Apple Valley: The Dare

Nancy Covert Smith, Author
Nancy Covert Smith, Author Avon Books $3.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-380-77390-9
Mass Market Paperbound - 162 pages - 978-0-380-77391-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 134 pages - 978-0-380-77392-3
Paperback - 150 pages - 978-0-380-78091-4
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This smooth opener to the Apple Valley trilogy begins in 1820, when feisty DeLanna Robinsohn is only nine years old, living with her German American family on a farm in western Pennsylvania. Much to the dismay of her humorless, exacting mother, DeLanna eschews ladylike pastimes while embracing such boyish pleasures as climbing trees and racing her horse. Luckily, DeLanna's clan also includes a kind, spirited paternal grandmother and an equally supportive father as well as three older brothers. Pivotal to Smith's briskly paced plot is a neighbor, Andrew Tabor, whose constant dares to DeLanna inevitably incur her mother's wrath. Finally DeLanna is sent to Philadelphia to stay with a prim great-aunt and take poise and lace-making classes at Miss Talbert's Academy of Behavior and Etiquette. Reprieved from this miserable existence, the strong-willed girl-now 14-demonstrates that she is just as free-spirited as ever before the tale comes to a rather abrupt conclusion. Believable enough characters provide ample incentive for readers to move on to The Proposal and The Journey, due out this same month. Ages 12-up. (Nov.)
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