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A Brief History of Montmaray

Cover of A Brief History of Montmaray

A Brief History of Montmaray

The Montmaray Journals Series, Book 1
“There’s a fine line between gossip and history, when one is talking about kings.”Sophie Fitzosborne lives in a crumbling castle in the tiny island kingdom of Montmaray with her...
“There’s a fine line between gossip and history, when one is talking about kings.”Sophie Fitzosborne lives in a crumbling castle in the tiny island kingdom of Montmaray with her...
Available formats-
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
  • OverDrive WMA Audiobook
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Copies-
  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    6.5
  • Lexile:
    1000
  • Interest Level:
    MG+
  • Reading Level:
    7 - 12

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Description-
  • “There’s a fine line between gossip and history, when one is talking about kings.”

    Sophie Fitzosborne lives in a crumbling castle in the tiny island kingdom of Montmaray with her eccentric and impoverished royal family. When she receives a journal for her sixteenth birthday, Sophie decides to chronicle day-to-day life on the island. But this is 1936, and the news that trickles in from the mainland reveals a world on the brink of war. The politics of Europe seem far away from their remote island—until two German officers land a boat on Montmaray. And then suddenly politics become very personal indeed.

    A Brief History of Montmaray is a heart-stopping tale of loyalty, love, and loss, and of fighting to hold on to home when the world is exploding all around you.

    “Once in a while, a special book will cross our paths and make us grateful for life and the ability to read. I’m talking about A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper. I’m calling her Australia’s next stroke of literary brilliance.”—Viewpoint


    From the Hardcover edition.
 
Awards-
Excerpts-
  • From the book

    23rd October 1936

    Dear Sophie,

    Happy birthday to my favorite little sister! I've been trying to recollect the day you were born so I can gush about it in an appropriately sentimental fashion, but I'm afraid it's all a blank. I must have been too busy pulling Veronica's hair or smearing stewed apple over my smock to notice you popping into existence. I do remember Henry's arrival ten years ago, and if you were anything like her, you were a most unattractive baby--wrinkled, red-faced, loud, and rather smelly. Lucky for all of us that you've improved somewhat with age.

    Now, did the presents arrive safely? I had to go all the way to Knightsbridge for the journal, and then I got detention for sneaking off from Games, so I hope you appreciate it. You can use it to write down your thoughts. You must have plenty of them at the moment, given Aunt Charlotte's letter--I assume you've read it by now. Are you thrilled? Terrified? Well, it's all your fault for turning sixteen--you gave Aunt Charlotte quite a shock when she realized how old you'd suddenly become. She had to sit down and have an extra-large sherry to recover.

    As for me, this new school is almost as ghastly as the old one. I suppose I'd been hoping Rupert would come too when I was thrown out of Eton, but his parents keep saying no, worse luck. The House Masters have finally sorted out dormitories, and now I share with three boys. Two are in the Rugby First XV, ugh. The other has noxious feet and learns the bagpipes, so is nearly as bad. I have already had two detentions, one for missing Games on Saturday and one for not doing Latin prep. The Latin prep wasn't my fault. I didn't know there was any prep because the Latin Master told us about it in Latin and I didn't understand a word he said.

    Remember, I am in MarchHare House, so please make sure you put that on the address when you write, otherwise the letters might get lost. It's a good House to be in because it inevitably comes last in the House Cup, so no one cares much when I lose House points. The other good thing about MarchHare is that we can climb out the top-story windows onto the roof and look into the hospital next door, which is very educational. Also, sometimes the nurses come out onto a balcony to smoke, and they throw us a cigarette if we beg nicely.

    It's almost lights-out, so I'd better finish. Tell Veronica to come and live in my trunk so she can secretly do my Latin prep for me. She could write my History essay as well, it is on the Restoration. And ask her to bring Carlos with her so he can eat the bagpipes.

    Love from your wonderful brother,

    Toby


    As usual, Toby's letter was coded in Kernetin, which Toby and my cousin Veronica and I invented years ago so we could write notes to each other without the grown-ups being able to read them. Kernetin is based on Cornish and Latin, with some Greek letters and random meaningless squiggles thrown in to be extra-confusing. Also, it is boustrophedonic (I adore that word and try to say it as often as possible, but unfortunately it hasn't many everyday uses). "Boustrophedonic" means you read one line left to right, then the next right to left. Veronica can translate Kernetin straight off the page into English, but I find it easier to write it out, so there it is, my first entry in my new journal. It has a hundred blank pages thick as parchment, and a morocco binding, and is almost too lovely to write in.

    I did get some superb birthday presents this year. Veronica gave me a pen with my initials on it. From my little sister, Henry, came a new Pride and Prejudice, because I dropped my old one in the bath and it hasn't been the same since. (Henry, who...

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine In a graceful blending of fact and fiction, Cooper creates a cast of quirky royals who've fallen on hard times. It's 1936. The Nazis are becoming a world force, and 16-year-old Princess Sophie is stuck in the family's "fortified house," on an island kingdom in the middle of the Bay of Biscay, halfway between France and Spain. Emma Bering offers a sweet narration of Sophie's journal entries about highly "un-aristocratic" drudgery, romantic daydreams, dark suspicions, and the surprise presence of some very real Nazis. Bering's childlike voice adds charm to Sophie's spirited observations of her tomboy sister, Henry; brother, Toby; handsome Simon; and brilliant cousin, Veronica. Once young listeners overcome the story's lengthy exposition in the early parts, they'll find themselves caught up in a thrilling adventure. S.J.H. (c) AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.
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    File-sharing: 
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    Peer-to-peer usage: 
    Not permitted
    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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The Montmaray Journals Series, Book 1
Michelle Cooper
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