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Melinda Takes a Hand: Illustrated Historical Fiction for Teens

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Thirteen-year old Melinda Carpenter was endowed with generous horse sense, so when her older sister Sarah Jane plans to travel from Chicago to San Francisco to marry her fiancé Edgar Everett Potter III, their aunt and uncle send Melinda along to represent the family and keep an eye on Sarah Jane. But upon their arrival in Goldendale, Colorado to meet his parents, the lette Thirteen-year old Melinda Carpenter was endowed with generous horse sense, so when her older sister Sarah Jane plans to travel from Chicago to San Francisco to marry her fiancé Edgar Everett Potter III, their aunt and uncle send Melinda along to represent the family and keep an eye on Sarah Jane. But upon their arrival in Goldendale, Colorado to meet his parents, the letter waiting for Sarah Jane so upsets her that she breaks off the engagement right there and then. To protect Sarah Jane and give her some time, Melinda first cables Edgar Everett Potter III with news that Sarah Jane has run off with a train conductor, then cables her aunt and uncle to tell them that Edgar Everett Potter III drowned at sea. Rather than return to Chicago as an object of scorn, Sarah Jane decides to stay in Goldendale, and Melinda stays with her. To earn their keep, Sarah Jane begins housekeeping for a local judge, while Melinda acts as his dog-catcher. Though Goldendale is a tiny town of the Wild West and can’t hold a candle to the Chicago of the World’s Fair, Melinda finds plenty in Goldendale to keep her busy, from errant Great Danes to English lords and their castle, and county seat politics to school bullies. Highly recommended for the nine to twelve bracket, especially those into dynamic female protagonists, Western history, or comic misadventures. https://mealibris.wordpress.com/2009/...


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Thirteen-year old Melinda Carpenter was endowed with generous horse sense, so when her older sister Sarah Jane plans to travel from Chicago to San Francisco to marry her fiancé Edgar Everett Potter III, their aunt and uncle send Melinda along to represent the family and keep an eye on Sarah Jane. But upon their arrival in Goldendale, Colorado to meet his parents, the lette Thirteen-year old Melinda Carpenter was endowed with generous horse sense, so when her older sister Sarah Jane plans to travel from Chicago to San Francisco to marry her fiancé Edgar Everett Potter III, their aunt and uncle send Melinda along to represent the family and keep an eye on Sarah Jane. But upon their arrival in Goldendale, Colorado to meet his parents, the letter waiting for Sarah Jane so upsets her that she breaks off the engagement right there and then. To protect Sarah Jane and give her some time, Melinda first cables Edgar Everett Potter III with news that Sarah Jane has run off with a train conductor, then cables her aunt and uncle to tell them that Edgar Everett Potter III drowned at sea. Rather than return to Chicago as an object of scorn, Sarah Jane decides to stay in Goldendale, and Melinda stays with her. To earn their keep, Sarah Jane begins housekeeping for a local judge, while Melinda acts as his dog-catcher. Though Goldendale is a tiny town of the Wild West and can’t hold a candle to the Chicago of the World’s Fair, Melinda finds plenty in Goldendale to keep her busy, from errant Great Danes to English lords and their castle, and county seat politics to school bullies. Highly recommended for the nine to twelve bracket, especially those into dynamic female protagonists, Western history, or comic misadventures. https://mealibris.wordpress.com/2009/...

30 review for Melinda Takes a Hand: Illustrated Historical Fiction for Teens

  1. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Humourous historical novel with strong female chracters Classic historical fiction for children set in the era of westward expansion and the gold rush Melinda the main character is full of spunk and sass. When problems happening her family or her friends' lives, she's always ready to "take a hand" to put things right with a crazy plan. Recommended for fans of Little House on the Prairie, Caddie Woodlawn or anyone looking for children's books with strong female protagonists. Humourous historical novel with strong female chracters Classic historical fiction for children set in the era of westward expansion and the gold rush Melinda the main character is full of spunk and sass. When problems happening her family or her friends' lives, she's always ready to "take a hand" to put things right with a crazy plan. Recommended for fans of Little House on the Prairie, Caddie Woodlawn or anyone looking for children's books with strong female protagonists.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Melinda

    First of all: I’ll admit it, I picked this book up simply because it had my name in the title. I don’t have a rare name per se, but it is one I can say I’ve scarcely heard in songs or read in many poems. Between the pages: I really enjoyed reading this story, which takes place in the United States during the late 1800’s. I always admire the research it takes to make a book real enough to believe and yet fictional enough to make it fun! I liked seeing the word “masher” used in context. I first bec First of all: I’ll admit it, I picked this book up simply because it had my name in the title. I don’t have a rare name per se, but it is one I can say I’ve scarcely heard in songs or read in many poems. Between the pages: I really enjoyed reading this story, which takes place in the United States during the late 1800’s. I always admire the research it takes to make a book real enough to believe and yet fictional enough to make it fun! I liked seeing the word “masher” used in context. I first became curious about this word when I was a little girl, watching The Music Man. In the film, Marian tells her mother about the strange man (Professor Harold Hill) with the suitcase who had followed her home, to which her hopeful mother responds that she should have given him a chance. Marion refers to the rogue as a “common masher.” As I read about the young Melinda who is looking out for her older sister as she travels to wed her fiancé in California, I learned that it wasn’t uncommon practice for a “masher” to be removed from a train if he became too fresh with a decent young lady. How interesting! I wonder if I will ever read in a book about Shipoopi… So, overall: There were some unfortunate events that transpired (I won’t spoil it by divulging details), but I had anticipated just the ending that I was rewarded with- and it was kept true to the innocent juvenile fiction I adore. I closed the book far from disappointed!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Patricia Beatty wrote fiction books for young people in the 1970s and 1980s that were set in earlier times. I've only read two of her books but I found both of them delightful. The historical information in her books makes the stories very real. "Melinda Takes a Hand" is set in 1893. Melinda Carpenter, age 13, accompanies her only sister Sarah Jane, age 26, across the country by train. Sarah Jane had met a young man, Edgar Everett Potter III, at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, where they lived Patricia Beatty wrote fiction books for young people in the 1970s and 1980s that were set in earlier times. I've only read two of her books but I found both of them delightful. The historical information in her books makes the stories very real. "Melinda Takes a Hand" is set in 1893. Melinda Carpenter, age 13, accompanies her only sister Sarah Jane, age 26, across the country by train. Sarah Jane had met a young man, Edgar Everett Potter III, at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, where they lived with their aunt and uncle, and it was "love at first sight". Melinda is skeptical about instant love but she is going with Sarah Jane to San Francisco for the wedding. On the way they are stopping in Goldendale, Colorado to meet Edgar's parents. That's as far as they get. The Potter parents present Sarah Jane with her first letter from her young man and when Sarah Jane reads it, the wedding is off! It's up to Melinda to take a hand and set things straight so that Sarah Jane won't be embarrassed, even though the jilting was on her side. The story is both amusing and informative. I must admit that I caught on early on, though.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Heise

    Teenage Melinda, charged with conducting her older sister Sarah Jane to her wedding to a man Sarah Jane had met at the World's Fair, certainly does 'take a hand.' And she needs to: while waiting for the bridegroom at his family's house, Sarah Jane recieves a letter from him that causes her to break off the engagement, and what is to be done? Melinda takes a hand in getting them settled as housekeeper and private dog-catcher to a judge, takes a hand in the lonely dilemma of the town's lone Jewish Teenage Melinda, charged with conducting her older sister Sarah Jane to her wedding to a man Sarah Jane had met at the World's Fair, certainly does 'take a hand.' And she needs to: while waiting for the bridegroom at his family's house, Sarah Jane recieves a letter from him that causes her to break off the engagement, and what is to be done? Melinda takes a hand in getting them settled as housekeeper and private dog-catcher to a judge, takes a hand in the lonely dilemma of the town's lone Jewish family, and even takes a hand in local politics. In my youth, when these books were written, it would have been called 'rollicking' and the heroine 'plucky and spirited,' and though those terms have become worn out, viewed with a fresh eye, they give a fair idea of Melinda and her activities. For girls who enjoy the Great Brain series but would like something where the main character isn't just female but also means well and mostly succeeds, Beatty's works are a treasure-trove.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Partridge Public

    Beatty, Patricia

  6. 4 out of 5

    Corrie

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

  8. 4 out of 5

    Janice

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rhiannon Hartvigsen

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sara Whear

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Buxton

  13. 5 out of 5

    Wendyb

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tira

  16. 5 out of 5

    Susan

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jocelyn

  18. 4 out of 5

    Whimsyism

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jessie

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jina

  22. 4 out of 5

    Katie Boggs

  23. 5 out of 5

    MB (What she read)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anna

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jane

  26. 4 out of 5

    Addyson Huneke

  27. 5 out of 5

    Melissa C.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  29. 4 out of 5

    Becca

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sarena

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