The Printer's Devil

Author: Page, Marion

Subjects: American History; Civil War; Newspapers

Age: 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

Grade: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Order code: 4640

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 4640S

The Printer's Devil Cover

Newcomers Tyler Maldren and Jem Harvey have southern accents that few in Groton, Vermont, have ever heard. And they have a printing press. The townspeople don’t trust them; many are convinced that they are Southern spies. Why else would the two want to start a newspaper in little Groton?

When fifteen-year-old Livy chances to meet Tyler and Jem on the road near her home, they seem an answer to her dream. She has just graduated from the one-room schoolhouse and hopes to go to secondary school at Newbury Seminary, and she needs money. If these are newspapermen, they need news. Writing things down is easier for Livy than talking, and with a houseful of sisters, she knows all the town’s news. She blushes at her own forwardness in asking the men if she can be a reporter for their paper, but she has no idea of the dangerous future she is bargaining herself into.

Livy manages to get herself into danger. She determines to rescue the child slave Solomon, whom she believes the newspapermen are holding captive. She screws up her courage to investigate the existence of the legendary tunnel under the Peter Paul house, where the newspapermen have set up shop. And she loses her Yankee heart to Jem, who turns out to be an officer in the Confederate army looking for a stash of counterfeit money, plates, and dies made by the infamous Bristol Bill and his gang. This money, and the ability to print more of it, would enable the Confederates to buy arms, food, uniforms, and supplies—or to print a flood of fake bills and make inflation worse in the North, or to purchase gold and trade with European countries sympathetic to the South.

Livy grows up fast and clarifies her values in this Civil War story.

The Printer’s Devil plays on several well-wrought levels: the mystery of the newspapermen and their interest in a storied tunnel, the harsh reality of what happens in wartime to a farming town when sons go off to war and the old folks cannot keep up the farm, the significance of girls taking over the men's chores and how their lives are impacted, and the effects of the Missouri Compromise of 1820.

Newcomers Tyler Maldren and Jem Harvey have southern accents that few in Groton, Vermont, have ever heard. And they have a printing press. The townspeople don’t trust them; many are convinced that they are Southern spies. Why else would the two want to start a newspaper in little Groton?

When fifteen-year-old Livy chances to meet Tyler and Jem on the road near her home, they seem an answer to her dream. She has just graduated from the one-room schoolhouse and hopes to go to secondary school at Newbury Seminary, and she needs money. If these are newspapermen, they need news. Writing things down is easier for Livy than talking, and with a houseful of sisters, she knows all the town’s news. She blushes at her own forwardness in asking the men if she can be a reporter for their paper, but she has no idea of the dangerous future she is bargaining herself into.

Livy manages to get herself into danger. She determines to rescue the child slave Solomon, whom she believes the newspapermen are holding captive. She screws up her courage to investigate the existence of the legendary tunnel under the Peter Paul house, where the newspapermen have set up shop. And she loses her Yankee heart to Jem, who turns out to be an officer in the Confederate army looking for a stash of counterfeit money, plates, and dies made by the infamous Bristol Bill and his gang. This money, and the ability to print more of it, would enable the Confederates to buy arms, food, uniforms, and supplies—or to print a flood of fake bills and make inflation worse in the North, or to purchase gold and trade with European countries sympathetic to the South.

Livy grows up fast and clarifies her values in this Civil War story.

The Printer’s Devil plays on several well-wrought levels: the mystery of the newspapermen and their interest in a storied tunnel, the harsh reality of what happens in wartime to a farming town when sons go off to war and the old folks cannot keep up the farm, the significance of girls taking over the men's chores and how their lives are impacted, and the effects of the Missouri Compromise of 1820.

The Printer's Devil Cover

Share this book

You are viewing Home-based Switch to school-based