Interactive Historical Fiction e-books

At the Seven Stars by John and Patricia Beatty

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Richard Larkin, fifteen-year-old orphan from Philadelphia, thought his luck had changed when the famous literary figure Samuel Johnson found him work at an "eating house," called the Seven Stars. As a Colonial, ignorant of the secret Jacobite movement to dethrone King George II, Richard was puzzled by the guarded political conversations at the tavern. Then one night, while serving a gathering of aristocratic men clad in silks and satins, he overhears a dark plot, coded with mysterious names and allusions - and witnesses the cold-blooded murder of the one dissenting voice.

The story moves on, as swiftly and as deftly as the spies and counter-spies who hunt Richard down, involving him deeper and deeper in their dangerous and separate causes. Samuel Johnson, William Hogarth and David Garrick come alive in flesh and blood terms as Richard moves in and out of the intrigues of the famous Elibank Plot of 1752.

With cloak-and-dagger overtones, a history adventure that is vivid, authentic, and hard to put down. For readers age 11 and above.



The London of 1752— the year of the Elibank Plan to overthrow the Hanoverian King, George III— was crowded, unsanitary, crime-ridden, but at the same time was a lively place, boasting many a bawdy tavern (like the Seven Stars in Fleet Street, of this book) frequented by political conspirators, literary figures and temperamental painters. Richard Larkin from Pennsylvania (a lad of about sixteen years, who is realistically delineated by the authors), chances to witness a murder, and subsequently finds himself in the middle of the Jacobite intrigue, a bloody plot. In his adventures, Richard associates with some of England’s greats (Hogarth and Samuel Johnson, mainly). The authors have etched a convincing picture of eighteenth century London, while narrating a fine suspense story and they maintain a close focus on Richard, so that the reader never becomes lost in the milling crowd. The minor characters are sketched in effectively with a few important lines, in this historical novel, which will hopefully receive the attention it warrants.
— Kirkus Reviews (starred)
We saw this book on Barry Trott’s top 5 list and he was right, what a great read. Anyone with any interest in English history and political intrigue will really enjoy this book. The illustrations and pop up facts really add to the experience.
— HistoricalFictionBuff
The author has been careful to document events and historical characters in notes at the end; but in the story itself the background is completely integrated and the story rushes along with suspense and excitement.
— The Horn Book
This is a fantastic story about the dying Stuart cause to get the English crown back. It’s not only a wonderfully written book, but its filled with historical facts and images that make this more than just a good read. I highly recommend it!
— ScoobyFink
The story is so exciting that young readers will almost certainly go on to read the valuable historical notes at the end”
— Library Journal