Williamsburg, 1775: Elizabeth Cole and her best friend Felicity Merriman are "the merriest girls in Virginia"--at least, that's what Felicity's father calls them. The girls' favorite form of merriment is teasing Elizabeth's annoying sister Annabelle. When Annabelle Bananabelle becomes engaged, impish Felicity and very funny Elizabeth prove that they are the merriest mischief-makers in Virginia, too! But when their mischief-making heats up, they end up creating big trouble for Elizabeth. Can they find a way to cool things down quickly?
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Grade 3-5–Ten-year-old Elizabeth Cole lives in Williamsburg in 1775. She and her friend Felicity Merriman (from the Felicity books in the American Girl series) delight in teasing Elizabeths proper, but boy-crazed, 16-year-old sister, Annabelle. The pranks backfire, leading to the threat that Elizabeth will be taken to England when Annabelle marries Lord Harry Lacey. In protest, she concentrates her mischief on prissy Miss Priscilla, Harrys domineering sister. This inspires mild-mannered Harry to stand up for himself, prompting Annabelle to show a glimpse of spine, too. The book includes six pages of illustrated historical data on Courtship and Marriage in 1775. Elizabeth and Felicity are charming, well drawn, and appealing. Except for Priscilla and Harry, secondary characters are paper-doll thin. Annabelle may rise to pasteboard depth, but before the story concludes, readers find her reverting to her old ways. The book is long on historical contextual detail, and the style is highly accessible without attempting to re-create historical dialogue.–Marlene Johnson, Paradise Education Center, Surprise, AZ
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