Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Always Emily

Always Emily
by Michaela MacColl
From the publisher:
"Emily and Charlotte Brontë are about as opposite as two sisters can be. Charlotte is practical and cautious; Emily is headstrong and imaginative. But they do have one thing in common: a love of writing. This shared passion will lead them to be two of the first published female novelists and authors of several enduring works of classic literature. But they’re not there yet. First, they have to figure out if there is a connection between a string of local burglaries, rumors that a neighbor’s death may not have been accidental, and the appearance on the moors of a mysterious and handsome stranger. The girls have a lot of knots to untangle—before someone else gets killed."

I am always very leary about reading books that are remakes of my favorites, or about people I love, so I started this with a little trepidation. That stayed with me for quite some time, and I was disappointed to read of the antagonism between the sisters. I always pictured the Bronte sisters like Little Women , plus a ne'er-do-well brother. I'll have to do more research on that, but this author really seemed to do her research, so I'm not going to argue that point until I learn more. Eventually, however, the characters in the book took on a life of their own and I enjoyed the rest. It was interesting to read the chapter headings and see how they applied to the story. I was a little disturbed by the description of the Free Masons, as I know they were a much respected group that a lot of our founding fathers were a part of, but the Author's Note at the end of the book cleared that up. In fact, the Author's Note was almost my favorite part of the book. What a family those Bronte's were! Each one probably deserves their own book, the Rev. Bronte most particularly. I think any book that creates a desire to read and learn more is a success.

Areas of Concern:
Scary situations several times.
A kissing scene.

Suggested Ages:
Publisher's Weekly - Ages 12+
School Library Journal - Grades 7+

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