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2021 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska (1)
- Arizona (4)
- Arkansas (1)
- California (11)
- Colorado (2)
- Connecticut (2)
- Delaware (1)
- Florida (2)
- Georgia (1)
- Hawaii (2)
- Idaho (1)
- Illinois (7)
- Indiana (1)
- Iowa (1)
- Kansas (1)
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine (1)
- Maryland (2)
- Massachusetts (2)
- Michigan (1)
- Minnesota (1)
- Mississippi (1)
- Missouri (1)
- Montana (3)
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (3)
- New Hampshire (1)
- New Jersey (1)
- New Mexico
- New York (11)
- North Carolina (2)
- North Dakota (1)
- Ohio (7)
- Oklahoma (1)
- Oregon (4)
- Pennsylvania (5)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina (1)
- South Dakota (1)
- Tennessee (3)
- Texas (6)
- Utah (2)
- Vermont (3)
- Virginia (3)
- Washington (6)
- West Virginia (1)
- Wisconsin (2)
- Wyoming (2)
- *Washington, D.C. (1)

Australia (3)
Canada (8)
China (2)
England (20)
France (2)
Ireland (2)
Italy (1)
Japan (1)
Norway (1)
Scotland (1)
Spain (1)
Switzerland (1)
The Philippines (1)
Wales (1)

My Progress:

51 / 51 states. 100% done!

2021 Fall Into Reading Challenge

My Progress:

21 / 24 books. 88% done!

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
(Hosted by Yours Truly!)

My Progress:

20 / 25 books. 80% done!

2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge

My Progress:

38 / 52 books. 73% done!

Booklist Queen's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

43 / 52 books. 83% done!

2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

The 52 Club's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

47 / 52 books. 90% done!
Thursday, December 03, 2020

MG Lighthouse Keeping Novel Another Intriguing Historical Novel in a Favorite-of-Mine Series

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Although helping at the lighthouse might not be a very "ladylike" thing to do, 15-year-old Amelia "Wickie" Martin loves aiding her father in his assistant lighthouse keeper duties.  Her dad, a former captain, was stripped of his ship after helping an abolitionist and banished to remote Fenwick Island, Delaware.  Wickie's mother is still bitter over the family's tarnished reputation and reduced financial situation.  Wickie couldn't be happier.  Living in a border state means everyone around her—including her parents—are hotly divided over the issue of slavery.  It's only in the lighthouse that Wickie feels true peace.  There, she can be herself, which means quietly supporting abolition and even finding her own ways to help the cause.  While the Civil War tears her nation and her parents apart, can Wickie find a way to keep herself intact?

Scholastic started publishing the Dear America books—a series of middle-grade novels penned by various well-known authors written in diary format and centered around important historical events—in 1996, while I was a sophomore in college.  I wish they had been in circulation when I was in elementary school because I would have eaten them up!  Even as an adult, I enjoy these quick, intimate historical novels.  I've read a number of them.  When I was looking for a book set in Delaware for the Literary Escapes Reading Challenge, I came across A Light in the Storm by Karen Hesse.  Although the book is more episodic than plot-driven, it made for an interesting read.  I enjoyed learning about lighthouse keeping, something I've not encountered before in fiction.  Hesse mentions in her Author's Note that Wickie was inspired by a real-life female Lightkeeper, Ida Lewis, whose careful watch saved many from dying at sea.  I'd never heard of Lewis' heroic efforts, so that made A Light in the Storm even more fascinating.  Also intriguing was looking at the Civil War from the position of someone living in a border state.  That situation put a new spin on the subject for me.  I did find Wickie's life—and thus her story—to be a sad, depressing one.  For that reason and more, I liked but didn't love this novel.  

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other books in the Dear America series)   


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for violence and scenes of peril

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find


  1. There was a series published in Canada of historical fiction of MG back when I was a teacher librarian and I think this is it. The girls loved them.

  2. This series sounds like a great idea for middle grade students.


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