Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Chapter Books - Series -History Mysteries

Looking for a book or two with a historical twist that even gives some facts without seeming like it is teaching? Well, I suggest giving American Girl History Mysteries a try. Even if you are not an original American Girl series fan, these History Mysteries may change your mind. When first looking at them you may not see that much difference between the series. They both have girls as the primary characters, each story is set in a specific time period, and the girl usually musters up some type of courage to overcome. From this point the story takes somewhat of a different path. No two books in the mysteries use the same time period, geographical area, or character more then once, at least so far. Like most mysteries there is an air of suspense and the secretive clue finding that leads to solving the mystery without or at least very little adult participation.

The topics for some of these books have ranged from 1724 Carolina pirates to the 1812 War and the end of the Civil War through the Women’s Suffragist movement. The stories are fairly straightforward and easy to read, but there is some element of complexity that you do not find in the original American Girl series. There are a number of authors that contribute to this series, but for some reason I have only picked up the ones from two specifically.

Some that I have read include
#1: The Smuggler’s Treasure by Sarah Masters Buckey
#3: The Night Flyers by Elizabeth McDavid Jones
#5: Secrets on 26th Street by Elizabeth McDavid Jones
#9: Watcher in the Piney Woods by Elizabeth McDavid Jones
#13: Enemy in the Fort by Sarah Masters Buckey
#15: Mystery on Skull Island by Elizabeth McDavid Jones

I have tried in the past to share a few of these with boys, particularly those with a topic to spark their interest like pirates. But, unfortunately this is one of those books that says girl all over it. Maybe there is a boy somewhere that isn’t put off by that, but I would doubt there is more then a hand full. I recommend for ages 9 and up. Check out Kidsreads.com series for more information.


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