Set in 1848, Starting from Seneca Falls by Karen Schwabach joins a multitude of other information-rich, historical fiction books written for young readers.  Schwabach’s novel features eleven-year-old Brigid Gallagher (aka Bridie) who was born in Ireland but orphaned when her last living relative—her mother—is left destitute by a husband who drinks too much.  That is after her father and her brothers die on the coffin ships navigating to America during the potato famine in Ireland. Because Bridie asks question, points out the problems with things, speaks when not spoken to, and has opinions about the way things ought to be, she is considered trouble.  SheRead More →

Olivia (Livie) Mead trades safety, comfort, and normalcy for a rare and enchanting adventure on her seventeenth birthday, October 31, 1900, when she participates in a women’s suffrage rally. Later that night, in the spirit of a good Halloween fright and under pressure from her friends, Livie agrees to subject herself to hypnosis and experiences the utter bliss of deep relaxation.  Henri Reverie, the hypnotist, tells Livie that because of her birth date, “legend says you are a charmed individual. You can read dreams and possess lifelong protection against the spirits” (9), but from that night onward, Livie’s life changes drastically. Livie’s father, the infamousRead More →