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The Queen's Own Grove: Illustrated Historical Fiction for Teens

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Amelia Bromfield-Brown looked out the train window. What she saw was discouraging: flat, parched-looking ground, dotted with cactus plants; hills, behind them, mountains; a cloudless, hot sky. The rest of Amelia’s family did nor see, to feel optimistic, either. “Well!” Grandmother snapped out so loudly that half the railroad car turned to look at them. “If this is where w Amelia Bromfield-Brown looked out the train window. What she saw was discouraging: flat, parched-looking ground, dotted with cactus plants; hills, behind them, mountains; a cloudless, hot sky. The rest of Amelia’s family did nor see, to feel optimistic, either. “Well!” Grandmother snapped out so loudly that half the railroad car turned to look at them. “If this is where we are to live, I have only one thing to say.” She paused dramatically, then announced, “Riverside, California, is going to be the absolute end of the world!” Thus the Bromfield-Browns arrived in the California of the 1880’s, having wended their arduous way from England via Canada. They were moving to the desert climate for Father’s health, but they soon found that this problem was only one of a legion, including such things as white scale, the terrible Applebooms, and Grandmother’s social life. Led by the indefatigable Amelia, the three Bromfield-Brown children attack their problems in a brisk, uncompromising way. Patricia Beatty, evoking the mood of the day, continues to delight her readers in this sprightly historical novel. KIRKUS REVIEWS The Bromfield-Brown family was headed by Grandmother Thorup, who had grown up with and was a dead ringer for her beloved Queen Victoria. Only indisputable orders from the doctor about Mr. B-B’s health could budge the family from England, but Grandmother at last agreed to forge ahead—“The Colonies are England’s children. We must bear that in mind constantly—that we shall really never leave English soil!” From Canada they are ordered on to Southern California (“the absolute end of the world!”). The story of how the proper English family adjusts to the ramshackle, desert town (and vice versa) is banked with problems which are always almost disastrous but most enjoyable. The narrator is Amelia, the oldest of the three Bromfield-Brown children, and while she sighs that “We’re too well- bred, that’s what’s wrong with us,” they are far from inactive. With the assistance of their Chinese servant they bring their neighbors, the over-populated, under-disciplined Applebooms into line by impersonating spirits at a seance; they resolve an old family feud which had blocked Grandmother's admission into the much-desired tennis club; they overcame the threat of the white scale disease to their orange grove; and they even show signs of becoming Americanized. As always with this author, the characters and dialogue are excellent, and the incidents as real as they are funny.


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Amelia Bromfield-Brown looked out the train window. What she saw was discouraging: flat, parched-looking ground, dotted with cactus plants; hills, behind them, mountains; a cloudless, hot sky. The rest of Amelia’s family did nor see, to feel optimistic, either. “Well!” Grandmother snapped out so loudly that half the railroad car turned to look at them. “If this is where w Amelia Bromfield-Brown looked out the train window. What she saw was discouraging: flat, parched-looking ground, dotted with cactus plants; hills, behind them, mountains; a cloudless, hot sky. The rest of Amelia’s family did nor see, to feel optimistic, either. “Well!” Grandmother snapped out so loudly that half the railroad car turned to look at them. “If this is where we are to live, I have only one thing to say.” She paused dramatically, then announced, “Riverside, California, is going to be the absolute end of the world!” Thus the Bromfield-Browns arrived in the California of the 1880’s, having wended their arduous way from England via Canada. They were moving to the desert climate for Father’s health, but they soon found that this problem was only one of a legion, including such things as white scale, the terrible Applebooms, and Grandmother’s social life. Led by the indefatigable Amelia, the three Bromfield-Brown children attack their problems in a brisk, uncompromising way. Patricia Beatty, evoking the mood of the day, continues to delight her readers in this sprightly historical novel. KIRKUS REVIEWS The Bromfield-Brown family was headed by Grandmother Thorup, who had grown up with and was a dead ringer for her beloved Queen Victoria. Only indisputable orders from the doctor about Mr. B-B’s health could budge the family from England, but Grandmother at last agreed to forge ahead—“The Colonies are England’s children. We must bear that in mind constantly—that we shall really never leave English soil!” From Canada they are ordered on to Southern California (“the absolute end of the world!”). The story of how the proper English family adjusts to the ramshackle, desert town (and vice versa) is banked with problems which are always almost disastrous but most enjoyable. The narrator is Amelia, the oldest of the three Bromfield-Brown children, and while she sighs that “We’re too well- bred, that’s what’s wrong with us,” they are far from inactive. With the assistance of their Chinese servant they bring their neighbors, the over-populated, under-disciplined Applebooms into line by impersonating spirits at a seance; they resolve an old family feud which had blocked Grandmother's admission into the much-desired tennis club; they overcame the threat of the white scale disease to their orange grove; and they even show signs of becoming Americanized. As always with this author, the characters and dialogue are excellent, and the incidents as real as they are funny.

30 review for The Queen's Own Grove: Illustrated Historical Fiction for Teens

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    I loved this book! It was so interesting, even for an adult reader. My mom is a docent at the Heritage House in Riverside and the 3rd graders in the area read this book before getting a tour of the house on a field trip. I loved that this was about my home town, and even though I now live on the East Coast, I am going to use this in my own homeschooling curriculum when my kids are older.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Janice

    As a child, I met this author and read many of her books. She introduced me to historical fiction and they are great reads for the age 8-12 year old girl set. A lot of her books are out of print but still can be purchased on-line at used book stores. This book focues on the California orange growers in Riverside, CA.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Betty Fuller

    I really enjoyed this historical fiction book about Riverside, CA. My children's 4th grade teacher read it to her class every year. Hopefully teachers and parents who live in the area still share this story with their kids. I know I will with my grandkids. I really enjoyed this historical fiction book about Riverside, CA. My children's 4th grade teacher read it to her class every year. Hopefully teachers and parents who live in the area still share this story with their kids. I know I will with my grandkids.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gracewellworn

    An enjoyable quick read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    I just loved this Patricia Beatty book about a young girl and her family who move from England (by way of Canada) to Southern California in the late 1800's. Once again, Patricia Beatty has 'done her history homework' and added historically accurate information (such as how the ladybug was brought over from Australia to help save the orange groves from 'white scale') to enhance her novel. This is a heartwarming story about a family's troubles and triumphs as they try to acclimate to a new country I just loved this Patricia Beatty book about a young girl and her family who move from England (by way of Canada) to Southern California in the late 1800's. Once again, Patricia Beatty has 'done her history homework' and added historically accurate information (such as how the ladybug was brought over from Australia to help save the orange groves from 'white scale') to enhance her novel. This is a heartwarming story about a family's troubles and triumphs as they try to acclimate to a new country and a new way of life as owners of an orange grove. I really loved it!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shauna Hruby

    Geared for younger readers, this book tells of a British family medically relocated to Riverside, California at the end of the 19th century. I really enjoyed the local flavor, the contrasts between cultures, and the discussions of oranges and their growing habits. A fun and fascinating little book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    A very "locally" flavored book about early settlers from England that came to Riverside for health reasons back in the 1880s. Once here, the family purchased an ran an orange grove. It was a fun old-fashioned young adult book written back in 1966... A very "locally" flavored book about early settlers from England that came to Riverside for health reasons back in the 1880s. Once here, the family purchased an ran an orange grove. It was a fun old-fashioned young adult book written back in 1966...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    My daughters 3rd grade class read this book for a book club. It's a cute story about young girl and her family that move to Riverside California from England during the 1880's. My daughters 3rd grade class read this book for a book club. It's a cute story about young girl and her family that move to Riverside California from England during the 1880's.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Marni

  10. 5 out of 5

    Patti

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sara Leff

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tina Fletcher

  14. 5 out of 5

    Shelley Hazelton

  15. 5 out of 5

    Pevebe

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jessie

  17. 5 out of 5

    Elisabeth

  18. 5 out of 5

    TatiAnna

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hope

  20. 5 out of 5

    Christian

  21. 4 out of 5

    Donna

  22. 5 out of 5

    Emma Northington

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  24. 5 out of 5

    Renée Szostek

  25. 4 out of 5

    Socallynn

  26. 4 out of 5

    Abra

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mazzou B

  28. 4 out of 5

    Linda Sing

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

  30. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

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