Angrily, Elizabeth packs her things to stay with her Aunt Libby, her mother's sister and someone she does not know. Her father is headed off to Australia and has decided it's time for Elizabeth to get to know her mother's side of the family. Elizabeth will be the first voice we hear in this tale of two voices. The second voice comes from the girl in the picture on Elizabeth's wall. Her name is Zee and we meet her in the early days of the American Revolution. Zee leaves the door to the hen house wide open inviting foxes, ruins the soap and basically forgets and blunders her way through every chore. Her parents despair of her.
As Elizabeth explores her relationship with Aunt Libby, she begins to ask questions about the picture of Zee. Meanwhile, Zee's life becomes more than botched chores as the war comes to her own home and her mother is killed. Zee will find her way north searching for her father and brother and will journey straight into the battle for Fort Stanwix with its bloodshed and confusion. With the help of her Uncle Harry, Elizabeth will follow Zee's journey and along with Aunt Libby, will try to solve the mystery of the map on the back of the picture of Zee. Life hands both girls loss and teaches them about their own inner strength and ability to love. At the end of this adventure, the author reveals to Elizabeth that she has the power of storytelling and how wondrous it is and I had the distinct feeling that Patricia Reilly Giff shared a bit of herself with us in a poignant way.
176 pages 978-0440421757 Ages 9-12
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com
Elizabeth is drawn into a dramatic story from the American Revolution when she discovers a portrait of her ancestor, a girl called Zee, who has a striking resemblance to Elizabeth. The girls' lives intertwine and Elizabeth's present-day story alternates with Zee's. As Elizabeth learns about Zee, and walks where Zee once walked and battles raged, the past becomes as vivid and real as the present.---from the publisher