Debut novelist Lisa Lewis Tyre vibrantly brings a small town and its outspoken characters to life, as she explores race and other community issues from both the Civil War and the present day.
Lou might be only twelve, but she’s never been one to take things sitting down. So when her Civil War-era house is about to be condemned, she’s determined to save it—either by getting it deemed a historic landmark or by finding the stash of gold rumored to be hidden nearby during the war. As Lou digs into the past, her eyes are opened when she finds that her ancestors ran the gamut of slave owners, renegades, thieves and abolitionists. Meanwhile, some incidents in her town show her that many Civil War era prejudices still survive and that the past can keep repeating itself if we let it. Digging into her past shows Lou that it’s never too late to fight injustice, and she starts to see the real value of understanding and exploring her roots.
My take on this book:
I love the cover of this book it evoked all kinds of ideas as to what I might find within the pages of the story. I have to say though the story that unfolds was even better than I could have imagined. Twelve year old Louise (Lou) Mayhew and her best friend Benzer only hoped to have an interesting summer but when they overhear Lou's dad say that the town wants to demolish Lou's home which happens to be a 175 year old house that has been in the family for generations, Lou decides that she will somehow figure out a way to stop them. It doesn't take her long to come up with a plan,but when that plan uncovers some details about her ancestors that she would rather keep secret what will she do? Will she be able to save the house?
Ever read a book where you couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out what would happen next, but you also dread finishing the story because you know that you are going to miss the characters? Well that's just how I felt reading Last In A Long Line Of Rebels by Lisa Lewis Tyre. It was so easy to fall right into the pages of the story and not want to come out! I loved the characters, they really come to life within the pages of the story. Each character was so easy to visualize, from Lou's pregnant mother to her dad's determination to raise enough money to save the house, not to mention her grandmother Bertie. Each character really brings a unique voice to the story. It was the love Lou felt for her home, and the way that I was allowed to see it through her eyes that really resonated with me. The author blends the right amount of history, family, friendships, and zingy dialogue to make for a story line that held my attention from beginning to end. I think one of my favorite things had to be the way that the author opened each chapter with a different entry from a family diary that was dated from the 1860's. This is a story that will certainly capture that imagination, and attention of the age range it is intended for,but honestly I think that it would appeal to young and old alike. I for one really enjoyed the story and hated to see it end!
About Lisa Lewis Tyre
I grew up in a small town in Tennessee surrounded by my crazy family and neighbors. I learned early on that not every child had a pet skunk, a dad that ran a bar in the front yard, or a neighbor that was so large his house had to be torn down to get him out. What else could I do but write?
I’ve wanted to write for as long as I can remember. I think this is because I come from a long line of storytellers. I loved listening to my dad tell me about the escapades of his youth, like how he “accidentally” pushed his brother out of a two-story window, and “accidentally” shot his aunt’s chicken with a bow and arrow. Apparently he was accident-prone.
One of the stories they told me involved the name of our piece of the country. I lived in a tiny spot that the locals called Zollicoffer. When I asked why it had such a strange name, they said it was named after General Felix Zollicoffer who had camped nearby during the Civil War. One day I happened to ask my mom where exactly the camp had been. That’s when she pointed down the road and said, “Probably over there. That’s where some kids in the 50’s found GOLD.” And just like that, LAST IN A LONG LINE OF REBELS was born.