Friday, March 06, 2009

Children’s Books: The Devil’s Paintbox by Victoria McKernan

You can’t think what a relief it is. After wading through stacks of the sort of blood-soaked stories currently in vogue, it was delicious to settle in and enjoy Victoria McKernan’s latest historical adventure, The Devil’s Paintbox (Alfred A. Knopf). Surely kids are ready from a respite from all that unreality? I know I certainly was.

The Devil’s Paintbox is set in 1865. Orphaned brother and sister, Maddy and Aiden Lynch, must struggle through a 2000 mile journey along the Oregon Trail. McKernan captures the danger and beauty of the American West with time-traveling accuracy. Older children will enjoy this new adventure from the author of the award-winning Shackleton’s Stowaway.

The Devil’s Paintbox is a wonderfully crafted story rich in historical detail: you can almost smell the saddle leather; feel the pangs of hunger and the sharp bites of fear. And not a fang or a wand in sight.

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Anonymous Nan Hoekstra said...

I appreciated your straightforward comments and posted your review over on Anokaberry Annotated. Thanks!

Sunday, March 22, 2009 8:16:00 AM PDT  

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