In the second or third year of LITClub, back in 2003 or 2004, Les Miserable was on our reading list for November. We were all very new to the idea of reading old books in a group setting and Les Miserables is a LONG book, 1600 pages! The moms decided to take a short hiatus after that book and read something light for December. We chose At Home in Mitford. To jazz up the experience, we planned a formal dinner with fine china, crystal, sterling silver flatware and recipes straight from the At Home in Mitford Cookbook. In January we went back to reading the classics.
In our club we don’t veer off the classical path often but it is a nice break when we do. One year, the kids wanted to read CS Lewis’ science fiction trilogy and get together to talk about it. We couldn’t fit the book within our school year so we read it during the summer. Then we came together over breakfast one morning and had a conversation about the story. Because of my experience with the Mitford series and Out of the Silent Planet, by Lewis, I keep my eye out for modern authors who write books that can be nestled around our classical book studies.
My friend Bridgette Booth is writing a middle grade historical fiction book that I am so excited about. I’ve been privileged to read the first few chapters and this is one you don’t want to miss. The Really Real Life of Laurel Leblanc will fit perfectly with the books we read in the Modern time period. (For LITClub that means books written between 1900 and the present.) I’m so excited for her book to come off the press so we can include it for younger LITClub Kids.
“Rebellious Heart is inspired by one of history’s most famous couples, John and Abigail Adams, the second President of the United States and his First Lady.”
Jody’s book was entertaining, but it gave me so much more than just reading pleasure. My understanding of the Adams is not only deeper but more real than it was before. History is all about relationships, not facts. Learning it through novels brings real people to life for me. This causes me to remember more than if I read a non fiction history text. In light of this, I believe Rebellious Heart could be an excellent modern-day add on for our LITClub.
In LITClub we read books in chronological order divided into four years: Ancients, 0-400 AD; Medieval, 400-1650; Renaissance, 1650-1800; and Modern, 1800-Present. Bridgette Booth’s book for younger children and Jody Hedlund’s Rebellious Heart are perfect modern-day add-ons for The LITClub: Transforming Reading Into An Experience.
Jody captured my affections for Susanna and Ben in the first few pages of the book. There is also a hint of espionage early on that caused me to turn the page. What is the secret Ben conceals from Eldridge? Will Ben let his true thoughts slip and get jailed for treason? How will this conflict play out and will it be the source that joins the lovers together? These questions rolled around my mind from the very beginning of Jody’s story. I like that in a book. “Capture me early, keep me till the end,” is one of my reading mottos. I like mystery, intrigue and romance all wrapped up in one story. Rebellious Heart engaged my imagination early and entertained me all the way to the end. You won’t be disappointed if you give Rebellious Heart a try. You can pick up a copy for yourself at Amazon. To check out Jody’s other books stop by her place for a visit, www.jodyhedlund.com.
Do you like learning history through well written, well researched novels like Rebellious Heart?