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Books with at worst Edifying attitude


The Confession of Brother Haluin

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

Brother Haluin of the Shrewsbury Community falls from the Abbey roof and believing himself close to death confesses to the Abbot (with Brother Cadfael in attendance) that he had assisted in the abortion of his illegitimate child before entering the monastery.

Detective, Historical

Cuckoo in the Nest

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

16-year-old Ralph Hollis is yearning for a career in the theatre, while his father is furious that he won't find real work.

A young man trying to do what he wants in life without going against his family. The support the family offers even with its spats and storms. The joy and companionship of working in a theatre.

Family, Growing-Up, Romantic, War

Esperanza Rising

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

Esperanza, accustomed to a comfortable life, has to come to terms with poverty when her father is killed, leaving their land to his self-serving brothers.

Dignity in poverty. Generosity of families and individuals, helping others even when it is difficult.

Coping with, Growing-Up, Historical

Fr Brown Stories

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

Father Brown is a Catholic priest who uses his intelligence and ingenuity to solve crime in this series of short stories.

Classic, Detective, Short

Hiding Out

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

The Castles & the Fletchers are driving back thro' France to Calais and stop for a picnic.

Adventure

I, Juan de Pareja

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

Juan is born into slavery in Seville, Spain in the early 1600s, and after the death of his mother when he is just five years old he becomes the pageboy of a wealthy Spanish lady, Emilia.

Based on what is known of the life and household of the Spanish painter Diego Velazquez, this is a sensitive fictional account of the life of Juan de Pareja, a black Spaniard and slave-cum-friend of the painter. Friendship, loyalty, mercy and generosity are beautifully illustrated, and issues of slavery and cruelty are explored with a modern understanding of their evil, but in a way that is not unbelievable in the story's context.

Biographical, Historical

Jane Eyre

Style: Classic

Attitude: Edifying

Jane Eyre becomes governess to the ward of Mr Rochester, with whom she falls in love.

Classic, Girls, Historical, Romantic

A Little Bush Maid

Style: Classic

Attitude: Edifying

Norah can’t wait for Jim to come home for the holidays, and when he does arrive, accompanied by Harry and Wally, every day is full of adventures.

A vivid depiction of the quintessentially Australian; values such as mateship, hard work and bush hospitality to beautiful illustrations of the outback, Australian character and humour. Heart-warming, humorous and highly enjoyable Australian classic!

Adventure, Classic, Friendship, Girls, Growing-Up

A Little Lower Than the Angels

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

Gabriel is an 11-year-old, apprenticed to a greedy stonemason, some time during the years of the Black Death.

Portrays some of the naivety and credulity of the time, while not being an exercise in church-bashing. Gabriel's innocence protects him from being drawn into the evils carried out by Garvey and Mason Colley who later teams up with him. The ending, where Gabriel approaches a nearby monastery for help in writing down the words of the plays which might otherwise be lost, is especially nice.

Historical

Little Women

Style: Classic

Attitude: Edifying

Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March are girls growing into young ladies in the late 19th century.

Classic, Girls

Monk's Hood

Style: Average

Attitude: Edifying

Gervase Bonel dies of poisoning before an agreement to hand his manor over to Shrewsbury Abbey can be ratified.

Detective, Historical

Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc is the remarkable story of the saint's life as told by the fictional Sieur Louis de Conté (whose initials match the author's), Joan's page and secretary, in the form of a memoir written in the twilight of life.

Biographical, Historical

Red Sky in the Morning

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

12-year-old Anna Peacock is determined to look after her baby brother Ben even though he is hydrocephalous.

Loving acceptance of a handicapped child. The stress this places on his familiy. General attitude of respect towards elderly or less capable people (including a harmless kleptomaniac). Anna's efforts to hold things together. Faith seen as meaningful if not entirely understood. Some vulgarity among teenage girls.

Coping with, Family, Growing-Up

Ring out Bow Bells!

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

Dickon is apprenticed to Master Whittington, former mayor of London and head of a house of Mercers, although Dickon's own family are victuallers - old enemies of the clothiers.

Family, Historical

The Silver Sword

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

The story centres round the Balicki family set against the bleak landscape of war-torn Warsaw and the wreck that is post war Germany.

Classic, Family, War

They Came Like Swallows

Style: Classic

Attitude: Edifying

At the centre of 8 year old Bunny’s life is his mother who is the only member of the Morrison family who understands Bunny’s sensitive and thoughtful nature.

Insightful and tender look at motherhood, family and death during the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918 in America. A beautiful and heartbreaking story recommended for sensitive readers 12 years and up.

Classic, Growing-Up

A Twist in Time

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

Cosy (short for Cosima) finds herself getting used to a foster family just as she is starting at the school to which she's earned a scholarship.

Even if one were to extract the subplot of the ghost girl -- which is reminiscent of Charlotte Sometimes -- the story has a gently courageous feel: Cosy struggles hard because her Father's dead and she and her ill mother have kept each other going for years. At one point she gives in -- all her mother's efforts have only landed her in hospital -- but one of her foster sisters cajoles her roughly out of her mood and she goes on to make a good friend and do well at school.

Family, Girls

The Wool-Pack

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

Nicholas Fetterlock is the son of a Cotswolds wool merchant at the end of the 15th century when the wool had made such merchants and the country rich.

Classic, Family, Historical