Best Historical Fiction 2011
McCaughrean, Geraldine. 2011. The Glorious Adventures of the Sunshine Queen. New York: Harper.
Yes, we had Dead End in Norvelt, Okay for Now, Wonderstruck and other greats this year (those will receive their due, I’m sure!), but for the sheer joy of being plunged into another era and loving every minute of it, Geraldine McCaughrean’s, The Glorious Adventures of the Sunshine Queen has my vote for Best Historical Fiction of the year. It’s also one of the funniest books I’ve read this year.
"Yesterday I was a butler, Miss Cecelia. Today I seem to be the Prime Minister of England, ... Sometimes life has a way of asking us to take a step up."
And step up they do! To the direst, funniest, most improbable situations that might be found on a dilapidated paddle steamer plying the 1890 Numchuck River, calling on such colorful ports as Salvation, Patience, Plenty, Woodpile, Blowville, and Boats-a-Cummin. The Glorious Adventure of the Sunshine Queen is not for the reluctant reader; the reader who struggles with contextual clues. Rather, it is for the reader who glories in wordplay, colorful language, and magnificent adventures. Ms. McCaughrean does not stop to ensure that the reader has "gotten," the joke (and there are many!), she keeps on moving, toward greater exploits downriver. Get ready to be swept away from Salvation to Golden Bend on an exuberant trip with the Bright Lights! Highly recommended.(Click to read my full review)