Keeping Secrets

Keeping Secrets

by Joan Lowery Nixon
     
 

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It's the autumn of 1863, and as the Civil War rages, a stranger named Violet seeks refuge with the Kelly family. Peg Kelly, 11, is thrilled—Violet treats her like an adult, not a child. Violet is fleeing Confederate raiders and has information that may save the Union. But she can't deliver her message unless she takes a dangerous journey.

Overview

It's the autumn of 1863, and as the Civil War rages, a stranger named Violet seeks refuge with the Kelly family. Peg Kelly, 11, is thrilled—Violet treats her like an adult, not a child. Violet is fleeing Confederate raiders and has information that may save the Union. But she can't deliver her message unless she takes a dangerous journey.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-A continuation of the Kelly family saga. In the autumn of 1863, Violet Hennessey, a seemingly nervous young woman, seeks refuge from rampaging bushwhackers with 11-year-old Peg Kelly's family in their St. Joseph, Missouri, home. Peg is preoccupied with trying to be as brave as her brothers and sisters and is drawn to the visitor who treats her as an adult. However, Peg finds many of Violet's actions puzzling, and begins to wonder if she is a Confederate spy. Violet is, in fact, a Union spy, and by the end of this tale, Peg has helped her transmit information vital to breaking the siege of Chattanooga; Violet's brother-in-law has been shot by bushwhackers; and Peg's brother Danny is dead of a fever, which worsened after he left his sickbed to save his sister and Violet from violence at the hands of Confederate sympathizers. Unfortunately, the characters are all one-dimensional. Although Peg professes an ardent desire to grow up, in these pages she does not grow but simply and automatically reacts to the situations in which she is placed. The writing is serviceable, the historical references are wooden, and the plotting is contrived.-Anne Scott, Johnston Public Library, IA
Chris Sherman
In Nixon's latest Orphan Train adventure, which is set in Missouri during the Civil War, 11-year-old Peg Kelly finds herself unwittingly involved with a Union spy, Miss Violet Hennessey, who has been using Peg as a cover when visiting her "sister" to pass on information about Confederate troop movements. When Peg and her brother Danny unravel the mystery surrounding Miss Hennessey, Peg agrees to continue helping her, knowing she faces danger from both unscrupulous Union patrols and Confederate bushwhackers. The tension and danger are palpable in Nixon's exciting mystery-adventure, and readers won't be able to put this one down. The suspense builds steadily to a dramatic but startling conclusion that may require a hanky or two. As always, Nixon provides a clue to the next adventure, which will take place on the Kansas plains.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307827548
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
11/27/2013
Series:
Orphan Train Adventures
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
488,859
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Joan Lowery Nixon was the author of more than 130 books for young readers and was the only four-time winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Best Young Adult Mystery Award. She received the award for The Kidnapping of Christina LattimoreThe SéanceThe Name of the Game Was Murder, and The Other Side of the Dark, which also won the California Young Reader Medal. Her historical fiction included the award-winning series The Orphan Train Adventures, Orphan Train Children, and Colonial Williamsburg: Young Americans.

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