Clara Barton: Angel of the Battlefield (Treasure Chest Series #1)

Clara Barton: Angel of the Battlefield (Treasure Chest Series #1)

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by Ann Hood, Denis Zilber
     
 

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While exploring The Treasure Chest, Felix and Maisie are transported to a Massachusetts farm in 1836. Disappointed that they have not landed in their beloved New York City, they wonder why they were brought to Massachusetts to meet a young girl named Clara Barton. Perhaps Clara has a message for the twins? Or maybe they have one for her?

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Overview

While exploring The Treasure Chest, Felix and Maisie are transported to a Massachusetts farm in 1836. Disappointed that they have not landed in their beloved New York City, they wonder why they were brought to Massachusetts to meet a young girl named Clara Barton. Perhaps Clara has a message for the twins? Or maybe they have one for her?

Editorial Reviews

Annie Murphy Paul
…Hood's delightful book…manages to preserve the charms of an old-fashioned yarn while nimbly bringing its story up to date…Hood gives us new insight into the appeal of time travel. Its attraction lies not simply in the urge to explore other eras, but to escape from our present, with all its sorrows and complications.
—The New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly
Adult author Hood’s first middle-grade offering launches the planned eight-book Treasure Chest series, which has 12-year-old twins Maisie and Felix Robbins traveling through time to meet iconic American figures from centuries past. Unhappy about moving from their New York City apartment to their ailing great-aunt’s mansion in Newport, R.I., the twins, who are still reeling from their parents’ recent divorce, make the best of it by exploring their new home, discovering hints of magic as they do. In a room called the Treasure Chest, filled with collected odds and ends of every variety, Maisie and Felix inadvertently travel back to 1836 Massachusetts, where they befriend a teenage Clara Barton (who would go on to organize the Red Cross), before learning how to return home—and perhaps even helping history along a bit. The twins’ personalities (and their historical ignorance) are believable, and there’s a strong, nostalgic sense of the push and pull between past and present woven throughout. While Maisie and Felix’s mother often encourages them to “Stop dwelling on the past,” they can’t help but be drawn to a time—before the move, before the divorce—when things seemed better. Ages 8–12. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Janice DeLong
Twelve-year-old twins, Felix and Maisie, are not happy with their mother's decision to move them from their familiar apartment in New York City to the huge peacock-blue mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. After all, they have just begun to adjust to the recent divorce of their parents, and now they feel that they are living in another hemisphere, maybe another planet. An apartment located in the attic of the ancient mansion will serve as home to the twins. Although the house looks intriguing in a musty way, the children will not have the run of the rest of the place, since it is a public museum. Willed to them by their great-grandfather, Phinneas Pickworth, the apartment does at least provide a home that will be affordable for their newly divorced mom. Since their mother has to go to work the very first morning after they move into the attic, Maisie and Felix are free to explore, and explore they do, finding a room with a magic treasure chest. Since the chest is housed in an off-limits room in a museum, readers will not be surprised that the enchantments revolve around history. The contemporary adventurers find themselves whisked back to the 1820s to meet Clara Barton in this first volume in "The Treasure Chest" series. Hood, a New York Times Best-Selling author makes each of the twins' well-defined characters, writes a compelling plot, and integrates history with twenty-first century life in an engaging manner. Special features include a biographical section on Clara Barton and a brief teaser for the next title in the series, Little Lion. Librarians and teachers will want this title as inspiration for their reluctant readers. Reviewer: Janice DeLong
Kirkus Reviews
Time travel loses its way in a maze of clichés, product placements and a slow-moving plot. In modern Newport, R.I., fifth-grade twins Felix and Maisie are unhappy with all the changes in their lives. Their parents' divorce has forced them to move to the servants' quarters of Elm Medona, a huge historic mansion owned by distant relatives, far from the bustle of their former life in Manhattan. The twins discover the Treasure Chest, a room filled with artifacts that (eventually) transport them to the young Clara Barton's farmhouse in 1836. It takes nearly 100 pages to get back in time, and once there, the drama slows even more. Meeting Clara and realizing some 175 years have passed seems pedestrian to these modern children. The first thing they want to do is to teach Clara to play baseball. There is little tension, even when they are uncertain as to how they might return to their own lives. Odd-seeming dropping of brand names and overly long descriptions of place further slow the narrative. While the children have an artifact to offer the young Clara, it's hard to see why it matters and how it might change history.

This homage to the Bobbs-Merrill Childhood of Famous Americans series of highly fictionalized biographies falls flat. (map, historical note) (Fiction. 8-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101535707
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
01/24/2012
Series:
Penguin Treasure Chest Series , #1
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
557,304
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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