Aubrey’s Attic

Aubrey's Attic cover

Cover art copyright 2014 Aaron Boyd

Middle grade chapter book
Realeased February 2014 from Little Creek Press

Nine-year-old Aubrey has won the lead in a history play about her hometown of Butte des Morts, Wisconsin. Mystery and adventure follow as Aubrey digs for a costume in the attic of an old hotel called the Trading Post.

Nearly 200 years earlier, escaped slaves were hidden in the hotel. The Trading Post was a stop on the Underground Railroad that helped slaves travel to freedom in Canada.  Grandma Carver, an ancestor of Aubrey’s new friend, Tilisha, was an escaped slave who might have hid in Butte des Morts before disappearing without a trace.

Does the attic hold the key to what happened to her? Can friendly attic mice help the girls find the answer? When a ferocious owl steals an important clue, the girls, mice, and a gaggle of zany birds must work together to retrieve it. Will they succeed? Or will Grandma Carver’s fate remain a mystery forever?

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Wisconsin’s past comes alive and finds present-day relevance in Aubrey’s Attic (Little Creek Press, $16.95), a gentle adventure about a 9-year-old girl’s preparation for a local history pageant. When she goes rifling for costumes in the attic of the Trading Post, a real-life historical site on the Fox River in Butte des Morts, Wisconsin, Aubrey Thorpe finds much more than dust and trunks of forgotten clothes. A motherly, talking mouse not only astonishes by serving Aubrey tea; she becomes Aubrey’s friend, teaching  her about the building’s past. The mouse, named Mattie, also advises her on being a good friend to two other girls who tag along over the course of a summer.

When Aubrey’s friend, Talisha, finds proof in the Trading Post’s attic that her African American ancestor was hidden there in a stop on the Underground Railroad, the story takes a particularly poignant and educational turn.  But lest things get too serious, a collection of eccentric birds and other madcap creatures come in, most hilariously a cowboy boot-clad, pea-shooting young mouse. Adventure ensues when Talisha’s historical evidence is stolen by a fierce owl and must be retrieved.

Harold Thorpe’s rollicking, spot-on kidcentric writing wonderfully pairs with Aaron Boyd’s beautiful, expressive illustrations. A winning author-illustrator collaboration, just right for fourth-graders who are learning state history.  ~Inkspots Reviews