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Gr 5-8-When her father loses the family business in a series of bad bets, 14-year-old Minette Bonner must work off the debt as a lady's maid for a wealthy family, moving with them from Philadelphia to San Francisco. Minnie soon finds that her own family's losses are much more complicated than she originally thought. The Sumps, however, throw around money to assure their place in San Francisco society. Minnie arrives, along with Mrs. Sump and her daughter, Lily, just in time to overhear secrets that help explain her own family's troubles and to experience the 1906 earthquake. The quake throws the world into chaos and offers Minnie new choices, including the chance to masquerade as Lily in order to save her own family. When viewed through the lens of a story about a girl's new life in a new city, this novel fits with a middle school audience. When considering the complex socioeconomic and political issues at work, however, it will be appreciated by older students. An interesting piece of historical fiction and a solid purchase.-Sarah Knutson, American Canyon Middle School, CAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Can teen housemaid Minnie pretend to be wealthy young heiress Lily Sump after the latter is killed with her parents in San Francisco’s devastating 1906 earthquake? Indeed, it is a chance to avenge her family after they had been swindled out of their livelihood by the corrupt Mr. Sump and his cronies. This tantalizing prospect propels Blundell’s lively Dear America series entry. The vivid portrayal of the wreckage and ensuing fires captures the horror of the catastrophe and provides a striking backdrop to Minnie’s wrenching drama and crisis response. Even an overly convenient ending does not lessen the pull of the fascinating concept at the story’s core: Could we assume another person’s life? Grades 4-6. --Anne OMalleySee all Editorial Reviews
I love love love love love love love loved it so so so so so much best book ever readPublished 9 months ago by Maura
I waited several years for Dear America to write about this topic. Though I didn't care for the family mystery I loved when it talked about the earthquake. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Meghan U.
I haven't had a chance to read it at all. However, I ordered it because I wanted to collect all of the books in this series.Published on May 16, 2013 by Perfect Smile
Minette Bonner loves the tavern her family owns in Philadelphia and can't imagine any other life. When her father disappears Minnie's whole life changes. Read morePublished on April 27, 2013 by AUPoohBear
Omg messed up ending ever it turns out that the father of minnie the girl burned down the place, weird.Published on April 22, 2013 by SO EPIC