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Meltintalle
(@mel)
Member Moderator
Posted by: @valiantarcher

 @fantasia, I'm not sure I have anything to add to your list, as Mel's looks pretty exhaustive,

The sad thing is, it's not. LOL It might be as far as the ones that stood out to me as FAVORITES (except I forgot The Secret Soldier: The Story of Deborah Sampson by Ann McGovern which I read repeatedly when I was eight or so) and/or solidly written, but I didn't even get into the 'kid raised or sheltered by an Indian tribe' genre, nor did I figure out if there are Clyde Robert Bula books for this time period, nor did I mention anything set at Fort Henry... or--!! The Light and the Glory for Children by Anna Wilson Fishel was a good big-picture look at the time period.

 

re: Boys of Blur, I can't say I've read any Southern Gothic, but that does seem to be a good description for the overall flavor of that one.

 

I picked up Great Pumpkin Suite by Melanie Heuiser Hill knowing only that it was a middle grade novel set in Minnesota and was pleasantly surprised. The heroine is a cellist with a head for numbers and her brother latches on to the idea of helping their next door neighbor grow a special pumpkin. It is an excellent modern summer adventure, especially since there isn't sibling drama just because, lol, who gets along with siblings? but instead they had different goals and they did look out for each other. The other neighbors were fun too, as was the trip to the State Fair at the end. Smile  

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Posted : July 26, 2020 5:12 pm
ValiantArcher
(@valiantarcher)
BC Head and G&B Mod Moderator

@mel, okay, fair enough - I suppose I mostly meant that I probably wouldn't come up with anything you hadn't. Giggle

That said - @fantasia, this isn't exactly what you were asking about, but I just remembered a series of books published in the early 00s called American Kids in History by David C. King. These books followed different families for, oh, maybe a year during a period of history - it's pretty light on the stories, but there were activities, games, recipes, etc. Of interest to you might be the ones for Colonial and Revolutionary War days; incidentally, I think those were mine (the other historical eras being divided among my sisters). Giggle
Also, American Girl/Pleasant Company released a series of "Welcome to [character's] world" books that was a combination of historical facts, photos, and page-long stories about real people during the time period, so those might be of some interest too.

OH, HEY. I read and enjoyed The Secret Soldier growing up too, Mel! (I just had to look it up to find the cover I recognized. Giggle ) Great Pumpkin Suite sounds fun and an enjoyable read!

I haven't really enjoyed or been impressed with any of the books I've picked up and read in the last week or two. Currently, nothing on my shelf or on my to-read library list looks good, but I'll keep trying (I did go through and add a few more books to my hold list on the library). The good news is that a couple of books on my bookshelf were added to my towering to-donate pile - and, hey, if this streak holds, maybe I can add a few more. Giggle  

Some days you battle yourself and other monsters.
Some days you just make soup.

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Posted : July 26, 2020 6:28 pm
AJAiken
(@ajaiken)
Member Moderator Emeritus

I've read quite a few Rosemary Sutcliff books but I clearly need to read more ... I've also never even heard of the Crown and Covenant series!

A book I enjoyed growing up, which covers the Highland clearances to starting a new life in Canada, is The Desperate Journey by Kathleen Fidler. I'm not aware of any other children's books on a similar theme, but perhaps I should look into it more.

I haven't read any of them, but I believe there are some tie-in books to the Little House on the Prairie series about Laura's ancestors coming to America.

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Posted : July 27, 2020 9:37 am
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Nut

It's too bad you don't want books about the French and Indian War, Fantasia. I remember Calico Captive by Elizabeth George Speare being engaging. When we read it for school, (we were homeschooled growing up) my brother and I even got into a shipping war over it. 😆 I've never been that attracted to historical fiction honestly. As a kid, I always felt like it was a trick to get kids to learn about history. But upon reflection, there are a number of examples of the genre I really like, just none about the parts of American history you mention.

For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
-The God Beneath the Sea by Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen

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Posted : July 27, 2020 10:27 am
shastastwin
(@shastastwin)
Member Moderator Emeritus

@valiantarcher I really enjoyed Boys of Blur. The Beowulf references were a lot of fun, but mostly I just appreciated the Florida-ness of it. Having grown up in the panhandle, I love anything that captures that atmosphere well. Even though we didn't have a lot of sugar fields in our area (I found myself wishing I'd grown up running for rabbits), it still felt true to my memories of Florida as a boy.

 

Although it's not quite as dark as I would expect from the genre, I think Southern Gothic is probably the closest you'll get to a description of this book.

I'm still making my way through Tolkien's Beowulf. I don't think it holds the same poetic charm as Heaney's translation, but I do love some of Tolkien's word choices and phrases. It's not exactly page-turning, but it's stimulating to the imagination, which is something I sorely need right now.

"All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies. And when they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you..."
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Posted : July 27, 2020 4:07 pm
ValiantArcher
(@valiantarcher)
BC Head and G&B Mod Moderator

@AJAiken, I wouldn't say the Crown and Covenant series was widely popular, but it fits a history niche for me. Giggle  
I also can't believe I forgot the Laura Ingalls Wilder tie-in series. Blush In my defense, I never really read Charlotte's stories and I think she covers the War of 1812 or so - her mother Martha's take place all in Scotland still, and I loved them.

Fantasia and Mel, I actually remembered one other fictional book I've read about Scottish Covenanters - Danger on the Hill by Catherine MacKenzie - but it's less adventure and a bit more serious as it's a fictionalized account of the martyrdom of two women.

@shastastwin, thank you for confirming my impression that Boys of Blur captured the Florida atmosphere well! I agree Southern Gothic is a bit too dark to fit - but it is the closest term that came to mind.

@mel, @fantasia, @SnowAngel, I received the third chapter of The Silent Bells in the mail yesterday. Grin Now to actually open and read chapter two (it's been quite busy here). Blush  

Also, in speaking of history niches (AJ, you may find this of interest), I just finished The Ghosts of Glencoe by Mollie Hunter - a fictionalized account of the Glencoe Massacre in the late 1600s. I've known about the massacre for years, but had never dug into the details too much. Framing it through an "outsider" helped a lot; I feel like I have a much better understanding and springboard to do some more reading on the subject (when I get time, ha!).

Some days you battle yourself and other monsters.
Some days you just make soup.

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Posted : July 29, 2020 8:21 pm
AJAiken
(@ajaiken)
Member Moderator Emeritus

I've read The Ghosts of Glencoe! It's actually on my bookshelf.  I have a few of Mollie Hunter's books - my favourite of hers is The Stronghold which is a look at how brochs may have come to be.

Back to Glencoe: John Buchan, author of The Thirty-Nine Steps, wrote a fairly accurate account called Massacre of Glencoe. I'm not sure how accurate Mollie Hunter's is, it's been a while since I read it. I've also read Glencoe and the Indians by James Hunter, which I think I mentioned on here before. It charts the history of a family caught up in both in the massacre in Scotland and one against Native Americans. Beyond those I haven't read any others specifically on the massacre. I've been through Glencoe many, many times though. It's essentially part of the main road north on the West coast of Scotland. There's a rather good information centre there now.

I'm always interesting in learning more about history - especially that which is close to home! - so I'll need to look into those. 

 

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Posted : July 30, 2020 3:37 am
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Junkie
Posted by: @ajaiken

I have a few of Mollie Hunter's books - my favourite of hers is The Stronghold which is a look at how brochs may have come to be.

Ooh, I had that book when I was in my teens — I'm not sure what happened to my copy, unfortunately — and I LOVED it! I'd never been to Scotland at the time (I grew up in Australia), but it made me want to visit Orkney in particular and see some of the real "Strongholds" (or the remains of them) for myself... I still haven't been any further north than Inverness so far, but one of these days! Wink  

Are there any other Mollie Hunter books you'd recommend? I know I also read The Bodach years ago, but I didn't like the ending...

Spoiler
as the young main character was given the power to make the ancient "walking stones" come to life one more time, but wasn't able to save them from being destroyed by development (weren't there any Scottish heritage trusts in those days?! Shocked ).

"Now you are a lioness," said Aslan. "And now all Narnia will be renewed."
(Prince Caspian)

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Posted : July 30, 2020 7:19 am
Cleander
(@the-mad-poet)
NarniaWeb Junkie

I've read a good bit of Douglas Bond's  books, including the Crown and Covenant series. I find his books well-researched but his characters tend to be a bit bland and forced, especially in the trilogy- but that's just my opinion. 

Speaking of historical fiction, I just finished Stephen Lawhead's King Raven trilogy. While I found it hard to get on board with the first one, I've grown to like the series as a whole. It's rich with historic detail, comes off feeling realistic, and the story wasn't predictable. ( I kept expecting a certain character to die but was pleasantly surprised at the end. No spoilers. Straight face )

I'm still slogging through Arthur Conan Doyle's The White Company.    

Maybe one day I'll finish it.... it reads more like a series of episodes than  a single flowing narrative.

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Posted : July 30, 2020 10:51 pm
SnowAngel
(@snowangel)
Maiden of Monday Madness Moderator

@fantasia, I second @shastastwin's recommendation of Pocahontas: True Princess by Mari Danes and the sequel Two Mighty Rivers, they were the first books I thought of when I saw your post. I have been thinking about reading them again just for fun. Smile I also recommend Morgan the Jersey Spy by James Otis, it's our (the whole group of siblings and myself) favorite from the Abeka curriculum, and True Stories of the Revolution War by Elizabeth Raum, this one's a series of short stories in graphic novel form and a favorite of the boys. 

Posted by: @valiantarcher

@mel, @fantasia, @SnowAngel, I received the third chapter of The Silent Bells in the mail yesterday. Grin Now to actually open and read chapter two (it's been quite busy here). Blush   

Thumbs up I got mine yesterday, I'm planning to read it later today.

Finally got The Legend of Sam Miracle from the library (had to wait almost two months at first in the queue), the siblings dove into the hardcover book while I listened to the audiobook via Hoopla. My brother and I were keeping pace for a while, but now I'm about 75 percent of the way through The Song of Glory and Ghost while he has finished it and is now well into The Last of the Lost Boys.

I finished Epic last week, it was quite good. The last couple of items/chapters weren't as interesting, but overall I really enjoyed the book and I am looking forward to watching the dvd which arrived on Saturday. Grin  

In the past month I read The Grand Escape, Sabotage, and The Nazi Hunters all by Neal Bascomb, now I am reading Faster. I'm still working my way through Popes and Feminists, it's really interesting, but the book is brand new and the pages are that weird really stiff paper, so it's not comfortable to hold for very long.

And lastly, I have requested the public library purchase the Crown and Covenant series. I've never read them, and I have had been planning to request them for a while now, but had forgotten. Now that the younger siblings have nearly finished reading all of N.D. Wilson's fiction and I'm going to need some other fiction books to get from the library for them.

SnowAngel


"The only way you can be saturated with the thoughts of Christ is to saturate yourself with the book that is all about him." - John MacArthur

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Posted : July 31, 2020 11:29 am
ValiantArcher
(@valiantarcher)
BC Head and G&B Mod Moderator

@AJAiken, I'm positive I've seen Massacre at Glencoe on my dad's shelf before, but haven't pulled it off to read it. I'll have to try to compare it to Mollie Hunter's book when I read it. Smile It's been a while, but the Glencoe area is gorgeous.

Courtenay, the only other Mollie Hunter book I've read is The King' sSwift Rider, about Robert the Bruce. I wouldn't say I particularly enjoyed it, but it was an interesting read. Giggle  

Cleander, your critique that Douglas Bond's characters are a bit flat is probably true - I haven't read any of his books in years, but I was definitely more intrigued by the historical side than by anything else.

Hurray for getting chapter three, @SnowAngel! Grin And you'll definitely have to let me know what you think if the library gets the Crown and Covenant series. Smile  

Some days you battle yourself and other monsters.
Some days you just make soup.

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Posted : July 31, 2020 12:27 pm
SnowAngel liked
coracle
(@coracle)
NarniaWeb's Auntie Moderator

I've just read a review of 'The Wound of Words', a very positive review. 

https://fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com/2020/07/spfbo-third-reaping-semifinalist-update.html   (scroll down the list of reviews)

I agree that the book is excellent, and I love it, not only because I am related to the author, but because of its cleverness, wit, warmth (in a cold location), and intriguing turns. There are also at least two completely original ideas used, and a set of characters that you cannot be indifferent to.

It's available in hardback plus in e-books (from smashwords site).   

UPDATED 15 August:  The author has been interviewed (in writing, not audio), by the person who semi-finalisted her. 

http://fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com/2020/08/spfbo-semifinalist-interview-with.html

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Posted : August 2, 2020 12:03 am
Meltintalle
(@mel)
Member Moderator
Posted by: @valiantarcher

...the only other Mollie Hunter book I've read is The King' sSwift Rider, about Robert the Bruce. 

OH. I read that one (and enjoyed it); which explains why the name Mollie Hunter is familiar. I suspect I would have read more if the library had them. ;))

 

 

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Posted : August 2, 2020 5:01 pm
shastastwin
(@shastastwin)
Member Moderator Emeritus

Well, you all finally got me to break down and read the Ashtown Burials series (but really I now have this driving urge to read all of N.D. Wilson's books). I'm about halfway through The Dragon's Tooth and loving all the Treasure Island atmosphere. There are several characters I want to shout at and others I just want to protect, so I think I'm going to enjoy this one (and probably regret not purchasing a subscription for book 4).

"All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies. And when they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you..."
Inexhaustible Inspiration

6689 posts from forum 1.0

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Posted : August 2, 2020 9:27 pm
ValiantArcher
(@valiantarcher)
BC Head and G&B Mod Moderator

@mel, I should've figured you'd read that one. Giggle Should The Ghosts of Glencoe come your way sometime?

I'd apologize, @shastastwin, but I don't think I'd really be sorry. Giggle I'm glad you're enjoying The Dragon's Tooth so far and hope you like the rest of the series as well! (You and @Jo can commiserate and scheme visits to those of us who did get subscriptions. Wink )

I've just started Prester John by John Buchan. I wasn't expecting the racism in the first chapter, but I know Jo loves the book and I've liked the other Buchans I've read, so I'm hoping it will improve.

Some days you battle yourself and other monsters.
Some days you just make soup.

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Posted : August 3, 2020 7:21 pm
johobbit liked
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