The Ballad of Lucy Whipple by Karen Cushman

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Synopsis

In 1849 a twelve-year-old girl who calls herself Lucy is distraught when her mother moves the family from Massachusetts to a small California mining town. There Lucy helps run a boarding house and looks for comfort in books while trying to find a way to return "home."
 

About Karen Cushman

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Karen Cushman has a long-standing interest in history. She says, "I grew tired of hearing about kings, princes, generals and presidents. I wanted to know what life was like for ordinary young people in other times." Research into medieval English history and culture led to the writing of Catherine Called Birdy,winner of the 1995 Newbery Honor Award, and The Midwife's Apprentice, winner of the 1996 Newbery Medal. Her research moved in a new diredtion as she learned about nineteenth century women and children for The Ballad of Lucy Whipple. Ms. Cushman was born in Chicago, Illinois. She received an M.A. in Human Behavior and one in Museum Studies. She and her husband and daughter share their Oakland, California, home with two cats, a dog and a rabbit.
 
Published August 16, 1996 by Clarion Books. 228 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Ballad of Lucy Whipple

Kirkus Reviews

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her lively narration and stubborn, slightly naive self-confidence (as well as a taste for colorful invective: ``Gol durn, rip-snortin' rumhole and cussed, dad-blamed, dag diggety, thundering pisspot,'' she storms) recall the narrator of Catherine, Called Birdy (1994), without seeming as anachroni...

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Publishers Weekly

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California rebels by renaming herself Lucy and by hoarding the gold dust and money she earns baking dried apple and vinegar pies, saving up for a journey home.

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Publishers Weekly

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PW gave a starred review to this gold-rush novel by Newbery Medalist Cushman, calling it ""a coming-of-age story rich with historical flavor."" Ages 8-12.

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