These are some reviews of books I enjoy. I will be adding more later.
The Princess Adelina
An ancient Christian tale of beauty & bravery
By Julie Sutter
From across the ages- thirteen centuries ago, when the fearless scotch and Irish missionary bands were sent out from the isle of Iona comes the story of a vitreous young woman of unshakeable faith, filled with determination to fulfill the role to which God has called her.
This is the true story of Adelina, a young Christian maiden. It is very interesting, exciting, and sad. A must read!
The Children Who Stayed Alone
by Bonnie Bess Worline
This is a sweet tale of seven children alone on the prairie during a blizzard. Their mother is gone helping a sick neighbor, and their father had gone to town for supplies. The two eldest, Phoebe and Hartley, look after their little siblings for three days. And in the snowy darkness, a knock sounds on the door!
Later on in the book a new house is built, Phoebe goes visiting to a friend, school is starting, and new neighbors are moving in all around. It is a very nice story set in the 1800s and is a good chapter book for kids.
The Perilous Journey of the Donner Party
By Marian Calabro
On April 14, 1846, the Donner Party set out from Springfield, Illinois, in search of a better life in the largely unsettled California territory. The trip started well but eventually questionable choices and infighting delayed pioneers’ attempt to cross the Sierra Nevada until winter. Marian Calabro incorporates memoirs, diaries and letters to capture the sense of adventure and joy at the start of their journey and to provide insight into the acts of rancor, heroism, cruelty and kindness that surfaced throughout the expedition, mountain imprisonment and rescue.
The author conveys much of the experience through the eyes of survivor Virginia Reed, who was 13 when the party headed west. However, she doesn’t limit the story to Virginia’s perspective, but skillfully profiles many members of the party, including Virginia’s dynamic father, James, who strongly favored taking an unproven shortcut, and the intelligent and perceptive Tamsen Donner, who was firmly against it. The result is a combination of well-researched factual detail, a gripping narrative, strong characterizations, and a thoughtful analysis of the historical record.
The book tells of how, when there was nothing left to eat, they began boiling down pieces of frozen cattle hide from the cattle that had pulled their wagons and been butchered & eaten long ago. When the hide had been cooked enough, the gluey substance was then eaten. As the position became even direr some people resorted to “the last taboo.” Cannibalism.
Calabro includes an insightful epilogue on the survivors, and devotes a chapter to the party’s enduring legacy and the ancestors, landmarks and monuments that stand as testimony of this horrifying and tragic episode in the history of the West.
The Christmas Doll
By Elvira Woodruff
Ten year old Lucy Walcott and her six year old little sister Glory are orphans in England during the nineteenth century.
They live in the work house and all they have are each other.
Lucy tells Glory stories about a beautiful doll named Morning Glory that they used to have, which is the only spot of brightness in the girls bleak world.
When a deadly fever sweeps through the work house, little Glory gets sick. She is taken to the sick ward and Lucy fears she will never see her again. So Lucy and Glory escape the awful place and take refuge on the streets of London.
It is dreadfully cold outside and Christmas is coming. Then, in a pile of filth and muck, the two sisters find a doll, a Christmas doll, and little Glory fells sure in her heart that it is Morning Glory.
This story is very heart warming and delightful, destined to become a Christmas classic and wonderful for all ages! It is one of my favorite Christmas stories!!