It's Monday! What are you reading?
It was a busy week as I finished end of year reports so I only have a couple of books to review.
To Shield the Queen by Fiona Buckley. This is a historical fiction mystery novel, set in the times of Elizabeth I's. Ursula is a recently widowed young woman with few means but she ends up as one of the queen's ladies in waiting. She is bright, curious and has a skill for observing interactions between people and finding out what they are up to. Ursula is also willing to do almost anything to make sure her young daughter is taken care of and that her Queen and England stay safe. The mystery has several twists and it is a very enjoyable read.
An interesting aspect is that most of the events are based on actual events. The tension between the Anglican and Catholic Churches is palpable and an important part of the story. I wish I had read it earlier so I could suggest it to a student of mine who was studying Religions Around the World, this spring. It's not a young adult book but there are no passages that would make me worry about letting a middle school age student read it.
The Sidewalk Circus by Paul Fleischman and Kevin Hawkes is a wonderful picture book I've been reading with my daughter lately. As a worker pastes up posters about a real circus, a child at a bus stop sees a sidewalk circus as activities and people on the street "perform." Construction workers on steel beams become tight rope walkers, dogs become lions and boys on skateboards become clowns. It creative, well illustrated and a joy to read with a young one who loves a good picture walk.