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The Black Alabaster Box

Written by Frances Schoonmaker

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The Black Alabaster Box Review

Fantasy / Magical Featured Books for Young Adults Historical Fiction

An entertaining tale

‘The Black Alabaster Box’ by Frances Schoonmaker is the first of ‘The Last Crystal Trilogy’, a historical fiction and fantasy story set in the American frontier era. We follow Grace Willis as she struggles to come to terms with her family’s move from St. Louis through the Santa Fe Trail to California so her parents can provide medical care. An old friend in the form of a black and white sheep dog appears to help Grace and is there throughout the highs and lows of the journey.

The author has done a brilliant job at creating a sense of time and place. Although there is a fantasy element, there’s so many little details about life, the journey on the Santa Fe Trail and even scouting and tracking tips that showed how much thought and research the author put into this book. Even with all this detail the storyline moves quickly which I think will keep young readers curious about what’s happening and what could happen next. I also liked that although this is a children’s story, it doesn’t shy away from loss and sadness, using it to drive the narrative on and impact on the characters’ behaviours.

I think that ‘The Black Alabaster Box’ is an entertaining tale bound to inspire more questions about American history as well as the plot of the rest of the trilogy.

LoveReading4Kids Ambassador

The Black Alabaster Box Synopsis

It had been quiet along the Santa Fe Trail for more than a year when the Stokes Company set out for California, the Willis family among them. A reluctant traveler, young Grace Willis longs for her fortunate, safe, and comfortable life at home. Just as she is learning to negotiate life in a wagon-train, Grace is kidnapped by fellow travellers and taken into Oklahoma Territory. She must decide if she will cave in to despair or muster the courage to run away and search for her parents. Grace finds help in unlikely places. She discovers that there really is such a thing as magic, and there are some things only a child can do.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780997960754
Publication date: 01/03/2018
Publisher: Auctus Publishers
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780997960754
Publication date: 1st March 2018
Author: Frances Schoonmaker
Publisher: Auctus Publishers
Format: Paperback
Suitable for: YA readers, Indie Author Books
Genres: Fantasy / Magical, Historical Fiction
Recommendations: Indie Books We Love

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