The Hope Chest

6 CDs. 7:09 hrs. Listening Library. 2015. $55. ISBN 9781101915769. digital download.
Gr 3–6—After discovering that her parents have been intercepting letters from her disinherited older sister, 11-year-old Violet abandons her proper upbringing and runs away from home, determined to reconnect with Chloe. She travels by train to New York City but discovers Chloe has joined the National Woman's Party in Tennessee as the suffragettes lobby for women's right to vote. On her journey to Tennessee, Violet meets Myrtle, an African American orphan who is running away from a future as a maid. The girls, along with Chloe's friend Mr. Martin, make it to Tennessee and are caught up in the battle between the "Suffs" and the "Antis." Carla Mercer-Meyer's passionate narration captures Violet's struggle between the archaic values she was raised to respect and the new ideas she sees unfolding all around her. Although many historical figures and period details about Model Ts, Jim Crow laws, and Prohibition are included, the story's pacing never wavers.
VERDICT This book will supplement units about government or women's suffrage, and Violet and Myrtle's fast-paced adventures will make it a winner with historical fiction fans. ["Illuminating a time period rarely featured in children's literature, this is a fresh choice for historical fiction fans": SLJ 3/1/08 review of the Random book.]

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