Fiction Carol Otis Hurst Torchlight

ISBN 13: 9780618276011

Torchlight

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9780618276011: Torchlight

Charlotte was a Yankee and Maggie was Irish. In 1850’s Westfield their budding friendship was a problem. Charlotte listened as suppertime conversations became heated debates. Even her Aunt Lucy and her brother Zach were full of venom toward the Irish. As tensions between the two communities rose, rumors began to fly, and fists soon followed.

Author Carol Otis Hurst captures this volatile time in American history through the unlikely friendship between two girls from opposing sides, revealing the ignorance and prejudice that threatened to erupt into violence and overwhelm New England communities, and indeed the whole country, on the eve of the Civil War.

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About the Author:

Carol Otis Hurst has authored several novels for young adults, including Through the Lock, In Plain Sight, and A Killing in Plymouth Colony, in addition to her many professional books for teachers and librarians. A former teacher and librarian herself, Carol Otis Hurst is the columnist for Teaching K8 Magazine and conducts workshops on storytelling and children's literature around the country. She is the mother of two daughters and grandmother of two grandsons. She lives in Westfield, Massachusetts.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 4–6—It is 1854, and in Westfield, MA, trouble is brewing. A wave of Irish immigrants has been coming to town, first to work on a canal and later to work in one of the local whip factories. Their growing presence is a threat to the "Yankees" who have settled there, and the novel opens with a sense of impending doom. In the midst of the turmoil, Charlotte Hodge befriends one of the Irish girls at school. Maggie Nolan's life is very different from hers-Charlotte's guardian operates a whip factory and Maggie's father works for him-yet the two fifth graders quickly become friends, resulting in Charlotte being harassed and bullied by the other Yankee girls and Maggie being pressured by her family to end the relationship. When trouble finally comes, the girls' steadfast friendship helps diffuse the mob threatening to burn down the new Catholic church. Mixing historical fact with dramatic tension, Hurst's fast-moving and interesting novel will spark discussions about prejudice and racism, and introduce readers to the anti-Irish sentiments of this era.—Elizabeth M. Reardon, McCallie School, Chattanooga, TN
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