A City Tossed and Broken: The Diary of Minnie Bonner, San Francisco, California, 1906

A City Tossed and Broken The Diary of Minnie Bonner San Francisco California From National Book Award winning author Judy Blundell a thrilling account of the San Francisco Earthquake of When Minnie Bonner s father disappears after losing the Bonners Philadelphia tavern

  • Title: A City Tossed and Broken: The Diary of Minnie Bonner, San Francisco, California, 1906
  • Author: Judy Blundell
  • ISBN: 9780545310222
  • Page: 424
  • Format: Hardcover
  • From National Book Award winning author Judy Blundell, a thrilling account of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906.When Minnie Bonner s father disappears after losing the Bonners Philadelphia tavern, the wealthy gentleman Edward Sump, led by his avaricious wife, offers Minnie a chance to work as a lady s maid to support her family The Sumps have grand plans, grander thanFrom National Book Award winning author Judy Blundell, a thrilling account of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906.When Minnie Bonner s father disappears after losing the Bonners Philadelphia tavern, the wealthy gentleman Edward Sump, led by his avaricious wife, offers Minnie a chance to work as a lady s maid to support her family The Sumps have grand plans, grander than the city of Philadelphia can offer, and decide to move to San Francisco the greatest city in the west But when a powerful earthquake strikes, Minnie finds herself the sole survivor among them After the dust settles, Minnie discovers a bag belonging to the Sumps filled with cash and papers that could drastically change her fortune With no one else to claim it, Minnie has turned into an heiress overnight.Wealth comes at a price, however, and she is soon wrapped up in a deception that leads her down a dangerous path As the aftermath of the earthquake ravages the city, Minnie continues to maintain her new identity That is, until a mysterious but familiar stranger appears.

    One thought on “A City Tossed and Broken: The Diary of Minnie Bonner, San Francisco, California, 1906”

    1. Honestly, I really liked the older Dear Americas better. I would like to pick up one of the new editions of one of the originals just to compare. With the exception of Cannons At Dawn, these new diaries have been a little too plot driven, where the originals just followed day to day life. Like, this one could have started out the same, but then just dove into the aftermath of the great quake as it affected everyone, as it did mostly, instead of having the whole mistaken identity thing, and con m [...]

    2. Dear America is a go-to for historical fiction for young people, and the series keeps expanding with more titles by award-winning authors. One of the newest entries is by Judy Blundell, author of award-winning YA novel What I Saw and How I Lied, among others. In this novel, she presents the diary of a 14-year old Philadelphia girl, Minnie Bonner, the daughter of a French tavern owner who has deserted his wife and child. His wife sends her only daughter Minnie into service as a lady's maid for th [...]

    3. My reaction when I read that "Judy Blundell" was a pseudonym for Jude Watson:So. About the book.Funny story: A few years ago, when I was around twelve, I was absolutely OBSESSED with the Dear America series; I tried to write my own Dear America book, and the historical moment I chose to write about was the San Francisco fire and earthquake.Alas, I never finished that little story of mine. And, obviously, it wasn't nearly as good as Judy Blundell's.I quite enjoyed this installment in the series. [...]

    4. This one wasweird. I'm used to the Dear America books from my childhood, which were usually less about adventure and more about history. It seems like most of the books in the relaunch are the opposite. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing, but it doesn't seem to fit the formula for me.The earthquake that sparks most of the latter part of the story seems to be well researched, at least, but the story itself is just strange for a Dear America novel. I'm giving it three stars because if view [...]

    5. UGH! This is proof that some things were better in the 90s. This is one of the "new" Dear America books and quite frankly I haven't liked any of them. Part of the problem is that they changed the format. Instead of simply telling the story of a the day-to-day life of a young girl in certain time periods, they're trying to take a story with a specific plot and force into a diary style. This really doesn't work for events like the San Francisco fire which only occurs over a few days and its during [...]

    6. Dreadful. Listen, Dear America books don't need dramatic stories of intrigue and double-crossing and thieves and spies. The San Francisco earthquake is plenty dramatic enough on its own! Dragging all of that into this book weakens it severely, and it doesn't lend itself well to a diary-style novel anyhow. Compared to other Dear America and Dear Canada novels that cover tragic events with a much better tone, this one is worth leaving behind. For my full recap and review including spoilers, check [...]

    7. My daughter loves these Dear America books, so just for fun, I decided to read one to see what it was all about. I enjoyed it very much. It reads like a diary or a young teen girl. A historical fictional account of the 1906 San Fransisco earthquake which destroyed most of SF.

    8. Not BadIt had interesting circumstances in that she wasn't in school at 14 and was forced to go out and work for her family. I have to keep reminding herself of how things were different then and to be in school at that age would have been unusual. I wish that she had spent more time as a maid in San Francisco and just there in general before the earthquake and I didn't quite understand the conspiracy etc against her family. Also the fact that her dad just happened to find her and the family jus [...]

    9. A copy of this book was provided via Netgalley for the purpose of review.Dear America is a middle grade series from that explores in diary form the lives of young women and girls at important points in United States history. In A City Tossed and Broken, the young woman in question is Minnie Bonner, a young woman who is forced to take a position as a maid after her father gambles away almost everything the family owns. But when her employers are killed in the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, [...]

    10. Having loved this series (Dear America) when I was younger and as a tween, I was excited when some new ones came out. So I've been picking them up whenever I see one at the library.This journal is about Minnie Bonner whose parents ran a tavern until they got into debt and had to give it up. To help pay off the debt Minnie's mother sends her to work as a maid to the very family they lost the tavern too. Of course Minnie doesn't want to go and she's very confused about what really happened. See he [...]

    11. School Library JournalGr 5-8-When her father loses the family business in a series of bad bets, 14-year-old Minette Bonner must work off the debt as a lady's maid for a wealthy family, moving with them from Philadelphia to San Francisco. Minnie soon finds that her own family's losses are much more complicated than she originally thought. The Sumps, however, throw around money to assure their place in San Francisco society. Minnie arrives, along with Mrs. Sump and her daughter, Lily, just in time [...]

    12. This title in the “Dear America” series recounts the devastation of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake through the diary of Minnie Bonner, a practical and perceptive fourteen-year-old lady’s maid. Only days before in Philadelphia, Minnie had been sold into servitude by her mother as payment for her father’s debts. The pretentious Sump family, for whom Minnie now works, has grand plans for their relocation to San Francisco, but Minnie discovers a dark secret about her employer. When the ea [...]

    13. Minnie is devastated by the desertion of her father, but things get worse: unable to keep the family tavern in Philadelphia open, her mother arranges for Minnie to travel with the Sumps to San Francisco to be the maid of their daughter. Given the financial straights of the family (the father has a gambling problem, which is how he lost the tavern), there seems to be nothing for it, and Minnie heads out to San Francisco. Things happen quickly once she gets there-- Mrs. Sump isn't happy about the [...]

    14. I thought this book would be amazing! I was wrong. This book left me disappointed. I mean I always loved reading Dear America books ever since I was younger. They are what got me into reading.This book is the diary of a girl named Minnie Bonner. Her father recently "left" Minnie's mother and Minnie in debt. Which made Minnie's mom "sell" her to be a servant for a rich family. This book had great potential into being a great book ,but the author just rushed. I didn't develop a connection with Min [...]

    15. After her father loses the family tavern, Minnie Bonner is sent to San Francisco as a mad for the newly-rich Sumps. While Mrs. Sump plots to marry off her daughter Lily and find entrée into high society, Lily comes to her own conclusions about what might make life more enjoyable. Before she can step out on her own, though, the city is torn apart by an earthquake and the subsequent fires that destroy many of the city's buildings and result in several deaths. Minnie survives and is mistaken for L [...]

    16. Reviewed for compassbookratingsOverall Review: 's Dear America series is an excellent means to expose kids to important events in American history. With over forty books to choose from, each written by a well-known author, young readers will be transported to different time periods. Each engaging story is written in a similar format -- a diary composed by a fictitious young woman.In Dear America: A City Tossed and Broken, Minnie Bonner recounts her survival of the great San Francisco earthquake [...]

    17. Wow, that was SO much better than I was expecting! Full review to come. Originally posted on Small ReviewWell, that was a surprise! And in a very good way.I was expecting a MG appropriate historical narrative of the events surrounding the 1906 California earthquake. Horror, fear, people coming together, worry, and, ultimately, a happy ending. I got that.What I wasn't expecting was the treachery, identity games, treasure, double crosses, and sheer excitement that I ended up also getting.This rock [...]

    18. This one was a lot better than the last new Dear America reboot book I read (Down the Rabbit Hole Chicago Illinois 1871 The Diary of Pringle Rose).The pacing of the story was great and I really felt as if I got a better, clearer picture of the San Francisco Earthquake. Some of the storyline required a little more suspension of disbelief than I would like, but overall, a reasonable addition to the Dear America franchise.

    19. Minnie Bonner's life is thrown into disarray when her beloved father loses their family's Philadelphia tavern in a card game. Minnie's desperate mother then agrees to hire out Minnie as a maid to the Sumps who are moving to San Francisco in April 1906. Minnie's diary entries cover a very eventful month when the San Francisco earthquake turns everyone's lives upside down. Mistaken identities, buried secrets, and an unexpected reunion with her father give Minnie a roller coaster ride through the p [...]

    20. Reviewed from an ARC, so no opinion about the lack of illustrations. Minnie comes to San Francisco as a young maid of a wealthy family from Philadelphia. Due to a series of daily and sometimes hourly earthquake updates the story as the fire progresses through the city. The fire updates are very accurate, and period photos are at the end of the book. Part of the tension in the plot is Minnie's impersonation of her employer's daughter after the family she works for all die from falling masonry. Th [...]

    21. I love reading books from the Dear America series for several reasons. First, the authentic look back at events from history that may or may not be familiar to me and second, the characters always seem so real that I want to do an internet search to see how their lives turned out.A City Tossed and Broken gives the reader a glimpse of what it was like before, during, and right after the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and how devastating it was to all that were living there at that time.

    22. A quick read, but an enjoyable one. Minnie loses it all and it forced to work as a maid with a questionable family. Leaving Philadelphia and heading to San Francisco, Minnie finds herself in the middle of the great earthquake that devastated the city. Minnie is faced with more than just survival, but also honesty and has to make a life changing decision. I liked Minnie's character who was 14 in this book. It made just stop and think of children that age a 100 years ago verses today. A good book, [...]

    23. When Minnie Bonner is hired as a maid for a rich family who moves out to San Francisco, she has no idea that she will be caught in the Great Earthquake of San Francisco. Through a mix-up, she is mistaken for the rich couple’s daughter, and since they were both killed, has access to a huge fortune should she choose to impersonate the dead daughter (who was killed in the earthquake). Her choice yields interesting results. I especially liked the suspense and mystery element in this book – I was [...]

    24. Powerful story about young Minnie's family losing everything and her having to make a fresh start of it as a maid in San Francisco. This story intrigued me and really brought the experience of living through a horrific earthquake and then the subsequent firestorm that raged afterward. I fully appreciated the historical information about the family and photographs of the city that were included at the end.

    25. Recommended for gr. 4-8 (typical for this series). After her father deserts the family, Minnie Bonner is sent to San Francisco to work as a maid to a social-climbing family. Shortly after she arrives, there is a major earthquake and her employer's home is destroyed and the family killed. In her attempt to find safety, Minnie must rely on strangers and friends, and deal with the aftermath of a major disaster. There is a historical note and photographs at the end of the story.

    26. I was surprised with how many negative reviews this book got. It is truly a clever look at the socioeconomic lay of our nation at the time and a world wind look at the disaster that was the San Francisco quake of 1906, which is really the only way one can approach that disaster, especially if taken from the outlook of a young girl. I am very pleased with this read and wholeheartedly recommend it and the whole series!

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