The Striped Ships

Eloise McGraw, Author Margaret K. McElderry Books $15.95 (229p) ISBN 978-0-689-50532-4
The Norman invasion of England on Michaelmas Eve morning in 1066 is the setting for this historical novel starring 11-year-old Juliana, daughter of a Saxon thane. She was among the first to sight the invading ships as she shirked her embroidery to steal a quiet walk on the beach. With her luxurious life a dim memory, Juliana is separated from all of her family except her young brother Wulfric but manages to deliver him safely to Canterbury. She ultimately escapes from slavery and finds a modest yet fulfilling life as an embroiderer on the great Bayeux Tapestry. McGraw's ( The Money Room ; Moccasin Trail ) finely balanced blend of historical detail and dramatic invention admirably brings to life the harsh realities and emotional tumult in a country under seige. Juliana is the perfect heroine, feisty and practical; her invigorating struggle to become self-reliant craftily encompasses the complicated political issues of the period. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
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