I recently had the opportunity to read an advanced copy of LAST IN A LONG LINE OF REBELS by Lisa Lewis Tyre due out September 29th.
This debut novel takes place in Zollicoffer, Tennessee, a small town with a long history and a little mystery. Lou Mayhew lives with her parents in the center of town in one of the original houses still standing. It also happens to be a junkyard—the family business. Some people in town consider it an eyesore and try to get it removed through eminent domain. Lou is determined to save her family’s house. She enlists friends to help search for evidence that will get the house registered as a National Historical Site. While looking into her family history, Lou finds some troubling news about her ancestors, but also discovers that there might be a stash of civil war gold hidden in or around the house.
This book is fun and fast-paced with lots of witty southern humor. The author also manages to weave in some serious topics such as the civil war, slavery and racism. The characters are wonderfully authentic and the story is full of heart.
This is the perfect middle grade book for boys and girls in 4-6th grades. Not only is it entertaining, but it opens up opportunities to discuss the choices people make and how they can affect history.