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Colonial Madness
Contributor(s): Whittemore, Jo
ISBN: 148140508X     ISBN-13: 9781481405089
Publisher: Aladdin
    OUR PRICE: $17.85  
Product Type: Hardcover - Other Formats
Published: February 2015
Annotation: Tori and her mother jump at the opportunity to inherit great-aunt Muriel's colonial manor by living without modern conveniences for two weeks, but Tori finds herself distracted by Caleb, a cute boy on staff.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Mothers and daughters; Fiction.
Mansions; Fiction.
Family life; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | New Experience
- Juvenile Fiction | Family | Multigenerational
- Juvenile Fiction | Girls & Women
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2014043793
Lexile Measure: 610
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 9.00" H x 6.00" W x 1.00" (0.70 lbs) 229 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 172474
Reading Level: 4.4   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 6.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q64374
Reading Level: 3.4   Interest Level: Grades 6-8   Point Value: 11.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2015 Fall)
Although they're best friends, thirteen-year-old Tori sometimes feels she's more responsible than her fun-loving, financially irresponsible mother. When Great-aunt Muriel's will sets up an inheritance contest, Tori sees the answer to their troubles. The "test of wit and will" involves surviving two weeks as though in colonial times. This lighthearted, amusing novel provides some easily digested history lessons.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2014 December #4)

Thirteen-year-old Tori and her widowed mother have always been a team, but Tori feels like the adult in the relationship (an early scene has her mother hiding in a cupboard to scare Tori). Her mother's dress shop is struggling, so Tori leaps at a surprise chance to inherit her late Great-Aunt Muriel's estate. To do so, they must compete against the rest of the family in a "test of wit and will," living as though in colonial times, without any modern conveniences, and winning challenges like cooking gruel and making arrows for target practice. A cute boy on the staff, conniving cousins, witch trials, and various surprises spice up Tori's travails, and her dry humor is often downright hilarious. ("Maybe Mom and I didn't need candles," thinks Tori during a close encounter with lard. "Maybe we could just develop night vision, like owls, or scream at objects to find them, like bats.") Making the most of a fun premise, Whittemore (D Is for Drama) adeptly fuses comic moments with a testy but loving mother-daughter relationship and intriguing details about 17th-century life. Ages 9–13. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Feb.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2014 November)

Gr 4–6—Not everyone is lucky enough to be best friends with their mother, but then not everyone has Tori's mother for a mom. They share a special bond in fact, heightened by her father's death when Tori was a toddler. Making ends meet as a seamstress is not easy for the single mom, however, and the two have fallen on some challenging times. So when her not quite beloved great-aunt dies leaving her estate to whomever is clever enough to spend two weeks there without modern conveniences, it comes as a welcomed challenge. Tori and her mom join numerous other family members in an attempt to outdo one another at playing Colonial America. Elements of adventure, competition, and first romance will appeal to middle grade readers in this unique genre mash-up. The strongly bonded mother/daughter relationship, while by no means perfect, is refreshing and despite being repeatedly put to the test, strengthened by book's end, making this novel as much about personal growth as it is an entertaining escapade. Some elements of the story are weak and unrealistic, but the premise and plot are fun, the characters are identifiable, and the historical bits are well woven into the plot. Adventure-seeking readers wanting to dip their feet in historical fiction certainly won't be disappointed.—Rebecca Gueorguiev, New York Public Library

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