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Gr 7-10-When 15-year-old Emily Dickinson meets and flirts with a handsome stranger, she feels the first flicker of romance. Then the young man is found dead in her family's pond, and the budding poet is sure that he was a victim of foul play. Determined to see that justice is done, she and her younger sister, Vinnie, investigate and discover that he is James Wentworth, heir to a fortune from which his aunt and uncle have defrauded him. Suspecting murder, Emily sets out to solve the case, almost becoming a victim herself. Life in 1845 small-town Massachusetts is painstakingly portrayed throughout this suspenseful tale. Emily is extremely well drawn, revealing her enthusiasm for and intense curiosity about the smallest of life's details, while minor characters have just enough depth to provoke interest. The fast-moving plot makes this a well-crafted page-turner. The dialogue rings true, both to the historical time and to the chronological ages and social status of the characters. The full text of "I'm Nobody," as well as quotes from other poems, not only focus readers' thoughts but also provide an easy introduction to the recluse's poetry. The author's note explains which of the novel's details are based on fact. MacColl once again brings a strong female protagonist to life, revealing pertinent and interesting information about a literary figure.-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, formerly at LaSalle Academy, Providence, RIα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In 1845, Emily Dickinson encounters a handsome young man she has never seen before in a field near Amherst, where her family is well known. Meeting someone she doesn’t know is a rare treat for the young Emily, and rather than exchange names, the two playfully refer to each other as Mr. and Miss Nobody. Emily does learn that Mr. Nobody is in town to resolve some family business, but a few days later, she is shocked when Mr. Nobody is found dead in the pond next to her family home. With only a few clues to work from, she tries to unravel the mystery behind Mr. Nobody’s death. MacColl, whose previous novels imagined the young lives of famous women, including Queen Victoria (Prisoners in the Palace, 2010), builds from Dickinson’s famous poem, “I’m Nobody! Who are you?,” in this imaginative take on the young poet. Several other Dickinson poems are skillfully woven in throughout the novel, which suggests itself easily for both classroom connections and personal reading. Grades 6-10. --Eve GausSee all Editorial Reviews
MacColl's imaginative writing brings to life a sharply observant, headstrong, and witty teenage Emily Dickinson with a steadfast and courage moral purpose, in this clever mystery... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Anonymous
A great. fictional book for mystery readers. Who have recently begun this genre. As an adult I love to read this genre gecause when I was young there were not as many books to... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Zarg
Mystery story written from the viewpoint of poet Emily Dickinson. Good book for YA readers with nothing questionable to be concerned about. Mr. Read morePublished 11 months ago by TXMOMOF2
A genre I like. A highly entertaining way to get better acquainted with an outstanding writer. If you liked Stephanie Barron's Jane Austen mysteries, you will like like this... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Eileen Phelps
Great mystery featuring Emily Dickenson for the mystery lover. A young girl encounters a handsome man who is killed shortly. She attempts to discover the reasons.Published 15 months ago by Tina L. Tinch
"Nobody's Secret" presents a charming vignette into the world of the budding poet. The book highlights Emily Dickinson's spirit, intelligence, and unique creativity,... Read morePublished 15 months ago by mariebprescott
I thought this book had a very good ending to it but I thought the beginning and middle were a little slow... Read morePublished 15 months ago by elizabeth wood
Interesting story plot. Some of the characters (Henry and Mrs. Dickinson) are a little flat. The authors ending of historical notes should have been at the beginning of the story -... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Lynn Connelly