Books by Kristiana Gregory

STALKED by Kristiana Gregory
Released: May 13, 2011

"An atmospheric confection that will thrill YA readers."
Gregory's (My Darlin' Clementine, 2009, etc.) latest YA thriller features a young seamstress from Denmark who encounters a dangerous stranger on her journey to early 1900s America. Read full book review >
MY DARLIN’ CLEMENTINE by Kristiana Gregory
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2009

"Oh, my darlin', oh, my darlin,' oh, my darlin' Clementine, / thou art lost and gone forever—" Gregory uses the familiar folksong as a jumping-off place for a surprisingly original story. In the fictional mining town of Nugget, Idaho, Clementine's father is known as "Dry Boots" because arthritis prevents him from panning for gold in creeks. He rides with the local vigilantes and gambles himself deeper into debt; her mother cooks for local miners and keeps secrets of her own. Clementine longs to study medicine, but when she's offered a chance to right her family's fortunes via an arranged marriage, she doesn't see how she can refuse. And yet—thanks to her now-dead mother's influence—she can also see a way out. The first-person narrative brims with confident details, making the mining town and particularly the minor characters—Tall Sing, a Chinese immigrant who works for them, the miners Whiskey Nose and Jesse Blue, and the rest—come vividly to life. Highly recommended. (Historical fiction. 10-14)Read full book review >
BRONTE’S BOOK CLUB by Kristiana Gregory
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2008

Having moved from New Mexico to a seaside California cottage, 12-year-old Bronte embarks on a new venture—overcoming her shyness with new friends. An avid reader and lover of sophisticated words like "delectable" and "palaver," Bronte decides to start a book club posting an open invitation to "Girls Who Like to Read!!" Her first meeting, "a veritable disaster," brings no one to her door. By her second and third attempt, beautiful Willow, free-spirited Nan, Willow's best friend Lupe and sullen, troubled Jessie have joined. Tentatively encouraged, Bronte chooses Island of the Blue Dolphins for their weekly meetings. Gregory's use of a book-club scenario serves well as a vehicle for the girls to explore personal situations through connections made with the book's themes, actions, and protagonist. Her subtle message that an atmosphere of trust and understanding enhances friendship is presented effectively through the initial bonding between Nan and Bronte, a rift between Bronte, Willow and Lupe and the girls' genuine concern for Jessie. A spelunking expedition adds adventure and suspense to this poignantly wholesome offering. (Fiction. 10-12)Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2001

With war an ever-present possibility and uncertain of their future, Hope and her family struggle to survive in Philadelphia in 1776. Part of the My America series and a sequel to Five Smooth Stones: Hope's Diary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1776 (not reviewed), Hope's latest journal entries find her family in the country having fled from the turmoil of the city. Hope's brother has run off to fight with the Red Coats and was thrown into prison as a spy. Her father is fighting as a patriot, but he has not been home in more than a year. With a new baby to care for and worries about the state of their home, Hope's mother returns all of them to the city where they must survive persecution from the invading British troops and the continuing threat of war. Desperate to have some normalcy in their lives, they reopen their bakery, and Hope returns to school. Soon, British soldiers overrun their home and Hope's father returns from the front with stories and scars from the battles he has seen. Hope learns that her father has joined the Sons of Liberty, and she fears that they may not survive the coming months. Strong imagery and well-researched details make this an engrossing as well as educational selection. Readers will eagerly await the next installment. (Fiction. 7-9)Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1999

Through compelling journal entries, this entry in The Royal Diaries series takes readers back to a time in ancient Egypt when Cleopatra was a 12-year-old princess, traveling to Rome to meet the likes of Caesar, Cicero, and Marc Antony for the first time. Gregory imagines how the intelligent, literate princess might record events both large and small, proposing that even at such a young age, Cleopatra struggled to learn diplomacy. The attention to detail draws readers headlong into ancient Egypt, describing with immediacy and vigor the spices, views, tastes, and smells that a young Cleopatra may have encountered. An epilogue, family tree, historical notes, and numerous black-and-white illustrations fill in the rest of her story. (Fiction. 8-12) Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1999

In this volume of the Dear America series, Gregory (Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie, 1997, etc.) describes the creation of the historic transcontinental railroad through the meeting of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads. Vital to western expansion, the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862 authorized the competitive laying of track by the two companies, and travel was forever changed: a journey of six months by stagecoach, or five months by wagon train, took only six or seven days by railroad. Readers learn these facts and others painlessly, witnessing the construction of the railroad through the eyes of Libby West, a forthright 14-year-old whose father is a reporter for the Rocky Mountain News in the Utah Territory. He risks being tarred and feathered whenever he and other reporters write the unvarnished truth about the railroad's progress. On the homefront, women are the keepers of hearth and home, facing the hardships of all those who followed their dreams to the frontier. Numerous facts are interwoven, archival drawings and photos are included, and history is brought to life through Libby's candid narration. (b&w photos) (Fiction. 8-14) Read full book review >
ACROSS THE WIDE AND LONESOME PRAIRIE by Kristiana Gregory
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 1997

In a work subtitled ``The Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell,'' Gregory (Earthquake at Dawn, 1992, etc.) reconvenes the Dear America series in 1847, as Hattie, her parents, and her two younger brothers begin the long trek from Missouri to Oregon by wagon train. At first the adventure is exciting, but as the days, weeks, and months pass, Hattie realizes what a dangerous and tedious trip it will be. They cross the prairies, hastening the journey as news of the fate of the Donner party reaches them, but death, disease, weather, and the terrain take a terrible toll. The Campbells lose neighbors and friends until they almost believe they cannot bear to continue. Continue they do: Eight months after they set out, the remaining wagons arrive in Oregon City, just in time for Christmas. Through Hattie's diary, Gregory brings the rigors of the trip to life, but she also includes the details that kept the settlers going—the friendships and camaraderie that developed and the joyful events (a wedding and some births) that occurred. Gregory brings a sobering dose of reality to an era that's often romanticized; this is a fine glimpse of history on a human scale. (b&w photos, map) (Fiction. 8-14) Read full book review >
EARTHQUAKE AT DAWN by Kristiana Gregory
ADVENTURE
Released: April 1, 1992

En route to a photographic exhibit in Paris and a trip on around the world, Edith and Daisy (the narrator) arrive in San Francisco just before the great earthquake of 1906 and are separated from Edith's father in the ensuing confusion. While they search for him in the crowds and rubble during the next several days, Edith surreptitiously takes 60 photographs (an act forbidden by authorities hoping to conceal the extent of the damage). Unable to reach City Hall, where they had hoped to find him, the girls join others camping in Golden Gate Park, sharing the deprivations and horrors amid aftershocks, explosions, and fires, and eventually return home: their ship has sunk in the harbor. Three photos and a brief note in a 1990 National Geographic sparked the research that led to Gregory's third historical novel. Daisy (15) is fictional, but Edith is based on Edith Irvine, who did record the earthquake's devastation. Touching and exciting, this close-up has immediacy and an authentic voice that bring history vividly to life. A map would have been useful. Preface; afterword; bibliography; b&w photos not seen. (Fiction. 10-14) Read full book review >