Saint John Don Bosco:

"Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?"

To find more books by your favorite author, click on the author's name in the title...

Also, try searching by "historical fiction" if you're looking for novels at a certain time period...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Unsigned Valentine by Johanna Hurwitz

Declared a bit silly by my teen, this sweet Valentine story was well-received by my mid and younger tween. Since that is the target age-group, it's a good sign.

Emma's story takes place in the year 1911. She is only fifteen, and that makes it tough when the handsome Cole Berry comes calling. Her father, much to her dismay, forbids their courtship because of her age. Polite and respectful, Cole complies...and sends an unsigned Valetine to her come February.

Emma fervently hopes that she is the only one to receive a Valentine from Cole, and that he did not also send one to that dreaded Josie girl who clearly has designs for marriage in general and in particular with Cole.

Events which actually took place in 1911-12 Vermont work to get them together: namely, a tremendous flood in which Cole manages to play a heroic role and impress Emma's father.

The last few pages include an author's explanation of the weaving of historical fact into fictional stories, such as Emma meeting the future Mrs. Calvin Coolidge.

One interesting topic for conversation may be that Emma decides one Sunday to run a charitable errand instead of going to Church: she's a Protestant and does not recognize deliberately missing Sunday service (she doesn't attend mass) as a sin.

See: Catechism of the Catholic Church: Eucharistic Celebration: Participation as Church Precept: 1389; 2042

Historical Fiction: America: Early 1900


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