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Tuesday, July 12, 2011


A wryly observant handmaiden to the Empress Sadako in ancient Japan (Sei Shonagon). An Englishwoman with an encyclopedic knowledge of housekeeping (Isabella Beeton). An adventurer who dined on hippo and hunted African beetles (Mary Kingsley). The wife of a whaler who spent a year at sea (Mary Hayden Russell). A former slave, cruelly treated for many years, who devoted the free years of her life to helping others (Harriet Ann Jacobs). Curious? I know. These five are just a few of Marthe Jocelyn's Scribbling Women. Jocelyn's nimble writing and smart selection of unique lives and telling details creates an utterly engaging read for twelve-and-ups. My copy is going straight to Daughter Number One when I'm done. Which won't be long--Scribbling Women is a true page-turner.