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Last in a Long Line of Rebels Paperback – September 6, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Lou Mayhew's summer after sixth grade is off to a bad start. While eavesdropping, she learns that her home, which has been in her family for 176 years and is next to her father's junkyard, is slated to be torn down through the process of eminent domain for city offices. Then she learns that Isaac, who works weekends for her father and is the best player on the high school football team, didn't win the scholarship to the University of Tennessee because of the coach's prejudice. Lou and her friends are convinced that there's got to be a way to save the house and get Isaac to UT. They believe the answer lies in a Civil War diary that Lou finds in an old box, along with some purportedly stolen gold. During the war, there was a "lost" shipment and all the clues lead to the ancestor who built her home. The characters are true to life, and the younger children and Isaac grow and mature over the summer. In the midst of solving a Civil War-era mystery, Lou and her friends confront racism in their own time. Lou feels deeply and is single-minded in her pursuit of justice. VERDICT A solid debut novel for middle graders who enjoy a blend of history and mystery.—Nancy P. Reeder, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, Columbia, SC --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
* “Accomplished debut. . . . Strong secondary characters, including Lou’s thrice-divorced flirtatious grandmother, help build the strong sense of small-town community. Tyre masterfully weaves historical details into Lou’s discoveries in ways that never feel facile, while deftly and satisfyingly resolving past and present puzzles.”—Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
“Louise Duncan Mayhew’s perspective in the 1860s is an intriguing contrast to Lou’s modern narration at the turn of the 21st century. . . . The story addresses injustice in plain language that is accessible to young readers who enjoy whodunits.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Tyre’s debut features characters that are believable in their naïveté and sense of invincibility. . . . Louise’s account of their summer adventures, with chapters headed by entries from a Civil War diary, should please middle-grade readers looking for a solid story with an intriguing historical connection.”—Booklist
“The characters are true to life. . . . In the midst of solving a Civil War–era mystery, Lou and her friends confront racism in their own time. Lou feels deeply and is single-minded in her pursuit of justice. A solid debut novel for middle graders who enjoy a blend of history and mystery.”—School Library Journal
“The rumors of the gold, a found diary, and the arrival of a visitor strangely interested in Lou’s house add up to an engaging amateur sleuth story, complete with a satisfying ending. A fine readalone, this might also provide an approachable and entertaining supplement to a classroom unit on the Civil War.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Middle school readers will gain an appreciation for history and mystery as Lou and her friends attempt to unravel her family’s tangled past. . . . As they search for clues, they begin to see how the past is closely linked to the present and that injustice did not stop with the Civil War. The small southern town setting, the engaging characters, the well-developed plot, and the exciting resolution make this a charming coming-of-age debut novel. Diary entries add an authentic historical flavor.”—School Library Connection
From the Hardcover edition.
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This book is fun and fast-paced with lots of witty southern humor. The author also weaves in some serious topics such as the civil war, slavery and racism. The characters are wonderfully authentic and the story is full of heart.