The Book Reviews – Website

July 1, 2008

No Shame, No Fear

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No Shame, No Fear

Author: Ann Turnbull

Page Length: 293

Reading Level: 5

Genre: Historical Fiction

PLOT SUMMARY: The story begins in Shropshire, England in the 1662. Susanna, a young Quaker girl, works alongside her mother to care and provide for her family after her father is taken away to a debtor’s prison. Suffering is commonplace to her family, and Susanna learns that Quakers maintain dignity and hold steadfast to their beliefs despite the circumstances around them. One day, her path crosses that of a dashing young man, William. William becomes quite taken with Susanna who as chance would have has come to reside in his town as a servant to a printer. Their different social standings and religious backgrounds only seem to complicate their budding relationship. When their friends and parents disagree with their alliance, their new love is put to the test. Can their love survive the circumstances, prejudices, and persecution of their time?

REVIEW: What really made this book interesting was that each chapter alternated the viewpoints of Susanna and William. This would be a great teaching tool for point of view and for catching the interest of both male and female audiences. As a historical novel, it was very enlightening to learn about the Quaker viewpoint and to realize how steadfastly they clung to their beliefs despite imprisonment and in many cases at the risk of losing everything. This novel is very eye opening to the dangers of religious persecution and of the prejudices that are all too often to easily imagined and believed just because someone is different. This novel yields to a good lesson on tolerance and understanding of others. Over all, this book is an informative, interesting read.

For reluctant readers, beginning with an understanding of the times, cultural habits, and beliefs of the Quakers in the late 1600’s would help to improve engagement in the story. This might sound great on audio if it was recorded by both and male and female reader.

AREAS FOR TEACHING: tolerance, diversity, conflict, symbols, compare and contrast, plot, sequence, cause and effect

TOUCHY AREAS-PAGES: prison, public flogging, prejudice

RELATED BOOKS: American Religious Experience: The Quakers, The Quaker Colonies: A Chronicle of the Proprietors of the Delaware, Forged in the Fire (sequel to No Shame, No Fear), Josie Under Fire, Gunner’s Boy


REVIEWED BY: Dayna Taylor

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