The Graveyard
by Rosalyn Rikel Ramage
Trafford Publishing

"I peeped between my fingers. Everywhere I looked in this nightmarish scene, I saw shiny swords and knives reflecting the sun's rays."

Perfect for the young adult audience, this book mixes a study of the author's genealogy with a mystical adventure on the high seas. Three children are transported from an old Kentucky graveyard to the Atlantic Ocean on board the very ship their ancestors used to immigrate from Germany to America. Emma Mae narrates the story and relays her exciting journey with her younger brothers Edward and Frederick. The three children are forced to conceal that they are unintentional stowaways. In the process, they meet many colorful characters among the immigrants, pirates, and even their own family. Emma Mae and her brothers learn firsthand about their family history and just how difficult it was for people to make the trek to settle in America.

Mixing personal and national history with a touch of fantastical fiction, this story manages to both educate and entertain. Hand-drawn illustrations are spread out throughout the pages to bring scenes and characters to life and enhance the make-believe taking place on every page. The characters are quite human for the most part, each with their own personalities and flaws as you might expect of young children, but it is the setting and the adventure itself that really take center stage in this tale. The pacing of the story is fast enough to stay interesting without barraging the reader with events. This is a good story to give to children to supplement their study of American history, as well as to set their young imaginations running with visions of seas and pirates.

Return to USR Home