BEHIND THE MASKS by Susan Patron


The Diary of Angeline Reddy, Bodie, California, 1880
From the "Dear America" series
Age Range: 9 - 14
Email this review


A not-so-shy Angeline is a force for justice in a Wild West town that is out of control.

In 1880s Bodie, Calif., there is no safety. Criminals run amok, along with a corrupt sheriff and a vigilante gang, all striking terror into bad guys and decent citizens alike. When Angie Reddy’s father, a renowned criminal lawyer, is said to have been murdered, neither Angie nor her mother believes it. Angie sets out to find answers and discovers that she is pluckier, stronger and more determined than she believed herself to be. She is aided in her quest by the mysterious Ling Loi, new friend Ellie, young, handsome Antoine and the Horrible performance group. Together they bravely encounter cruelty, kindness, adventure and a host of fascinating and frightening characters. The female characters, missing from so much of the Western genre, are strong, passionate and enduring, with fully developed back stories. As Momma says, “[W]omen out west need to be ready to do most anything.” Employing the diary format common to the Dear America series, would-be writer Angie paints a vivid picture of her life in that time and place. Primitive medicine and dentistry, gossip, prejudices, education, local politics, even clothing, parties and romance are all woven into Angie’s account, adding richness and texture to the plot.

A rip-roaring tale with a satisfying conclusion. (author’s note, historical note) (Historical fiction. 9-14)
Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-545-30437-5
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2011


ChildrenLUCKY FOR GOOD by Susan Patron
by Susan Patron
ChildrenLUCKY BREAKS by Susan Patron
by Susan Patron


ChildrenKEEPING SCORE by Linda Sue Park
by Linda Sue Park