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Last in a Long Line of Rebels by Lisa Lewis…

Last in a Long Line of Rebels

by Lisa Lewis Tyre

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Narrated by Dorothy Dillingham Blue. Lou Mayhew's sketchy family history during the Civil War comes alive for her when she must find a way to save the longtime Mayhew home. The discovery of a letter and diary written by a namesake ancestor provides crucial info, but is historian George Neeley trying to block Lou's pursuit of the truth? Paralleling Lou's search is a white coach's denial of a college football scholarship to a talented black player. Savvy readers will figure out where the gold is hidden and the happy endings for all struck me as too convenient. But I did appreciate how Lou and her friends engaged in research on the Mayhew home and family. Blue puts on an entertaining presentation, distinctly voicing the various characters and accents for a lively listening experience. Families with older elementary children who enjoy audiobooks together will appreciate this title. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Aug 7, 2016 |
The cover was a bit of a turn off for me. But once I started to read, I was drawn in to this story about Lou, her friends, and family. Louise prays on an old family Bible for an interesting summer. When she's looking at it she finds an old civil war era letter from her ancestors. And when she's eavesdropping in the hidden room behind the book shelf, she discovers that the family's home is being threatened for government take-over by eminent domain. Lou and her best friend Benzini start to investigate ways to save the house and find themselves solving a civil-war era mystery of missing gold, learning about the family, and taking on racism in their town.
Lou is a spit-fire and the characters who surround her (even the adults) are dynamic and engaging. ( )
  ewyatt | Jul 4, 2016 |
Twelve-year-old Lou has experienced the wrath of ‘mean girls’. While Lou lives in a 175-year-old house by a junkyard in one part of Zollicoffer, TN, the ‘mean girls’ live in an affluent part of the neighborhood. It’s summer. Many of the kids are going on extravagant vacation trips. At the beginning of the next school year, they will all write about these fabulous trips. What can Lou write about? Nothing. She and her friend, Ben, find an old family Bible in one of Lou’s many hiding places. Having not prayed in quite a while, she offers up a prayer for something exciting to happen. She wants her vacation assignment to sound impressive.

As soon as the prayer was finished, things began to happen. Exciting things? Yes. Good things? No! First, she overhears her parents talking about the city’s plan to overtake their family home. Then, she discovers that one of her ancestors may have stolen gold; he also may have owned slaves. With the help her friends and a beloved teacher, Lou’s determined to get to the bottom of it all.

This children’s book (middle grade; ages 10 – 13) is Tyre’s debut novel. Even though it’s for younger readers, I really had a great time watching Lou interact with her family and her friends. I enjoyed seeing how she would get herself out of the circumstances she managed to get herself into. The writing is not ‘dumbed down’ for kids, but rather informational in nature. I think children will love to find out about Lou’s family history as she uncovers it. The book is historical both in the current day (1999) as well as the historical period (Civil War) that Lou researches. She finds out she has much more in common than she would have ever thought with the ancestor she was named for. It’s a superb treasure story with a twist. Rating: 5 out of 5. ( )
  FictionZeal | Mar 3, 2016 |
I loved this book there was so much love for God and family here, at least in Lou’s home. There are three generations living here and you enjoy her spunky Grandmother, what great wisdom she has.
Lou has some wonderful friends, old and new, and they enthusiastically embrace her desire to save her family home. Loved the hidden room in the house, but Lou is about to discover some things that make her sad, and others that will bring her great pride.
What an adventure you are about to experience, and you will be amazed at what happens when Lou drives her dad’s truck, oh my what a mess.
This story shows prejudice that goes one by some people, and will open your eyes to what greed can do. There are chuckles and some really heart-warming action here. I recommend this for teens and tweens and adults. I really enjoyed it!
I received this book through TLC Book Tours and was not required to give a positive review. ( )
  alekee | Feb 12, 2016 |
As a debut novel, I am amazed with Lisa Lewis Tyre's use of historical details to bring in the "fun" aspect of a children's novel in Last in a Long Line of Rebels. I have to admit, when I picked this one up, I wasn't sure what to expect. I like the title and I love the cover. The synopsis sure sounds interesting for a history fan like myself, but will it win me over? O, you bet! And for any mystery or history fans out there, you'll love it too! I mean, what not to love? It's like Nancy Drew meets Sherlock Holmes in this novel that's set for children, but fit for anyone at any age. I love how Last in a Long Line of Rebels impress on readers that history is fun, solving a mystery is fun and even if it requires work, it can still be fun and rewarding.

The publisher notes that this is for ages 10+, but I think kids 6+ can enjoy this alongside a parent. Museum trips and history activities will be great complements to this story. Don't get me wrong, even for my suggestion for a younger starting age group, the language in Last in a Long Line of Rebels is not specifically simplified for a younger audience, but just the plot and characters are enjoyable enough for all ages. With the help of parents, younger kids can appreciate it as well and possibly start a new interest in history and finding clues. "Trust but verify." (58) A good phrase for any young Sherlock or Nancy to begin an adventure on.

The characters are quirky but entertaining, and Lisa captures the kids' words and personality so well, that I can't help but feel younger just reading this! I know, not possible, but a girl can dream, especially if like Lou, I can go tree-climbing and find hidden closets and old letters. Besides the historical mystery, Last in a Long Line of Rebels, also ties in themes of racism and treating people right. Even though this is not a Christian book in nature, it does have certain plot lines that brings out an inspirational aspect.

In all, a great book for all ages, including younger kids and adults. Don't let this one pass.

NOTE: I received a complimentary copy of this book through TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
http://justcommonly.blogspot.com/2016/02/last-in-long-line-of-rebels.html ( )
  justcommonly | Feb 9, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399168389, Hardcover)

Debut novelist Lisa Lewis Tyre vibrantly brings a small town and its outspoken characters to life, as she explores race and other community issues from both the Civil War and the present day.
Lou might be only twelve, but she’s never been one to take things sitting down. So when her Civil War-era house is about to be condemned, she’s determined to save it—either by getting it deemed a historic landmark or by finding the stash of gold rumored to be hidden nearby during the war. As Lou digs into the past, her eyes are opened when she finds that her ancestors ran the gamut of slave owners, renegades, thieves and abolitionists. Meanwhile, some incidents in her town show her that many Civil War era prejudices still survive and that the past can keep repeating itself if we let it. Digging into her past shows Lou that it’s never too late to fight injustice, and she starts to see the real value of understanding and exploring her roots.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 31 Aug 2015 08:32:27 -0400)

When the city of Zollicoffer, Tennessee, where her family lives, announces plans to seize their one hundred seventy-five year old house through eminent domain, twelve-year-old Louise Mayhew needs to come up with a way to save it--and her ancestor's Civil War diary linking the house to the Underground Railroad, as well as a hidden treasure, seem to offer her family the best chance of saving their home.… (more)

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