Saturday, October 30, 2010

Book Review: Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguires by Molly Roe

Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguires by Molly Roe
Publisher: Tribute Books
Publication date: November 2008
ISBN: 9780981461953

Source: Review copy provided by publisher

Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguires - Mom’s Choice Awards® Silver Recipient 

Katie is growing up in the coal districts of Philadelphia, right at the beginning of the Civil War.  Her family, and most of her friends' families, depend almost exclusively on the coal mine owners for their entire sustenance, including where they live.  When her father suffers an accident that renders him unable to work, it falls to her and her mother to help pay the bills.  But, when Katie takes a job working for a rich mine owner, she finds herself getting caught up in much bigger affairs, especially when her friend becomes embroiled in a dangerous draft protest.  Will she be able to save him before he gets arrested or killed?

Things I Liked:
It was a very interesting and unique look at a familiar time period, a look at the Irish immigrant and coal mining experiences at the start of the Civil War.  I really liked Katie for her intelligence and determination to do what she could for her family and friends.  The setting is really the best part about the book.  It felt very complete and helped you feel like you were right there experiencing everything Katie did.  Times were hard, yet the people were resilient.  While the main character is somewhat older, I think it will appeal to tweens more.  An good story with some interesting history.

Things I Didn't Like:
The ending was a little too neat.  Though, I did like Katie's romantic choice, which was not what one expected.  It's great with its unique portrayal of time and culture, but doesn't have quite the spark and character to stand out from other narratives of the time period.


the Dear America series by various authors

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->
some, but not a lot

Overall rating: ***

Any historical fiction from Civil War era that you particularly love?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. Melissa - thanks for sharing 'Call Me Kate' with your blog readers. We appreciate your support of the book.

    I'm glad that you feel that the setting is the best part of the book. Molly Roe's extensive research really comes to life in the Civil War era northern coal mining town.

    I'm glad that you liked the book.

    Best wishes,
    Tribute Books

  2. I thought this book was just ok as well and was a little too predictable although I did enjoy the historical setting.

  3. Nicole, thanks for the chance to read it!

    Amused, glad to know I'm not alone in my thoughts on this book :)


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