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Audacity Jones to the Rescue (Audacity Jones #1) Hardcover – January 26, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Audacity Jones is a resident of Miss Maisie's Home for Wayward Girls in Swayze, IN. And while life at Miss Maisie's is sometimes difficult, for Audacity and her best friends Bimi and the triplets, Lavender, Lilac, and Violet, it is home. Everything changes, however, on one Christmas Eve, when wealthy Commodore Crutchfield appears on Miss Maisie's doorstep in search of an orphan. Being the only orphan around, Audacity volunteers to accompany the Commodore on a mission to Washington, DC, that involves the president, an English cook, and a pot of terrapin soup. As the mission date draws closer, a buzzing in Audie's ear begins to warn her that all might not be as it appears. With the help of an old stable master and a newspaper boy, it is up to Audacity to save the day. Lyssa Brown's narration brings forth Audacity's well-read personality, as well as the Commodore's Southern absentmindedness and Miss Finch's pinched asperity. VERDICT Fans of Lemony Snicket and Kate DiCamillo will gravitate toward this story of an unlikely heroine who is smart enough to make sure everything turns out right in the end. ["Readers will cheer Audacity's ingenuity and bravery as they relish every moment of her adventures": SLJ 1/16 review of the Scholastic book.]—Michaela Schied, Indian River Middle School, Philadelphia, NY --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
*"Larson's thriller deftly mixes humor, heart-pounding moments, and a strongly evoked historical setting -- it's truly a story with something for everyone." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
*"[T]he story's themes of trust, friendship, and good manners will resonate with many. Audacity's charm and smarts make this historical adventure a winner." -- Booklist, starred review
"Larson infuses her romp with plenty of humor, making Audacity, her cat, and friends into lively, likable characters. With characteristic deftness, she weaves her historical material seamlessly into the story; Audacity is a modern girl.... Clever, funny, and sweet in equal measures." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Readers will cheer Audacity's ingenuity and bravery as they relish every moment of her adventures. Highly recommended." -- School Library Journal
Praise for Liberty:
* "Larson once again creates an engaging story that is rich in historical details. She purposefully captures both the fear and the hope in a world torn by war as well as the simple love of a boy for his dog. Practically perfect." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"A slice-of-life tale for historical fiction fans and animal lovers alike." -- School Library Journal
"Larson brings the historical setting to life with vivid details and draws readers into the story with a heartfelt dog-and-child relationship." -- Hornbook
Praise for Dash:
Winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
*"Emotionally satisfying and thought-provoking." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
*"[A] trenchant novel." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Historical fiction at its best." -- School Library Journal
Praise for Duke:
*"Exceptionally well-crafted and emotionally authentic." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
*"[An] incisive tale of loyalty, patriotism, sacrifice, and bravery." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
"A good example of how bravery comes in all shapes, sizes -- and breeds." -- Booklist
Praise for Hattie Big Sky:
A Newbery Honor Recipient
*"[An] engaging historical novel... [Larson] creates a richly textured novel full of memorable characters." -- Booklist, starred review
*"Larson... create[s] a masterful picture of the homesteading experience and the people who persevered." -- School Library Journal, starred review
"Refreshing." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
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Audacity becomes a cook in the White House kitchen where she meets the President and learns of a plan to kidnap his niece. She also becomes friends with Juice, a newsboy, and the three of them (don’t forget the cat) become a team to thwart the plot.
Although this is a period piece taking place in 1910 we find Audacity a very modern thinking and independent young girl. The author has created a charming and witty scenario and between you and me, I’m so pleased to encounter a YA novel that is not full of dystopian angst. The chapters that are told from the cat’s Point of View are the best. This is a fun read for 8 to 12 year old girls (and boys).
This book is extremely well written in terms of historical accuracy, character development and various perspectives being told in such a way that they are separate but weave together at the end. However, I did find that on several points I got lost in the details and there were several characters that were completely superfluous.
I also found it a little difficult to suspend disbelief regarding the cat that travels hidden in a car for a week, the orphanage mistress who lets Audacity go on a trip with a strange man, and some of the twists at the end that seem a bit far fetched (like the chauffeur who is suddenly a hero after being creepy the whole book). I think a better emphasis on plot advancement would have gone a long way in making this a better book.
Eleven-year old “Audacity Jones” – Audie – is a resident of Miss Maisie Witherton’s School for Wayward girls. She is the lynchpin that holds things together as she has assumed many responsibilities that Miss Witherton neglects. Audie’s spunk often results in her banishment to “The Punishment Room” – the Witherton library – where she reads voraciously. The appearance of Commodore Crutchfield, a wealthy businessman, and his desire to “adopt” an orphan change the course of Audie’s life. As the pair travel by chauffeured car from Indiana to Washington, D.C., Audie wonders what may be in store for her. When she must assist Mrs. Finch, a coconspirator of the Commodore’s in a plan to kidnap the President’s niece Dorothy, the real action begins.
Set in the early part of the 20th century, “Audacity Jones: To The Rescue” highlights the times as well as the social issues and the technological changes occurring during the period. Descriptions of clothing and of items such as buttoned boots and “…a sturdy hat of brown beaver …” allow the reader to visualize the characters as they would have looked during that era. Following her parents’ deaths and as a single woman, Miss Maisie Witherton had few options to generate income – her School for Wayward Girls, taking in orphans, provided a solution. The transition from horses to the “horseless carriage” and the resulting disruption is highlighted through the focus on Juice Johnson’s grandfather Daddy Dub. Because of their color, both Juice and the Commodore’s driver Cypher found employment opportunities limited and often encountered suspicion with respect to their motives and character.
Pithy comments and some veiled humor make “Audacity Jones: To The Rescue” as much a pleasure to read for adults as it is for the target audience. For example, the School for Wayward Girls uses only “…Professor Teachtest’s Apple Core Method …” of instruction. The Professor was using his profits to purchase his third villa in Tuscany. Miss Maisie’s mind is compared to a steel trap – “…One that was rusted shut …” Mirroring more recent issues with security, one member of Taft’s Secret Service detail gives “…the man from the desert …” a private phone number and clandestine access to the White House.
Although Kirby Larson uses the third person narrative, the anonymous speaker draws readers into the story through his own commentary on developments. Additionally, he occasionally solicits the reader’s thoughts on the narrative or the characters’ motives. These methods create an intimacy between the reader and “Audacity Jones” that is often missing in less skillfully crafted novels. The writing in “Audacity Jones: To The Rescue” is complex and varied. A sophisticated, rich vocabulary may require both young readers and their parents to reach for a dictionary. If you love words, this makes the book a joy to read.
“Audacity Jones: To The Rescue” reminded me of so many other works of literature or theater. Like Astrid Lindgren’s “Pippi Longstocking”, Audacity is a vibrant, independent, resourceful, and mischievous girl. Similar to the story in “Annie” a seemingly wealthy benefactor – Commodore Crutchfield - plucks Audacity, whom he repeatedly calls “Annie” from an orphanage for his own purposes. Like Daddy Warbucks, the Commodore becomes quite fond of his charge. Audacity, like Annie, is able to turn the situation to her benefit. The wit and the tone of the narrative were reminiscent of Lemony Snickett’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events” books. Like O. Henry’s “Ransom of Red Chief”, a child thwarts two miscreants’ nefarious plans. In contrast to “Paper Moon”, in which a young girl acts as the foil for her con man partner, in “Audacity Jones” the child is initially unaware of the planned schemes.
I loved “Audacity Jones: To The Rescue” and look forward to additional books in the series. I do wish this book had been available for the holiday season – it would have been a perfect gift for anyone who loves reading and enjoys a rollicking good story.
Most recent customer reviews
I'm not really sure what to make of this book. While it is beautifully written, the entire plot line is very weak.Read more
Set in the early 1900s, Audacity is a witty orphan who enjoys reading...Read more