April 8, 2012
by Mrs. McGriff
I did a lot of reading over Spring Break. (That’s what long car rides will do.) Now I’m trying to catch up with telling you about all the great books I read. You are going to love these.
These first three books feature girls who will do whatever it takes to get what it want. They may live in different times and places, but they share a strength of will that will amaze and impress you.
Firehorse by Diane Lee Wilson (Scholastic 2006)
Rachel is horse-crazy. It may be proper for young ladies to ride side-saddle, but she doesn’t have time for propriety when she is astride her horse Peaches, racing trains across the countryside. Her wild rides come to an end when her father moves the family to Boston. A tragic fire leaves a firehorse terribly burned, and Rachel volunteers to nurse it back to health. As she tends to the horse, Rachel dreams of becoming a veterinarian, unheard of in 1782. Her newspaper man father certainly won’t hear of it. A plague sweeps across the city, killing horses and leaving the city vulnerable to fire. Through crisis after crisis, Rachel finds herself in the middle of it. Her passion and her level head see her through, and might even lead to romance. I cheered for Rachel through every challenge she faced. This book is packed with action.
An Acquaintance with Darkness by Ann Rinaldi (Gulliver Books 1997)
I picked this one up in the gift shop at Ford’s Theater. Once again, Ann Rinaldi weaves a tale of personal tragedy against a backdrop of national tragedy. As the book opens, Emily is caring for her dying mother. She is grateful for the support of her best friend and neighbor Annie Surratt. After her mother’s death, Emily must go live with her uncle, a doctor who may or may not be involved in creepy after-dark activities. Emily is so wrapped up in her own personal tragedy, that she can barely focus on the shock that grips that nation when John Wilkes Boothe kills President Abraham Lincoln. But when her best friend’s mother is arrested for plotting Lincoln’s murder, she is forced to look beyond herself. Will she see clearly before it is too late? This book is a seriously creepy read.
Girl, Stolen by April Henry (Scholastic 2010)
Cheyenne Wilder is sick and just wants to sleep in the backseat of the car while her stepmother goes in to pick up her prescription. She doesn’t count on someone hijacking the car. The hijacker, Griffin, doesn’t count on there being a girl in the back seat. Cheyenne is also the daughter of the president of the Nike corporation. Once Griffin’s dad puts all the pieces together, he gets greedy. How will Cheyenne survive this nightmare? Not only is Cheyenne sick with pneumonia, she is blind. I love the strength and determination that Cheyenne shows in trying to escape and survive her kidnappers. She uses everything she knows from being blind to transform her lack of sight into a strength as well as a liability. I had no idea how Cheyenne could escape as I read, but she never gave up. This is the book for you if you want one to keep the pages turning.