
The Moved Outers
Cassie’s War
Under the Blood Red Sun
Eyes of the Emperor
A Boy No More
A Jar of Dreams
Journey Home
Journey to Topaz
Molly Donnelly
The Eternal Spring of Mr. Ito



You can also find information from the Library of Congress and The National Archives and the Smithsonian

Weedflower

Twelve-year-old Sumiko and her little brother Tak Tak live with their uncle and aunt on a flower farm in southern California since their parents were killed in a car accident. The author, Cynthia Kadohata, presents the readers will a well researched and touching novel that gives us a glimpse of life for the Japanese-Americans during the internment and relocation after Pearl Harbor was bombed.

This story has a unique twist in the character, Frank, a Native American of the Mohave tribe. We see the prejudice and discrimination of this ethnic group too. Sumiko and many members of her family end up at a camp on the Mohave reservation in Arizona. There are no fences, but they feel trapped by the heat, the dust, and the boredom. Sumiko helps Mr. Moto with a garden and plants some of the stock seeds she brought from their flower farm. When the story ends, the war is not over, but Sumiko and her family are going to Illinois so her aunt can work in a factory.

We have a number of other books in the library that deal with this subject, a dark time in American history.
Farewell to Manzanar
Thin Wood Walls
The Moved Outers
Cassie’s War
Under the Blood Red Sun
Eyes of the Emperor
A Boy No More
A Jar of Dreams
Journey Home
Journey to Topaz
Molly Donnelly
The Eternal Spring of Mr. Ito



You can also find information from the Library of Congress and The National Archives and the Smithsonian