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*Imogene's Last Stand* by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
Also by Candace Fleming:

Balderdash!: John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children's Books

Tippy-Tippy-Tippy, Splash!

Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart

Clever Jack Takes the Cake

The Fabled Fifth Graders of Aesop Elementary School

Seven Hungry Babies

The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P.T. Barnum

The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary
Also illustrated by Nancy Carpenter:

11 Experiments That Failed

Lighthouse Christmas

17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore
Imogene's Last Stand
by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
Grades K-2 40 pages Schwartz & Wade October 2009 Hardcover    

This delightful new picture book by Candace Fleming featuring an independent-minded girl named Imogene Tripp takes its inspiration from a number of different American heroes to preserve the Liddleville Historic Society building.

Imogene loves history; her very first words were “Four score and seven years ago.” Now a third-grader, Imogene has just discovered her local historical society and is determined to promote this bit of local history. She cleans up the building, organizes the contents and waits for tourists, only to find out that it is scheduled to be torn down and replaced by a shoelace factory.

Little does the town mayor know, but Imogene has not yet “begun to fight.” Despite the apathy of the townspeople and their enthusiasm for the shoelace factory, Imogene jumps on her hobby horse and alerts the town shouting “The bulldozers are coming!” to no avail. The next day, she ties red-white-and-blue ribbons around everything in town – still the townspeople all support the shoelace factory. She continues her protest by distributing flyers from an airplane, with no success.

Finally, when Imogene bids farewell to the historic building, she discovers a yellowed parchment proving that George Washington slept there. With renewed vigor, Imogene contacts the local historian and locks herself in a stockade on the front porch as the bulldozers approach.

With her father by her side, Imogene’s efforts finally attract media attention. The President of the United States (a woman) declares the building a national landmark, and the Liddleville Historical Society is saved.

The brilliance of this book lies not so much the in the determination of the young protagonist but in the clever way by which Candace Fleming incorporates quotes from famous Americans into the text. Each of Imogene’s endeavors and disappointments is reflected by the words of some of our great leaders – from “My heart is sick and sad” (Chief Joseph) to “A great oak is only a little nut that held its ground.” (Abraham Lincoln).

Short narratives/historical tidbits all related to the quotes within the text introduce and complete the book on endpapers. Nancy Carpenter’s complementary ink and watercolor illustrations add to the spirit of Imogene, reflecting her passion and visually depicting her ventures to protect history.

Inspire an interest in local history in elementary readers – Imogene's Last Stand is a perfect introduction to a field trip to the local historical society. Highly recommended.

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  Kristine Wildner/2010 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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