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THE GLORIOUS ADVENTURES OF THE SUNSHINE QUEEN by Geraldine McCaughrean

THE GLORIOUS ADVENTURES OF THE SUNSHINE QUEEN

By Geraldine McCaughrean

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: May 17th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-06-200806-0
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

A companion to the achingly effervescent prairie epic Stop the Train! (2003). The adventure begins with a bored 12-year-old girl named Cissy Sissney in a small Oklahoma town in the 1890s. Cissy’s boredom comes to an abrupt halt when a diphtheria outbreak forces her and her friends Tibbie and Kookie to flee town in the care of their current school teacher. They hope to take refuge with their beloved former teacher, Miss Loucien, who has become part of a touring theater group. The little band of travelers locates the troupe on a dilapidated paddle wheeler, and, little by little, they become trusted members of a dysfunctional family of actors and performers of every stripe. As The Sunshine Queen steams down the Missouri River, the crew tries to make a living by stopping at various towns to put on shows. Unfortunately, they find trouble much more often than money, and high jinks always ensue, leading to the troupe's attempt to rescue Miss Loucien’s brother-in-law from being unjustly executed. The plot involves strategically placed rumors, a private train and a daring impersonation of Queen Victoria and her advisors. This one has a bit of a Huck Finn feel, and those readers who like their adventures with heavy doses of plot twists and tomfoolery will be smitten. (Historical fiction. 10-14)