Monday, February 27, 2012

Past Perfect

Past Perfect by Leila Sales is a cute young adult read. I thoroughly enjoyed this quirky little novel. Chelsea and her parents work at Essex a Revolutionary War era village as re-enactors. While this is her parents' life work, Chelsea works there each summer. Although she would rather find a job at the mall, her best friend Fiona convinces her to work at Essex one more year.

Across the street is a Civil War village, Essex's competition. The youth who work at each village take the competition a step further, declaring war on each other and pranking each other without the knowledge of the adults. Chelsea participates initially, and finds one of her competitors horribly attractive after she is kidnapped and taken hostage by him.

All the while Chelsea is still trying to get over her ex-boyfriend Ezra who just happens to have a job at Essex this summer. Sales makes some wise remarks about history and creating your own version of events that may or may not be historically accurate since it is tinged with your own perception.

There are lots of little history lessons in this book. How could there not be with characters re-enacting history every single day? A colleague and I had a conversation about how educational books seem to have become. And while I tend to agree with her, I also think it works really well, and young readers won't even notice they are learning something while being entertained. Sales manages to carry off this quirky little story. I entirely enjoyed the reading of Past Perfect from beginning to end.

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