It’s that time of year when we’re all ready for something a little spooky, right? Well, I’ve got a few scary ideas for you, but I definitely want to mention The Night Gardener.
This book was provided to me by my Mom, because she knows how much I love historical fiction. What I discovered while reading it was a wonderfully crafted book that follows a boy’s journey to the English settlement of Jamestown.
Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster is a tale that made me hold my breath, laugh, and cry. Set in 1875 London, the novel will never let you think of chimney sweeps the same way. In fact, before your child digs into this story, you might have a quick conversation about what a chimney sweep did back when.
I was very excited when I first spied these books at Barnes & Noble (I do a lot of bookshelf stalking at that store). What a great way to introduce history to readers through some of the most intense events. My son has consumed a number of these with me, and I imagine he’ll continue to read them on his own as he gains more confidence
I ran across this novel on a recent trip to Branson, Missouri, home of the largest Titanic museum (you had no idea, did you?). While the story had my children swearing off cruise ships for life, I found myself fascinated once again by history of this tragedy. Maybe that’s because I had relatives who had planned to take the ship (and they were not of the first-class variety). Maybe it’s because folly led to death, and the personal stories of loss still get me in the gut.
Maybe you like historical fiction, and maybe you don’t. But with Kevin Sands’ Blackthorn Key, it doesn’t matter, because the adventure and stakes are so grand, this book will appeal to anyone.
For any child (or adult) with a love of music (which is most of us), your heart will sing with this beautiful novel. It is a time commitment for kids. At 87,000 words (about the same as Percy Jackson novels), it’s not a quick read. But it’s one that will leave you full long after its over.