This week, we finished up our 2013 reading, and introduced our 2014 reading (Happy New Year!), with a youth historical fiction, I am Regina by Sally M. Keehn.
This book was the first “youth” novel of the reading challenge, and what a great choice, if I do say so myself! I am Regina tells the tragic, touching, and shocking story of a young girl – Regina – who lives in the mountains of the late 18th Century Pennsylvania. Her family is ambushed and scalped by Native Americans, and Regina is kidnapped and taken to their village. She is forced to live among them, experiencing her pre-teen years by coping with a new culture, strange new customs, and struggling to remember who she is and where she comes from despite being assimilated into the Native American world.
This story is beautiful. There’s plenty of real, raw emotions, coupled with an excellently told story. Keehn is a great writer – I enjoyed her storytelling as an adult, and I know it would easily impact a child. This book is a GREAT piece of youth literature, and parents seeking to encourage young readers should have this book on the shelf! The story is interesting, the vocabulary is expansive (for its 4.5 reading level), and young readers will be able to relate to the title character, who is 10 at the beginning of the book.
I will certainly keep this book on the shelves, and pass it on to my girls when they reach an age where they are looking for something good to read. In the world of video games and the Internet, children need encouragement to read, and I am Regina is a great book to help fuel the love for literature. I really enjoyed this book!
Did you read I am Regina? Can you think back on your childhood and remember any books that you will encourage your own children to read?