Down the Rabbit Hole: The Diary of Pringle Rose

Down the Rabbit Hole: The Diary of Pringle Rose

4.5 15
by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
     
 

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Newbery Honor author Susan Campbell Bartoletti brings the story of a young girl caught up in a web of murder, lies, and the Great Fire of Chicago to bold life.

In the spring of 1871, fourteen-year-old Pringle Rose learns that her parents have been killed in a terrible carriage accident. After her uncle Edward and his awful wife, Adeline, move into the Pringle

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Overview


Newbery Honor author Susan Campbell Bartoletti brings the story of a young girl caught up in a web of murder, lies, and the Great Fire of Chicago to bold life.

In the spring of 1871, fourteen-year-old Pringle Rose learns that her parents have been killed in a terrible carriage accident. After her uncle Edward and his awful wife, Adeline, move into the Pringle family's home -- making life for her and her younger brother, Gideon, unbearable -- Pringle runs away with Gideon to Chicago, seeking refuge from the tragedy, and hoping to start a new life. She becomes a nanny for the children of a labor activist, and quickly finds herself caught up in a web of intrigue and lies. Then, when a familiar figure from home arrives, Pringle begins to piece together the devastating mystery of what happened to her parents, and realizes just how deadly the truth might be. But soon, one of the greatest disasters this country has ever known -- the Great Fire of Chicago -- flares up, and Pringle is on the run for her life.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

PRAISE FOR DEAR AMERICA:
"More than a supplement to classroom textbooks, this series is an imaginative, solid entree into American history." --PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"An impressive series that will challenge students to make connections from prominent historical events to relevant life situations. . . . A wonderful asset to the classroom as well as to home libraries." --CHILDREN'S BOOK REVIEW SERVICE

"Engaging accessible historical fiction." --SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

"The Dear America diaries represent the best of historical fiction for any age."
--CHICAGO TRIBUNE

School Library Journal
Gr 4�7—Pringle Rose and her brother, Gideon, who has Down's syndrome, have had a privileged upbringing in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1871. Their parents' death in a suspicious carriage accident changes everything. Gideon survives, but has not spoken since the accident. On a visit to the cemetery, Pringle meets Rabbit, for whom she develops romantic feelings. The siblings' uncaring Uncle Edward and his vicious wife move in, and when it becomes clear that they plan to send Gideon away, Pringle plans their escape. On the way to Chicago, they befriend Gwen Pritchard, a woman traveling with her children in the same train car, and their closeness is solidified after they survive a terrifying crash. When their mother's friend is unable to provide refuge, Pringle and Gideon find a home with the Pritchards. As Pringle learns more about the conditions of mine workers, she begins to rethink what her father, a mine owner, taught her. When they learn the truth about their parents' accident and the role Rabbit played, Gideon runs away. As Pringle tries to find him, the Chicago Fire rages. The epilogue sums up the rest of their story, and the historical note provides context and inspiration. Readers will enjoy this novel with its multiple historical events and engaging personal story.—Kefira Phillipe, Nichols Middle School, Evanston, IL
Kirkus Reviews
After the deaths of their parents, 14-year-old Pringle Rose and her 10-year-old brother, Gideon, head to Chicago, just in time for the great fire. "I was Alice, tumbling headlong down a deep, dark rabbit hole," Pringle says, upon hearing that her parents were killed in a carriage accident. Pringle and Gideon seek a new life in Chicago, hoping to learn to live without parents. But all does not go smoothly: She survives a train crash, a change in living arrangements, labor unrest, startling news about her parents' "accident" and the great fire. Through it all, her intelligence and grit serve her well. The many apt allusions to Alice in Wonderland, Pringle's cherished gift from her mother, elevate and deepen the story as, more than once, Pringle's life is turned upside down, and things are often not what they seem to be. Pringle's diary entries are a constant in her topsy-turvy life. Standard backmatter for the series includes historical notes, black-and white reproductions of magazine illustrations and maps, and an author's note. Bartoletti's writing is always clear and at times elegant, as she creates an immensely likable young protagonist against a well-drawn historical backdrop. This strong entry in the Dear America series makes history come alive through one plucky girl and her little brother. (Historical fiction. 8-14)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545297011
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
03/01/2013
Series:
Dear America Series
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
462,152
Product dimensions:
5.44(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.89(d)
Lexile:
750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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Meet the Author


Susan Campbell Bartoletti is the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of many books, both fiction and nonfiction, for children. Her fiction includes the novels THE BOY WHO DARED, Dear America: A COAL MINER'S BRIDE, and NO MAN'S LAND, as well as a number of picture books. She won the Newbery Honor for her nonfiction book HITLER'S YOUTH. A former eighth-grade teacher for eighteen years, Bartoletti now writes full-time and lives in Pennsylvania with her family.

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