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Confederates Don't Wear Couture Paperback – June 4, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up–Abandoning her plan to visit her boyfriend in Boston, Libby Kelting, the protagonist from Strohm's Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink (Houghton Harcourt, 2012) and her best friend, Dev, a fashion designer, head to the South to sell period gowns to the wives and girlfriends of Civil War reenactors. Libby is secretly a history nerd and is excited about  this adventure. However, traveling from battleground to battleground without the comforts of daily life (showers, air-conditioning, and Starbucks) takes its toll on the teens, as does the ghost that has been haunting Corporal Beau Anderson, who happens to be hot and has his eye on Libby. Readers will wonder if Libby will fall for Beau or remain loyal to Garrett. Teens who like a mix of realistic fiction, historical information, and humor will enjoy Confederates Don't Wear Couture.–Shannon Seglin, San Antonio Public Libraryα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

History-loving Libby Kelting spent last summer in Camden, Maine, churning butter in a corset (Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink, 2012). This summer she is taking to the battlefields—literally. Dev, her fab designer best friend, has lined up a gig selling “Confederate Couture” to the wives and girlfriends of Civil War reenactors, and yes, that means Libby is modeling hoop skirts in the Alabama heat. While her boyfriend, Garrett, is working for a newspaper in Boston, she is hanging around Beau, a handsome, waltzing, history-spouting reenactor. Dev proclaims that “what happens in 1861 stays in 1861,” but Libby can’t forget her Northern beau that easily, can she? Throw in a ghost that is haunting the campgrounds and you’ve got the makings of a memorable summer below the Mason-Dixon Line. Fun beach reading peppered with plenty of fascinating historical tidbits. Grades 7-10. --Ann Kelley
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 700L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (June 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 054797258X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547972589
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,035,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephanie Kate Strohm is the author of Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink and the upcoming Confederates Don't Wear Couture. She grew up on the Connecticut coast, where a steady diet of Little House on the Prairie turned her into a history nerd at an early age. She spent much of her childhood dressing up in bonnets. While attending Middlebury College in Vermont, she blossomed into a full-fledged Civil War buff and was voted Winter Carnival Queen. After graduating with a joint major in theater and history, she acted her way around the country, performing in more than 25 states, primarily in shows where she got to wear corsets.

Currently she lives in New York City, where her closet is almost big enough to hold all of her shoes. When she's not writing, she loves baking, shopping, cuddling her dog Lorelei, and dragging her boyfriend to chick flicks.

Follower her on twitter @StephKateStrohm, on pinterest @stephkatestrohm, on instagram @StephanieKateS, and visit her online at www.StephanieKateStrohm.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By bookworm1858 VINE VOICE on May 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Last year, I had the great delight of reading Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink, about the summer adventures of a young girl named Libby who reminded me a lot of myself. She loves history, fashion, reading, Jane Austen, among other interests and I immediately clicked with her. Although that story was standalone, I was pleased and intrigued to find out there would be a sequel.

This one follows the summer after graduation with Libby and her best friend Dev embarking on a tour within a Confederate reenactment army to sell gorgeous and authentic gowns. Meanwhile her boyfriend is at his internship in New England and a new guy starts demonstrating interest in Libby. To add to the chaos, there is another ghost haunting them!

For the most part, I would say this book has the same kind of lighthearted tone and style as the first book. If you ate up that story, this will go down similarly. It is set over the course of a summer and follows a similar structure while also representing some growth on the part of Libby. A big change this time around is that Libby and Dev set off on their adventure together, which was a fantastic decision because Dev was such a highlight during his too brief appearances in the first go-around.

As a lover of history, I found the elements here even more enthralling. Is there a time period more beloved by American history buffs than the Civil War? I don't think so and this book did a great job of portraying the deep passion people still have. Personally I wish the Union had gotten a bit more attention as they fought for what was right and won but Dev made a good point that the contemporary Confederate side will pay more and you've got to follow the money.

Overall: A fun and flirty delight all the way through-highly recommended for fans of book one and this is a great (clean) beach read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Graves VINE VOICE on September 17, 2014
Format: Paperback
In Confederates Don't Wear Couture we have the further adventures of Libby, a history nerd from the Midwest. Straight out of high school her best friend , Dev, convinces her to spend the summer with him traveling around civil war re-enactments selling wonderful clothes to the long suffering wives and girlfriends of the soldiers before she goes off to college and her boyfriend, Garret, in the fall.

Along the way things get interesting as Libby fears she's falling for the hunky `Beau" of the 15th Alabama and Beau fears he's under a family curse. When Garret, as a journalist, shows up unexpectedly to investigate the ghost stories and finds his girlfriend dancing with Beau, things go from bad to worse faster than you can said `Robert E Lee.'

I know I'm not the target audience but this was cute and I enjoyed the first book. And having been a re-enactor for 20 years I can have a laugh at this. Probably that led to part of my problems with this book. They spend all summer going from fight to fight, battle field to battlefield and even allowing that someone might be able to commit every weekend to this-we do have regular jobs, what were they doing on the weekdays? They just sit around, like stuck in suspended animation until the events start. I'd go nuts of a week of that, never mind weeks of it.

They are also travelling with a group of authenticity nuts. I know some exist out there but in all honesty. People wear jeans and t shirts and underwear when not `on' like Monday through Friday morning. Ok most people wouldn't know this but common sense should kick in while reading

The other element that made this book less enjoyable is Dev, Libby's best friend.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink, which introduced Libby, who is seriously (and unapologetically) into history, enough so that her dream summer job is working in a living history museum. Like many reviewers, I wanted to see more of Libby's best friend Dev -- and hurrah, in this novel he has a more major role!

Libby has just graduated high school, and looks forward to starting college in the fall -- close by to the boyfriend she met in the previous book. But her best friend Dev, the fashion designer, suggests that they spend the summer raising money (and career credibility) working as vendors in a Civil War Reenactment organization, selling Dev's fashion designs to the wives for period costumes (because who can resist a hoop skirt, really? even if it requires a corset). But things don't go quite as she hopes. Libby encounters yet another cute guy (who's as much into history as she is), an obnoxious 14-year-old Boy Scout, way too much humidity, and yet another ghost.

There are many things I like about this story. First and foremost: It's a good page-turning tale that kept me reading after my bedtime. It's genuinely funny; this is an upbeat story that could cheer you up after a long day at work (without a whole lot of mental effort, either). I kind of fell in love with Dev (and his coffee obsession), and indulged my hidden inner fashionista with all those descriptions of the clothing.

But I like it even better from the perspective of an adult who might choose books for a teenager. As in the first book, Libby is a smart young woman who enthusiastically communicates how History Is Cool, and expects others to respect her.
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