The Year We Were Famous

By Carole Estby Dagg

May 01, 2011 | Reviewed by TFK Kid Reporter Frannie Salisbury

Genre: Historical Fiction

Number of pages: 241

What's the basic story line?

This story begins in a small town in Mica Creek, Washington, in 1896. Clara Estby, 18, lives with her parents and seven siblings on a cozy farm. When her family begins to run low on money, Helga, Clara's mother, comes up with the idea to walk to New York to raise money and support women's rights. A New York publisher signs a contract with Clara and Helga promising them $10,000. They are given a deadline and $5 each to start the journey. The exciting and treacherous journey takes 7 months. In state after state, they meet some friendly and not-so-friendly people. When they arrive 13 hours past their deadline, they are denied the $10,000 and left on the street.

Are the characters believable?

The characters in this book are believable because they face real problems and show real emotion throughout the entire book. Clara expresses her thoughts and feelings the way other 18-year-olds might if they were faced with the same decisions. The author based the novel on her great-aunt and great-grandmother's experiences.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being best), how would you rate this book?

I would rate this book a 9. I took off one point because in the beginning of the book, I wasn't that interested. Once I got a fifth of the way through, however, I couldn't put the book down. Every day Clara and her mother are faced with new problems, so I never knew what would happen next. In the end, there is a major twist that I really didn't see coming. It left me eager to read a sequel.


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