Keeping Room

( 2 )

Overview

A Revolutionary War novel with a difference

When Colonel Joseph Kershaw leaves Camden, South Carolina, to lead the American rebels in their struggle against the British, he leaves his son Joey behind as the man of the house. But what can a 13-year-old do when General Cornwallis comes into town and makes the Kershaws' home his headquarters, and begins hanging American ...
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The Keeping Room

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Overview

A Revolutionary War novel with a difference

When Colonel Joseph Kershaw leaves Camden, South Carolina, to lead the American rebels in their struggle against the British, he leaves his son Joey behind as the man of the house. But what can a 13-year-old do when General Cornwallis comes into town and makes the Kershaws' home his headquarters, and begins hanging American prisoners in the family garden? Joey is determined to get revenge--even if he has to risk everything.

"Finely crafted, the book offers a potent message, unfettered by moralizing, about war." --Kirkus Reviews

Left in charge of the family when his father leaves their South Carolina home to fight in the Revolutionary War, thirteen-year-old Joey Kershaw finds all his resources tested when General Cornwallis comes to town and chooses the Kershaw house as his headquarters.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4-6--Although the basic material will be familiar to many readers of historical fiction--a young boy comes of age during war time--this is nevertheless a well-written and thought-provoking addition to the genre. Joseph Kershaw is almost 13 when his father goes off to lead the American rebels against the British. Soon the town (Camden, South Carolina) is not only occupied by the hated Redcoats, but Joey's house is also chosen to be the headquarters of General Cornwallis and his men. They are a rough and uncouth lot and, to everyone's disbelief and horror, they begin hanging colonial soldiers in the family garden. Joey must struggle with many conflicting feelings. Must he join in the surrender of the town? How can he suppress his desire for revenge against the British while his mother urges compliance? How can any cause be worth the slaughter of men? To his amazement, he comes to respect one of the enemy, a young captain who looks out for the Kershaws. Despite some obvious bows to political correctness--a subplot concerning Joey's growing distaste for slavery and his realization that his sister deserves the same educational opportunities as he has--and some stock secondary characters (the sadistic soldiers, the weepy but noble mother, the loyal slaves who are the only characters to speak in dialect, the pacifist Quaker teacher)--the story is bolstered by a likable and believable protagonist and sound historical details and atmosphere.--Cyrisse Jaffee, formerly at Newton Public Schools, MA
Kirkus Reviews
As the Revolutionary War rages on, Joey Kershaw and his family manage their spacious home in Camden, South Carolina, while their father attempts to protect the town from British forces. But things don't go well for the rebels: In a fierce and bloody battle they are soundly defeated, and those who are not killed are taken prisoner—including Colonel Kershaw. When the town surrenders and is placed under martial law, General Cornwallis takes possession of the Kershaw home as quarters for him and his officers. From the small room the Kershaws are allowed to stay in, they watch the construction of a gallows in their garden, where Colonel Kershaw will be hanged unless he joins the British forces. Myers (Spotting the Leopard, 1996, etc.) maintains her usual high standards for historical fiction, allowing the human drama to remain in the forefront of the story. Joey's vengeful actions result in the death of Captain Harkins, a British officer who showed the boy kindness; Joey moves beyond hatred, his opinions of war—and slavery—forever changed. Finely crafted, the book offers a potent message, unfettered by moralizing, about war.
From the Publisher
"Finely crafted, the book offers a potent message, unfettered by moralizing, about war." —Kirkus Reviews
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780141304687
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/28/1999
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 173,524
  • Age range: 7 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.16 (w) x 7.75 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author


Anna Myers is the author of a number of novels for middle readers, and the only two-time winner of the Oklahoma Book Award. She lives in Chandler, Oklahoma.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2008

    The Keeping Room

    This is a great book on how a 13 boy wold feel if he was the son of colonel and the man of the house

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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