The Grist Mill Secret

Overview

Tabby Copley can't understand why, in the fall of 1773, her father would suddenly want to move their whole family from their comfortable house in a Massachusetts village to a lonely corn mill in the country, where the nearest neighbors are a mile away. But on the first night in their new home, Father shows Tabby and her brother, Dan, the secret of the mill: Below the millstones, in a hidden cellar, is a gunshop where Father and Dan will be making muskets for the Minute Men.

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Overview

Tabby Copley can't understand why, in the fall of 1773, her father would suddenly want to move their whole family from their comfortable house in a Massachusetts village to a lonely corn mill in the country, where the nearest neighbors are a mile away. But on the first night in their new home, Father shows Tabby and her brother, Dan, the secret of the mill: Below the millstones, in a hidden cellar, is a gunshop where Father and Dan will be making muskets for the Minute Men.

The secret of the gunshop has to be kept at all costs-especially from Tory spies, loyal to the king, and there are plenty of those around during the years just before the American Revolution. The question is-who are they?

Everyone suspects everyone else and sometimes the wrong people are caught and punished by angry patriots. And when a wealthy English family, suspected to be loyalist spies, builds a handsome country house near the mill, Tabby is trapped between patriotism and her friendship with the new neighbors. Can she remain friends with Alice and Jack and still keep the crucial secret of the grist mill?

"By making friends with Tories living nearby, Tabitha Copley caused a crisis in her own family and great concern in the town. This mystery of pre-Revolutionary days has a well-developed plot, good characterization, and gives an authentic picture of divided loyalties in a time of crisis."

--Library Journal (1962)

"More a portrait of the temper of the times and the way of life in rural New England than a mystery as the title may imply, this reveals an unusual spirit of friendship that prevails even in the face of divergent political feelings. Good supplementary reading for fifth and sixth graders studying this era."

--Kirkus Reviews (1962)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781484987377
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 5/20/2013
  • Pages: 114
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.24 (d)

Meet the Author

Lillie V. Albrecht (1894-1985), a descendant of seventeenth-century English Puritans, Nantucket Quakers, and Dutch settlers on Long Island, began working as assistant children's librarian at the Westfield Athenaeum in Westfield, Massachusetts, in 1927. She was the first curator of its Edwin Smith Historical Museum, serving from 1928 to 1952; the museum's Colonial Kitchen is now named after her.

The Albrechts lived for many years in Westfield, where Mrs. Albrecht became interested in the town's three centuries of history. It was to teach history that she first started writing short stories for children set among the real people and places of western Massachusetts and created the story of fictional antique doll Deborah.

The stories she wrote about Deborah's adventures in Westfield's history eventually became the full-length children's book _Deborah Remembers_. Publishers at first turned down a book about a doll's memoirs, but encouraged Mrs. Albrecht to write more historical children's stories. She then wrote _Hannah's Hessian_, which appeared in 1958 and was an immediate success; soon her publisher was eager to publish _Deborah Remembers_, which has since become the best-known of her books. _Deborah_ was followed by three more stories set in Westfield and western Massachusetts in the colonial and Revolutionary eras, _The Grist Mill Secret_, _The Spinning Wheel Secret_, and _Susanna's Candlestick_.

Mrs. Albrecht's granddaughter, historical author Susanne Alleyn, is delighted to bring Lillie V. Albrecht's books, with additional annotations and background, to a new generation of young readers.

Susanne Alleyn (editor & notes) is the author of _A Far Better Rest_, a retelling of Charles Dickens' classic novel A Tale of Two Cities; the Aristide Ravel historical mystery series, set in Paris during the French Revolution; the nonfiction _Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders: A Writer's (and Editor's) Guide to Keeping Historical Fiction Free of Common Anachronisms, Errors, and Myths_; and _The Executioner's Heir: A Novel of Eighteenth-Century France_. Visit her or contact her at www.susannealleyn.com .

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