Imogene’s Last Stand

Candace Fleming, Author, Nancy Carpenter, Illustrator , illus. by Nancy Carpenter Random/Schwartz & Wade $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-375-83607-7

Young history buffs will delight as tenacious heroine Imogene Tripp fights to save her town’s ramshackle historical society building and its contents. Prone to reciting the “immortal words” of famous historical figures, Imogene spruces up the museum only to discover it’s destined for the wrecking ball. Carpenter’s (My Uncle Emily ) lively pen and watercolor illustrations show Imogene’s attempts to rally support, as she distributes flyers from her father’s biplane and, in one scene, dramatically rides through the streets like Paul Revere shouting, “The bulldozers are coming!” (spot art humorously reveals her to be riding a stick pony). Endpapers feature portraits of and background about the original speakers of Imogene’s quotations, which will help novice historians put her words and actions in context. In spite of the fat-cat mayor with a name sure to elicit giggles and thanks to a lucky discovery, Imogene triumphs in a slightly over-the-top ending. Fleming (The Great and Only Barnum ) also succeeds at introducing a smattering of history while entertaining with a story about the importance of preserving it. Imogene’s passion and comedic perseverance inspire. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 10/05/2009
Release date: 10/01/2009
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