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Sarah and Me and the Lady from the Sea: Historical Fiction for Teens

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Marcella Abbott can’t believe it. Her family is giving up their house in Portland, Oregon, and their comfortable life in the city to live year-round on Washington State’s Olympic peninsula when her father’s business is ruined. Nahcotta’s okay for the summer, but Marcella doesn’t much like the people who live there. In fact, she thinks they’re stupid, oafish, country bumpki Marcella Abbott can’t believe it. Her family is giving up their house in Portland, Oregon, and their comfortable life in the city to live year-round on Washington State’s Olympic peninsula when her father’s business is ruined. Nahcotta’s okay for the summer, but Marcella doesn’t much like the people who live there. In fact, she thinks they’re stupid, oafish, country bumpkins. But three things change her mind forever: a new friend, a beached whale, and the incredibly mysterious “lady from the sea. Sarah and Me and the Lady from the Sea continues the story that begins with The Nickel-Plated Beauty. "In a long-delayed sequel to The Nickel-Plated Beauty (1964), the Kimball family reappears nine years later—now as seen through the eyes of an unwilling new neighbor, Marcella Abbott. The Abbotts are suddenly forced to live year-round in their summer home on Washington's Olympic Peninsula after financial reverses caused by the Portland Flood of 1894. Pampered city-dwellers, they have a lot to learn about managing in the country and without servants. At first, they all—especially 12-year-old Marcella—snub the locals, including the Kimballs (who used to be their servants). Undaunted, the Kimballs provide tactful help and good advice until even Marcella gains respect for her teacher, Hester Kimball (heroine of the earlier book), and becomes close friends with Sarah Kimball. Eventually they are all involved in discovering the identity of a mysterious woman washed ashore during a storm. Marcella's narration is reticent and sometimes flat; but humor, strong characterization (especially of Mrs. Abbott, who thrives on having something of value to do for the first time in her life), and attention to authentic detail lend interest. An excellent historical note is included." KIRKUS REVIEW


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Marcella Abbott can’t believe it. Her family is giving up their house in Portland, Oregon, and their comfortable life in the city to live year-round on Washington State’s Olympic peninsula when her father’s business is ruined. Nahcotta’s okay for the summer, but Marcella doesn’t much like the people who live there. In fact, she thinks they’re stupid, oafish, country bumpki Marcella Abbott can’t believe it. Her family is giving up their house in Portland, Oregon, and their comfortable life in the city to live year-round on Washington State’s Olympic peninsula when her father’s business is ruined. Nahcotta’s okay for the summer, but Marcella doesn’t much like the people who live there. In fact, she thinks they’re stupid, oafish, country bumpkins. But three things change her mind forever: a new friend, a beached whale, and the incredibly mysterious “lady from the sea. Sarah and Me and the Lady from the Sea continues the story that begins with The Nickel-Plated Beauty. "In a long-delayed sequel to The Nickel-Plated Beauty (1964), the Kimball family reappears nine years later—now as seen through the eyes of an unwilling new neighbor, Marcella Abbott. The Abbotts are suddenly forced to live year-round in their summer home on Washington's Olympic Peninsula after financial reverses caused by the Portland Flood of 1894. Pampered city-dwellers, they have a lot to learn about managing in the country and without servants. At first, they all—especially 12-year-old Marcella—snub the locals, including the Kimballs (who used to be their servants). Undaunted, the Kimballs provide tactful help and good advice until even Marcella gains respect for her teacher, Hester Kimball (heroine of the earlier book), and becomes close friends with Sarah Kimball. Eventually they are all involved in discovering the identity of a mysterious woman washed ashore during a storm. Marcella's narration is reticent and sometimes flat; but humor, strong characterization (especially of Mrs. Abbott, who thrives on having something of value to do for the first time in her life), and attention to authentic detail lend interest. An excellent historical note is included." KIRKUS REVIEW

30 review for Sarah and Me and the Lady from the Sea: Historical Fiction for Teens

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey Potter

    One of my favorite books as a kid. I just finished reading it to my daughters. If you live in the Pacific Northwest and have been to the Long Beach Peninsula it's a fun read. One of my favorite books as a kid. I just finished reading it to my daughters. If you live in the Pacific Northwest and have been to the Long Beach Peninsula it's a fun read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Volkert

    "Sarah and Me and the Lady from the Sea," is part of a trilogy of excellent historical fiction books set on the Pacific coast of the Long Beach Penninsula in Washington State. The other titles are "O the Red Rose Tree," and "The Nickel-Plated Beauty." All three titles by Patricia Beatty take place in the same region, within a few years of each other at the turn of the 20th century. There are only a few common characters, so it doesn't really matter what order you read them in. I like to compare t "Sarah and Me and the Lady from the Sea," is part of a trilogy of excellent historical fiction books set on the Pacific coast of the Long Beach Penninsula in Washington State. The other titles are "O the Red Rose Tree," and "The Nickel-Plated Beauty." All three titles by Patricia Beatty take place in the same region, within a few years of each other at the turn of the 20th century. There are only a few common characters, so it doesn't really matter what order you read them in. I like to compare these books to the Laura Ingalls Wilder titles. They were quite popular during our Washington State Centennial in 1989, and still get read by students who like historical fiction. It's nice to see a review here by a student who says this is her favorite book. That says a lot. These titles are not on any "top ten" lists, but are certainly worth reading. Beatty has a knack for bringing an unknown part of history to life, and adding adventure, as well as accuarately describing the weather and locale of this region. I recommend this book and the other two titles! (Written January 30, 2001.)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sherrie

    Seeing your life and money disappearing and learning how to do everyday things for yourself when you are used to someone else doing them must be devastating. That is what happens to this family. Their business is ruined by a flood and they have to start over. They go to the beach to live in a house that their Aunt left them. They don't know how to run the kitchen cook stove, they don't know how to cook, iron, laundry, all the things most people know how to do. They learn! As the children make fr Seeing your life and money disappearing and learning how to do everyday things for yourself when you are used to someone else doing them must be devastating. That is what happens to this family. Their business is ruined by a flood and they have to start over. They go to the beach to live in a house that their Aunt left them. They don't know how to run the kitchen cook stove, they don't know how to cook, iron, laundry, all the things most people know how to do. They learn! As the children make friends with the children that have helped them and their families, they learn how to light the kitchen stove, do laundry and cook. As a big storm blows things up on the beach from ship wrecks, they find a lady. Their is also a big humpback whale thrown up on shore. The children make good friends along with their mother. And they finally find out where the Lady from the Sea is from. Wonderful book! Loved all the characters.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Miss Amanda

    gr 4-6 177 pgs Olympic peninsula, Washington, 1895. Marcella is horrified when her father's business fails and the family is forced to stay at their summer home full time instead of returning to Portland in the fall. How can she survive in such a uncultured place. Unlike her siblings, Marcella refuses to have anything to do with their neighbors the Kimballs. When a mysterious lady washes up on the beach, Marcella begins to forget their differences while trying to solve the mystery of who this wom gr 4-6 177 pgs Olympic peninsula, Washington, 1895. Marcella is horrified when her father's business fails and the family is forced to stay at their summer home full time instead of returning to Portland in the fall. How can she survive in such a uncultured place. Unlike her siblings, Marcella refuses to have anything to do with their neighbors the Kimballs. When a mysterious lady washes up on the beach, Marcella begins to forget their differences while trying to solve the mystery of who this woman is. Readers of Betty's other books will enjoy this one too. I liked how the family transformed over the course of the story from a rich family who relied on servants for everything to a self-reliant family rich in friends.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Mustread

    Grades 4+. In 1894 their father's business failure forces the family to sell everything in Portland, Oregon and live full time, without servants, in their beach house in Washington. Grades 4+. In 1894 their father's business failure forces the family to sell everything in Portland, Oregon and live full time, without servants, in their beach house in Washington.

  6. 4 out of 5

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