The Disgrace of Kitty Grey

By Mary Hooper

1. I really enjoyed reading this book because it really captured my imagination and was really exciting. My favorite character is Kitty herself because you never know what is going to happen to her at any point. My favorite part was when Kitty and Betsy (Kitty's lovers little sister) go to London. I think the history in the book was very realistic to the period it is set. The history in the book made me want to learn more about that period in history because it really captured my interest in the period in history. In the future I probably would read more books written by Mary Hooper because I think she is very good at describing and explaining what a certain period in history is like.

By Emily

2. Mary Hooper is one of the very best historical authors writing for young people today.  Her books are like sponges, they just absorb you into the story and the time period and that's what we love about them.   Kitty is such a lovely character you just can't help siding with her and wanting everything to work out for the best for her.  The fact that her story is told in the first person helps you care about her throughout.  Mary Hooper is such a skilful writer it's not at all predictable that everything will work out for Kitty and the plot took us by surprise several times.

This particular Mary Hooper story highlights the different levels of society of the time and the stark difference between rich and poor and between living in the towns and the country.   Rather than focus on the telling the stories of the rich and famous of the Regency period, as Jane Austen does, Hooper turns her attention to the stories of those struggling to survive.   She includes just the right level of detail so that the reader really understands what it felt like to work in a dairy or to suffer in prison and be at the mercy of a complicated legal system or live on the streets in London or be sent off on a prison ship to Australia.

Mary Hooper has obviously done lots of research for this book so that it feels very real but the story never gets bogged down in historical detail.  The end section contains lots of fascinating background information which helps explain events and characters in the story but it doesn't talk down to the reader either.  Hooper's novels are addictive, read one and you definitely want to read them all.  All historical novels should be this good!

By Cramlington Learning Village, Northumberland

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