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Published by Dial Books--Penguin on September 10, 2001 (the day before 9/11)
Historical Fiction/For ages 9-12 (the main character is almost 14)
The year is 1893 and Rosie Beckett is almost 14, she lives in a rural area of Illinois. Her father is a farmer. They are "plain country people". Rosie's older sister is Lottie age 17 and her younger brother is Buster age 7. Rosie's aunt Euterpe sends them train tickets to travel to Chicago, to attend the World's Columbian Exposition Fair to honor the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America.
I loved this story! An event that I knew little about--The Chicago's World Fair came alive for me in the story of Rosie and her family.
The opening sentence set the tone for the story, " It was the last day of our old lives, and we didn't even know it." That sentence was a prediction of the amazing life altering changes that would occur in this family. The late 1800's was coming to a close and astonishing inventions were right on the cusp of development. It was an age of exciting discoveries and advancement.
History is brought a live in the story of the Beckett family.
The story is a learning tool for children yet it does not feel as such.
To me their grandfather is the most interesting and eccentric character in the book. He has lived through many life experiences in his life, he has met many fascinating historical figures, yet is at ease with new inventions and change. Change is hard for many people especially as they grow older, but the grandfather seemed to cherish these new fangled ideas with excitement.
Rosie the main character and voice soaks in her world with intelligence. She is a girl with humor, solid work ethic, obedience to parents, a love of learning, and a restlessness for adventure.
|Above 3 photographs are from The World's Columbian Exposition.|