THE RAVENMASTER’S SECRET by Elvira Woodruff

THE RAVENMASTER’S SECRET

Age Range: 9 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

A young boy aids a prison escape in this adventurous historical fiction. Forrest lives at the Tower of London, which in 1735 has a jail and execution grounds. He helps his Ravenmaster father bring food to their prisoner and tend the Tower birds. When their newest prisoner turns out to be the faithful daughter of a Scottish Jacobite rebel, Forrest begins to question the terrible things he’s always heard about Scots. He befriends Maddy, and when her father and uncle are murdered trying to escape, he swears to help her—despite an inevitable treason conviction if he’s caught. Pet raven Tuck and loyal chimney-sweep Ned figure into Maddy’s escape, and the neat ending is not unwelcome after unpleasant details of indentured children, adult corruption, and merciless law. Occasional cheapness (“’there would surely be no war’” if children never grew up) is outweighed by courage, friendship, and the earnest, fast-moving story. (map, author’s note, history of the Tower, glossary, bibliography) (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-439-28133-4
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2003




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