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A True and Faithful Narrative Hardcover – April 18, 2006


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 18 years
  • Grade Level: 7 - 12
  • Lexile Measure: 950L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1st edition (April 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374378096
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374378097
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,296,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up It's four years since At the Sign of the Star (Farrar, 2000) ended, and Meg Moore, now 16, still loves bookselling, reading, and, most of all, penning her own stories. Although she no longer dreams about inheriting her father's bookstore, due to his remarriage and the birth of his son, she still hopes to overcome 17th-century English society's disapproval of writing as a pastime for respectable women and see her work in print. She thinks that marrying a bookseller may be her strongest hope for the unconventional future she desires. When her friend Anne's brother announces his departure for Italy and hints about declaring his love, Meg pretends not to understand his intentions and jokes that perhaps he will be seized by pirates. She regrets these words when news comes that Edward's homeward-bound ship has indeed been captured and that he has been sold into slavery in Algiers. Meg's guilt inspires her to raise funds to pay his ransom, but it doesn't stop her from privately writing a lurid account of the horrors she imagines he is suffering. A potential romance with her father's apprentice, her worries over Anne's unhappy marriage, and Meg's reactions to a much-changed, returned Edward flesh out this intriguing, believable glimpse into Restoration London. Although Meg is frustrated by her society's restrictions, Sturtevant does not attempt to solve her heroine's problems by imposing 21st-century solutions there is no doubt that the teen lives within the limitations of her own time. This solid work of historical fiction stands easily on its own. Ginny Gustin, Sonoma County Library System, Santa Rosa, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 6-9. In this sequel to At the Sign of the Star (2000), 16-year-old Meg, living in seventeenth-century London, struggles to sort out her conflicted feelings about two suitors. One, Edward, asks Meg what he can bring back for her from his sea voyage. Meg flippantly inquires if he can "manage to be captured by pirates and enslaved in North Africa," offering a new narrative for her father's bookstore to sell. Meg's silly reply haunts her when she learns that Edward has indeed been kidnapped and enslaved. Meanwhile, Will, her father's apprentice, helps her collect the money needed to secure Edward's release and hopes to win her heart. When Edward returns, Meg finds him changed by his brutal experiences in captivity and fascinated by Muslim society in Algiers, where a kind master treated him as a son. As he tells his promised story, Edward's description of his experiences challenges conventional English assumptions of Muslim culture and broadens Meg's worldview. Sturtevant once again offers readers a story depicted with great clarity and many vivid details of everyday life. Written in the first-person, the narrative reveals Meg as a strong-willed yet vulnerable young woman who emerges as a well-rounded, convincing individual, able to see events from different viewpoints. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 5 customer reviews
What Meg really wants to do, though, is write.
E. R. Bird
And it is there that Edward learns that so much of the common knowledge that he knew of Islamic culture was actually misconception.
N. S.
It's also a crackling good historical read, and romantic besides.
G. DeCandido

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The sequel that can stand entirely on its own is a rare and beautiful beast. Recently I've read several sequels to children's books that demanded an in-depth knowledge of all the previous titles that came before. And to be frank, I feared the case would be no different with Ms. Katherine Sturtevant's title, "A True and Faithful Narrative". One glance at the setting (Restoration England) and I was ready to high-tail it to the hills. And in truth I was disadvantaged by not reading "At the Sign of the Star" (Ms. Sturtevant's earlier work) but not in the way I expected. Had I read her first book I would have known right from the start that "A True and Faithful Narrative" was bound to be a smart and intricate little work that could compete for attention entirely on its own. This is one of the slicker bits of historical fiction to come out this year, and may be more enticing to adults than children. Then again, Ms. Sturtevant has such an engaging narrative voice, it may prove difficult for older child readers to resist her.

Daughter of a bookstore owner in 1681 London, Meg Moore has a problem. Everyone knows that she loves to read and she's in the unique position to see new plays, books, and essays the minute they come out. What Meg really wants to do, though, is write. Unfortunately, that's too much for her father and Meg has been forbidden to set pen to paper if that paper is to fall into anyone's hands but her own. And even that might have been all right if her best friend Anne's brother Edmund hadn't been captured by pirates. When Edmund tentatively displayed his affection for Meg before he left on a dangerous shipping voyage, she jokingly asked him to bring back a good story if he should become enslaved on his journey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Warnie on November 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I liked this book right away. And for over half the book I thought it would remain that way. I enjoyed the writing very much, and I thought the characters were really well-developed, and I found the setting (17th century London) interesting. On the other hand, sometimes Meg, the main character, frustrated me a bit, and though historical fiction like this is interesting, sometimes it's hard to put up with the prejudices of the people living during those times. Still, I had a hard time putting it down, and really wanted to know how things would turn out, so I had it down for a good, solid four stars. Until the second half of the book comes along, with the descriptions of Algiers, and then...absolute magic. It's just so beautifully written. And then the interactions between Meg and her father? I totally cried. I think this book just hit several of my weak points--the blurring of truth and fiction, the romance of far-away places and peoples, the love of words on a page and shelves full of books... All mixed in with the complexities and confusions and contradictions of life. You got me, Katherine Sturtevant, you totally got me!

On a side note, I didn't realize A True and Faithful Narrative was a sequel until I'd already finished it. It didn't feel like one at all to me, and I'm not entirely sure I want to go back and read the first book because it just seems completely unnecessary somehow. Then again, I loved this one so much in the end, how could I not?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sue Corbett on December 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As the year winds down, award season is gearing up in the children's literature world. There are several books that are as well-researched and well-written as this one, about a 16-year-old bookseller, who works in her father's 17th Century bookshop but longs to be an author herself. Few, however, are as accessible and appealing as this one. This is a coming-of-age story `tween and teen girls, and their mothers, will love, with a rich plot, an unforgettable heroine, pirates, romance, even a timely thread about wrong assumptions made about the Muslim world. If I had a vote, I would pick this for the Newbery Medal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. DeCandido on November 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What I loved best about this splendid book is the way it wrestles with writing: how it feels to write something and then write it again and again; the need to make the words sing; the joy when it comes out right. I love how it wrestles with narrative, too, how to make a story well-formed.

It's also a crackling good historical read, and romantic besides.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By N. S. VINE VOICE on September 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"C'mon people now

Smile on your brother

Everybody get together

Try to love one another right now."

-- Dino Valenti (1963)

"The world listens carefully to the words of any pope. And it is tragic and dangerous when one sows pain, either deliberately or carelessly." --New York Times editorial

"He has a dark mentality that comes from the darkness of the Middle Ages...It looks like an effort to revive the mentality of the Crusades." --Turkish Parliamentary leader Salih Kapusuz

C'mon. Let's be honest. If the Pope's priorities centered around tolerance and world peace, would he be quoting some 14th century Byzantine emperor or would he be quoting and singing some Sixties peace and brotherhood songs?

As evidenced by the endless stream of propaganda -- from that which led to the Crusades up through that which causes worldwide tension this weekend -- there has always been a wealth of misinformation and fear being spread about Islam. And it was similarly the case in the 1680s London world in which Meg Moore lives.

Meg Moore was twelve when I first met her in Katherine Sturtevant's AT THE SIGN OF THE STAR, which was published back in 2000. Now, in A TRUE AND FAITHFUL NARRATIVE, Meg is sixteen. In the first book we come to know Meg as the only surviving child of a mother who repeatedly bred (as it was referred to at the time) before dying in childbirth.

Meg is an unusual young woman for her time. Her father is a London bookseller and Meg, who regularly works with her father and who reads everything she can get her hands on, has high hopes of always having the bookstore.
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