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Amelia Peabody's Egypt by Elizabeth Peters
Angelina on Stage by Katharine Holabird
Arthur and the Invisibles by Luc Besson
Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Search Part 1 by Gene Luen Yang
Bad Machinery: The Case of the Team Spirit by John Allison
Cardboard by Doug TenNapel
The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan by Nancy Springer
The Cats on Ben Yehuda Street by Ann Redisch Stampler
Daisy's Defining Day by Sandra V. Feder
The Deeds of the Disturber by Elizabeth Peters
Don't Forget the Bacon! by Pat Hutchins
Emile by Tomi Ungerer
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say
The Grilling Season by Diane Mott Davidson
Gunnerkrigg Court, Vol. 2: Research by Thomas Siddell
A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
How Did You Get This Number by Sloane Crosley
Let's Meet a Librarian by Gina Bellisario
The Monstore by Tara Lazar
My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs by Tomie dePaola
Navajo: Visions and Voices Across the Mesa by Shonto Begay
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
Pie by Sarah Weeks
Pippi in the South Seas by Astrid Lindgren
Ruth Fielding in the Saddle by Alice B. Emerson
The Shape Shifter by Tony Hillerman
Tough Cookie by Diane Mott Davidson
The Viper's Nest by Peter Lerangis
Yoga For Cats by Traudl Reiner

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Canadian Book Challenge 7

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8




Ruth Fielding in the Saddle: 07/18/13

cover art

Ruth Fielding in the Saddle by Alice B. Emerson is the twelfth in the Ruth Fielding series. It's one of five books I purchased years ago at Cliff's Books in Pasadena.

Ruth Fielding is one of those early to mid twentieth century book series for teenagers, written under a pseudonym. Think of it as an early example of YA. In this case, Ruth has been attending an all girls school and is now attending college.

In a previous book, Ruth Fielding in Moving Pictures, she sold a silent movie script and now on spring break has a chance to sell another one. There's just one catch, she and her classmates (one of them is a budding actress) must make their way to rural Arizona. Although the area mentioned is completely fictionally, it's approximately at the western edge of the Navajo Nation.

I bring that up because it's a big part of the problem with the book. In the other Ruth Fielding book I read (and since I've only now read two, I can't if it's normal or not for the series as a whole), Ruth was a plucky, level headed, young woman who was willing and able to make friends with anyone, while helping those in need with their problems. Here, though, in the outer reaches of Arizona, there's a tone of racism and sexism that just wasn't in the Moving Pictures book.

Ruth and company need to hire a guide to take them to the shooting location. They end up meeting the man's daughter, who by her description is probably the daughter of a prospector and either a Navajo, Hopi or Zuni — though by her attire, I'd say Navajo. Rather than taking this fact in stride (as the daughter initially seems to), Ruth and company are horrified, frightened and completely put off by the circumstances of their guide's existence.

So much of the book is spent not on the mystery of the gold mine (really, a gold mine?) or on the movie shoot, but on the sad state of the guide and her "tragic" back story. Here she is living a self sufficient life and at the appearance of a few out of towner college girls, she goes completely to pieces, wishing for dresses and girlie things. Ugh.

Three stars

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