Last in a Line of Rebels

Last in a Long Line of Rebels
By: Lisa Lewis Tyre 

Last in a Long Line of Rebels

Release Date: September 29,2015
Pages: 288
Audience: Grades 4 and up

"Racism can be very subtle sometimes, Lou. It's not always something you can put your finger on. It might mean being harder on the black players and more aggressive in helping the white ones get a place on a college team. It doesn't help that we don't have a large black population here. It makes it lot harder to prove patterns." 

The Story 

Twelve-year old Lou's class always has fantastic stories about what they did for their summer vacations, but Lou's family doesn't have the money to afford a cruise or other fancy vacations. Even though her family doesn't have a lot of money, Lou is determined to make this year different. She is going to have a great summer. To make sure she has a memorable vacation, Lou reaches out for a divine intervention and prays that God will provide her with a memorable summer.

Her prayer is answered, but not in the way that Lou hoped. She overhears her parents talking about how her family house is in danger of being taken by the city! If that wasn't enough, a family friend named Isaac was also denied a scholarship due to racism. 

To save the house, Lou teams up with her friends. Since Lou's home is one of the oldest in the city, the friends set out to  uncover the history of the home to try and make it a historical site. As they group uncovers more information about the home, they uncover a historical mystery within Lou's family. Lou’s great-great-great grandfather was a murder suspect & was accused of stealing gold in the Civil War. If Lou can find the gold, it could be the key to saving her house! Told in flashbacks between Lou’s great-great-great grandmother and Lou, this story shows how racial tensions are much the same as they were in the Civil War.


With the flashbacks between Lou and her ancestors, this book reminded me a great deal of the book Holes by Louis Sacher. It was faced paced and I know the mystery / treasure hunt would appeal to both boys and girls.
It also introduces racial issues in a way that kids will understand & think about. I really appreciated this aspect, and I think it will be a great talking point to discuss.


Since the book introduces racial issues, I wish there was an African-American perspective. Instead, it only portrays the white view. To me, it was incomplete without this other perspective. It describes what the character Isaac does after he is denied the scholarship, but it didn’t describe why. As a result, I felt like the book was lacking.

I was also disappointed with the description of the house.
Being that the house was a big subject of the book, I felt like there needed to be more detail to match its importance.

Overall, I did really enjoy this book. Since I live in Missouri, I can see this book being really important to kids to understand what is going on at Mizzou and other colleges around the county.

I can see it on many state award lists, and I look forward to reading more of the author’s works.

What did you think of this book? 

- Pamela

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