I enjoy books that pull me into a character's life and predicament from the opening chapter. By the time I turned the page into Chapter 2, I wanted to know how almost-14-year-old Perdy Rogers would be involved in the upcoming American Revolution and if she would help her friend elope. That's a lot for author Gayle Krause, to accomplish in the first six pages of her upper middle grade book, TWICE BETRAYED.
On the eve of the Revolution, Perdy is an apprentice to Betsy Ross, the alleged maker of the first American flag. She'd rather be visiting with her friends, Lizzie and Jane Ann, than be stuck in a small room sewing ascots or reupholstering a chair for Benjamin Franklin. So when Jane Ann enlists her help in distracting the ferrymen at the river so their friend Priscilla can elope, Perdy is faced with her Save the Cat debate:
"I'm torn. A chance to help my friends and do something exciting, but Mam [her grandmother with whom she lives] would never let me go. It means sneaking out after dark. "That late at night?" (p. 7)Since this is an action-packed story, I'm sure you can guess which path Perdy chooses. That decision, and her idea that the girls should dress as boys in order to distract the ferryman, are like falling dominoes which bring one trouble after another into Perdy's life.
Bad things happen quickly. Her sister, Abby, falls in the river and despite being rescued by Darach, a young sailor, gets deathly sick. Priscilla and her fiancé drown and are thought to be spies for the British. Government officials accuse Perdy of also being a spy and Jane Ann doesn't come to her defense. Darach sends her heart racing, but she's not sure if she can trust him either. On and on it goes with even the people at the Quaker meeting house unwilling to shake her hand. In the end, her willingness to stand up for the truth and Darach's bold rescue bring her out of death's snares and into a new life. The action packed chapters kept my interest and showed me how important it is to include conflict in each scene.
One of my favorite parts is when Perdy pieces together scraps left from Miss Betsy's flag making into a quilt for Abby.
I finish the last seam. All the red and white stripes, are at last, sewn together. The five-pointed stars are easy to make. A fold. A snip. And then a star. Miss Betsy taught me well. Someday, I'll show Abby this trick too. I quickly cut enough white stars to form a circle on the dark blue square. Twelve in all.
Just then, Abby clunks up the stairs to remind me of dinner.
She picks my sample pattern off the floor and places it in the center of the star circle. "Here's another star, Perdy.""I don't need it." I move it to the side.
"Yes, use it. I found it. Put my star on too."
I take the sample star from her move it around the circle of twelve. There's no room in it, so I place it in the middle, but it's too small. The design is off-balance.
Abby reaches up and moves two of the stars. "Put them closer, Perdy, then mine can fit."
More than anything, I want to see Abby happy, so I rearrange the stars until all thirteen form a circle on the blue square, like the constellation in my dream.
"My star is on the quilt too." Abby claps.
"Abby, do you see this circle of stars?"
Remember, you can never get lost if you keep moving in a circle. You'll always end up where you started." (p. 127)
|By Edward Percy Moran |
This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division
under the digital ID ph.3g02791.
The Winged Pen blog recently ran a post by Gita Trelease on the importance of research when writing historical fiction. She wrote, "Tiny details can be time machines" and what counts is creating historical authenticity. From the details about the buttons, ribbons, clothing, uniforms, boats, laws, and government to the shops which lined the streets of colonial Philadelphia, TWICE BETRAYED weaves an authentic tapestry for a story that girls from 10-14 will enjoy.
Some of you may remember the cover reveal for this book when Gayle explained some of the backstory for her book. Clara Gillow Clark won the ARC and then promptly bequeathed it to me. Since Gayle autographed it to me, TWICE BETRAYED goes into my own collection to be shared with my visitors.
|Two young church friends displaying|
how they organized my children's books and toys.
Instead of the book, Gayle is offering a first chapter critique or MG or YA query critique. Leave me a comment by June 9 to enter, along with your email address if you are new to my blog. Share this blog on social media or become a new follower, and I'll enter your name twice. Just make sure you tell me what you did.