Archive for the ‘Historical Fiction’ Category

I truly enjoyed this book and I’m sure that you’ll enjoy it as well, if you like legends, that is. Now, I’m not talking about Greek Gods and mythology type things, but Arthurian legends, stories and myths of Camelot! Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell tells of the famed Elaine of Ascolat, Lady of Shalott. Stories have been told, paintings and poems created in her name since the day s of King Arthur. In this book, though, 16 year old Elaine is a fiery young girl, a true tomboy, thought of only as a little, lovable sister by all of the men in Arthur’s army camp, where she lives. I love Elaine’s character! She is a classic heroine, a girl who is truly underestimated by all, but who is stronger than any could ever imagine! She wants to be seen as more than a silly, little girl by Lancelot, one of Arthur’s knights, but then Gwynivere, Arthur’s bride-to-be, is introduced, and her delicate, feminine looks, mannerisms and dress make Elaine look like a ruffian. The two girls are at each other’s throats until they are put into a life or death situation. The two must band together to escape the clutches of their captives and warn the army of the looming danger! This book is not only a great adventure story, but a story about coming of age, growing into your skin, true love, loss and heartbreak and friendship. Teen girls can relate to Elaine because we’ve all had a first crush and we’ve all had our Gwyniveres to deal with, but this book will help you realize that your own Gwyn might not be so bad after all! So if you like what you’ve read, I urge you to read more of Elaine’s valiant journey and her encounters with cold-hearted Gwynivere in Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell. I’m positive you won’t regret it!

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookmarks!

Reviewed by: Austen A.


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This book was recommended to me by my son, who is 11, so needless to say,  it is considered Young Adult in terms of its target audience.  However, I have learned to heed a recommendation to read something if the recommendation comes from one of my children.  They really have never steered me wrong.  They love to read, and love to read a broad range of genres.  I found this book, which is fiction, but written in the first person, to be informative and inspiring.  The story begins as our protagonist, a Navajo Indian boy,  heads off to a school far from his home on the reservation in order to learn the language and ways of white men.   After being told for years by the staff at this government school that nothing Navajo is good or worthwhile, he joins the Marines during WWII and becomes a Navajo code talker.  Suddenly, the beloved language of his ancestors is desperately needed by the government, and our hero is proud and eager to serve.  He describes many of the battles of the war in which code talkers played a vital role.  Remarkably, many of the men that served with these code talkers, never knew what the real role  of their fellow marines was.  It wasn’t until 1969, when all documents regarding code talkers were declassified, that any of these brave men could reveal, even to their own families, what their true mission was.  They served faithfully and bravely and were ultimately discharged without any reference made, anywhere, to their important job.

Through his depiction of the main character, the author of this book successfully conveys the simultaneous pride and humility that, in his opinion, embody the Navajo people.  And, aside from the decriptions of battle, which I confess I did not enjoy, there was a sense of peace and self-awareness which came through this character which, I can only hope was a real part of these brave men, who went into battle to help America win the war.

I found this book to be very interesting and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys war history, or even American history.  Because the book is intended for young adults, it is a fast read for adults.

I give this book 4 out of 5 bookmarks.

Reviewed by:  Anna

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