Alice Rose and Sam

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"A newspaperman's daughter and novice reporter Sam Clemens uncover a plot to seize the mighty Comstock Lode for the Confederacy in this open-throttled page turner from Lasky . . . Lasky surrounds Alice Rose with a wild array of barflies, 'hurdy-gurdy girls, ' nouveau millionaires, immigrant Chinese, crooked lawyers, and hard-living reporters; she also gives her a salty, vivid way with words and propels her into plenty of tense situations."--"Kirkus Reviews."

Alice Rose, an irrepressible ...

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Overview

"A newspaperman's daughter and novice reporter Sam Clemens uncover a plot to seize the mighty Comstock Lode for the Confederacy in this open-throttled page turner from Lasky . . . Lasky surrounds Alice Rose with a wild array of barflies, 'hurdy-gurdy girls, ' nouveau millionaires, immigrant Chinese, crooked lawyers, and hard-living reporters; she also gives her a salty, vivid way with words and propels her into plenty of tense situations."--"Kirkus Reviews."

Alice Rose, an irrepressible twelve-year-old, shares adventures with Mark Twain, an outlandish reporter on her father's newspaper in Virginia City, Nevada, during the 1860s.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Unlike most other residents of Virginia City, Nev., in the 1860s, feisty 12-year-old Alice Rose does not give a hoot about silver mining or striking it rich. "This is no place for a child!" she protests, and the grittiness of the opening scenes proves her point: while her father works late at the newspaper, Alice Rose sneaks off to the cemetery to protect her mother's and infant sister's fresh graves from coyotes. She sets about earning enough money to return to Boston and join her cousins at a proper ladies' seminary, but in the meantime she consorts with an eclectic collection of friends: the hurdy-gurdy girls, for whom she sews dresses; kindly Hop Sing, who lays track for the railroad; rich Miss Eilley; and the not-yet-famous Samuel Clemens, who helps Alice Rose expose the nefarious deeds of a band of Confederate vigilantes called the Society of Seven. Alice Rose's frustrations with the West contrast with Sam's recognition of its beauty ("You look down into the throat of that cactus blossom, Alice Rose, and you tell me if you have ever seen anything prettier"), but both enjoy a good yarn and are suspicious of the town's hypocritical Christians. Lasky's (True North) picturesque dialogue and precise, energetic characterizations more than make up for the book's choppy flow. A view of American history teeming with adventure and local color. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
A gritty rip-roaring tale of adventure set in Virginia City, Nevada, in the 1860's blends fact and fiction. It never flags in its dramatic storytelling and humanity. Samuel Clemens, a daring, outspoken reporter from San Francisco, meets Alice Rose Tucker, 12, who is determined to right the wrongs of greed and prejudice in this silver mining town. Their friendship soon has them fending off vigilantes, trying to find the culprits behind a murder, and gathering evidence to prove that the local judge is corrupt. Alice Rose's life is soon in danger and the tensions mount. In an afterword, Lasky gives the historic facts and background. Add to your "gold rush" list of books.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9Although Nevada was contested territory during the War Between the States, young Alice Rose herself has had quite enough of it, especially Virginia City-a mining town as "pretty as a singed cat." Having just buried her mother and infant sister, ignored by her kind but silver-crazy newspaperman father, the feisty and unconventional girl determines to earn money to go back East by sewing fancy gowns for the local hurdy-gurdy girls. She meets the provocative news reporter Samuel Clemens, and the two eccentrics form a lasting friendship, joining forces to solve the mystery of a murdered drunk and uncovering a deeper Confederate plot. Ultimately, they end up teaching one another valuable lessons about life and truth. Alice Rose has an engaging determination and spirit, and Clemens is fondly portrayed: the scenes between the two are among the best in the book. Unfortunately, supporting characters fall flat. The book does offer a historically accurate and nicely detailed depiction of life in a booming silver town, and Clemens did indeed spend time in Virginia City. Readers get unique, if brief, glimpses into "hidden' issues in history: opium dens, child rights, and an unusual Civil War perspective. Most of these elements, however, are given cursory treatment. Uneven characterizations and an uncertain blend of humor and pathos prevent the full sympathetic response the book aims for. A mild offering from Lasky, lacking the usual power of her other works.Jennifer A. Fakolt, Carson City Public Library, NV
Kirkus Reviews
A newspaperman's daughter and novice reporter Sam Clemens uncover a plot to seize the mighty Comstock Lode for the Confederacy in this open-throttled page-turner from Lasky (True North, 1996, etc.). After her mother dies in childbirth, Alice Rose's loneliness is relieved by her father's new employee, Sam, who has startling ideas about God and the Bible, and an imagination as unfettered as his red hair. In exchange for Sam's treating her as a thinking adult rather than a child, she feeds him story ideas and local anecdotesþthen graduates to collaborator when she witnesses a murder tied to an anonymous vigilante group known as the "Society of Seven." In fact, the Society is out to take over the silver mines for the Southern cause, and Alice Rose discovers that she's in danger not only for seeing the murder, but for being part owner of a key claim. Lasky surrounds Alice Rose with a wild array of barflies, "hurdy-gurdy girls," nouveau millionaires, immigrant Chinese (one, Hop Sing, hails from Carson City), crooked lawyers, and hard-living reporters; she also gives her a salty, vivid way with wordsþ"Mr. Clemens this country is about as pretty as a singed cat more like the Devil's spittoon than the Garden of Eden"þand propels her into plenty of tense situations. Fans of Karen Cushman's The Ballad of Lucy Whipple (1996) and Kathleen Karr's Oh, Those Harper Girls! (1992) have a plucky new heroine to admire. (Fiction. 11-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786803361
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 4/20/1998
  • Pages: 208
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 790L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.87 (d)

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