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.)
You won’t want to miss out on the chance to read this great book yourself! Author Rosanne Parry has graciously given me two autographed paperback copies of Second Fiddle (Random House Children’s Books, 2011) to award to two lucky people.
First, let me tell you about this book:
Jody and her two musician friends, Vivian and Giselle, will be separated soon. The Berlin Wall has come down and the kids’ army families will all be sent to different places in the US. But first they have an Ensemble Contest in Paris. But now their music teacher has to cancel, so how will they get there? The answer involves attempted murder, rescue, lies, danger, and betrayal.
I love, love the first sentence: “If we had known it would eventually involve the KGB, the French National Police, and the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, we would have left the body in the river and called the Polizei like any normal German citizen; but we were Americans and addicted to solving other people’s problems, so naturally, we got involved.” Don’t you want to read more? Of course, you do! To enter for a chance to win the giveaway, comment below with one of your favorite book lines. Tell me the title and author. I’ll throw your name in the hat with others and draw the winners. You must enter by April 16th at midnight Pacific Standard Time. (Please make sure you give me a way to contact you, so I can get your mailing address privately…)
After you enter, read more about Rosanne here. Her next book is called Written in Stone and will be out in June 2013! Rosanne says, “This is a story I’ve been working on for many years and is particularly dear to me as it is set on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State among the Quinault and Makah where I spent my very first years as a teacher.” And, yes, if you read YA, you’ve heard about the Quinaults before…
Heart of a Shepherd (Random House Books for Children, 2009) by Rosanne Parry is a lovely book. I enjoyed the intergenerational relationships, the faith of the main character, and a look into a military and shepherd family’s life.
12-year-old Brother (Ignatius) is not happy. His dad, who is in the Reserves, has to go to Iraq. His older brothers are away at school and he and his grandparents have to keep the ranch going. Brother thinks that keeping the ranch the same will help bring his dad home safely. But sheep ranching is not really his thing.
Here’s encouragement for other writers from Rosanne’s site: “It took me seven years to go from my first idea for Heart of a Shepherd to a finished book. But in those seven years I also wrote another novel, two mysteries, lots of short stories and many newspaper and magazine articles.”
I next plan to read Second Fiddle, another book by Roseanne about military families.