Derwood, Inc. – Peabody Adventure Series #1

Pull on your boots! It’s winter in Peabody, Wisconsin, and there is plenty of excitement afoot at the Derwood household. Siblings Jack and Penny become entangled in an international smuggling operation and the nonstop adventure of cracking a dangerous case. At times, however, it is hard to decide which is a greater threat — seasoned criminals or neighboorhood bullies.

By Jeri Massi. Derwood, Inc. is the first book in the Peabody Adventure series. Fiction, ages 9-12

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Carolina’s Courage

It takes courage to leave a familiar town, a comfortable homestead, and personal belongings and old friends. It takes courage to live in a small wagon, traveling barely a hundred miles a week through Indian territory. But it takes a special out-of-the-ordinary courage to give up the dearest treasure of the heart. This is the story of Carolina Putnam, a New Hampshire girl who has to find out if she has the true spirit of a pioneer.

Written by Elizabeth Yates, ages 7-9

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Mountain Born – YA Fiction

Every day on the sheep farm is an adventure for Peter and his pet lamb. They enjoy roaming the green hills and relaxing after a long day’s work. But the pastures hold danger, too — wolves, cliffs, and snowstorms. With the help of an old shepherd, Peter and the lamb learn the importance of courage and leadership.

Written by Elizabeth Yates, a Newbery Honor Book published by Journey Forth.

Fiction, ages 9-12

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Robert E. Lee Gallant Christian Soldier – Roddy

Robert E. Lee was one of the most truly remarkable men in our nation’s history. The author writes, “I searched diligently for a flaw in Lee’s character. There was none.” What was this General’s secret? He was a Christ-bearer. His secret was that he found the source of his strength and commitment in Christ. By Lee Roddy, 169 pages.

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A Picture of Freedom – McKissack

A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl, Belmont Plantation, Virginia 1859 (Dear America Series) by Patricia McKissack.

Clotee is an orphan living on the plantation of “Mas’ Henley” and “Miz Lilly.” Her owners have put her to work fanning Miz Lilly and her young son William during tutoring sessions. William may not be keen to learn, but Clotee is. She has learned to read while looking over the boy’s shoulder and eventually she teaches herself how to write. She practices her newfound skills by writing in a makeshift, secret diary, which is found by William’s new tutor. Luckily, he turns out to be an abolitionist. Through his work, Clotee helps some of her friends escape to the North, but she herself chooses to stay behind on the plantation as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. Clotee is such a vibrant, fully rounded character that it is almost painful to think of her left on the plantation while her friends and fellow slaves go to freedom. McKissack brings Clotee alive through touching and sobering details of slave life, told in such a matter-of-fact way that their often brutal nature is made abundantly clear. However, this is in no way a depressing book. In fact, it is an inspiring look at a young girl coming of age in terrible circumstances who manages to live life to the fullest.

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