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|Imogene's last stand|
Author: Fleming, Candace
Enamored of history, young Imogene Tripp tries to save her town's historical society from being demolished in order to build a shoelace factory.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.80
Points: .5 Quiz: 133415
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 2.50
Points: 2.0 Quiz: 48103
Booklist - 07/01/2009 Know any young activists? Then introduce them to Imogene, a bespectacled fighter for the public good. Mostly, Imogene is obsessed with preserving items of historical importance, and when her beloved Liddleville Historical Society is scheduled for demolition—in favor of a shoelace factory!—she becomes a one-girl army. Dressing up as Paul Revere and shouting famous lines from such figures as John Paul Jones (“I have not yet begun to fight!”) and Theodore Roosevelt (“Balderdash!”), Imogene covers the town in patriotic ribbons, air-drops fliers, and even chains herself to the Historical Society porch (“Heck no, I won’t go!”). But it is a dusty old letter from George Washington that ends up getting the Society awarded national landmark status by the president of the United States herself (who, continuing the girl-power theme, is a black woman). Fleming’s sense of small-town space is impeccable; Carpenter’s pen-and-ink art enjoyably scribbly; and the historical facts and quotes that bookend the story are just the thing to get new Imogenes fired up. - Copyright 2009 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2009 K-Gr 2— Imogene is a feisty child who loves history and spouts quotes from famous people on all occasions. When she discovers the now-abandoned Historical Society building in her New Hampshire town, she cleans it up and opens it as a museum. No one comes. Then one morning she finds a sign posted outside the building stating that it will be torn down to make room for a shoelace factory. Imogene tries to enlist the aid of the mayor and other influential people, but they all say that the factory will put them on the map. At the last minute, she finds a letter in the museum that was written by George Washington to indicate that he had slept there. She notifies a historian and then puts herself in a stockade on the porch as the wrecking crew approaches. Soon the whole town turns out to watch the spectacle, and people tell her to move. "'In the immortal words of the Vietnam War protesters,' she shouted, 'Heck no, I won't go!'" (There is no mention of the fact that the quote has been changed.) The President of the United States (an African-American woman) appears and declares the museum a national landmark. Illustrations done in pen-and-ink and digital media provide a lot of historical details and humor, featuring a determined child who rides in a sidecar on her father's motorcycle. This title could serve as a jumping-off place for some early elementary history lessons.—Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI - Copyright 2009 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 11/01/2009 Imogene Tripp doesn’t just like history, she steeps herself in it, and in her small community of Liddleville, NH, there’s plenty of history to be had. Having advanced beyond the age of fingerpainting the Oregon Trail and performing puppet shows on Amelia Earhart, Imogene turns her attention to the historical society that’s fallen into disuse and disrepair. With help from her father, she whips the place back in order, only to learn the building has been condemned to make way for a shoelace factory, and nobody in town shares her outrage. All Imogene’s protests come to naught until she discovers a yellowed parchment letter that indicates George Washington had spent the night in this building in 1789. The news goes viral, a historian and the U.S. President (incidentally, an African-American woman) show up to stop the bulldozers, and a new era of local history appreciation dawns in Liddleville. Imogene and her proclivity to repurpose apt quotations from history’s notables are thoroughly engaging, but the rambling plot points, loosely joined with improbability and serendipity, are unlikely to convince listeners that this is anything but wishful thinking. Kids who share Imogene’s curiosity about the past, though, will enjoy perusing Carpenter’s scratchy line-and-watercolor depictions of a town in which old stone masonry shares the stage with cellphone-toting, stroller-pushing moms, and Imogene sets up shop with her laptop on an eighteenth-century desk. Endpapers supply thumbnail portraits of the figures who inspire Imogene’s epigraphs. EB - Copyright 2009 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.