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The Spinning Wheel Secret

The Spinning Wheel Secret [Kindle Edition]

Lillie V. Albrecht , Susanne Alleyn
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

Children's historical fiction, ages 9-12.

Joan Tower’s two big brothers didn’t want a baby sister. So they called her Jo and never admitted that she was a girl.

Even though the neighbors disapprove, Jo is happier doing boys’ jobs. A properly-brought-up young girl in a New England Puritan village of 1705 would never know all the useful skills, like fishing and swimming, that Jo learns from Dan and Sam. When it comes to doing ordinary household tasks, though, she believes she's hopeless. She’s not much good at cooking or knitting, and spinning thread is simply beyond her--a fact which her disapproving, fault-finding aunt and cousin never fail to point out.

But when Indians attack their little village of Hatfield and carry off many captives, including Jo’s mother, Jo and her brothers must make their way alone to Westfield to find shelter with their grandfather. In Westfield, however, more bad news awaits them, and Jo will find her own resources and courage sorely tested.

"There have been a spate of stories lately which take off from the common young female dilemma--that it seems much more fun to be a boy. This book handles the problem very well with bonus extras of Pilgrim history that has a real ring, and characters with less than Pilgrim standards of perfection in their daily living. ... Joan couldn't spin, knit, cook and clean because she didn't want to, but after the Indian raid on her village when her mother was 'captivated' (the use of early New Englandisms adds flavor to the dialogue throughout) Joan found she needed every skill to meet the wants of her family. Before the story is over, she finds her fishing, hunting and swimming prowess called on too, in a plot that remains reasonable as well as exciting. For younger girls in this age group, a treat instead of the usual treatment." (Kirkus Reviews, 1965)

About the Author

Lillie V. Albrecht (1894-1985), a descendant of seventeenth-century English Puritans, Nantucket Quakers, and Dutch settlers on Long Island, began working as assistant children’s librarian at the Westfield Athenaeum in Westfield, Massachusetts, in 1927, and was the first curator of its Edwin Smith Historical Museum, serving from 1928 to 1952. The museum’s Colonial Kitchen is now named after her. The Albrechts lived for many years in Westfield, where Mrs. Albrecht became interested in the town’s three centuries of history. It was to teach history that she first started writing short stories for children set among the real people and places of western Massachusetts and created the story of fictional antique doll Deborah. The stories she wrote about Deborah’s adventures in Westfield’s history eventually became the full-length children’s book Deborah Remembers. Publishers at first turned down a book about a doll’s memoirs, but encouraged Mrs. Albrecht to write more historical children’s stories. She then wrote Hannah’s Hessian, which appeared in 1958 and was an immediate success; soon her publisher was eager to publish Deborah Remembers, which has since become the best-known of her books. Deborah was followed by three more stories set in Westfield and western Massachusetts in the colonial and Revolutionary eras. Mrs. Albrecht’s granddaughter, historical author Susanne Alleyn, is delighted to bring Lillie V. Albrecht’s books, with additional annotations and background, to a new generation of young readers. Susanne Alleyn (editor & notes) is the author of _A Far Better Rest_, a retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic novel A Tale of Two Cities; the Aristide Ravel historical mystery series, set in Paris during the French Revolution; the nonfiction _Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders: A Writer’s (and Editor’s) Guide to Keeping Historical Fiction Free of Common Anachronisms, Errors, and Myths_; and _The Executioner's Heir: A Novel of Eighteenth-Century France_. Visit her or contact her at .

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 468 KB
  • Print Length: 86 pages
  • Publisher: Spyderwort Press; Second edition; 1st electronic edition (29 Jun 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0058U4IHS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #893,298 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

The granddaughter of children's author Lillie V. Albrecht (author of _Deborah Remembers_, _The Spinning Wheel Secret_, and three other historicals), Susanne Alleyn definitely doesn't write for children, unless, like her, they have found guillotines, high drama, and the French Revolution fascinating since the age of ten or so.

Susanne was born in Munich, Germany and grew up in Massachusetts and New York City. After studying acting and singing, and earning a B.F.A. in theater from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Susanne eventually came to the conclusion that, as an actor, she was quite a good writer, and that looking for an agent or publisher was still easier on the nerves than going to auditions. (She can, nevertheless, still sing a high C when requested.) Having been unwholesomely fascinated by the French Revolution since, at age 9, she read the Classics Illustrated comic-book version of _A Tale of Two Cities_, she set out to write about it. Her debut novel, _A Far Better Rest_, a reimagining of _A Tale of Two Cities_ (what else?) from the point of view of Sydney Carton, was published in 2000.

Though a longtime fan, she had never considered writing mysteries, however, until she suddenly found herself creating a historical mystery plot suggested by an actual series of murders committed in Paris in the early 1800s. Police agent Aristide Ravel made his first appearance in _Game of Patience_ and returned in _A Treasury of Regrets_, both set in Paris in the Directoire period of 1796-97. Prequels _The Cavalier of the Apocalypse_ and _Palace of Justice_, the third and fourth mysteries in the series, followed in 2009 and 2010. Susanne intends to cover the entire Revolutionary period in future Aristide Ravel novels.

In a foray into nonfiction, her latest work, _Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders_, is a writer's guide to avoiding errors and anachronisms in historical fiction. Her sixth novel, _The Executioner's Heir_, first in a pair of novels about hereditary 18th-century Parisian executioner Charles Sanson, will appear in 2013.

Susanne and her three cats live in Albany, NY. She speaks French very badly.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mainly For Girls 23 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This historical tale set in Puritan New England is probably more aimed at girls than boys. First published in 1965 this is now available as a kindle edition. This ebook also has illustrations.

When Joan is christened, her two brothers decide to call her just Jo and she starts growing up as a tomboy, playing with her brothers all the time. When their village is attacked and their mother taken the children are sent away to somewhere safer, whilst their father tries to find his wife. Things don't go according to plan for Jo, and she has to go on with her brothers to where they were being sent. Ending up in the village of Westfield, Jo is left with her ill grandad as the boys get some work. Here we follow Jo on her adventures, as she makes friends, learns to do more girly things and helps save the day.

This is a fun little book that young girls will probably quite enjoy. The story is full of incident, and although not necessarily historically accurate in some things, does give a feel of the period written about. I am not sure what age group this ideally falls into, so some children may need help with some of the words. At the back of this there is a glossary of sorts, that explains what some of the people are, and were. Ultimately this is quite an enjoyable little read, even for an adult male like myself.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming Puritan tale for older children 19 Feb 2012
By MamaSylvia - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In 1705, a Puritan tomboy's world is shattered when her mother is captured in an Indian raid, but she stays with a kind pastor's family and sees how useful the womanly skills are that she has scorned.

Mostly likable characters in a story that moves right along, and the few historical flaws (such as a Puritan mother allowing her daughter to abandon housewifery to play with her brothers) would not affect young readers. The formatting is fine, and the charming black-and-white illustrations showed up well even on my Kindle for Android phone. Good story for somewhat advanced readers, comparable to the Bobbsey Twins books in length and vocabulary.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars eh 8 Nov 2012
By Mdogio - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It was pretty boring, but an awesome book to do for a book review. Haha only because it was like only one hundred pages.
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