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Shorter Musings: MG Historical Fiction

Sometimes I read a book, and I even enjoy it, but I don't have much to say about it. I jot down a few thoughts and then I move on. Some of those are starting to pile up so I thought I would put them all together in one post.

Here are some MG Historical Fiction books I've read recently and my shorter musings on them.

One Came Home by Amy Timberlake
 One Came Home is solid historical fiction, a mystery, and tale about a gun toting girl who lives on the Wisconsin frontier. The plotting is interesting and the pacing works for the plot. Sort of. The story has several flashbacks and these are sometimes jarring and rambled. I know that was meant to show Georgie's frame of mind, but it made the story rather awkward in places. The mystery and action are wonderfully done when they're included and will probably keep readers engaged, particularly if they are into this sort of story. I would have liked this much more if I had liked or appreciated any of the characters but they all seemed to me to be stereotypical with little to no depth. Also the last couple pages are a little preachy in tone for my taste. Almost like the author wanted to sum up the whole thing with "And the moral is..." 

Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus
Shadow on the Mountain is a story of spies and espionage in WWII Norway. It is a fictionalized account of true events. It is an excellent choice for anyone who enjoys historical fiction and wants to know more about World War II. There isn't as much action and adventure as you might expect from a novel about spies, but that grounds it in reality more. It is very episodic in nature and covers a lot of years and I had trouble connecting to or caring for the characters as a result. 

The Unfortunate Son by Constance Leeds 
The Unfortunate Son is strong historical fiction. The story is very plot centered so there is a lot of this happened and then this happened. The characters were not well developed and I felt a distance from the story as a result. I'm a character reader and I felt the characterization was lacking a lot here. The story was an interesting one. It is not often that you get a story of a European boy being taken captive as a slave to Africa. I have to say that the ending bothered me quite a bit. The story just sort of stops with little resolution.


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