Hello, friends! Our book today is Imogene’s Last Stand by Candace Fleming & Nancy Carpenter, a delightful tale of a courageous little girl with a passion for US history.
Imogene has loved history from her first words – literally (they were, “Four score and seven years ago”). At school, she gives a show-and-tell lecture series on important women in history. But now, her mission is to breathe new life into the Liddleville Historical Society, a crumbling house full of all her town’s history. She and her father work tirelessly to restore every inch, but when they are finished, no one comes to visit. The next day, a sign is placed in the front yard: the house is to be torn down to build a shoelace factory. Imogene is not about to watch history be demolished without a fight, and sets to work – but how can one girl save the history of an entire town?
We LOVED this. Smart, confident and brave female protagonist? Check. Imogene is the type of character we live for, a historical figure-quoting, independent and ingenious firebrand who fights for what she believes is important, not only for herself but for everyone’s benefit. A meaningful story about knowing, understanding, and learning from our past? Check. In fact, the solution to the conflict is found in history, showing how our past can often inform our present problems. There’s even some adorable father-daughter moments between Imogene and her dad, and a wonderful, subtle girl-power-in-politics moment at the end. The pen-and-ink illustrations are perfect for giving both whimsy and gravitas to Imogene’s tale in equal measure, and the length is perfect. Backmatter even gives context for Imogene’s quotes. An awesome read for any young student of history, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!