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Hue and Cry by Elizabeth Yates

Hue and Cry

post written by Esther Filbrun
Hue and Cry by Elizabeth Yates

Title: Hue and Cry
Author: Elizabeth Yates
Series: sequel to The Journeyman
Major Themes: Deafness, Faith, Family, New England, Children’s Books, Frontier and Pioneer Life
Synopsis: When Melody comes face to face with a stolen horse and the boy who took it, she has to decide how to help the boy, and perhaps make it right.

I’ve been looking forward to reading this book ever since I got it from the States two years ago. The Journeyman was one of my all-time favorite books as a girl (and still is, really)—so I couldn’t wait to dive into the sequel! I finally picked the sequel up last week, and oh. It is a good story! Different than I expected, but in many ways, just about as good as the first book.

In the last book, you meet Jared and Jennet, and learn about what it was like to be a traveling painter in the early 1800s. Now, closer to the 1830s, life has gotten somewhat different. In this book, you’re introduced to Jared and Jennet’s three children, and especially to their darling daughter Melody. Melody is special in that she is deaf—and has been, since birth. Though she leads a fairly happy life, she does long to communicate with others around her. As a family, they have developed ways to communicate with her—and due to Jared’s patient teaching, Melody can read and write to some extent. If only they knew how to help her better. Then, one day, Melody happens to see a strange young boy leading a hurt horse. She quickly realizes he is the boy the whole countryside is up in arms about—a horse thief no one has been able to catch yet. Should she tell her brothers, and call them out against him? Or pretend she never saw him? Before too long, though, that choice is taken out of her hands.

Before I read these two books by Elizabeth Yates, I knew very little about this time period of American history—nothing very significant (in my mind, at least) happened during this time, so it gets skipped over in history books. The Journeyman covers the strange summer of 1816; coming probably closer to 20 years after that, Hue and Cry shows the country grown up more, with better roads, better infrastructure to get messages from one place to another, and the rise of industrialism. If you’re looking for books about the time between the War of 1812 and the Civil War, which I feel like are the two best-known events in that time of American history, I’d recommend these two. They are very much faith-based books, and they are wonderful stories.

WARNING: “Oh, my sorrow!” is used by a character in ch. 4, pg. 54. A boy threatens to kill a girl in ch. 4, pg. 55. A boy remembers how he had to kill a horse in ch. 5, pg. 68. A boy talks about how he is almost disappointed in himself enough to commit suicide in ch. 5, pg. 69. A boy tells about how he stole a horse in ch. 8, pg. 105, and on pg. 106, he tells how he was determined to kill himself and the horse rather than give himself up. Then on pg. 107, he tells how he found a girl, and would have killed her, but wasn’t sure she was real. In ch. 10, pg. 132, a man is being choked while someone tries to get the truth out of him, and on pg. 133, a man gets tied up and searched. In ch. 10, pg. 143, a man and woman hold hands. In ch. 12, pg. 167, characters talk about a man who died. In ch. 13, pg. 181, a man and woman touch again, and kiss once.

Age levels:

Read Aloud—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 13, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 10 – 12, 12 – 15

Links to buy this book:

Keywords: Faith, New England, Frontier and Pioneer Life, Deafness, Elizabeth Yates, Family Read-Alouds, Animal Stories, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, United States History, US History 1783-1860, North America

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