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Behind the Masks : the Diary of Angeline…
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Odd story, but I was able to imagine living in Bodie in 1880. ( )
  Smoscoso | Jun 9, 2016 |
PSC REVIEW: The newest addition to the Dear America series doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects. Author Susan Patron returns to the California desert (Higher Power of Lucky) for this story about Angeline Reddy of Bodie in 1880. It opens with Angeline and her mother receiving word that her father has been killed. Angeline discovers this isn’t true when she sneaks into the mortuary and discovers another man in her father’s casket. The complex story includes the former brothel employee now married to the town butcher, a Chinese girl who finds Brodie residents hostile, and the vigilantes who threaten to take over the town so it’s run their way “the decent white” way. Patron writes in Victorian speech, so the characters may seem a little stilted to today’s readers but it is an authentic voice. This book may be to challenging for many Dear America readers, but the honesty of frontier life will be appreciated by more mature readers. ( )
  brangwinn | Oct 3, 2012 |
This entire series is a wonderful way to learn history or teach it to adolescents. I find today's generations seem to recall more when they learn through other people (pop songs, celebrity gossip, etc.), so what better way to teach history than through someone else's perspective? Yes, "authentic" diaries would be "better", but would the language really hold the modern student's attention? Did the diary writer know what WOULD be important in the context of history? Probably not.
  benuathanasia | Sep 5, 2012 |
I selected this book for two reasons, historical fiction is my favorite genre, and I have visited Bodie, California. The use of diary entries to tell the story, and the amount of historical detail included made it almost believable. The eerie description of the ghost encounters were extremely detailed and spooky. I could picture the scene each time. The reader of the story added to my enjoyment of the book. ( )
  coachncheern | Jul 19, 2012 |
I was a bit worried that the latest addition to Scholastic's Dear America series would fall to the stereotypes of the "Wild West," but Behind the Masks generally managed, as with the rest of the series, to rise above what is expected. Like the rest of the excellent series, it provides a tale rich in historical detail - albeit this time with a touch of mystery and ghostliness.

Having been a fan of Dear America since early elementary school, I found Behind the Masks to match the historical accuracy of the earlier books, bringing to life the time period and the characters for readers. Being a more discerning reader than I was in elementary school, I also found parts - mostly the mystery ones - to seem a little rushed and confusing. Other than that, however, the author presents a lifelike young voice from the time period. I learned quite a lot about California frontier life, especially its socio-political aspects, from reading this! I also appreciated that Angeline is not the all-perfect character; her "sidekicks" are as every bit as important to the uncovering of the Bodie mystery as is she. Behind the Masks is certainly a welcome and satisfactory addition to the series! ( )
  SusieBookworm | Mar 13, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0545304377, Hardcover)

Newbery Award-winning author Susan Patron brings her talents to the beloved Dear America series in this exciting story of a girl growing up in the Wild West, in a California gold mining town.

Growing up in the wild gold-mining town of Bodie, California, in the 1880s, Angeline Reddy has seen it all -- saloons, brawls, and a whole lot of desperation. When her father, Bodie's greatest lawyer, is declared murdered, Angie knows deep in her heart that he isn't dead and decides it is up to her to solve the mystery of what happened to him. But when her mother takes ill and a mysterious ghost appears, putting together the puzzle pieces seems impossible. Not to mention, a gang of vigilantes, the 601, is raging out of control, running folks out of town, and nobody seems safe.
Will Angie, with the help of her friends Ellie and Ling Loi, and the mysterious and tragically handsome Antoine, be able to uncover the secret of her father's disappearance?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:50 -0400)

In the "wild west" of an 1880s California gold-mining town, Angeline investigates the supposed murder of her father, a famous criminal lawyer, who she and her mother are certain is still alive. Includes historical notes and instructions for making a mask from muslin.… (more)

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