The Peasant’s Dream

Thomas Nelson. Jul. 2020. 320p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780785228332.
Gr 8 Up–In a twist on the classic Cinderella story, Frederick, a poor farmer living near Hagenheim, aspires to work as a woodcarver, to make a better life and to marry young Adela, a beautiful maiden he meets by chance in the town marketplace. Adela, a talented painter, is enamored with Frederick and finds joy in their talks about art, yet she conceals her true identity as the daughter of the powerful Duke of Hagenheim for fear of risking their blossoming friendship. Meanwhile, Adela must be honest about her feelings for Lord Barthold, son of a wealthy duke who seeks her hand. When Frederick is falsely accused of a crime and suddenly vanishes, Adela suspects foul play and must convince her father of his innocence and find him. Dickerson’s latest YA historical romance transports readers to the Europe of yesteryear and sweeps them up in a tender romance mixed with a good dose of adventure. The novel brims with period detail and authentic language. Teens will cheer for Frederick and Adela as they find their voices and move beyond societal traditions.
VERDICT Unexpected revelations along the way give this fractured fairy tale a fresh shine.

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