Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Last of the Name

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

I’m continuing reading historical mg novels with the really good Last of the Name (Carolrhoda Books, 2019) by Rosanne Parry.

Twelve-year-old Daniel O’Carolan and his sixteen-year-old sister Kathleen have lost so much. First their father, then brothers and mother, and now Granny on their way from Ireland to America. To survive, Danny must pretend to be a girl and hire on with Kathleen as housemaids. But he has to be himself sometimes and slips away early mornings in his rightful clothes and sings and dances. Can he keep his secret? And the job? He and Kathleen have to stay together. But it seems their troubles in Ireland have followed them to America.

This book is set in 1863 New York City, during the Civil War, and the terribly sad draft riots. You’ll meet immigrants from Ireland, Italy, Germany, plus black freedmen, and everyone is trying to find or keep a job.

In the back of the book you’ll find book partners–other books from the time period. Read more about that here. I definitely understand some more of the issues than I did before (such as Irish Catholics and English Protestants.)

Go here to see what books Rosanne likes to read.

I’ve recommended several of her other books here as well: a YA and another mg.

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8 thoughts on “Last of the Name

  1. This sounds like a must read for us historical novel lovers. The time period and characters make the perfect combination. I’m currently reading another great historical, SWEET HOME ALASKA.

  2. This sounds amazing! I’ve loved her other books so it’s a no brainer. Thanks for putting a spotlight on it. And I like the new look of your website. You might want to put the “save my email…” note at the bottom. Right now it’s in between this box and the right hand boxes.

  3. Hey! Thanks for reading Susan!

    I learned so much writing this book. And I was very grateful that CarolRhoda hired a consultant on the African American history of New York. She was terrific and helped me find resources not readily available to me as a non-academic.

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