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Children's Literature Reviews
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Isabel : taking wing
by Annie Dalton.
Middleton, Wis. : Pleasant Co. Publications, c2002.
178 p. : col. ill. ; 19 cm.


"American Girl."
In 1592, twelve-year-old Isabel dreams of adventure and finds it, not only on her journey from her London home to her aunt's manor house in Northamptonshire, but also through the healing arts her aunt teaches her.

Reading Measurement Programs:

Accelerated Reader
Interest Level Middle Grade
Book Level 5.9
Accelerated Reader Points 5

Lexile, MetaMetrics, Inc.
Lexile Measure 870

Reading Counts-Scholastic
Interest Level 6-8
Reading Level 5
Title Point Value 9
Lexile Measure 870


Kay Weisman (Booklist, Nov. 1, 2002 (Vol. 99, No. 5))
Twelve-year-old Isabel Campion chafes at the restrictions placed on girls living in her late-sixteenth-century London neighborhood. After she sneaks away to see a play at the Rose Theater and is caught coming home late, her father decides to send her to live with a widowed aunt. Aunt de Vere, a knowledgeable herbalist, proves an unexpected ally, and the skills and maturity that Isabel learns during her stay prove to be both useful and appreciated by the Campion family. Dalton's strength is her attention to setting details; she vividly describes clothing, family life for the wealthy merchant class, the burgeoning theater industry, and the squalor of lower-class life in inner-city London that contributed to the spread of diseases like the plague. Appended notes about life in England then and now add depth to this offering from the Girls of Many Lands series, which makes a good choice for readers curious about everyday life long ago. Category: Books for Middle Readers--Fiction. 2002, Pleasant Company/AmericanGirl, $12.95, $7.95. Gr. 3-7.

Heidi Hauser Green (Children's Literature)
Isabel knows that, as a twelve-year-old girl living in London in 1592, she is expected to be good, stay at home, and mind her elders. But she has been feeling constrained for a long time, and the feeling has grown worse since her sister has become engaged. Once Sabine leaves, the household duties will be Isabel's responsibility. She chafes against the bonds of gender and station. All she wants is to see the city. Her heart's desire is to see a play. And so, one day, Isabel and her friend sneak away. Upon their return, they are discovered. Isabel's angry father vows to send the troublesome girl to live with an aunt. The day she must leave the only home she has ever known is a sad day for Isabel, and it only gets worse! Brigands attack the girl and her manservant. They let her live, but she is lost. Isabel meets up with a band of players who disguise her as a boy for safety and agree to take her to the aunt, in due course. Out in the world, travelling town to town, it seems Isabel has no place to call her own. Where does Isabel really belong? And what will happen when she finally gets to her aunt's house? Will she ever see her family again? Annie Dalton does a fine job of conveying Isabel's distress in this first-person account of experience and growth. Thematically, this book is similar to Catherine, Called Birdy and The Midwife's Apprentice, but the outcome is quite different. Readers will enjoy Isabel's narration of life in Elizabethan England, and they are sure to gain a good sense of history on the way! Like other books in the "Girls of Many Lands" series, this includes a "Then and Now: A Girl's Life" section and an Author's Note about the process of writing the book. 2002, Pleasant, $7.95. Ages 9 to 14.


Girls of many lands


Behavior Fiction.
Healers Fiction.
Aunts Fiction.
Adventure and adventurers Fiction.
Theater Fiction.
London (England)--History--16th century Fiction.
Great Britain--History--Elizabeth, 1558-1603 Fiction.
LanguageCall NumberLCCNDewey DecimalISBN/ISSN
English (eng) PZ7.D1694 Is 2002
2002001935 [Fic]
1584855177 (pbk.)
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