Book: Last in a Long Line of Rebels (2015)
Author: Lisa Lewis Tyre
Genre: MG, Contemporary/Historical (Civil War)
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Opening lines from the book …
Being the junkman’s daughter isn’t always as cool as it might sound. Sure, I get first dibs on all kinds of good stuff—I now have three perfectly good ten-speed bikes—but it comes with a price. As soon as I saw Daddy’s dump truck sitting in the car line, shaking and rattling like it was about to throw a rod, I knew Sally Martin would have something snide to say.
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK…
1) The story in the modern world with Lou as our protagonist. She lives in a rambling old house in a small town in Tennessee. Her father has a junkyard that goes with the house, and Lou often helps him find treasures to resell.
2) This is pretty much a what-I-did-last-summer book. Although, it’s told from the point of view of the beginning of summer vacation. Lou tells one of her mean-girl classmates, Sally, that she has great plans for the summer (because Sally is making fun of the junkyard). So Lou and Benzer are trying their best to find a way to spice up their lazy plans for the summer…
3) What’s really cool about the house are the secret hiding spots! Some of which the family thinks date back to the days of the Civil War! Lou and her friend Benzer are hiding one one such place when she discovers that her parents are worried that the town is trying to get rid of the house! Lou loves this house, so she and Benzer launch a campaign to save it (without letting the grownups know because, well, they didn’t know Lou could hear them.)
4) I loved the connection to the Civil War. Each chapter begins with a portion of the diary of Lou’s great-great-grandmother Louise. Later, Lou and Benzer do find the diary, which isn’t too much of a spoiler, I don’t think. It’s neat how it all connects in the end.
5) There’s some fun shenanigans that Lou and her friends get involved in. Plus, Lou also decides to stand up for her family friend to help him get a scholarship to play football. He’s been overlooked by his particularly racist high coach.
I told you I’ve been on an American Civil War kick of late! This one isn’t set in the 1860s, but there is a very nice connection. I really enjoyed hanging out with Lou and her friends as they work to save her house!
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday…