Bethia Mayfield, a minister’s daughter on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, seizes opportunities to learn new things. She listens as her father instructs her brother in Latin and Greek, accompanies local herbalists and midwives, and furtively trades knowledge with her Wampanong Indian friend Caleb. Life is hard in 17th century colonial Massachussett. Teenage Bethia loses her parents and is indentured as a servant, accompanying her brother and Caleb to Boston where they prepare to study at Harvard College. An independent spirit who chafes against the religious and domestic roles assigned to her, Bethia observes and supports the struggle of Caleb and other Native American students who are between two cultures.
Twelve-year-old Derek is looking forward to a great summer with his best friend. Mom and Dad, of course, have other ideas for the Calvin and Hobbes-loving Derek. Two words: Learning Camp! YIKES! Even worse, he must spend more time at Learning Camp with that goody two shoes, Carly! ICK! What is a fun-loving skateboarder to do? All he has left is his faithful dog, Bodi.
Solve a ten-year-old mystery, of course! Derek finds a clipping about a mysterious death that occurred in Martha's Vineyard when he was just a toddler. When he brings up the clipping to his Mom, she becomes mysteriously close-mouthed. What is she hiding from Derek? And why does the clipping mention that the girl died while trying to save a two-year-old toddler? Is it a coincidence that Derek happened to be at Martha's Vineyard when it happened?
Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans are sure to enjoy My Life as a Book (AR 4.0, Level 5.2) by Janet Tashjian. Each cartoon, drawn by the author's son, is laugh out loud funny. Find out what happens to Derek when he manages to convince his parents to visit his grandmother in Massachusetts!