Credit goes to The Story Siren for thinking up the In My Mailbox feature.
Here are the books I bought or received this week:
My Vicksburg by Ann Rinaldi
Claire Louise Corbett and her Confederate family flee their home as Union soldiers shell their town of Vicksburg, Mississippi. They venture out from the safety of a cave only three times a day, when the Union army takes their meals at eight in the morning, noon, and eight at night. Although many of the townspeople suffer from a lack of food, the Corbetts receive extra rations from Claire Louise's brother, Landon, a doctor with the Union army. When Claire Louise discovers her brother tending to a Confederate soldier who is responsible for Robert E. Lee's "lost order" (causing the South to lose the Battle of Antietam), she is forced to make a difficult choice between family and friends.
Award-winning historical novelist Ann Rinaldi paints a story of family, courage, and secrets during the forty-seven-day siege of Vicksburg, a battle that has sometimes been ignored in history because it ended the same day as the Battle of Gettysburg.
A Sweet Disorder by Jacqueline Kolosov
Sixteen-year old Miranda has no idea how much her life is going to change upon hearing the news of her father's death. Left with little dowry to offer, Miranda faces a broken engagement, and is sent to live with her father's cousin, the Count John Hardwood, and his wife whose primary goal is to take her to Court and marry her off to the insufferable Lord Seagrave for their own profit.
At Queen Elizabeth's court, Miranda soon learns that a large part of her survival will depend on her knowing who to trust. All the maidens at Court dream of being one of the Queen's ladies in waiting. When Miranda distinguishes herself from the rest with her exquisite sewing and embroidery skills, she gets the attention of the Queen, much to the anger and jealousy of the courtiers, ladies in waiting, and even a trusted "friend."
As Miranda begins to win the Queen's favor, she is given the ultimate test-to recreate Elizabeth's mother's (Ann Boleyn) coronation gown. Miranda knows this is her opportunity to escape the shackles of convention and get out of a marriage to Lord Seagrave and instead establish an independent life at Court as the Queen's seamstress. But how will she reunite with Henry Raleigh, the man to whom she was once promised, and has always loved?
With sophisticated writing, an eye for historically accurate detail, and a flair for suspense, Jacqueline Kolosov re-creates the intrigues of Elizabethan society with a vividness and immediacy that will make teen readers recall the pleasures and tensions of their own lives.
(Sorry for the bad cover picture, it wasn't available online so I scanned it in and it came out somewhat crooked!)
The Plague by Joanne Dahme
In a land overshadowed by death, fifteen year-old Nell’s uncanny resemblance to Princess Joan brings her to act as her double—what young girl wouldn’t want to leave a life of poverty and pretend to be a princess? But when the plague catches up to the royal entourage, thwarting the King’s plan for the princess to marry the Prince of Castile and seal an alliance between their kingdoms, Nell’s life could change forever. Princess Joan’s brother The Black Prince schemes to make the wedding go on declaring Nell will no longer double for Joan, she will become the princess and dupe Prince Pedro into marriage! With the aid and protection of a quirky band of friends—a Spanish minstrel, a monk, a gravedigger, a band of merchants—Nell must evade not only the Black Prince, a practitioner of the dark arts, but the plague as well, as she fights to return to the King and country. Based on historical truth, Dahme beautifully captures the dark terror of a Plague-infested fourteenth century Europe, while bringing to life the daily existence of medieval life for young adult readers.
(if you think this one looks familiar, it's because I already reviewed the ARC here. The hardcover was just released, and I had to buy a copy because I loved the book and the hardcover is so pretty! It has a really nice dust jacket and the hardcover book underneath has a really pretty paper-over-board cover.)
Betraying Season by Marissa Doyle
Penelope (Pen) Leland has come to Ireland to study magic and prove to herself that she is as good a witch as her twin sister, Persy. But when the dashing Niall Keating begins to pay her court, she can’t help being distracted from her studies. Little does Pen know, Niall is acting upon orders from his sorceress mother. And although it starts as a sham, Niall actually falls deeply in love with Pen, and she with him. But even if he halts his mother’s evil plan, will Pen be able to forgive him for trying to seduce her into a plot? And what of Pen’s magic, which seems to be increasingly powerful?
(Squee! I'm really excited about this one!)
And finally one I borrowed from the library, although I'm kind of wishing I had bought it instead because I may not get to it in time:
Soldier's Secret by Sheila Solomon Klass
In the 1700s, women’s responsibilities were primarily child rearing and household duties. But Deborah Sampson wanted more from life. She wanted to read, to travel—and to fight for her country’s independence. When the colonies went to war with the British in 1775, Deborah was intent on being part of the action. Seeing no other option, she disguised herself in a man’s uniform and served in the Continental army for more than a year, her identity hidden from her fellow soldiers.
Accomplished writer Sheila Solomon Klass creates a gripping firstperson account of an extraordinary woman who lived a life full of danger, adventure, and intrigue.
(this book is a young adult historical novel based on a real person's life, although it kind of sounds like nonfiction from the summary!)