In 1842, eleven-year-old twins, whose father runs a boat on the Juniata Canal in Pennsylvania, learn of a Harrisburg bookseller's plan to steal Charles Dickens's newly finished novel while Dickens himself is touring the U.S.
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During Charles Dickens's 1842 US journey, Cherry Dobbs, 11, overhears thieves planning to steal the manuscript of his latest book in order to print a pirated edition. She sets out to foil them, and there's a rapid-fire chase conducted mostly on the Dobbs family's freighter and other boats on Pennsylvania's Juniata Canal. After the illiterate malefactors steal the wrong book, they manage to imprison spunky Cherry and her twin, Sam, and then to rectify their mistake. Their triumph is short-lived: the twins escape, follow on a showboat, expose the thieves, and recover the book; riding a swift new packet and then a train over the Alleghenies, the kids are once again apprehended by the now- escaped thieves before Cherry cleverly saves the manuscript and they finally return it to its author. Some of the to-ing and fro-ing can be confusing, and the folks who make their living plying the canal in barges and other horse-drawn craft are a little romanticized; but the various forms of transportation are worked into the rip-roaring adventure without too much ostentation, effectively bringing to life an interesting piece of social history. (Fiction. 9-12) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From School Library Journal:
Grade 4-6-- Book pirating, Charles Dickens's 1842 visit to America, and 19th-century canal-boat life in Pennsylvania are the engagingly offbeat subjects of this lighthearted historical adventure that doubles as a love letter to that erstwhile staple of family entertainment, reading aloud after supper. The adventure gets underway in a Harrisburg bookstore when 11-year-old Cherry Dobbs--while selecting family reading fare--inadvertently overhears the hatching of a plot to purloin the manuscript of the inimitable one's latest work-in-progress, American Notes . Aided by contrivance, coincidence, and colorful characters, Cherry carries the day, foiling the scheme but inexplicably failing to meet the master in the flesh, the logical and dramatic denouement that the plot demands. Readers will feel as cheated by that as Cherry herself but, meanwhile, they will have learned a lot about an esoteric aspect of American history and may even have been inspired to read American Notes . . . to themselves, if not aloud to their families. Now about that title . . . --Michael Cart, Beverly Hills Public Library
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Margaret K. McElderry, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110689505248
Book Description Margaret K. McElderry, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0689505248