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Emily Upham's Revenge
illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky
William Morrow, 1979
out of print; look for this book at your favorite library
more comedy
more historical
Emily Upham's Revenge

Proper little Emily is sent to stay with her wealthy and disagreeable uncle in nineteenth-century Massachusetts, but she is headed off by the mischief-making Seth Marple, who leads her on a riotous escapade.

Story Behind the Story

Avi writes: There was a time I was very interested in the history of children’s literature and spent a lot of time collecting and reading the old books, particularly those from the Nineteenth Century. I would, in time, amass about three thousand of these books which I subsequently gave to the children’s collection at the University of Connecticut. The point being, Emily Upham’s Revenge was modeled on some of these old-fashioned girls’ books, full of their stiff, lecturing, and restrictive morality. In Emily Upham’s Revenge I tried to turn that heavy tone upside down—to make it funny. Then too, I had good friends who lived in North Brookfield, Massachusetts. There was an old railway station there which was fun to visit. All these things came together in the book. read more

Awards and Honors:

Special Award, Mystery Writers of America, 1979
Starred Review, School Library Journal, 1978
Book of the Month, PCRRT, 1978


Better World Books:

“… with great suspense and good cliffhangers. Excellent use of dialogue and terrific description of characters. One of the best books I've read for a while. … keeps you on the edge of your seat and I couldn't put it down. … Many surprising twists with an excellent surprise ending.

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