Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Book review - Last in a Long Line of Rebels

Title: Last in a Long Line of Rebels
Author: Lisa Lewis Tyre
Genre: realistic fiction
Similar books: How to Stage a Catastrophe by Rebecca Donnelly
                      Finding Fortune by Delia Ray
What a delight!

Summary (provided by publisher): Lou might be only twelve, but she’s never been one to take things sitting down. So when her Civil War-era house is about to be condemned, she’s determined to save it—either by getting it deemed a historic landmark or by finding the stash of gold rumored to be hidden nearby during the war. As Lou digs into the past, her eyes are opened when she finds that her ancestors ran the gamut of slave owners, renegades, thieves and abolitionists. Meanwhile, some incidents in her town show her that many Civil War era prejudices still survive and that the past can keep repeating itself if we let it. Digging into her past shows Lou that it’s never too late to fight injustice, and she starts to see the real value of understanding and exploring her roots.

My opinion: This novel has the perfect level of complexity for young readers. Tyre yses an exciting plot (the hunt for treasure) to address more serious topics (such as past and present prejudice). While the plot was a bit obvious at times and made a few logical leaps, it was ultimately compelling reading. There is a scene in which Lou discovers her ancestors were slave owners. The shame of our family history can be very real and shake our image of ourselves. This book is worth reading for that scene alone, and the rest of it is just as good.

Advanced Reader Copy provided by NetGalley.

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