Tag Archives: historical fiction

Book Review: The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts

27 Apr

30754002I was finally able to sit down and finish The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts by Avi. Yes, that Avi, the Newbery Award Winner. This story is a combination of adventure and historical fiction and would be the perfect book to give to a reluctant historical fiction reader. The adventure keeps the story moving quickly and London in 1724 is such an interesting backdrop.

I don’t usually like quoting other reviews, but I loved how Goodreads described this story, “High adventure from a master storyteller about one boy’s attempt to fend for himself among cruel orphan masters, corrupt magistrates, and conniving thieves.”

Oliver Cromwell Pitts awakens to a flooded home and his father missing, all he has is a damp note that makes him believe his father went to London because his sister might be in trouble. But, without any money or any real answers, Oliver must deal with being sent to a poorhouse, kidnapped and forced to become a thief and later put on trial for his crimes. Will Oliver be able to find his father and sister in the whole of London? Will he be able to escape his kidnappers? And finally, will he be able to survive his own trial?

Twitter Booktalk (140 characters or less): Oliver’s adventure to London to find the answers to his dad’s disappearance, but an orphan master, a thief and a magistrate get in the way.

Title: The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts
Author: Avi
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: May 16, 2017
Page Number: 313 pgs.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 4/24/17

24 Apr

I haven’t had any time to read, working 60 hours this week (all weekend included) plus social and familial obligations have kept me from reading pretty much anything. I’m still working through The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts by Avi and it’s not because it’s a bad story, it’s just I’ve had zero time to do anything but work. I’m hoping this week calms down and I can sit down and spend some time reading!


Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 4/9/17

10 Apr


I really enjoyed The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge this week – a mystery story with a fantastical element set in 19th century Victorian England. It’s an interesting look at gender roles at a time when women were not expected or encouraged to be educated. I also, finally, got my hand on The Hate U Give by debut author, Angie Thomas. It’s a story with its roots in the Black Lives Matter movement and was such a real story that I finished in a day and haven’t stopped thinking about yet. There’s talk about books being mirrors and windows and this story is both – a mirror for so many teens growing up in a low-income neighborhood, while it is very much a window for make teens who have never experienced what Starr, the main character, experiences on a daily basis. Angie Thomas writes very much like teens speak and although the language, sexual content, and violence may be too much for more conservative people, this story directly reflects what has been happening across this country and was truly eye-opening and educational for me.  This is a must-read!

I have finally started The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts by Avi and am already enjoying this high adventure, historical fiction story about a boy in search of his family and on the run from a crime he couldn’t help, but commit. I’m not sure what else I plan on reading this week, but I’ve got a bunch of ARCs I still want to finish before summer starts, so most likely I’ll pick up one of those!


Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 4/3/17

3 Apr

26118377I feel like this is all I say, but it was a crazy week – we’re making some policy changes (to make our library more accessible) and there’s always a little confusion among staff and opinions from patrons.  Hopefully everything has sorted itself out, we’ll see what tomorrow morning brings!

This week I read The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis and boy was it interesting… the book is told from three perspectives and it’s one of those stories that you know things are going to happen, you just don’t know when… And honestly, at the end of the story, I feel as though it ended the only way it could have, even though I was sorry to see it happen. I know this is very vague, but if you like YA thriller/almost realistic fiction, check this one out! I also started The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge, after it was recommended to me again and I ‘m already loving this weird historical fiction story. I’m only in the beginning half of the book and I can’t wait to pick it back up tonight to see what happens next.

I’m hoping to finish The Lie Tree early this week so I can crack open The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts by Avi, which , yes, is still sitting on my TBR list. Plus, I just got sent a YA ARC of a summer read that looks awesome, so I might try and pick that one up as well!


Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’d Love to Meet

28 Mar


I’ve been so lucky to meet some of my favorite authors already (conferences, BEA, festivals, etc.) But I wanted to create a list of authors that I haven’t yet met that I’d really love to meet in person!

  1. Anna McQuinn – Her Lola & Leo series is one of my favorite read alouds for toddler storytime not only because they’re all adorable, but it “about diveristy” without being “about diversity” – a family going about their day-to-day life who also happen to be Black. Love the series, would love to meet this Irish author!
  2. Salina Yoon – Have you ever seen a cuter penguin in your entire life?!?!?! These adorable stories of friendship just make me want to give their creator a great big hug!
  3. Kate DiCamillo – Everything this woman writes is pure genius and I would love to talk with her about where she finds her ideas (especially the names of her characters) and really just sit down and chat with her on the front porch (because I feel like she’d be the type of person who would love that!)
  4. Natalie Lloyd – Because an author who can stop a very quick reader in her tracks and pause because the words are so beautiful to read, that’s a person I have to meet!
  5. R.J. Palacio – I loved Wonder and appreciate the diversity in this story so much. I grew up helping my parents at programs for people with disabilities and learned at a very young age that a disability/deformity doesn’t necessarily stop you, you just have to be a little more creative. I love that so many kids have read this book and love it as much as I do!
  6. Katherine Applegate – Another prolific author, although I didn’t read the Animorphs series, I really enjoyed Home of the BraveThe One and Only Ivan and Crenshaw. I really appreciate authors who aren’t afraid to tackle the “tough” stuff for kids!
  7. Ann M. Martin – An author who I read growing up (almost all the Babysitter Club books) to the books she continues to write that touch my heart – she would be someone I would LOVE to get a chance to talk with!
  8. Nicola Yoon – I got The Sun Is Also a Star as a Christmas gift and it was one of those stories that sucked me up right away and I didn’t want to leave, so now I’ve got to find time to read Everything, Everything and if it’s as great as The Sun then I feel like we need to hang out and talk!
  9. E. Lockhart – A book that completely blindsides me is an amazing experience and that’s what I got when I read We Were Liars – to learn about how Lockhart came up with that idea would be so cool!
  10. Heidi Heilig – A newer book I got a chance to read – I loved the concept of time travel with a pirate ship and the possibility of alternate dimensions through stories – it was awesome!  Definitely an author I’d love to meet!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Book

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