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Storytellerby Patricia Reilly Giff
Synopses & Reviews
A story of the American Revolution from two-time Newbery Honor–winning author Patricia Reilly Giff.
While staying with her aunt, Elizabeth finds something remarkable: a drawing. It hangs on the wall, a portrait of her ancestor, Eliza, known as Zee. She looks like Elizabeth.
The girls’ lives intertwine as Elizabeth’s present-day story alternates with Zee’s, which takes place during the American Revolution. Zee is dreamy, and hopeful for the future—until the Revolution tears apart her family and her community in upstate New York. Left on her own, she struggles to survive and to follow her father and brother into battle.
Zee’s story has been waiting to be rediscovered by the right person. As Elizabeth learns about Zee, and walks where Zee once walked and battles raged, the past becomes as vivid and real as the present.
In this beautifully crafted, affecting novel from beloved author Patricia Reilly Giff, the lives of two girls reflect one another as each finds her own inner strengths.
"This novel by two-time Newbery Honor author Giff gracefully bridges two eras and two insightful perspectives. Elizabeth is a contemporary girl who goes to stay with her late mother's sister, Libby, while her father is away. There, she is captivated by a drawing of a young woman who looks remarkably like her: Zee, an ancestor whose patriot father died fighting in the American Revolution and whose mother was killed when their cabin was ambushed. Through thoughtfully crafted narratives that alternate between each heroine--Elizabeth's story is told in the third-person present tense, Zee's interior monologue is written in the past tense--Giff draws parallels between the two. Both are tenacious yet self-deprecating, have lost family, and are uprooted and searching for a sense of belonging. A roughly drawn map on the back of Zee's portrait and the scattered information Libby and a cousin know about their ancestors help Elizabeth assemble the pieces of Zee's life and become the present-day teller of her story. As she brings these characters and history alive, Giff again demonstrates her own gift for storytelling. Ages 8 — 14. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
While staying with her aunt, Elizabeth finds a portrait of her ancestor, Eliza, known as Zee, from the American Revolution era. The lives of these two girls echo one another as each finds her own strength, in this beautifully crafted, affecting novel.
About the Author
Patricia Reilly Giff is the author of many beloved books for children, including the Zigzag Kids series, Kids of the Polk Street School books, the Friends and Amigos books, and the Polka Dot Private Eye books. Several of her novels for older readers have been chosen as ALA-ALSC Notable Books and ALA-YALSA Best Books for Young Adults. They include The Gift of the Pirate Queen; All the Way Home; Nory Ryan’s Song, a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Golden Kite Honor Book for Fiction; and the Newbery Honor Books Lily’s Crossing and Pictures of Hollis Woods. Lily’s Crossing was also chosen as a Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book. Her most recent books include Number-One Kid, Big Whopper, Water Street, Eleven, and Wild Girl. Patricia Reilly Giff lives in Connecticut.
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