Last in a Long Line of Rebels


Lou might be only twelve, but she’s never been one to take things sitting down. So when her Civil War-era house is about to be condemned, she’s determined to save it—either by getting it deemed a historic landmark or by finding the stash of gold rumored to be hidden nearby during the war. As Lou digs into the past, her eyes are opened when she finds that her ancestors ran the gamut of slave owners, renegades, thieves and abolitionists. Meanwhile, some incidents in her town show her that many Civil War era prejudices still survive and that the past can keep repeating itself if we let it. Digging into her past shows Lou that it’s never too late to fight injustice, and she starts to see the real value of understanding and exploring her roots.

Chapter 1

“In Honor of My Engagement, Father Has Planned a Grand Celebration. the House Has Been Painted a Gleaming White, and Tables, Replete with Wild Flowers Are Scattered on the Lawn. the Whole Effect Is Worthy of a Charles Heath Illustration and I Can Barely Contain My Excitement at the Sound of Approaching Carriages.” - From the diary of Louise Duncan Mayhew

Being the junkman’s daughter isn’t always as cool as it might sound. Sure I get first dibs on all kinds of good stuff—I now have three perfectly good 10-speed bikes—but it comes with a price. As soon as I saw Daddy’s dump truck sitting in the car line, shaking and rattling like it was about to throw a rod, I knew Sally Martin would have something snide to say. Mama usually drives me home, but Daddy had mentioned at breakfast that he had to pick up an old bleacher from the football field and might as well save her a trip. I could see a rusty end of it sticking up behind the cab.

“Nice ride, Louise,” she said. “You headed to the dump?” A couple of kids laughed and I calculated the chances of getting suspended for fighting on the last day of school.

Benjamin Zerto, my best friend, leaned closer and whispered, “You won’t have to see her for the whole summer. Take a deep breath and count to ten.” As if.

I looked at Sally and smirked. “You better stand back. My dad’s used to picking up useless crap and hauling it away. You could be next.”

I was rewarded with a gasp from Sally and a grin from Benzer, a win-win.

The car line moved and I could hear the roar of the truck as it lumbered forward. Normally the car line would be packed with kids, and I’d have some backup in addition to Benzer. But most kids left early, as soon as they had report cards and attendance awards. Even my cousin Patty and Franklin, the brains of our group, were gone.

“I don’t know how you stand it,” Sally sighed. “Being surrounded by junk would be bad enough, but it looks like your house is about to fall down around your ears. My father says it’s a crime to have such an eyesore right smack in the middle of town.”

I rolled my eyes. My house was a common target with Sally. I’d told her before that it looked old because it was—it had its 150th birthday last year. I wouldn’t waste my breath mentioning it again.

Sally smoothed down her skirt with one hand and smiled.

I swallowed hard. When Sally smiled, bad things usually followed.

More Information
ISBN 9780147512031
Author Lisa Lewis Tyre
Number of Pages 279
Reading Level 4.4
Publisher Penguin Random House
Book Dimensions 7.5 x 5.25 in.
Shipping Weight .50 lbs
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