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Dr. Radway's Sarsaparilla Resolvent Paperback – April 30, 2013


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 18 years
  • Grade Level: 6 - 12
  • Paperback: 198 pages
  • Publisher: New City Community Press (April 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984042962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984042968
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,664,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up-A story set in 1871, during the height of Philadelphia's Industrial Age. Pa Quinn is locked up in Cherry Hill Prison, his son Francis was viciously murdered by a cop, and Essie Quinn's priceless wedding ring has been stolen. Her one surviving son, 14-year-old William, devotes his life to her care and attempts to avenge his brother's death. Kephart integrates her story of the Quinn family's hope for salvation with a celebration of the city's rich and multifaceted history. Remote aspects of the period, such as Max Schmitt's win at the Schuykill race and Radway's "miracle" cure, significantly affect the lives of the family. Though the tone of the novel is somber, the author frequently incorporates upbeat, poetic phrases to suggest that the Quinns' fate is far from hopeless. She conveys the desperate need for faith in novelties of this new age, particularly medicinal concoctions. Original news stories add an authentic touch to the book. Equally effective is the true account of the daring escape from the Eastern Penitentiary published in The Public Ledger on August 2, 1871. Oddly, not enough is revealed about Radway's resolvent, though readers might be intrigued to learn that it is now a kind of root beer. Sulit's occasional black-and-white illustrations seem a bit static yet support the overall mood of the book until its more uplifting end. The main characters develop into stronger, more self-sufficient individuals. Pair this novel with Kephart's Dangerous Neighbors (Egmont) and Laurie Halse Anderson's Fever, 1793 (S & S, both 2010) for other key events about Philadelphia's intriguing past.-Etta Anton, Yeshiva of Central Queens, NYα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

"[A] bright, burning novel-- intended for a young adult audience but powerful enough to engage any adult is set in the Philadelphia of 1870. Using surprising period details and a gorgeous turn of phrase, Kephart has called forth an interesting time in our city's history and made it live again for just a moment... While many historical novels, especially those for younger readers, can come across as corny or costumey, this one rings true, its language seeming to have been composed during the era it describes... These people feel real, and we have no trouble imagining them living out their dramas just as painfully and joyously as we do ours, 100 or more years before we were born."--The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 2013 "Kephart integrates her story of the Quinn family's hope for salvation with a celebration of the city's [Philadelphia's] rich and multifaceted history... Though the tone of the novel is somber, the author frequently incorporates upbeat, poetic phrases to suggest that the Quinns' fate is far from hopeless... Original news stories add an authentic touch to the book. Equally effective is the true account of the daring escape from the Eastern Penitentiary published in The Public Ledger on August 2, 1871... Pair this novel with Kephart's Dangerous Neighbors and Laurie Halse Anderson's Fever, 1793 for other key events about Philadelphia's intriguing past."--School Library Journal, October 2013 "In this exceptionally-researched novel targeted toward the tween/young adult audience, Beth Kephart captures not only the sights and sounds of Philadelphia during this industrial age, but also the language of the time. One of her many talents as a writer is her consistent ability - in every book she writes - to put her reader in the scene alongside her characters." - Melissa Firman's blog

More About the Author

Following the publication of five memoirs and FLOW, the autobiography of Philadelphia's Schuylkill River, I've had the great pleasure of turning my attention to young adult fiction. UNDERCOVER and HOUSE OF DANCE were both named a best of the year by Kirkus and Bank Street. NOTHING BUT GHOSTS, A HEART IS NOT A SIZE, and DANGEROUS NEIGHBORS were critically acclaimed. In October YOU ARE MY ONLY will be released by Egmont USA. Next summer, Philomel will release SMALL DAMAGES. I am at work on a prequel to DANGEROUS NEIGHBORS, a novel for adults, and a memoir about teaching. Please visit my blog: http://beth-kephart.blogspot.com/

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By RiverWriter on June 15, 2013
Format: Paperback
Beth Kephart writes gorgeously. That's just a fact. I thought Small Damages was one of the most haunting YA novels of last year. This book also features a rich sense of place--Kephart's beloved Philadelphia. But it's the feel of American history that really drew me in. You can smell and taste and hear these city streets. The characters are vivid and charming and determined, and Kephart brings them powerfully to life with lots of wonderful description and dialogue. Each chapter is just scrumptious.

The story pulled me right along. William is a generous young man who has suffered the cruel loss of his brother (murder) and father (prison). Yet he makes his way forward in the world thanks to a crew of dashing friends (some of them animals). The illustrations add depth to an already fully realized work of fiction. I couldn't put this one down!
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