GHOST WALLS by Sally M. Walker


The Story of a 17th-Century Colonial Homestead
Age Range: 10 - 14
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The site of a 17th-century home owned by a colonial Maryland official reveals the story of its origins with the help of historians and archaeologists.

An early citizen of the Maryland colony, John Lewger built a home for his family and servants that reflected his stature. One hundred years after its establishment, the house was gone, and the role it played in the early years of American history was seemingly lost. However, historians and archaeologists were able to literally unearth information about the structure of the house and lifestyle of its inhabitants. The tension inherent in operating a system of indenture alongside a growing number of slaves is just one of the stories revealed by historical documents. With great attention to archaeological detail, Sibert medalist Walker explores the work of the scientists who studied every aspect of the site, both physically and through historical records. The author’s considerable skill at bringing historical stories to life is on display. However, the level of detail makes for a slow read. The text is quite dense, although the plentiful illustrations provide strong visual support. A few of the bookmaking decisions, such as the use of green ink in captions and the font size, may be problematic for some readers.

Though it doesn’t sparkle like some of her earlier works, there’s much here for patient readers. (author’s note, timeline, source notes, bibliography, further reading suggestions, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-7613-5408-6
Page count: 136pp
Publisher: Carolrhoda
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2014


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