Item description for The Secret of the Lonely Grave by Albert A. Bell, Jr....
Steve (with a passion for baseball) and Kendra (a sassy Sherlock Holmes wannabe) were friends before they knew they were not supposed to be. 'They discover flowers on the lonely grave,' an isolated headstone in the corner of an old graveyard they pass walking home from the school bus. Their investigation literally tunnels through the history of Kentucky, the Civil War, slavery and the Underground Railroad and discovers secrets even their parents would prefer remain hidden. Steve and Kendra investigate an 150-year-old murder case and discover secrets that put their own lives in danger. Steve has a passion for baseball, and Kendra enjoys nothing more than a good mystery. Once they spot flowers on the lonely grave, the excitement begins! Kentucky history, the Civil War, slavery, the Underground Railroad and a 150-year-old murder case enliven this mystery for 9 to 12 year olds.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 6" Height: 9" Weight: 0.55 lbs.
Release Date Jul 15, 2007
Publisher Ingalls Pub/High Country
ISBN 1932158790 ISBN13 9781932158793
Availability 0 units.
More About Albert A. Bell, Jr.
Albert A. Bell, Jr. is a college history professor and novelist living in Michigan. In addition to his Roman series, Bell has written contemporary mysteries, middle-grade novels, and nonfiction. He maintains a website devoted to Pliny the Younger, as well as his author website.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Secret of the Lonely Grave?
A Mom's Choice Awards Recipient! Mar 20, 2008
The Mom's Choice Awards® honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, Ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times Best-Selling Author; LeAnn Thieman, Motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books; Tara Paterson, Certified Parent Coach, and founder of The Just For Mom Foundation(tm) and the Mom's Choice Awards®. Parents and educators look for the Mom's Choice Awards® seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families. This book has been honored by this distinguished award.
award-winning book Dec 19, 2007
This superb book has won the Evelyn Thurman Young Readers' Award, given by Western Kentucky University. It features two strong protagonists, a boy and a girl, giving it a wide appeal. As the youngsters solve a mystery that links their small town to the Underground Railroad and the Civil War, they also learn how to stand up to a school bully. In age-appropriate ways, the story confronts a number of issues that kids must deal with these days.
Great Read and Great Classroom Tool Oct 2, 2007
The Secret of the Lonely Grave proved to be both a delightful read and a great addition to my classroom reading materials. This fictional story provides a wonderful introduction to the topics of slavery and the underground railroad system. My students enjoyed solving the mystery. The tragic subterranean discovery set the stage for a discussion of the dangers faced by both the runaways and those people who helped them along the way. I plan to use this well-written book next year when my new class covers the pre-Civil war period.
a good book for almost teens, and young adults interested in the underground railroad Sep 29, 2007
Steve is eleven and so is his friend Kendra. That's where most of the similarities end. He's white, she's a girl, he plays baseball and writes, she plays tennis and the piano and reads mysteries. Steve is a little worried because Kendra is taller than he is, at least for right now, and he's also aware that others don't view their friendship with the equanimity his mother does.
It's the first day of summer vacation, and Kendra wants to solve a mystery. There is an old graveyard near where Steve and Kendra live; they cut through it on their way here and there and don't view it as a scary place. Someone has been placing flowers on one grave, an old grave separate from all the others. Kendra wants to know who is putting the flowers there, and why. She's figured out the when, and knows there is more to the story.
Steve is less enamored of this game, but goes along because Kendra is his friend and she manages to engage his interest. Once they stake out the grave and discover the who and why, they want to know more about the body IN the grave. Who was Amanda Allen, why did she die so young, and why is nobody else buried near her? The man who has been putting the flowers on the grave is a history teacher; he teaches them how to find the answers to their questions using newspapers and other historical research tools.
THE SECRET OF THE LONELY GRAVE takes Kendra and Steve back to the days of the Civil War and the Underground Railroad. They learn peripheral lessons about epidemics, the problems that slavery brought to states that hadn't decided which side of the fence to be on, as well as lessons in independence, rational thinking, and empathy.
Although sometimes a trifle pedantic for an adult reader, LONELY GRAVE is what I would consider a good "starter" mystery for any young interested in the Civil War or the Underground Railroad. The relationship between Steve and Kendra is a very positive one, without being saccharine. The plot is believable, the emotions at times intense, but nothing inconsistent with the plot.
Meaningful & Entertaining Sep 18, 2007
The Secret of The Lonely Grave By Albert Bell, Jr. ISBN: 1932158790 Ingalls Publishing Group Trade Paper July 2007 Although middle schoolers are the primary target audience, The Secret of The Lonely Grave is a strong, thought provoking read, that easily grabs the attention of book lovers of all ages. Set in Western Kentucky this is an entertaining story that tackles controversial, difficult and painful topics in meaningful, age appropriate ways. While the characters are dealing with contemporary issues such as child abuse, single parent homes and school bullies, there's a valuable history lesson at the heart of the book, that shines the light of truth on racism, slavery, bigotry and the indelible human spirit. Walking to and from the bus stop, best friends, Steve Patterson and Kendra Jordan pass the old cemetery where Kendra's sister Moniqa is buried. They have visited the cemetery many times and have always been curious about one particular grave, that of six year old, Amanda, buried in the mid 1800's. The grave was set off by itself, some distance from all the others, for that reason they nicknamed it "the lonely grave." When they notice flowers on the forgotten grave, they decide to stake out the cemetery. Thinking if they identify who is visiting the grave they can solve the mystery.
The friends soon discover the identity of the mysterious visitor-- a recently widowed college professor, named Doc. Intelligent and kind, he too had been intrigued by the "lonely grave." Doc guides the two friends as they spend the summer researching church and historical society records and talking with local residents. When they find evidence that suggests the infamous Underground Railroad may have passed through their small town, they realize this mystery goes far beyond the little girl's grave. Steve's grandparents are anything but enthusiastic about his detective exploits and demonstrate a hush-hush attitude. It now seemed entirely possible that his family had taken part in the betrayal of a local family that had assisted many escaped slaves well over a hundred years ago. Confronting difficult topics with a stylistic flair that educates and entertains, Bell utilizes modern themes and incorporates present day challenges into the lives of the characters. The story provides a forum for open discussions about the impact of slavery, equality and the power of the human spirit. An informative, entertaining and thought provoking read, I recommend this book to all young readers. It would be beneficial for middle school history classes to add this book to their reading lists.