Last in a Long Line of Rebels has everything I look for in a middle reader novel, adventure, mystery, a great group of friends, and a message of hope. In this novel, a young group of friends look for lost Civil War gold in an attempt to save the heroine, Louise’s, home from destruction. Louise Mayhew is the junkman’s daughter living in a historic home that has been in the family since before the Civil War. She is challenged by snooty Sally on the last day of school that she will not have an exciting summer. Louise takes up the challenge and soon embarks on an adventure with her cousin Patty, and two guy friends Benzer and Franklin.
While visiting a museum about local history with Louise’s feisty grandmother, Bertie, the crew discovers that Louise’s Great-Great-Great Grandfather may have stolen and hidden gold during the Civil War and may also have killed Franklin’s ancestor during the deed. The crew search through the house, junkyard, library, and museum for clues. Louise makes discoveries about herself and her family, such as the disturbing fact that her mother’s art studio was once a slave cabin. She can’t believe her family owned slaves.
There is also a great sub-story about Isaac, a high school athlete that work’s for Louise’s Dad. He is denied a scholarship because of his race, but he dreams of playing football for the University of Tennessee. Will he be able to make his dream come true?
I thought this was a great adventure and coming of age story. I also loved how it used both history and current day to tell a story of tolerance and acceptance of all people. I also loved how Louise found her namesake’s diary and learned the real story of what happened during the Civil War. I loved reading this as an adult, but I know that as a child, this would have been exactly my type of book. Sadly my sons are on a Star Wars fix so I was unable to get them to read this with me.
I also loved the setting of Tennessee and the small town. I’ve never been to Tennessee, but I have lived in small town America most of my life. I loved the Southern lifestyle, but how all small towns are the same with bullies and heroes. I was distressed about “chocolate gravy” though. What is chocolate gravy? I don’t know whether I should be horrified or want to eat it.
Some of my favorite quotes:
“Some people like comfort foods; I like comfort clothes.” Louise is my kind of person
“You’d be amazed how quickly people can forget their own history if you don’t preserve it. And when you forget the past, you’re bound to repeat the same old mistakes.” Bertie (Grandma) to Louise.
“As a general rule, I try not to say anything hurtful about people, even jokingly.” Daddy said to the group. This is a good rule to live by.
Overall, Last in the Long Line of rebels was a gem of a book. I highly recommend it for both middle readers and adults alike that are looking for a great story that includes
Book Source: Review Copy for being a part of the TLC Book Tour. Thank-you!
Lisa Lewis Tyre’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, February 1st: Geo Librarian
Tuesday, February 2nd: Randomly Reading
Wednesday, February 3rd: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
Thursday, February 4th: Life is Story
Monday, February 8th: Just Commonly
Wednesday, February 10th: Shooting Stars Mag
Thursday, February 11th: Musings by Maureen
Monday, February 15th: Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, February 16th: You Can Read Me Anything
Wednesday, February 17th: WV Stitcher
Thursday, February 18th: Tina Says…
Monday, February 22nd: The Things You Can Read
Wednesday, February 24th: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, February 25th: Just One More Chapter
Monday, February 29th: Laura’s Reviews
Wednesday, March 2nd: Absurd Book Nerd
Thursday, March 3rd: FictionZeal
Monday, March 7th: View from the Birdhouse