The Aviary, by Kathleen O’Dell

Historical Fiction: The AviaryHistorical Fiction: The Aviary
Title: The Aviary
Author: Kathleen O’Dell
Genre: Historical Fiction (some Gothic/Fantasy elements)
Age Category: 8+

Historical Fiction: The Aviary

Clara Dooley leads a quiet, lonely life. A serious heart condition has kept her indoors for years, far away from other children who might excite her. Instead, she spends her days in the Glendoveer Mansion, where her mother works as a housekeeper for the frail (and ailing) Mrs. Glendoveer, an elderly widow who is still reeling from the sudden deaths of her five children decades before . . . and from the kidnapping of the sixth and youngest child, Elliot. Now all Mrs. Glendoveer has is a crumbling mansion filled with memories, and an aviary inhabited by a rather motley assortment of extremely long-lived birds. The birds scare Clara with their persistent screeching, and never more so than the fateful day when the mynah calls out to her and speaks one word: ‘Elliot.’ With that, Clara and her newfound (and secret) friend Daphne are off and running (so to speak) after the mystery of the Glendoveer children—the resolution of which may endanger Clara herself. Continue reading

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Children’s Book about the Civil War: The Storm Before Atlanta

Children's Books about the Civil War, The Storm Before Atlanta by Karen SchwabachChildren's Books about the Civil War, The Storm Before Atlanta by Karen Schwabach
Title: The Storm Before AtlantaChildren's Books about the Civil War, The Storm Before Atlanta by Karen Schwabach
Author: Karen Schwabach
Genre: Middle-Grade Historical Fiction
Age Category: 9 – 12 years

Children’s Book about the Civil War: The Storm Before Atlanta

The Storm Before AtlantaChildren's Books about the Civil War, The Storm Before Atlanta by Karen Schwabach is a children’s book about the Civil War.  The book opens in 1863, with the Northern and Southern United States locked in conflict. Eleven year old Jeremy DeGroot is determined to die gloriously for his country as a drummer boy in the Union Army, believing that this will have him immortalized as a hero. After a few long train rides and some quick thinking, Jeremy finds himself marching into battle with the 107th New York Volunteer Infantry, and thinks he’s achieved his life’s ambition. However, Jeremy quickly learns that the real life of a soldier bears little resemblance to the songs of glorious battle and valiant death that originally inspired him.

The Storm Before AtlantaChildren's Books about the Civil War, The Storm Before Atlanta by Karen Schwabach also introduces us to Dulcie, a young escaped slave who is determined to find herself as part of a Union army regiment. In doing this, Dulcie hopes to gain her freedom and eventually locate her mother and father, whom she hasn’t seen in years. Alongside these two protagonists we also meet Charlie, a Confederate soldier who wears the uniform of an enemy, but acts like a friend. But Charlie also carries a closely guarded secret, one that will affect Jeremy and Dulcie profoundly. Continue reading

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